GEORGE HAM was the founder of our Ham ancestry. He was born in England, probably in the south west although he came from Oxfordshire. Born about 1770, he was tried at the Old Bailey in London for two consecutive days in December 1798 with another man. Found guilty of highway robbery, his death sentence was commuted to transportation for life. George came to Australia on the "Royal Admiral" in 1800 and lived in Sydney Town for some years.
On 15-9-1806 he married ANN EPTON at the old St. Phillip's Church in Sydney. She was also a convict, who hailed from Lincolnshire. She was born at Anderby, the daughter of Joseph and Ann Epton, early in 1783. Ann Epton of Bilsby was found guilty of petty larceny at Lindsey Quarter Sessions 23-7-1804 and sentenced to seven years transportation. Ann arrived in Sydney Town on the "William Pitt" on 25-7-1806 and was assigned to Samuel Pugh, a constable in Sydney. Here only a bare four months, she married George Ham.
Four children survived childhood and the family moved from Sydney Town to the Hawkesbury where they were by 1814. JAMES was supposed to have been born at Parramatta, but no record has been found to verify that fact. His date of birth is only known from another source not based on a document. After the birth of FRANCES in 1816, George and Ann parted company. In the 1822 Muster George is listed as living in Baulkham Hills with Elizabeth Leith, also a convict. The daughter Ann is not listed in this muster, but it appears that she must have been working as a servant in one of the Hawkesbury homes. James and Frances were with their mother, Ann, at the Hawkesbury.
Late in 1823, James Duff left the Hawkesbury, with his sister, Ann, and her husband, Samuel Clift, and their small son, to take up his father's new land grant at Jerry's Plains. With them went Ann Epton with James and Frances. Ann became James Duff's housekeeper and the two children were employed as shepherds, according to the 1828 Census.
James Duff employed two convicts, assigned to him in the 1820s, who were to play a big part in the history of the Hams. JOSEPH CARTER was a convict, born about 1799, who arrived on the "Ocean" in 1816 and was to marry Frances Ham in 1829 when she was only thirteen. The other convict assigned to Duff was JAMES EDWARDS, born about 1807 in Derbyshire, who arrived on the "Florentia" in early 1828. Although he was twenty five years younger than Ann Epton, he married her at Glendon on 19-6-1837. Why she married him after being independant for some twenty years is a mystery. He turned out to be a bounder.
Joseph Carter died in the first half of the 1840s. No record survives to give us a date. Within a couple of years, Frances took off with her stepfather, James Edwards, and had five more children, after having five to her legal husband. She never married Edwards but it is believed he married another lady, at Broke, much later but it did not work out. We only assume it to be the same man at this stage. Edwards, apparently, was a real charmer where women were concerned, and we don't know what happened to him in the finish. If he is the same James Edwards who married a widow, Sarah Butler, she was brought back to Broke when she died and is buried with her first husband.
Written by Geoff Meyer.
ANN CARTER was the first child of Frances and Joseph carter and married twice. She married a convict, WILLIAM SMITH, on 27-11-1850. After having three children, he died on 30-7-1856 and is buried at Warkworth. His headstone still stands in the paddock just outside the cemetery there. Smith was born about 1816 supposedly a native of Eton but no birth details have come to light. Ann's second marriage was to JAMES PITTMAN, born at Kurrajong in 1835, son of JOHN MATTHEW PITTMAN, a convict from Somerset, and MARY REBECCA SUNDERLAND, a native of Sydney. Ann and James had seven more children.
MARY ANN SMITH, the youngest child of Ann and William Smith, married THOMAS HENRY HALL, born at Branxton in 1858, a son of JOHN HALL, a native of Sydney, and MARGARET McLEOD from the Isle of Skye, Scotland. They had three children, the youngest, ETHEL ANN, being scalded to death at the age of two while in the care of her elder sister.
MINNIE ISABEL HALL, the second child of Mary Ann and Thomas Henry Hall, married GEORGE LEWIS BAKER at Broke in 1910. George, born in Melbourne in 1880, died in the influenza epidemic in Sydney in 1919 leaving a widow and four young children. Minnie later married JOHN PITTMAN, a grandson of James and Ann, and their eight children shared the same great- grandmother, Ann Carter, on both sides of their family.
THE TRIALS OF GEORGE HAM.
Jackson's Oxford Journal
(from 1753. Indexed 1753-1790)
1788 Friday, 17 October
George Ham was committed to Oxford Castle Gaol by the Revd. The Vice-Chancellor charged . on suspicion of stealing from Pembroke College a silver spoon, property of the Master, Fellows & Scholars.
1789 Saturday, 7 March
George Ham: stealing silver spoon from Pembroke Stephen Turner: stealing £100 from Robert Trevor's rooms in Christ Church.
Both burnt in hand and sent for two years' hard labour in Castle.
[Ham's committal was made by the Vice-Chancellor because his crime came into the jurisdiction of the University.]
GEORGE HAM, WILLIAM WALLACE, theft with violence: highway robbery, 09 Jan 1799.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17990109-6
85. GEORGE HAM and WILLIAM WALLACE were indicted for that they, on the 22d of December, in the King's highway, in and upon John Cossel, did make an assault, putting him in fear, and taking from his person three shillings in money, the property of the said John.
JOHN COSSEL sworn. - I live in the parish of Heston: On the 22d of December, about half past four o'clock, as I was going down Heston-lane, the two men at the bar met me and passed me, and then turned back, and said they wanted to search my pockets.
Q. Which said that? - A. They both spoke; I said they might if they pleased; they said they would search my pockets, and have my money; the shortest came up and stood foremost, and the other man stood with a pistol behind him; he then presented the pistol at me.
Q. When did they first pull out the pistol? - A. I saw it when they turned round, before they spoke to me.
Q. How came you to say they might have your money? - A. Because I was frit at them; they took three shillings out of my breeches pocket, and asked me for my watch, and one of them put his hand inside my breeches, but I had none.
Q. When did you next see them? - A. Last Monday was a week.
Q. How light was it at this time? - A. I saw them, I suppose, forty yards before I came to them.
Q. Are you sure these are the men? - A. I am certain sure.
Q. How far was the man from you that had the pistol? - A. About the space of two yards, I don't think it was more.
Q. Are you sure the man who stood with the pistol is one of the men at the bar? - A. The very same.
Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. What length of time might have elapsed between the time of the
robbery and the time they were apprehended? - A. About ten days.
Q. It was half after four, or near five o'clock? - A. It was about half past four.
Q. Did you not say, before you went into the office, that you could not undertake to swear to these men? - A. No; I said as soon as I went in, that if they were the men I could swear to them.
Q. Where do you live? - A. At Heston, about twelve miles from town.
Q. How happened it that you knew they were in custody? - A. The constable came to me, and I told him I could swear to them.
Q. You say, the man who had the pistol was about two yards distance? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you mean to swear that you saw the pistol before the man's hand was in your pocket? - A. Yes, as soon as I turned round, I saw it. I had twenty-three shillings in my pocket, and I had just before parted my money, and put the rest in my coat pocket; I was going a journey, but that having happened, I went into a public-house, and they advised me to go back to my master's, and see if I could find the men, and I went back.
- HAYNES sworn. - I am constable of the parish of Hillingdon: On Thursday, the 3d of January, about seven in the evening, some people came in, and said I was wanted; I opened the door, and the two prisoners were given into my custody by the constable.
Ham's defence. To the best of my knowledge, I was in town when the robbery was committed.
Wallace's defence. I was at another place at the time.
The prisoner, Wallace, called five witnesses, and Ham one, who gave them a good character.
Ham, GUILTY Death. (Aged 28.)
Wallace, GUILTY Death. (Aged 22.)
Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice LAWRENCE.
(Heston, a suburb of Greater London, is not far from Heathrow Airport and from Hounslow Heath, "a waste tract - - strewn with gibbets" was famed for having the worst criminal record of any open space in London: highwaymen found rich pickings and footpads hunted there in pairs or packs and would sometimes murder to steal.)
THE TRIAL OF ANN EPTON.
LINDSEY QUARTER SESSIONS MINUTES (i.e. book) MIDSUMMER 1804.
Quarter Sessions held at Spilsby Wed. 23 July 1804.
felony case against Ann Epton:
John Coupland of Bilsby Farmer to prosecute and give evidence 10 pound recognizance
Thomas Pennington of Bilsby Clerk to give evidence 5 pounds discharged.
Zilpha Hodgson of Bilsby Spinster to appear 5 pounds discharged.
Rebecca Wilson of Bilsby Widow to appear 5 pounds discharged.
John Coupland also paid 5 pounds for the appearance of Sarah wife of Jeremiah Dales of Bilsby
Ann Epton late of Bilsby for petty larceny.
Plea: Not guilty. Jury say: guilty.
To be transported to some place beyond the seas for the Term of seven years.
Ann Epton 21 days @ 6d. per day 10s.6d.
(various other people)
Ann Epton 16s.6d.
(various other people)
(no reason given in heading for following):
Ann Epton 100 days @ 6d. per day 2:10:0.
(above expenses allowed by court Midsummer 1804)
The Jurors of our Lord the King, upon their Oath, present:
That Ann Epton, late of the Parish of Bilsby, in the parts of Lindsey, in the County of Lincoln, Spinster, on the sixteenth day of April in the forty fourth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, and with force and Arms at the Parish of Bilsby aforesaid the parts and County aforesaid two cotton aprons of the value of twopence, one woman's shift of the value of twopence, eleven woman's caps of the value of twopence, five neck hadkerchiefs of the value of twopence, one pocket handkerchief of the value of one penny and one woman's black silk hood of the value of one penny of the goods and chattles of one Mary Walker, widow, then and there being found feloniously did steal, take and carry away against the peace of our said Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity.
(on reverse) A True Bill. Sworn in Court: John Coupland, Thomas Pennington, Zilpha Hodgson, Rebecca Wilson, Sarah Dales.
The information of Zilpha Hodgson, Spinster; Thomas Pennington, Clerk; Sarah, the wife of Jeremiah Dales, and Rebecca Wilson, Widow; all of Bilsby in the said parts, taken on Oath before us, two of His Majesty's justices of the peace for the said parts this sixteenth day of April 1804.
First the said Zilpha Hodgson saith that she is employed by
the Parish of Bilsby aforesaid to look after Mary Walker, Widow, an old and
infirm person of the Parish of Bilsby aforesaid - that on the sixth day of
this instant between seven and eight o'clock in the evening she saw in the
dwelling house of the said Mary Walker two boxes which contained the wearing
apparel of the said Mary Walker and nine shillings and sixpence in silver
which she, the informant, put in the larger of the boxes about a week before.
That about 12 O'clock in the same night by the said Mary Walker and found
that the window of her dwelling house had been taken out and the said boxes
goods and money taken away and that she has cause to suspect and doth suspect
that Ann Epton now present felonously broke into the said dwelling house and
stole the said boxes goods and money. and that the boxes and goods now produced
are the property of the said Mary Walker and are the same and were so stolen
Statement signed by Zilpha Hodgson (x) w: Saml. Partridge Ed. Walls.
The said Sarah Dales saith that she knows Ann Epton now present,
who on Friday last in the afdternoon, of her own accord, told this informant
that she the said Ann Epton got the said Mary Walker's things meaning the
said boxes and goods and that they were in Mrs. Desforge's Close amongst some
hillings and that she must go at night to see whether they were damp or not
of which declarations so made by the said Ann Epton she gave information to
the Revd. Mr. Pennington the next morning.
Statement signed by Sarah Dales (x) w: Saml. Partridge Ed. Walls.
The said Rebecca Wilson saith that on Friday last the said Ann
Epton made the same declarations to her as she did to the above named Sarah
Dales or to that effect.
Statement signed by Rebecca Wilson (x) w: Saml. Partridge Ed. Walls.
The said Thomas Pennington saith that on Saturday last in consequence
of the information given to him by the above named sarah Dales as above stated
he went with John Coupland, Churchwarden of Bilsby aforesaid to Mrs. Desforges
Close in Bilsby aforesaid to search for the above mentioned box and goods
and there found the box and goods now produced concealed in a heap of hillings.
Statement signed by Thomas Pennington w: Saml. Partridge Ed. Walls.
Lincolnshire parts of Lindsey.
The examination and Volutary Confession of the above named Ann Epton taken before us two of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for ther said parts this sixteenth day of April 1804.
Who being charged with stealing the above mentioned box and goods and money the property of the above named Mary Walker volunarily saith that she with Seabright Mountain of Bilsby Glazier and Elizabeth his wife on Friday seven night about nine O'clock at night went to the house of the said Mary Walker. That the said Seabright Mountain took out the window of the dwelling house of the aforesaid Mary Walker at Bilsby aforesaid that the said Seabright Mountain took out the small box above mentioned and gave it to his wife and that this examinant took out the large box which stood under the window in the dwelling house aforesaid and the said Seabright Mountain and Elizabeth his wife and this examinant first one carried the boxes and then another and that she and the said Seabright Mountain divided the said nine shillings and sixpence (equally - deleted) between them. Thus Ann Epton received five shillings and Seabright Mountain four shillings and sixpence.
Statement signed by Ann Epton (x) w: Saml. Partridge Ed. Walls.
A calendar of Prisoners confined in Louth House of Correction.
Ann Epton, Offence: On Suspicion of Felony Committed by Ed. Walls Clk. Saml. Partridge Esquire on 16 Apr. 1804.
Thomas Waddington Keeper.
Condition of a recognizance to appear and give evidence for
a misdemeanor (5 similar docs. only details extracted) 16 April.
(a) Rebecca Wilson Widow of Bilsby before Edward Walls Clerk one of Justices, sum of 5 pounds to appear at QS at Spilsby concerning Bill or Bills of indictment to be exibited by John Coupland of Bilsby aforesaid Farmer to the Grand Jury against Ann Epton late of Bilsby aforesaid Singlewoman for Felony.
(b) John Coupland Farmer of Bilsby paid 5 pounds for Sarah wife of Jeremiah Dales of Bilsby (rest as above).
(c) Zilpha Hodgson of Bilsby Spinster paid 5 pounds (rest as above).
(d) Thomas Pennington of Bilsby Clerk paid 5 pounds (rest as above).
(e) John Coupland of Bilsby Farmer paid 10 pounds (rest as above).
More information on the family of Ann Epton is available here.
THE TRIAL OF JOSEPH CARTER.
Somerset Assize Wednesday 5th. April 1815.
Joseph Carter late of the Parish of East Brent in the County
of Somerset, labourer. On 26th. day of September in the 54th. year of George
the Third at one in the night did break and enter with intent the dwelling
of Richard Colson to take and carry away nine handkerchiefs of the value of
four shillings each, twenty yards of cotton of the value of twenty shillings,
sixteen yards of linen cloth of the value of forty shillings, sixty yards
of ribbon of the value of thirty shillings and six yards of corderoy of the
value of thirty shillings - the goods and chattels of the said Richard Colston.
Witnesses - Richard Colson, Fanny Bishop, Mary Voroles,Bery Millais, Hannah Banwell, Arthur Phillips, James Braddior, George Burnell, William Tucker, Diana Colson, Diana Tucker.
Jury - Richard Maynard, Joseph Hull, John Hooper, John Rich, Robert Blackman, John Burnett, John Stone, William Palmer, Joseph Palmer, Richard Staple, William Westcombe.
Joseph Carter pro se Guilty. No Goods. To be hanged.
Reprieved - Transportatiomn for life pursuant to Secretary of State's letter above.
Burglary of Richard Colson about 1 in the night of the 26th. September at East Brent with intent to steal and stealing goods to the value of £7.16s.
THE TRIAL OF WILLIAM SMITH.
WILLIAM SMITH, THOMAS PREECE, theft: specified place, 05 Apr 1832.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18320405-16
Before Mr. Baron Vaughan.
809. WILLIAM SMITH and THOMAS PREECE were indicted for stealing, on the 2nd of April, 24 yards of merino, value 28s., the goods of Owen Roberts, in his dwelling-house.
OWEN ROBERTS. I am a linen-draper, and live in Brewer-street, Golden-square. On the evening of the 2nd of April, about seven o'clock, I observed the prisoner Smith waiting about my door - I was serving a customer; he came to the door, and inquired the price of a silk handkerchief, which I told him - he did not buy it; he then went off, and returned in about five minutes - I suspected, and watched him: I saw him leaning into the shop, and taking this merino off a pile - he ran round the corner; I immediately pursued, and overtook him - I tripped him up, and took the merino from him: I observed nobody with him - Hobbs came up, and I gave him in charge.
THOMAS HOBBS. I am a Policeman. I was near Brewer-street, and observed the prisoners in company before they came to Brewer-street, walking and talking together - I saw them go up to a shop in Hayes-court, and look in at the window; a lady came into the shop - they then left, and went to Brewer-street; Francis and I watched them - I saw them go up to Roberts' shop, and both look in at the door and window - I saw Smith by hold of some handkerchiefs which laid at the door; Preece stood at the corner of a post on the same side of the way, about six yards off; Smith left the door, and came up to him - they turned the corner into Great Pulteney-street, then came all the way down Brewer-street, on the other side of the way, and then came back to Roberts' shop; Smith went to the door - Preece stood on the other side of the way - two young women came out of the shop, and I saw Smith lay hold of something on the pile; he left it there - Preece moved from his station, and went into Great Pulteney-street, which Roberts's shop is at the corner of - I then saw Smith put his foot over the threshold of the door, lean forward, take this merino off the pile, and run off with it, followed by the prosecutor and a young man - Preece was not in sight at that time; he was a little higher up - I was round the corner, and could not discern him at the moment, till Smith came towards him with the merino; I saw him secured - I had seen them in company for a quarter of an hour.
THOMAS FARRANT. I am a Policeman. I first saw the prisoners in Sidney's-alley, in company together - they looked at the shop window, and then at the door; a female came out, and they went away together across different streets into Brewer-street - I saw them both go up to Roberts' shop door, and look in; they walked away a short distance - Smith then returned to the shop door; Preece was about two yards from him, looking through the window - Smith took hold of some handkerchiefs at the door; some person came out, and he walked away - they went together a little way down Brewer-street, and then returned- Smith went up to the door; Preece stood on the other side of the way; I saw Smith put his hand into the shop, but could not see what he took hold of - he then walked away; Preece walked over - they stood talking for a few minutes; Smith again went up to the shop door - Preece stood round the corner, looking through the window; I then saw Smith put one foot inside the door, and reach in; be immediately turned round with a piece of merino in his hand - the prosecutor followed, and took him just round the corner; Preece had his apron hanging down, and the moment he saw Smith pursued he undid his apron, doubled it up, and shoved it under his coat - I followed, and took him.
Smith. I know nothing of this man, except speaking to him in the street.
SMITH - GUILTY. Aged 18.
PREECE - GUILTY. Aged 19.
Of stealing to the value of 99s. only.
Transported for Seven Years.
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