Saturday, 7 April 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - G is for .....

G is for...... .Goucher

A few years ago I became aware of a Henry Goucher who was tried at the Old Bailey. The trial was fairly standard of the time, Henry called one witness who said he was of good character and Henry was received the verdict of death.

I next turned to Ancestry. The Convict records reveal that Henry Goucher was aged 35 years and had been convicted of horse stealing at his trial held on the 9th January 1811 at the Old Bailey.

The Prison Hulk records reveal that Henry was in fact transferred from the prison where he was held, probably Newgate on 25th May 1811 and subsequently held on board the vessel Retribution which was moored at Woolwich.  He was then transported for life on 14th August 1811.

This is confirmed by the Australian Convict Transportation Registers, which reveal that Henry was transported on board The Guildford to New South Wales for life.

The New South Wales Settler & Convict List reveals that Henry survived the voyage and arrived in January 1812. He was placed as a labourer within the Colony and the Government employ and that appears to be the case from 1812 through until 1821.

The Colonial Secretary Papers from 4th Oct 1813 reveal that Henry is recorded as being sent to Newcastle on board the Estramina. A similiar document dated 8th Jan 1814 reveals that same and the additional note that the men listed (Henry was one of about 5) were being sent because they were "industrious and well behaved" The same papers reveal on 4th & 5th April of 1814 that Henry is sent to Derwent on board the Windham. The next reference to dated 26th April 1820 when Henry is sent back to Newcastle on board the Elizabeth Henrietta and is recorded with a trade of shoemaker.

 Henry Goucher timeline
  • 1775 - approx year of birth
  • 18th Dec 1811 - Indited for stealing 
  • 9th January 1811 - Trial at the Old Bailey 
  • 25th May 1811 - Transferred to Hulk Ship Retribution 
  • 14th August 1811- Transported on board The Guildford
  • January 1812 - Arrived New South Wales
  • 1812 - 1821 - Government employ as labourer within Colony
  • 4th Oct 1813 - Named on Colonial Secretary Papers  - Newcastle on board the Estramina
  • 8th Jan 1814 -  Named on Colonial Secretary Papers  - Newcastle on board the Estramina
  • 4th & 5th April 1814 -  Named on Colonial Secretary Papers  - Derwent on board the Windham
  • 26th April 1820 -  Named on Colonial Secretary Papers  -Newcastle on board the Elizabeth Henrietta
Once I had got past the excitement of locating so much of Henry I read again the documents that appear in the Colonial Secretary Papers. The convicts selected were required to fell trees and literally with their sweat and hard work a colony was built. Sobering thoughts. An addition post about Henry is HERE

The link for the A-Z Challenge 2011 post is HERE


  1. The ability of tHe convicts to turn their lives around meant a new colony and country was built. the penalties were severe and i imagine he was please to be transported rather than executed.

    1. I am sure he was delighted. I wonder though what the reason was for the change in sentence. Now I am keen to see what Henry did post 1821.


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