The Rajah Quilt

The Rajah Quilt

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Charles' Convict Life

Charles Dewhurst arrived in Van Diemen's Land, on the Roslyn Castle, on December 16th, 1828.  Each convict had a record made on arrival.  The description list of Charles reads:-
Name, Charles Dewhurst No. 504
Trade, Blacksmith
Height 5'9"
Age, 22
Complexion, Brown
Head, Round inclined to oval
Hair, Brown
Whiskers, None
Visage, Oval
Forehead, Perpendicular
Eyebrows, Brown
Eyes, Brown
Nose, Sharp, pointed
Mouth, Narrow
Chin, Long
Remarks, Scar on back of middle finger left hand. Stout Man.

Male convicts served their sentences as assigned labour to free settlers or in gangs assigned to public works. Only the most difficult convicts (mostly re-offenders) were sent to the prison known as Port Arthur.
Charles’ eight or nine years he had spent with his father blacksmithing was of great value to him.   Records show that Charles was on loan to Mr J Walker in 1830 while being domiciled in barracks.  It seems likely it was the same Mr Walker who had been managing the government flour mill on the Hobart Rivulet near Barrack St before buying the mill and then about the time Charles was on loan to him was building another mill near the wharves.

Convicts who had served 4 years of a 7 year sentence, and had been of good behaviour, were granted a Ticket-of-Leave.  Charles was granted a ticket-of-leave in 1833.  This meant he was free to live and work in the colony, and able to earn income.  He still had to report to musters, and was not able to return to England. 

Charles eventually earned a full pardon with a brave deed.  I'll tell you about it soon,


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