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William ANDREW(s) 1793 - 1849

February 14th, 2011 (12:17 pm)

This document is a temporary version of William’s narrative; I am working on a longer and more detailed version, incorporating slightly more background information and relevant history. In the meantime, comment below if you would like more details of the sources used.






William Andrew was a younger brother of my ggg-grandfather James Andrew. He has his own narrative because I have been lucky enough to find plenty of detail on him, and that detail is interesting. For example, he is the only proven transported convict linked to our tree, and as at January 2011 he is also the only related person for whom I have found a Settlement Examination.





I was not aware of William’s existence until I read his mother’s Will, stating that he was “currently under sentence of Transportation”. This narrative incorporates Poor Law information from the National Archives and Convict Information from both the National Library of Australia Newspapers Online and the Tasmania Convict Archives. I also very fortunate in having been given information on William's ancestors and other relatives by Ida Birch, the OPC for Woolfardisworthy, from monumental inscriptions and Land Tax records.





The fifth child of John Andrew, Yeoman of Woolfardisworthy, and Thomazin née Short, William Andrew was born in the North Devon parish of East Putford “as he has heard and believes”. He was christened in East Putford on 27th October 1793 “and lived with his parents there until he was about seven years of age.”





John Short was buried in Woolfardisworthy on 25th September 1795. His tombstone states that he was eighty years old, and it appears that he left the property of Dipple, then occupied by one James Hamlyn, to his daughter, William’s mother Thomazin.





William’s father John Andrew appears in the list of Freeholders in East Putford, for a property which has been transcribed – probably wrongly - as “Mutton.” This is likely to be what his mother Thomazin would refer to in her 1839 Will as “my property in and near Nutton or elsewhere in the parish or chapelry of East Putford in the county of Devon.”

Nutton, along with Dipple, was left to William’s brother Joseph, the youngest son.





When William was aged about seven, “his parents removed into the parish of Woolfardisworthy upon an estate of land of his mother’s, rated at eight pounds”. This was presumably Dipple; perhaps James Hamlyn’s tenancy had ended.





William lived in Woolfardisworthy with his parents “until he was about sixteen years old when his Father died”.  John Andrew “of Dipple” died on 2nd April 1810 aged 53, and his will was proved on 4th May 1810. Five of his seven children were left £100 each, and William was amongst those who had to wait until they were twenty-one to receive the money.


William continued to live in Woolfardisworthy with his mother, who was now proprietor and owner of Dipple, for “about twelve months after his father’s death”.





About a year after the death of his father, William “went into the parish of Buckland Brewer and rented a school room for two pounds and ten shillings a year but paid no taxes for the same nor rented anything else and resided there six months”. This would perhaps have been Lady Day, just a week before the first anniversary of John Andrew’s death.


At the time of writing, this is the earliest known documentation of William’s career as a School Master. It is not yet known why he left Buckland Brewer; perhaps he was unable to gain enough pupils to support himself.





In the latter part of 1811, William “removed to Bideford and resided with Mr More Chanter as a clerk at ten pounds a year meat drink and lodging with whom he lived eight or nine months when his said master failing in business he left him”.





In the early summer of 1812, William “then returned to his mother at Woolfardisworthy aforesaid and lived with her until he was about twenty-one years of age.” This would be about 1814.





From his christening date, William presumably reached the age of twenty-one at some time during 1814, and the latest possible date for this would be 27th October.


It should be noted that William’s sister Mary Andrew apparently signed for her legacy from their father on 4th January 1823 when she was at least twenty-five, so it cannot be assumed that William claimed his money straight away. His signature in the Stamp Office book shows that he received his £100, presumably net of the 1% duty, but there is no date against his signature. The margin carries the reference 15C182.


On 23rd August 1814, William’s mother Thomazin remarried, to a neighbouring farmer, William Cleverdon. The marriage took place in Woolfardisworthy.


His settlement examination appears to suggest that his twenty-first birthday occurred before his enlistment and it is, of course, possible that his mother had previously refused her permission. However, there is no space on the Attestation Form for parents’ consent, either explicit or referred to.


Given that William had been old enough to join the Army for the previous four years, it seems possible that it was his mother’s remarriage, rather than attaining his majority, which led him to “enlist into His Majesty’s Ninth Dragoons”.


The Ninth Dragoons were a cavalry regiment which had been officially the “Ninth Light Dragoons” for more than thirty years by the time William joined them. They had arrived in Exeter in March 1814, and it would be perverse to imagine that William did NOT take the opportunity to join up during their Devon sojourn, when the alternatives were (before) Northampton or Coventry and (after) Dublin.


The regiment moved on to Dublin in September of 1814, William presumably travelling with them. His Muster Rolls may be in WO 12 / 879 (1812-1814) and WO 12 /880 (1815-1817).





Army records normally contain a physical description of the subject. In William’s case, this is not available from his Attestation or Discharge papers because they have almost certainly not survived. However, Convict Records contain physical descriptions and so we know that William was 5’ 6½" tall with sallow skin and hazel eyes. His “visage” was oval in shape, with a “large” head and a high forehead. At the time of his arrival in Van Diemen’s Land (aged forty-seven), his hair was black going grey but his eyebrows were black.





The Ninth remained in Dublin until May 1815, at which point they removed to Manchester and Nottingham.  They did not return to the Peninsula for deployment at Waterloo (18th June). In March 1816 the regiment moved South, to Hounslow and Kensington, where they were to remain until June 1817. At some point during 1816 they were constituted Lancers.


We know that from his settlement examination that William “remained with the Regiment two years and twenty-nine days, and it seems reasonable to suppose that the London posting, being closer to home, covers the period during which William “purchased his discharge by two substitutes.” Perhaps he used some of his legacy for this purpose,


William did not serve long enough to earn a pension, and so his records do not survive in WO97. Without a WO97 record, and lacking the details from the Muster Rolls, we can only guess at the exact dates of William’s service. The most interesting point is that, even supposing he joined up at the very end of September 1814, as the Regiment was setting out for Dublin, a service of two years and twenty-nine days only takes us to the end of October 1816.


Unfortunately Discharge by Purchase records appear not to start until 1817. (The years 1817 to 1824 are contained in TNA records WO 25/3485.)





“At Lady Day 1817 [ie 25th March] he returned into the parish of Woolfardisworthy aforesaid and rented a house and garden at two pounds and ten shillings a year, paid no taxes nor rented anything else.”


William’s arrival on the first day of a new hiring year is unlikely to be coincidence, but what had he been doing since his discharge from the Army, which seems likely to have occurred in October 1816 at the very latest?  Perhaps he had been sent his legacy, and used some of it to buy his freedom, and some to enjoy a leisurely journey back to Devon?. This period is not mentioned in his settlement examination, so we can perhaps infer that he took no employment and did not rent or buy a property before his arrival in Woolfardisworthy


It is always difficult to calculate the effective value of money amounts in the past, but we can note that William’s legacy would have rented his new house and garden for forty years. Alternatively, it represented ten years’ worth of his 1811 clerical salary, or eighteen years of his 1823 schoolmaster’s pay.





After returning to Woolfardisworthy on Lady Day of 1817, William married “between Christmas and Lady Day in the same year”. William’s marriage to Catherine Pickard took place on 26th February 1818, so this is another archaism, and interesting evidence of the old “hiring year” – Lady Day to Lady Day - continuing to be used in dating events rather than the modern calendar year:


The banns were called in Parkham on 25th January and 1st and 8th February. William’s surname is given as Andrew in the Banns Register, and Andrews in the Marriage Register. The witnesses were William Pickard – perhaps Catherine’s brother - and Thomas Headen, who was a regular witness.


From her age in the 1841 census return (stated as forty-six), Catherine was born in about 1794. Assuming from her marriage place that Catherine was born in Parkham, the only likely baptism is that of Catharina Pickard, daughter of William and Ann, on 29th April 1796. This couple also had a son, William, who could have been the witness noted above.


After their marriage, William and Catherine “lived in Woolfardisworthy for two years and a quarter aforesaid renting only the house and garden upon the same terms as before”. The couple’s first child, a daughter, was christened Ann Andrew on 18th October 1818. Her naming ties in with a traditional naming pattern, whereby the first daughter is named after the mother’s mother.





William and Catherine produced their second child in the Spring of 1820 and christened him Asa on 26th May 1820. It is not yet known why he was given this name, as there is no evidence of another Asa in the family.


Soon after Asa’s christening, that is in the middle of 1820, William moved the family “into the parish of West Putford where he rented a house and garden at three pounds a year and lived there sixteen months but rented nothing else”.


It may be relevant to note that by 1820 William’s mother Thomazine had moved out of Dipple, and his brother Joseph – who was to marry in March of 1821 - was listed as proprietor and occupier.





In about September of 1821, William and his family “removed into the parish of Sutcombe and rented a house and garden at four pounds and four shillings and at the same time rented thirty five yards of potatoe ground at ten pence xxx but rented nothing else”.


It may be noted at this point that the houses and gardens which William decided – or were available - to rent were steadily becoming more expensive.





At Lady Day 1823 [25th March], William “removed with his wife and family into the Parish of Ashwater and rented a house and garden and school room of Mr Clive Davey at five pounds twelve shillings and sixpence a year and the parishioners of Ashwater agreed to pay him this Examinant seven pounds a year for teaching the Poor children and that he has done no other act to gain a settlement elsewhere.”


Either this arrangement fell apart with remarkable speed, or William had hopelessly over-stretched himself in committing to rent of £5-12-6 on a salary of £7pa, because less than three months later the Overseers of the Poor of Ashwater found that “he has a wife and two children which are actually chargeable to the said parish of Ashwater”, and held a Settlement Examination. Presumably there was nothing left of his £100 legacy.


The settlement examination found that William’s Parish of Legal Settlement – and therefore that of his wife and children – was Woolfardisworthy. A Removal Order was drawn up, which stated “Upon the complaint of the Church-wardens and Overseers of the Poor of the Parish of Ashwater, that William ANDREW, Catherine his wife, Asa their son aged three years and Ann their daughter aged four years and a half did lately come to inhabit in the said parish of Ashwater not having gained a legal settlement there, nor produced any certificate owning them to be settled elsewhere“.


The overseers and churchwardens were therefore required “to convey the said William Andrew, Catherine his wife, Asa and Ann their children, from and out of your said parish of Ashwater to the said parish of Woolfardisworthy and them to deliver to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, together with this our order. And we do also hereby require you the said Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of the said parish of Woolfardisworthy to receive and provide for them as inhabitants of your parish.”


The order was signed on 19th June 1823 by Samuel Hart and Thomas H Kingdon.





It is not yet known how long William and Catherine spent back in Woolfardisworthy after June 1823, but their daughter Thomasine was born there in 1825. Her name follows a traditional naming pattern whereby the second daughter is named for the father's mother.





At some point between 19th June 1823 and 7th January 1827, William must have earned himself a settlement in Hollacombe, because by 7th January 1827 the Overseer of Hollacombe (F.Brown) was promising Ashwater that William and Catherine (no mention of the children) will not be chargeable to Ashwater “in what case whatever”.


Looking at the qualifications for settlement, and having regard to William’s evident lack of capital, the most likely to apply in William’s case is employment for over a year and a day.





At some point, William returned to live in Ashwater. He carried with him a settlement certificate from Hollacombe dated 7th January 1827.


On 7th June, William and Catherine’s second son was christened in Woolfardisworthy. His name, John, again follows a traditional naming pattern (first son for the father’s father) except for the dislocation caused by the naming of the first son as Asa.





The 1832 Land Tax record for Dipple, William’s childhood home, states that although it was still the property of Thomazin Cleverdon, it was occupied by one William Jewell.





It’s not yet clear exactly where William’s daughter Catherine was born, because I can’t find her in 1851. But from 1841 we know that it was Somerset. Her name follows a traditional naming pattern whereby the third daughter is named for the mother.





At some date after 7th January 1827 William and his wife and children appear to have moved away from Woolfardisworthy and its surrounding parishes, to Taunton in Somerset. Nothing is yet known about when or why, but we do know from court records that his conviction in July 1838 was not his first.


When convicts arrived in the colonies they had to state in their own words what they had been transported for, and whether they had any previous convictions. William stated that he had a previous conviction for “Unlawfully selling”, for which he said he had received twelve months’ imprisonment.


On 5th August 1837, a William Andrews aged 46 was found guilty of Larceny at Somerset County Assizes, and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. This fits in time and place, but it is not clear why he would have said the sentence was twelve months rather than six.





1838 was to be the year in which two of William’s brothers and one of his nieces would die. It was also the year in which William was sentenced to transportation, changing his life, and those of his wife and children, forever.



Continued in Part 2
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