Yesterday, the 11th of November was the 133rd anniversary of the death of one of Australia’s, if not, the world’s most notorious outlaws, Ned Kelly. This inspired us to do a bit of research in the Irish Prison Registers to find out the fate of Irish convicts who were sent Down Under in prison ships, the good and the bad.
John “Red” Kelly
You don’t have to look too far to figure out where Ned Kelly got his rebellious streak. Ned’s father John, originally from Moyglass in Co. Tipperary, was arrested on the 4th December 1840. Our records show his crime was “stealing two pigs from James Cooney” of Ballysheehan, near Cashel. He subsequently sold the pigs at Cahir market for about £6. You can see his prison record below:
After his conviction he was referred to the Cashel Assizes and subsequently sentenced to transportation for seven years. On the 31st July 1841 he was sent to Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania, aboard “The Prince Regent” where he would spend the next six years in hard labour. After his release John moved to Victoria, eventually marrying Ellen Quinn. Their son Edward (Ned) was born in Melbourne and would go on to become one of the most infamous names in Australian history.
Kevin Izod O’Doherty
On the other side of the spectrum we have Dubliner Kevin Izod O’Doherty, who would go on to become a well-respected physician and politician in his adopted country. O’Doherty was a member of the Young Ireland party and founder of the short lived Irish Tribune newspaper. He was sent to Tasmania in 1849 for ten years for “feloniously publishing sedition in a newspaper called The Irish Tribune”. We can see his prison record below:
In 1854 he received a pardon and went to Paris to continue his medical studies. In 1862 he returned to Australia this time to Brisbane and became well known as one of its leading physicians.
He was eventually elected a member of the legislative assembly in 1867 and in 1872 was responsible for a health act being passed, and was also one of the early opponents of the traffic in kanakas. In 1877 he transferred to the legislative council before resigning in 1885. O’Doherty returned to Dublin but was back in Brisbane within a year, deciding that he could not stick the Irish climate anymore!
Do you have any ancestors in your family tree who were sent to Australia on prison ships? We’d love to hear their stories and hopefully compile them into a follow up post, feel free to get in touch via the comments box below.
My 3 X Great Grandfather, Richard Charlement ARCHBOLD, arrived as a convict on the “Three Bees” in Sydney on 6 May 1814. Richard C Archbold was convicted in Dublin City in August 1813, the term was seven years. I’ve never been able to find any record of his Trial.
The Convict Indents attached to the NSW Archives of the “Three Bees” give the following information:
Native Place: Kildare
Age: 22 years
It has been determined (”The Archbolds of Roseville”, An Anthology of the Archbold Family of Eadestown, County Kildare, Ireland; In the Colony of New South Wales, by W.D. Archbold Ph.D) that RC Archbold was highly unusual among his fellow felons in that he was of the ‘Landed Gentry’.
Born circa 1792, the son of Richard Lattin Archbold & Mary Caulfield, he belonged to the Eadestown Archbold Family of Kildare. This couple are thought to be buried in St. Michan’s Church, Dublin.
Thanks to a Diary written by Richard Archbold O’Reilly (a 1st Cousin of Richard C Archbold) we have a telling description of Richard C Archbold’s Father, Richard Lattin Archbold. Richard Lattin Archbold (m Mary Caulfield) is described as being “a drawback as an only son to his parents “who thou possessing a large share of talent and of that description too which was wont to set the table in a roar(adverse to prudence) wasted the property his good Father gave him, sold a valuable interest in a Lease to Mr Thomas Dillon, a Woollen Draper in Parliament St (a Lease of an ancient property in his family) no doubt obtained by renewal from his first cousin Colonel Eustace of Cradoxtown, parted with all and died in miserable circumstances and health.”
So, Richard Charlement Archbold was one of three offspring who would’ve seen their future prospects dwindle at the hands of their profligate father who was “the life of the party and a very affable man, but a poor judge of horse flesh!’
The question that burns is; was there any direct relationship between the harsh reality of his father losing the Family Property & R.C Archbold’s own fall from Grace which led to him being tried in the Dublin Court?
Without the Details of the Trial we’ll never know the answer to that question. We do know that Richard Charlement Archbold was very well educated. He advertised in the SYdney Gazette, 15th April 1815 that in his evening school,30 Charlotte Place, The Rocks, he could offer the subjects of Latin Grammar, Geography & Theory of the Solar Systems as well as the more usual Reading, Writing & Arithmetic.
In Australia, Richard C Archbold showed great determination & a considerable degree of sheer hard work to improve his lot in life. He was at various times, a school teacher running his own school, a business man, operating variously as a publican brewer, merchant/trader & buying & selling real estate. Finally by 1826 he was on the North Shore of Sydney at his property known as “Clanville’ establishing a Fruit Orchard. (He’d received a Grant of Crown Land of 600 Acres gazetted on 14th Novemebr 1825.)
On 7 April 1817, Richard C Archbold married 15 year old Mary Clement Pawley, the daughter of a Convict Couple (John Pawley & Hannah von Depthenburg, aka Anna/Anne Murphy). Richard & Mary Archbold had 9 children before Richard died prematurely on 22 Oct 1836 at the age of 44 years. He chose his wife well, for Mary Archbold showed great courage & capability in continuing to develop “Clanville’ until her death on 1 August 1850, which was extremely isolated at that time, with only the help of her young sons (the eldest son was only 13 years old at the time of his father’s death)& 2 convict labourers assigned to them.
An advertisment placed in “The Australian”: 1st February, 1840 pays tribute to the quality of the Archbold’s Farm & its produce:
“Farm For Sale”
Farm for sale next to Archbold’s Farm. It abounds with some of the finest views, both of the river and harbour and the adjacent parts of the country, And is surrounded by the elite of Sydney, also Archbold’s and Walters’ market gardens, the former which is noted for its excellent fruit”.
Richard Charlement Archbold was the only one of the three children of Richard Lattin & (Mary nee Caulfield)Archbold to marry & leave descendants. In Ireland that particular Branch of the Archbold Tree died out.
Richard Charlement’s brother was James Archbold, who was employed by the Bank of Ireland . James lived with with his sister, Eliza Mary Archbold at 22 Molesworth Street, Dublin. James predeceased his sister, as is evidenced by the Letters of Administration of her Intestate Estate, on 11 January 1873 at 11 Idrone Terrace, Blackrock, County Dublin.
There is a busy arterial road in Roseville named Archbold Road. There is a large scattered clan of Archbolds & associated families; McIntosh, Clarke,Servais, Shaw, Duffy & Gibson are just some!
AS a child when I asked my father, ‘Archbold Francis Gibson’, to tell me about his Family’s History he dodged the query with the adage that “the Past was Best Left Alone!” I commenced searching for the answers myself in 1994, the year of his death. I have spent a considerable amount of time and money finding out just what it was that he thought was best left alone!
Richard Charlement Archbold was just one of seven Ancestors who had a Convict Past. They are all on my Father’s Side of my Family! Two of those seven came from Ireland.For many years their families hid the truth of their origins & means of arrival in this Country. It is only recently that we have come to regard their stories as worthy of recounting.
‘Seven Years’, as a Sentence, may not seem particularly harsh in itself from a modern viewpoint. However when one realises that it usually meant a lifelong separation from their Birthplace & more importantly from their Family & Community then it was a Harsh Sentence indeed.
PS: As an interesting Family ‘Aside’: Richard Charlement Archbold was the Great Nephew of Jack Lattin (1711 - 1731) who is immortlised in Irish Folk Music as well as in a threat or chastisement said to often be heard in Kildare “I’ll make you dance Jack Lattin” which is a reference to the story that Jack Lattin aged 21 years had ‘Died of dancing” in the attempt to win a large wager!
The Family Rhyme has it that
“Jack Lattin dressed in satin
Broke his heart of dancing
He danced from Castle Browne
Jack Lattin was the brother of Richard Charlement Archbold’s Grandmother, Elizabeth Lattin who had married James Archbold circa 1728. Elizabeth (nee Lattin) & James Archbold were also the grandparents of the Diarist, James Archbold O’Reilly.
Although not an Archbold, I’ve had the dubious blessing of having an Archbold as one of my best friends for nearly forty years. The 4 x Great Grandson of the Richard Charlemont you mention. I’ve also known the Duffy, McIntosh, Pymble and other families related to the Archbolds.
Recently I’ve looked at the Archbold family history and I’ve thought it a pity that the reason for Richard Charlemont’s 7 year transportation is unclear. I have found two unconfirmed possible reasons and one is that he was a gambler and resorted to theft as he had lost all his money, and the other is that he had uttered words of treason. I don’t know if either are true, but he never seemed to show signs of gambling here and was only a productive hard worker. His middle name of Charlemont is interesting too. With his mother being a Caulfield he could be related, through his mother, to the Earl of Charlemont whose family were Caulfields (or Caulfeilds depending on how that family member spells it).
Clanville has been an area of argument among certain Archbold family members. Clanville was a 400 acre area of land north of Boundary Road (of what is now Roseville) to Tryon Road. Richard Charlemont’s land grant was a 600 acre area of land south of Boundary Road. Clanville was a property previously owned by Daniel Mathew. Mathew also owned a larger property nearby called Rosedale. He felled timber and grew oranges. Richard Charlemont did little with his 600 acre grant but bought Clanville from Mathew as Mathew wanted to devote his time to Rosedale. A stone cottage was built on Clanville and lived in by Richard Charles’ (his son) father-in-law Isaac Wilson. This cottage was called Rose Villa or Roseville and was on the spot of where Roseville station now stands.
Earlier Richard Charlemont was indeed a teacher and opened up what he called a ‘Seminary of Instruction’ for children of both sexes and adults in the evenings. This was first opened in June 1814, three months after he arrived on the Three Bees, at 7 Gloucester Street, The Rocks. He bought a brick and stone cottage on the corner of Bent and Bligh Streets that had been started by Andrew Byrne who had been sentenced to life for his part in the Irish Rebellion. He also took a three year lease out on a pub and renamed it to The Rising Sun. This pub was at Charlotte Place. All before he received his land grant and even longer before he bought Clanville.
He did fit a lot into his relatively short life.