It was as Ann Kennicott that this young woman found herself before the Bristol General Quarter Sessions on 13 January 1817. Aged 18, a pipe-maker and servant, she was found guilty of stealing a gown, and sentenced to seven years transportation. Where she was born, and to whom, is not certain but Family Search lists a number of families in Devon and Bristol with the name Kennicott (or variations). An Ann Kennicott was born in Plymouth in 1799 to a Nicholas and Mary Kennicott. Edward and Nicholas Kennicott, sons of Nicholas and Margaret Kennicott, were born in Bristol and baptised there in 1805 and 1807 respectively. Together, with a number of the Kennicott clan, these sons are found in the 1841 Welsh census as pipe-makers and in the 1851 Welsh census as master pipe-makers.
It was also as Ann Kennicott that she embarked on the Friendship. On arrival at Port Jackson the ship’s surgeon Peter Cosgreave logged her as ‘a prostitute and mutinous’. Tagged with this unflattering description she was one of the women who very shortly were transferred to Hobart Town aboard the Duke of Wellington, which reached its destination on 20 February 1818. From there Ann was sent to Port Dalrymple, located at the mouth of the Tamar River and about 25 miles north of Launceston.
It is under the surname Cormicott that Ann has been registered in the Female Convicts Research Centre (FCRC) database, with a notation that, at various times, she was also recorded as Frances Ann Brady, Ann Crockford, Frances Ann Crockford, Ann Edwards, Frances Ann Edwards, Frances Ann Hennicot, Ann Kennicot, and Frances Ann Kennicott.
It was not too long before Ann found a husband. The marriage in 1819 between Charles Edwards and Frances Ann Hennicot (or Kennicot) was included in the list of marriages solemnized over a three week period that year at Port Dalrymple by chaplain John Youl.
The Reverend John Youl was appointed the first Chaplain in 1819. He toured the district for three weeks, during which he married 41 couples and baptised 64 children, some of the latter belonging to newly weds, who had been waiting for an opportunity to be legally married.
For the 1820 and 1821 musters Ann was listed as the wife of Charles Edwards who, in turn, was recorded as her master. Who was Charles and how and when did he arrive in the colony?
His mother, Elizabeth (also known as Sophia) Edwards, had been tried at the Old Bailey on 9 July 1800, found guilty of stealing a silver mug valued at 30 shillings, and sentenced to seven years transportation. According to one of the witnesses, Elizabeth was a married woman whose husband had kept a broker’s shop in Stanhope Street and after that a green-grocer’s shop. As Elizabeth Pettitt her marriage to Charles Edwards on 6 April 1795 had been registered at St. Leonard, Shoreditch. Charles Edwards junior had been baptised on 14 August 1794 at Holborn. When the Earl Cornwallis left England on 18 November 1800 bound for Botany Bay, Elizabeth Edwards was aged 25 and her son Charles was about 6. After 206 days at sea, the convict vessel finally arrived at Port Jackson on 12 June 1801 and by 1811 Elizabeth was at Port Dalrymple, as recorded in the muster of that year. It was also in 1811, on 4 March, and claiming to be a single woman, that Elizabeth Edwards married Matthew Kirk. She died a widow aged 67 at the house of her son Charles, George Square, Launceston.
It would be interesting to know what Eliza thought of her daughter-in-law. Over a period of ten years Ann clocked up a series of offences commencing on 28 December 1822 when she left her husband and was returned to the Government. Two months later she was fined 5/- for being drunk and disorderly. There was a gap of five years before the next offence, within which time, having served out her transportation sentence, Ann had been issued with her Certificate of Freedom on 20 January 1824. Sometime also during this hiatus she had returned to Charles.
But by 1828 she had relapsed. On 1 March she was again fined 5/- for being drunk and disorderly, and on 3 July the following year, again drunk and disorderly, Ann was confined in jail for 14 days on bread and water – a particularly severe form of punishment. Described as ‘most frightful dungeons’ the solitary cells were dank, smelly and so small that the inmates could barely stand upright. The cell door was opened once a day for doling out the daily ration of one pound of bread and a tub of water. The cell was ‘furnished’ only with a dirty mattress and a tub to be used as a latrine. In the total darkness it was difficult to distinguish between this tub and the water tub. For these two offences the records show her still to be ‘Ux Edwards’, but for subsequent misdemeanours there is no reference to a husband. Had Charles reached the end of his tether? Had Ann left him again? Was it a parting of the ways that in 1830 led Ann to find repeated solace in the bottle? From March to August she clocked up six offences for drunkenness.
Whatever the status of their relationship, Charles Edwards had found another partner by 1836, one Ann Alleyn, born in London 1817, who had come out as an assisted emigrant on the Strathfieldsay which sailed from Gravesend on 1 May 1834 and arrived at Hobart on 13 August. Anne Alleyn, an 18 year old assistant governess, was ‘disposed of’ to Mr Elliston of Norfolk Plains, Longford, on an annual wage of £14. I have not located a marriage record for this couple, but Charles’ second wife died in childbirth on 24 July 1847 aged only 30 and leaving a family of five small children to lament her loss. To finish off on Charles – he died on 22 March 1854 at home. The Sydney Morning Herald on 7 March 1854 reported that
There is, and has been for some time past, a very large amount of sickness in Launceston, much more than has been known before for a very long time. Dysentery, measles, and scarlet fever are very prevalent.
It was from measles that Charles succumbed.
Absent from the records for some considerable time, Ann resurfaced again in 1844, under the name Frances Ann Brady. Predictably the location was a court of law. At the December 1844 Quarter Sessions at Launceston, she, in cahoots with one Margaret Watt, was indicted for stealing 5 pairs of stockings, 2 combs, and a pair of scissors from Mr. William Allen, a storekeeper at Fingal (some 25 miles south east of Launceston), with whom both were in service. In the course of the proceedings it was established that Mr. Allen also kept a public house opposite his store, to which the two prisoners were frequent patrons. Both women pleaded not guilty. Having heard the muddled and contradictory evidence tendered by the witnesses, the Chairman of the Bench remarked that
… the whole case had a bad appearance; and, if the jury had any reasonable doubt in their minds, [he] recommended them to give the prisoners the benefit of it.
The jury, after a few minutes’ consideration, acquitted both prisoners. One matter on which there was no doubt was that on the day of the supposed theft both Brady and Watts had spent time at Allen’s public house and were very much the worse for drink. There were no clues as to the identity of Mr. Brady, with whom Frances Ann had taken up. The only reference to him during the trial was ‘Brady lives with her husband in a hut on the township’.
Moving forward in time we again come across Frances Ann in circumstances which perhaps suggest that finally she had found some stability in her life. On Christmas Day, 1849, at St John’s Church Launceston the marriage between Henry Crockford and Frances Ann Kennicott was solemnized in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of the United Church of England and Ireland. The Reverend Ison officiated, and James Barton and Sarah Morris were the two witnesses.
According to the marriage certificate Henry Crockford was aged 44, a ‘free’ man, single and a labourer. His bride was a widow, also ‘free’, and aged 42 – not quite correct as she would have been nearer 50. Henry was able to sign his name but Frances Ann ‘made her mark’.
Frances Ann had been in the colony for fourteen years or so before her future second husband had arrived. Henry Crockford had been baptised in 1805 at Cheriton, a small Hampshire village near the city of Winchester, one of a least five children born to Henry and Mary Crockford.
On 25 February 1832, at the age of 27, Henry had been convicted at Winchester and sentenced for life for stealing 29 lambs from Mr Chiddle of Tichbourne. In April the sentence was commuted to transportation ‘Beyond the Seas for the term of his natural life’. On 1 May the order was issued for him to be relocated to the hulk Leviathan then moored at Portsmouth. Subsequently, as one of 200 convicts, he boarded the York which departed on 1 September 1832 and arrived at Hobart on 29 December 1832. Trying to distinguish between the various branches of the Crockford family based in the district around Cheriton is a challenge, especially as many of them were named Henry, one of whom preceded ‘our’ Henry as a transported convict who arrived at Van Dieman’s land in 1826 on the Earl St Vincent. Thus the administrators of the criminal system referred to ‘our’ Henry as Henry Crockford Junior.
His behaviour during his time on the Leviathan was described as good. But his unblemished record was tarnished soon after his arrival in Van Dieman’s Land. Henry was sent to the Tamar district where he was assigned to various masters. On 7 May 1834 his master, Rev. James Norman, charged him with neglect of work for which he received a reprimand. A repeat offence of negligence one month later on 23 June earned him 20 lashes. Only one week later he was again charged with ‘neglect of work and making away with his provisions’ – another 30 lashes were meted out. He managed to stay out of trouble for three months, but on 16 August he was again reprimanded. He was a patient in hospital in September 1834 but that did not stop him from disobeying orders and receiving yet another reprimand. By 1839 he had been assigned to Mr. Dalrymple who, in March of that year returned him to the government, his services no longer being required. The final charge on his record occurred on 6 May 1843 when he was charged with a breach of the Police Act for which he was fined 20 shillings and forfeiture of his ticket-of-leave which had been handed to him in 1841. It was not until December 1845 that the following notice was placed in the Cornwall Chronicle
The Lieutenant-Governor, having received instructions from Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Colonies, signifying Her Majesty’s approval of Pardons being granted the undermentioned Convicts upon condition of their remaining in the Island of Van Diemen’s Land, or some or one of Her Majesty’s Australian Colonies or New Zealand, His Excellency has directed their names to be published for general information; these persons not having committed any offences since they were recommend to the Queen’s mercy which would disentitle them to the indulgence approved of.
Included in the list of names was Henry Crockford, York 2, who had remained ‘clean’ for four years and who, as we have noted, had finally married and settled down to life as a free man. He and Frances Ann were together for twenty-six years before she died on 4 August 1875 aged 76 of congestion of the lungs, her final years taken up with caring for her husband. Before his conviction Henry had worked (as did all his family) as an agricultural labourer and it was to farming that he had returned. The death certificate records Frances Ann Crockford’s profession as farmer’s wife. Indeed, she and Henry had made a success of their farming venture and had earned and enjoyed the respect of the community, and, judging from the sentiments of her death notice, some comfort and happiness in their married life
CROCKFORD – At her residence, Hadspen, on the 4th August, Frances Ann, the beloved wife of Mr. Henry Crockford, aged 76 years.
Henry outlived his wife by nearly ten years and died of paralysis on 18 March 1884 aged 80.
CROCKFORD – On March 18, at the residence of Mr. James Eastoe, Junction Farm, Mr. Henry Crockford, aged 80 years.
His death certificate states that he was a landowner. His passing did not go unnoticed, as seen from an obituary published in the Launceston Daily Telegraph
DEATH OF AN OLD RESIDENT – Another of the links that bind the present with the past has been broken in the death, on Tuesday last, at the Junction Farm, near Carrick, of Mr. Henry Crockford at the ripe old age of 80, the immediate cause being apoplexy. For about 35 years Mr. Crockford has been a resident in the district occupying the farm where he died, which is a portion of the Westbury Estate. He was a self-made man, and about 30 years ago he owned and drove a splendid team of bullocks, which he was wont to pride himself as being the finest in the district. By honest hard work he made money, and when he acquired it he was not at all selfish, but was ever ready to assist his neighbors, as many of them can testify. Mr. Crockford was a prominent member of the Carrick Church, and was mainly instrumental in getting the first parsonage built. He also took and active part in matters connected with the construction of the roads and the improvement of the district, being the building of the old bridge known as Landale’s, now replaced by the more modern structure called Westwood Bridge. For the past 12 years Mr. Crockford has been incapacitated from work, and has been living off the fruit of his early industry. As a man he was kind-hearted and liberal minded, and had many friends who will hear of his decease with regret.
Henry Crockford, late of the Junction Farm near Carrick, and then of Prospect Village near Launceston, had drawn up his will on 25 September 1875. He left an estate valued at £2,672-3s-8d.The terms of the will serve to confirm not only his generosity but also that he had kept in contact with his family back in England. His executors were to arrange, as soon as possible after Henry’s death, for an annuity of £20 to be paid to the widow of his brother George – Jane Crockford of Sarisbury Green near Southampton – and when the estate matters had been finalised, to divide the proceeds equally between Jane and her surviving children and the surviving children of his late brother James Crockford.
Henry did not forget his other brother, William. Indeed there was little chance that he would as William was another of the Crockford clan to be transported. He had been convicted at the Southampton Assizes on 27 February 1840 for the identical crime of his elder brother – sheep stealing – but his sentence was only 15 years. Following the same path, William spent time on the Leviathan, where his behaviour was recorded as ‘Bad’, before being shipped out to Van Dieman’s Land on the Lord Lyndoch which arrived at Hobart on 5 February 1841. He was granted a conditional pardon in 1851. It was also in that year that he married 16 year old Mary Anne Durham. However, William did not fare as well as his brother. He spent time in jail for various offences in both Victoria and Tasmania, including being sentenced at Geelong in 1866 to 8 years and 4 months for cattle stealing, and a further 4 years at Launceston, again for cattle stealing, handed down in 1874. By the early 1880s he was regularly appearing before the Launceston Police Court on charges of being drunk and disorderly. He must have been a worry for Henry and Frances Ann. In his will Henry made some provision for William – he was to receive the sum of one shilling a day, to be paid in weekly instalments, and, during his lifetime, occupancy of Henry’s cottage and land at Carrick.
The principal beneficiary of Henry’s will was Elizabeth Goodger who was to receive £1000. It is through this woman that we find that Frances Ann also maintained some contact with her family ‘back home’. So who was she? Not, as I first thought, a daughter of Frances Ann.
It was on 13 July 1864, at the dwelling house of Henry Crockford, Junction Farm, Westwood, that Elizabeth married James Goodger. The groom’s age was given as 23, and he was a farmer. The bride was a spinster who gave her age as 29. Both were able to sign their names as was Henry Crockford one of the witnesses. The other witness, Frances Ann Crockford signed ‘X’. Elizabeth’s maiden name was Kennicott. Elizabeth Goodger, then a widow, died on 4 October 1924, aged 88 at Wanurewa, New Zealand. From her death certificate we learn that her father was Edward Hennicott [sic]. Elizabeth had been baptised in Wales in 1833, and was with her widowed father at Swansea, for both the 1841 and 1851 census. Edward Kennicott, of the Cambrian Pipe Manufactory, Swansea, died in 1852 – ‘a man much and deservedly respected’. Having lost both parents it is more than likely that family ties influenced her decision to emigrate. Travelling steerage class Elizabeth Kennicott arrived at Melbourne on the Blackwall Line ship Kent in August 1858 as an unassisted passenger. The manifest records her as being 20 [sic] years old and a spinster. It is evident that Henry, and no doubt Frances Ann, thought highly of Elizabeth and James. The Crockfords were childless and perhaps they ‘adopted’ Elizabeth as their own. James Goodger was one of the Executors of Henry’s will.
William Crockford, labourer, died on 21 March 1885. Together with his brother Henry and sister-in-law Frances Ann he was buried in St Andrew’s Anglican Cemetery, Carrick.
SACRED TO THE MEMORY
But who is left to remember them?
Junction Farm is still operating today. Under the heading ‘Expansive Frontage to the South Esk and Meander Rivers in Northern Tasmania’ it was recently advertised for sale. Situated in an ideal location, only 15 kilometres from Launceston, ‘Junction Farm’ enjoys approximately 10 kilometres of prime river frontage on the Meander and South Esk Rivers.
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Tasmania Marriages 1803-1899 Transcription
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Lucy Frost, Abandoned Women, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2012
© Leonie Fretwell, 2017