While convict records provide a wealth of information about a person following conviction, contemporary British newspaper accounts can be a rich source of information about the crime as well as that person’s life in the UK before transportation.
Therefore, this week’s finding is not from TROVE but from the 19th Century British Newspapers Collection (Gale), accessed through the eResources section on the State Library of NSW (account needed).(1)
When you land on the eResources page you need to check “Newspapers and Media’ on the menu tree on the left of the screen. A range of historic newspaper collections appears on the right hand side. Once you have selected the appropriate collection you need to use your library number to search the large selection of papers.
In the case of Henry STANDEN (1814-1872), my 3 x great grandfather, the article in The Sussex Advertiser of 13 August 1832 provided important details about his crime as well as the court proceedings.
The article explains that Henry Standen was sentenced to death for breaking and entering a George Turner’s house in Coates and stealing “a pair of shoes and other articles”.
A real surprise was the fact that Henry was “capitally convicted”, i.e received a death sentence. I need to continue to research when and possibly why the sentence was commuted to life transportation.
- After transportation to New South Wales the name ‘Standen’ or ‘Standon’ became ‘Standing’. Later documents referring to Henry refer to Henry Standing.
- This Henry Standing is the same man who posted a 2 pound reward for his son while the notice directly above posted a 4 pound reward for the return of a horse – Only two pounds reward?
19 Century British Newspapers Collection (Gale), eResources, State Library of NSW, https://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/eresources/?subjects=6165,6220,6293,6260 Accessed 24 September 2019