John Farrar: From Yorkshire Criminal to Convict

John Farrar: From Yorkshire Criminal to Convict

By Kirstin Nicholson - the Family Tree Detective

Born at Horkinstone, West Yorkshire, England in April 1800, John Farrar was the 6th child of Abraham and Hannah Farrar.[1] Abraham and Hannah had seven children between 1785 and 1803; Abraham, Mary, Joseph, Hannah, Isaac, John and Mille.[2]

 

In May 1817 John stole two horses using force and arms.[3] In December John and Isaac were committed to York Castle for several house burglaries.[4] A week later Joseph and an accomplice were also committed to the Castle for burglaries.[5] They were trialed in the Yorkshire Lent Assizes in March 1818 by Mr. Justice Bayley.[6] John was 18, Isaac 22 and Joseph 26. “The trials of ‘The Howorth gang’ came on this day…”[7]

 

Their time at the Castle, nor the trial deterred them – in May they were again committed to York Castle; this time they burgled and threatened an elderly couple.[8]  At the Yorkshire Summer Assizes in July Mr. Justice Bayley found them guilty.[9] “You, Farrars, were at the bar before. This I know, not from information, but painful recollection. Your danger and your acquittal failed to have their effect on you… The sentence of the law is that you all shall be hanged by the neck till you are dead…”.[10]

 

The sentence was altered to transportation to New South Wales (NSW) for life.[11] John and Isaac were transferred to the Hulk Leviathan in October and Joseph to the Hulk Retribution.[12]

 

Of a visit to York Castle while the Farrars were there, Joseph Gurney wrote, “… the prisoners generally sleep two in a bed… There is insufficient clothing, and scarcely sufficient food; heavy irons; want of cleanliness, want of further classification, want of inspection, want of instruction, want of employment.”[13]

 

With 142 convicts on board, the John Barry set sail on 30 April 1819.[14] John and Isaac’s 149-day journey was, apart from the daily routines and regulations enforced on them, incident-free (no mention of either in the surgeon’s journal).  The ship arrived on 26 September 1819, although it wasn’t until 7 October that the convicts were disembarked, inspected and welcomed to NSW by Governor Macquarie.[15]

 

Here was John Farrar, a sandy-haired, grey-eyed 19-year-old with a fair, ruddy complexion; a cotton weaver, at the start of his adult life in a fledgling country, the new beginning.[16]

 

Hyde Park Barracks had been completed mere months before their arrival (Joseph followed on the Grenada) so it’s possible they were housed there before assignment.  Joseph was sent to the newly operational Emu Plains as a government labourer.[17] John and Isaac were in government employ of William Cox in 1820. No location is given, however, Cox owned land at Bathurst so it’s possible it was there.[18] The NSW Census and Population book of Castlereagh and Evan of 1820 states that John was a government labourer belonging to Mr King and that the assigned servants of Marsden, Cox, King and Harris in this district have been mustered for elsewhere.[19] The 1821 convict muster gives no location.[20] 

 

By 1825 John was on a road party at Richmond.[21] In 1827 he was on the No. 27 Road Gang, but was sent to help with a harvest, then on the No. 26 Road Gang stationed at the 10 Mile station, Sydney Road.[22]  The No. 26 Road Gang, also stationed at Parramatta Barracks, repaired and improved the streets of Parramatta, felled in the Domain, and worked in the lumber yard.[23] By 1828 John was an overseer of No. 26 Road Gang at Concord.[24]

 

A Ticket of Leave was issued to John in 1829 for Parramatta district, altered to Evan (later named Penrith) in 1830 but was cancelled when he missed muster in 1839.[25]

 

John married Ann O’Neil. Ann’s maiden name appears on their son’s death certificate.[26] The only possible marriage found is for Ann Neil and John Farrell in Sydney in 1832.[27] Their first child, Hannah, was born in 1832 (location unknown).[28] The second, John, was born in 1834 in Carwell.[29]  This is while John lived in Penrith but Carwell is across the Blue Mountains. The third child, William, was also born there, in 1843.[30]

 

Joseph was granted a conditional pardon in 1839 and moved to Carwell, coincidently the same time John disappeared from Penrith – perhaps he also relocated.[31] Joseph died in a horse accident in 1850.[32] In probate documents, John’s daughter, Hannah states that Joseph left no widow or children, and that, “…he had as far as I know and believe one Brother named John Farrer who is also dead…”.[33] Two things come to light here – the first being that John had died (I’ve found no documentation to confirm details). The second is no mention of Isaac. Isaac had been in and out of gaol, mostly for being a drunken. Had they disowned him?

 

Ann later married Robert Redman.[34] She is listed on William’s marriage record as Ann Redman.[35]

 

Despite unearthing so much about John Farrar, my 4th great grandfather, there are still so many unanswered questions. It is a dream of mine to visit the Rylstone area to find the missing pieces in the jigsaw of John’s life.

 

 

 

Bibliography

‘1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (TNA Copy)’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

‘1841 New South Wales, Australia, Census’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 8 September 2018.

‘Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

Cox, William J.P., Memoirs of William Cox, J.P., William Brooks & Co., 1901.

Deceased Estate File Joseph Farrar, New South Wales State Archives and Records.

‘England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

Gurney, Joseph, Notes on a Visit Made to Some of the Prisons in Scotland and the North of England, in Company With Elizabeth Fry, London, Archibald Constable and Co., 1819.

Hull Packet.

Leeds Intelligencer.

Marriage index, ‘Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 8 March 2020.

‘New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 13 April 2020.

New South Wales Government Gazette.

‘New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 4 August 2019.

‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Records, 1810-1891’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 14 April 2020.

‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 13 April 2020.

‘New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 18 August 2019.

‘New South Wales, Australia, Tickets of Leave, 1810-1869, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 8 March 2014.

‘New South Wales, Census and Population Books 1811-1825’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 19 April 2020.

Parish of St John the Baptist’s Register, Mudgee, County of Wellington, New South Wales, Vol 37B No 542.

Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales.

Rylstone District Historical Society, ‘Joseph Farrar and John Farrar’, http://www.rdhswiki.com/page/Joseph+Farrar+%26+John+Farrar, Accessed 14 April 2014.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser.

‘UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 11 April 2020.

‘UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 11 April 2020.

York Herald.

Yorkshire Parish Records, Yorkshire, England, page 192, unnumbered, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 12 March 2016.

‘Yorkshire, England, Quarter Session Records, 1637-1914’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 11 April 2020.

 

Footnotes

 

[1] Baptism of John Farrar, baptised 15 October 1800, Yorkshire Parish Records, Yorkshire, England, page 192, unnumbered, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 12 March 2016.

[2] Baptism of Abraham Farrar, baptised 29 May 1785, Yorkshire Parish Records, Yorkshire, England, unpaginated, unnumbered, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 4 March 2015; Baptism of Mary Farrar, baptised 24 July 1787, Yorkshire Parish Records, Yorkshire, England, unpaginated, unnumbered, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 4 March 2015; Baptism of Joseph Farrer [Farrar], baptised 25 April 1791, Yorkshire Parish Records, Yorkshire, England, unpaginated, unnumbered, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 4 March 2015; Baptism of Hannah Farrar, baptised 9 November 1793, Yorkshire Parish Records, Yorkshire, England, page 89, unnumbered, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 28 February 2015; Baptism of Mille Farrar, baptised 27 November 1803, Yorkshire Parish Records, Yorkshire, England, page 234, unnumbered, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 4 March 2015.

[3] John Farrar, John Barry, 1819, Leeds Quarter Sessions, Order and Indictment Books, West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds, England, ‘Yorkshire, England, Quarter Session Records, 1637-1914’, p. 200, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 11 April 2020.

[4] York Herald, 20 December 1817, n.p.

[5] York Herald, 27 December 1817, n.p.

[6] ‘Crown Calendar’, York Herald, 7 March 1818, n.p.

[7] ‘Thursday, March 12’ and ‘Yorkshire Lent Assizes’, York Herald, 14 March 1818, n.p.

[8] Hull Packet, 26 May 1818, n.p.; John Farrar, John Barry, 1819, Home Office: Criminal Registers, England and Wales, HO 26 and HO 27, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England, ‘England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

[9] ‘Yorkshire Summer Assizes’, Hull Packet, 21 July 1818, n.p.; ‘Yorkshire Summer Assizes’, York Herald, 18 July 1818, n.p.

[10] ‘Criminal Court’, Leeds Intelligencer, 27 July 1818, n.p.

[11] ‘Criminal Court’.

[12] Hull Packet, 13 October 1818, n.p.; Joseph Farrar, Grenada, 1819, Home Office: Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849, The National Archives, Kew, England, HO 9, ‘UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 11 April 2020.

[13] Joseph Gurney, Notes on a Visit Made to Some of the Prisons in Scotland and the North of England, in Company With Elizabeth Fry, London, Archibald Constable and Co., 1819, pp. 7-8.

[14] John Farrar and Isaac Farrar, John Barry, 1819, New South Wales Government, Musters and Other Papers Relating to Convict Ships, CGS 1155, ‘New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014; John Farrar and Isaac Farrar, John Barry, 1819, Convict Transportation Registers, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England, HO 11, ‘Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014; John Farrar and Isaac Farrar, John Barry, 1819, Admirality and Predecessors: Medical Journals, ADM 101. The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, ‘UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 11 April 2020.

[15] Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 9 October 1819, n.p.

[16] John Farrar, John Barry, 1819, State Archives NSW, NRS 12188, pp. 390-391, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

[17] Joseph Tanar [Farrar], Grenada, 1819, State Archives NSW, NRS 937, p. 3, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 4 August 2019.

[18] John Farrar, John Barry, 1819, Class HO 10, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 18 August 2019; William Cox, J.P., Memoirs of William Cox, J.P., William Brooks & Co., 1901, p. 105.

[19] John Farrar, John Barry, 1819, Population Musters, Dependent Settlements, Series NRS 1264, State Records Authority of New South Wales, ‘New South Wales, Census and Population Books 1811-1825’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 19 April 2020.

[20] John Farrar, John Barry, 1819, Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

[21] John Farroll [Farrar], John Barry, 1819, HO 10, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, ‘New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 13 April 2020.

[22] John Farrell [Farrar], John Barry, 1819, State Records Office of New South Wales, Road Gang Report, 1827-1830, Volume 7/2689, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Records, 1810-1891’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 14 April 2020; John Farrer [Farrar], John Barry, 1819, State Records Office of New South Wales, Road Gang Report, 1827-1830, Volume 7/2689, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Records, 1810-1891’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 14 April 2020.

[23] ‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Records, 1810-1891’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 14 April 2020.

[24] John Farrer [Farrar], John Barry, 1819, Home Office, Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, The National Archives, Kew, ‘1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (TNA Copy)’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 5 May 2014.

[25] John Farrar, John Barry, 1819, State Archives NSW, Series NRS 12202, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Tickets of Leave, 1810-1869, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 8 March 2014; New South Wales Government Gazette, 13 November 1839, n.p.

[26] Death certificate for John Farrer, died 2 November 1903, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales, 1903/015637.

[27] Marriage of John Farrell [Farrar] and Ann Neil [O’Neil], married 12 October 1832, ‘Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950’ (Index only; no image currently available), Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 8 March 2020.

[28] Death certificate for Hannah Shanklin, died 10 February 1872, Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales, 6494/1872.

[29] Death certificate for John Farrer.

[30] Death certificate for William Farrar, died 13 March 1913, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales, 1913/4158.

[31] Joseph Farrar, Grenada, 1819, Card Index to Letters Received, Colonial Secretary, State Records Authority of New South Wales, ‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 13 April 2020; Joseph Farrar, Grenada, 1819, New South Wales Government, 1841 Census: Abstract of returns, CGS 1282, ‘1841 New South Wales, Australia, Census’, Ancestry.com.au, Accessed 8 September 2018.

[32] Rylstone District Historical Society, ‘Joseph Farrar and John Farrar’, http://www.rdhswiki.com/page/Joseph+Farrar+%26+John+Farrar, Accessed 14 April 2014.

[33] Affidavit of Hannah Shanklin, Deceased Estate File Joseph Farrar, New South Wales State Archives and Records.

[34] Marriage of Ann Farra [Farrar] and Robert Redman, married 11 September 1851, Parish of St John the Baptist’s Register, Mudgee, County of Wellington, New South Wales, Vol 37B No 542.

[35] Marriage certificate of William Farra [Farrar] and Sarah Jackson, married 10 February 1860, Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, New South Wales, 2531/1860.

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