CONVICTS & CRIMINALS
Although many years ago people may have been ashamed to admit that they had convict blood, I think times have changed because
to be quite honest, I think its fantastic!! Below are details of a few clan members who seem to have strayed from the straight
WOODHAM, Charles (see note 1)
Charles WOODHAM, a labourer aged 20 of Marshfield, was sentenced to transportation for 14 years in April 1818 at Gloucester.
He arrived in New South Wales (NSW) aboard the "Hadlow". He was part of the Town Work Gang at Windsor NSW in 1828 and received
a Ticket of Leave in 1830. This suggests that he had not been a model prisoner; a Ticket of Leave would normally have been
issued after about 7 years and the fact that he appeared to be part of work gangs (like chain gangs) throughout most of his
sentence suggests that he was unruly to say the least. Most reasonable prisoners were encouraged to hire out their labour
under the Ticket of Leave system.
Charles was free in May 1832 and his Certificate of Freedom was renewed in 1835. After that he was free to leave the colony.
There appears to be no further sign of him after this date so he may have left the colony. On the other hand as he did not
appear to have married, he may have died in some out of the way place, and/or his death may have been unrecorded or recorded
WOODHAM, EDWARD (c1762-1824) (see note 2)
In January 1785 an Edward Woodham was committed to Gloucester Castle Gaol for refusing to obey an order served on him for
the maintenance of a bastard child he had fathered by Elizabeth Stratford of Marshfield. At the Easter Quarter Sessions he
was ordered to be held in the Lawford's Gate Bridewell near Bristol until he lodged sureties.
At the Gloucester Summer Assizes in 1786, Edward Woodham and James Woodham (qv) were sentenced to death for two highway
robberies committed on 17 May at Little Sod bury, Gloucestershire. They were possibly brothers and probably lived in the village
of Marshfield several miles to the south, where a turbulent family of Woodhams seemed to be continually in trouble. Edward
(age given as 23) and James (age given as 22) were reprieved soon after their conviction to transportation for life and on
6 April 1787 both were sent on board the Ceres hulk at Woolwich on the Thames. They remained with the hulk when it was moved
around the coast to Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth several months later and both were embarked on the Surprize transport on
29 November 1789. On 2 October Evan Nepean had mentioned in a letter to Sir William Codrington that the two Woodhams.... appear
to be two incorrigible villains and it may truly be said are fit only for the gallows.
In 1806 Edward Woodham was described as a ticket of leave holder employed by Edward Robinson on his farm near Sydney. In
1814 he was described as a landholder in the Windsor district. In 1822 he was holding 11 acres there by lease (7 in wheat,
3 in maize, the rest in barley and potatoes), owning 20 hogs and holding 20 bushels of maize in store. Jane Carr (Minstrel)
was described as his wife (no record of a marriage has been traced; she was apparently not with him in 1814). In July 1816
Woodham was described as a resident of Richmond when included on a list of emancipists who had appeared at the previous muster
without presenting certificates of freedom (he was apparently no longer a landholder by this time). He died on 12 May 1824
and his burial was recorded in the register of St Matthews, Windsor, described as aged 83, per Surprize [he was nearer 62
according to the age given. on hulk records).
notes: 1788: PRO ASSI/5/1O8/2; 1787: ASSI/5/1O7/1; 1786: ASSI/5/ 106/2; Glos
RO Q/S/1/a; Q/S/G1; Nepean letter at PRO HO42/15/249.
WOODHAM, JAMES (c1763-1808) (see note 2)
James Woodham and Edward Woodham (qv) were sentenced to death at the 1786 Gloucester Summer Assizes for two highway robberies
(see Edward's biography for more details). At Parramatta on 12 August 1792 James Woodham married Ann Clarke (b.cl763, alias
Murphy, alias Cleary, Qyeen 1791, tried Queens County, Ireland); both signed the register with a mark X. She was almost certainly
the Ann Clark, convict buried at Parramatta 22 September 1795. James Woodham's child by Ann Ryan (b.cl765, Marquis Cornwallis
1796, tried Tipperary, Ireland) was born in January 1799 and baptised Catherine at Parramatta in March. In 1800 Woodham was
employed by Dr John Harris (qv). In 1806, still a prisoner, he was described as indented to J. Nicholls. His burial on 6 December
1808 was recorded in the register of St Phillips, Sydney [aged about 45 according to the age given on the hulk).
WOODHAM, Mary & WOODHAM, Sarah (see note 2)
In January 1785 Mary the wife of Thomas Woodham and her daughter Sarah Woodham were charged with the theft of a copper
tea kettle and a pewter plate at Marshfield.
WOODHAM, George (see note 2)
In March 1787 George Woodham (otherwise Lewis) was acquitted on a charge of having set fire to Elizabeth Woodham's house
at Marshfield on 2 November 1786.
WOODHAM, Mary snr WOODHAM, Mary jnr (see note 2)
In March 1788 Mary Woodham senior, widow, and Mary Woodham junior, spinster, were acquitted at the Gloucester Assizes of
the theft of clothing at Marshfield.
There is an entry for George Woodham in the Gloucester Assizes of 1818. On 28 August 1817 George (aged 58) was taken before
the court charged upon the oath of Joshua Taylor one of the constables of Marshfield of having in his possession part of a
wether sheep the property of George Woodward of Ashwicke in the parish of Marshfield, farmer, which had been feloniously stolen
and at the same time well knowing the same to be feloniously stolen". In what can probably be described as a Georgian mugshot,
George is described as having "dark brown hair, light blue grey eyes, fresh complexion, round face, wide mouth, two large
moles between his shoulders and his right thumb is out of joint. Not read. Labourer. Height 5.5/4".
I must admit to some ignorance in the area of old British law. It appears that George may have spent some time in jail,
but was later discharged. There is a section that says he was discharged on 19 September 1817. In the Remarks section it says
"Found surities for his appearance at the next assizes and was discharged by order of Isaac Webb Horlock Esq. and I.W Webb
BOWMAN, Rebecca (nee WOODHAM)
Rebecca seems to have been caught with George in the same crime. She also went before the court on 28 August 1817, "charged
on the oath of Joshua Taylor one of the constableds of Marshfield with having in her possession part of a wether sheep, the
property of George Woodward of Ashwick in the parish of Marshfield, farmer, which had been feloniously stolen, well knowing
the sheep had been so stolen. And also charged upon the oath of Charles Woodham (see earlier entry for Charles WOODHAM)
of Marshfield, labourer, of having in her possession part of a lamb the property of Patience Davis of Marshfield, widower,
which had been feloniously stolen and well knwoing th same to have been so stolen". Described as 70 years of age with "grey
hair, grey eyes, sallow complexion, large nose, wide mouth, round face, lost the third finger right hand and the second finger
same hand, much injuries. Not read. Labourer.", I think Rebecca also spent some time in prison as she was Discharged by Proclamation
Information provided by Kaye Purnell; Database kept on GLS arrivals to AUS pre 1888. Entries happily accepted; searches
Snail mail: 15 Balla Machree Way, Gymea Bay, NSW 2227 Australia, include SSAE or 1 IRC.
The information below was found in "The Second Fleeters" by Michael Flynn 1993 page 627 (ISBN 0 908120 83 4).