Well it’s official. I have a convict in the family. A first cousin of mine four times removed, was transported out here (Australia) at 11 years old. The poor child had actually also been born in a London gaol, where his mother had died shortly after giving birth to him. She had been imprisoned at 8 months pregnant for stealing candles and some coal.
She had actually been living with her husband, who was a policeman and one of his colleagues. She was convicted of stealing from the other policeman. Personally I suspect a “put-up job” by the husband. I mean he did not exactly manage to keep his son on the straight and narrow either.
My convict cousin was found guilty several times of petty theft, before finally being sentenced to seven years transportation in September, 1852 for pickpocketing.
Oliver – You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket or Two Back in the eighties and nineties we were warned about pickpockets in Barcelona but they are everywhere. It never ceases to amaze me how trusting Australians are. People seem happy to leave their bags open for example. I sometimes fight the urge to zip things up for them. My friend’s nephew lost his wallet, cards, passport in South America. My mum got “dipped” in Wahington DC. I witnesses a violent muggings London. In the eighties and nineties Barcelona was infamous for pickpockets. I was always wary in London. I came across a British parent locally who had fought for his wallet in Dandenong. This is something I hope I would never do I seem to remember he had get beaten up and swore he would never do it again. I was told pickpockets often carry knives with which they slash bags. I would not want to lose my life for a few dollars in my wallet.
A decent welfare system helps keep the streets safer for everybody in my view. Poverty does seem to breed pick pockets. My mother knew all about pickpockets in London and had cautioned me to keep my bag under my coat. I was always nervous of going to Petticoat Lane which had a reputation for pickpocketing back then, as did the Notting Hill Carnival.,
London has always seemed to have had issues with pickpocketing. My grandfather mentioned somebody he knew, had once explained to him how a pickpocketing gang operated in the East End of London. The wallets would be passed rapidly from person to person – by the time anybody noticed their wallet was missing, it was usually long gone.
My mother had always told me to keep my bag zipped up and hidden under my coat, when I first used to visit London. I love London but you do need to keep your wits about you, particularly in crowds. Even my friend who had lived in London for years, once had her purse and keys removed from her handbag. She had been extremely concerned, as her wallet had also contained our address. It had felt like Home Alone. When I had heard a key in the door, I was ready to drop something on an intruder’s head, Fortunately it had turned out to be a flatmate. He never did discover how close he had come, to being knocked out by an object relinquished from above. Look Out Below – Closure
Back To My Convict Cousin
Anyway back to my convict cousin. As it happened a sentence of seven years transportation had not straightened him out. He had progressed instead to a life of crime in Australia. (By the way having convicts in the family, is considered a badge of honour, here in Australia.) There is a blessing in this, (his life of crime) as it means I have his prison photo. I wish I could say he only did one stint in gaol. He actually spent most his life being housed by her majesty’s government. Additionally, somewhere in the midst of it all, he had managed to father a child to the wife of his friend and partner in crime.
Happily he had eventually appeared to reform. He ended his days settled down and mining for gold.Sovereign Hill, Gold Rush City, Ballarat, This is part of the history of our children.
I have actual trial transcripts somewhere. Judge for yourself from the evidence. We met and wrote to the great grandson of Robert Dunlop. I apologised on behalf of the family. I picked up how manipulative their ancestor was from the transcript.
Help! Lil ‘Ole Me Penelope Pitstop! It sounded all too familiar!
She had eventually a price. Her lover had bitten off her nose.
Nobody Knows – Pink 👃 Spot the Homophone!
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