Elizabeth CLAXTON Catherine HART Mini tree diagram

Charles CLAXTON

about 1814 - 1869

Life History

about 1814

Born in Middlesex, England.

1845

Birth of daughter Elizabeth CLAXTON

1861

Death of Catherine HART

1869

Died in Balranald, NSW, Australia.

Other facts

 

Married Catherine HART

Notes

  • Charles Claxton was born in about 1814. In October 1830, at the age of 16, he was found guilty on 2 counts of fraud at Westminster Quarter Sessions and was sentenced to 3 months' imprisonment and twice whipped. In May 1831, he was found guilty at the Old Bailey of larceny and fined 1 shilling. On 27th June 1831, he was convicted for fraud at Clerkenwell Sessions and sentenced to transportation for 7 years.
    We have found information about Charles on a New South Wales historical website where he was described as "Aged 17 Tailor from London. Tried 27 June 1831 and sentenced to 7 year's transportation for stealing cloth. Note - Later sentenced to 12 months in an iron gang by Maitland Bench." Maitland is a town in NSW about 100 miles north of Sydney). Convicts who re-offended after arriving in the colony could be assigned to punishment gangs and hard labour of building and repairing roads and bridges.

    Prisoners were kept in hulks until a convict ship was ready and Charles was transferred to the ship Hardy, moored in Portsmouth on 31 August 1831. He was then listed on the muster roll for the Asia, the next convict ship to leave England. The Asia was built at Aberdeen in 1819 and she made regular voyages to New South Wales with convicts. She was reported lying wind bound at Portsmouth on 11th October 1831 and did not depart until 16th October 1831. The records show that the ship arrived in Sydney, New South Wales on 13 February 1832, so the voyage lasted 4 months and Charles was 17 by then. The ships may have stopped off for supplies at Gibraltar, in the West Indies, South America and the Cape of Good Hope, or Capetown in South Africa.

    Two hundred men from counties throughout England were transported on the ship and most would never see their homeland again. They had been held in prison hulks prior to embarking on the Asia, and many were petty thieves. By modern standards, transportation was a most severe penalty for what in some cases, would now be regarded as a fairly minor offence. We do not know what happened to Charles when his ship arrived in Sydney, but records show that he gained his Certificate of Freedom on 3 December 1839, for he was able to marry Catherine Hart, and their daughter Elizabeth Claxton was born in 1845. She became part of the Marchesi family when she married Federico Marchesi in Australia in 1867. Quite often, people who were transported were able to make better lives than they might have had if they had remained in England. We do not know if there were any other children of the marriage and Charles died in 1869 at Balranald, a small town in NSW.

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