convict

William Cropley & Samuel Griffiths: Bacon Stealing Bad Boys

I mentioned a couple of months ago, as part of my Ethelbert Collection, that Ethelbert Holborow, cheesemonger of Clare Street, London, suffered the egregious loss of 2 shillings worth of bacon from his shop in September 1827. The culprits were 12 year-old Samuel Griffiths and 14-year old William Cropley.

But I wanted to know what happened to them after this incident … I was surprised at what I found but not entirely disappointed.

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Holborow in Australia 2: William the Convict

When you’re researching Australian family, there’s always the spectre of transportation, much like Massachusetts in the late 17th century. Back in 2007 it was reported that up to 22% of living Australians were descended from convicts (over 4 million people). There is also a one in 30 chance for us Brits.

I remember studying the topic of transportation when I was at primary school (er, about 30 years ago), but I thought that I could do with a bit of a refresher course – and its amazing to find what records are out there for individuals, alongside the social and political history that goes along with it.

And spoiler alert: I feel some degree of sympathy for our William …

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