HAA007 Main: Samuel Sheepwash Transported to Australia


Tuesday, 6 June 1848 a 13 year old boy faced a charged of larceny in the Clerkenwell County Sessions of Middlesex.[1]

The Governor of the House of Corrections at Westminster had ordered the removal of certain prisoners to Millbank prison. Samuel is included in this order dated 14 Nov 1848.[8] He arrived at Millbank Prison on the 18 Nov 1848 and then removed three days later to Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight.[9] He was discharged from Parkhurst on the 2 Mar 1852.[10] Samuel Sheepwash’s life was to be changed forever; he was to be transported to Van Diemen’s Land (VDL).[11] Whilst there is no actual mention of VDL next to Samuel’s name in the records other inmates on either side have it noted.


On 29 August in 1852 he applied for a Conditional Pardon.[18] It is noted in CON33/1/107 that he had to spend 18 months in Colonial Servitude which was his probation. He was granted a Ticket of Leave on 25 September 1853 and about a fortnight later was recommended for Conditional Pardon on 11 October.[19] Samuel was finally granted a Conditional Pardon on 24 Aug 1854.[20] After three years and four months as a colonial convict Samuel Sheepwash was issued with a Certificate of Freedom.[21] He is now a free young man.


What did he do with his freedom?

Once more there is little on the private life of Samuel Sheepwash. Nearly ten years after his sentence to transportation Samuel reappears in January 1858. Perhaps it is ten years since his first offence. Did something trigger his relapse into crime?  He stood trial for stealing a watch and other articles from the dwelling of John Lansdale. Not as Samuel Sheepwash but as Samuel Challis. He was tried in the Supreme Court of Hobart Town and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour on 26 January.[22] He was received at Port Arthur on 3 February. Samuel’s conduct is not questioned in the records and he is discharged from the Hobart prison barracks on 24 Sep 1859 and was once again Free of Servitude.[23]

Hobart Supreme Court Record of 1865 Trial


What became of Samuel Sheepwash alias Samuel Challis?

Nothing more can be found of Samuel Sheepwash or Samuel Challis. Records were searched but they are quiet on the life of this person. No marriage, no death and I cannot ascertain if he left the colony. The search will go on.