Thomas Arnott and Richard Arnott

Sometime during 1833, Thomas was assigned a convict servant named Richard Arnott. 1 Is Richard a family relative from London, England ?.

London, UK, 1827 -

Richard Arnott was fully committed for picking a gentleman's pocket of his snuff-box in the fair. 2

Richard Arnott was tried at the London Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on 13 September 1827, for theft by pickpocketing from the person -

1950. RICHARD ARNOTT was indicted for stealing, on the 3d of September , 1 snuff box; value 6d., the goods of Richard Watson, from his person .
RICHARD WATSON. I am a painter , and live in Gower-street, Bedford-square. On the 3d of September, between three and four o'clock, I was in Smithfield , and was going to Raymond-buildings; the officer came and told me I had lost my snuff-box from my coat pocket. I had not felt any snatch - I turned round, and saw the prisoner close to me - I saw this snuff-box fall from the bottom of his trousers.
JOHN GIRTON . I am an officer. I was going through Bartholomew fair, and saw the prisoner in company with another person; the other took the snuff-box, and the prisoner received it. I saw them go and take it, facing Mr. Richardson's shop - it was taken from the gentleman's left hand pocket - the prisoner put it into his trousers pocket, and it fell through to the bottom of the trousers. (Property produced and sworn to.)
GUILTY . Aged 24. Transported for Fourteen Years. 3

Details were reported in the newspapers of the day -

THE OLD BAILEY - Saturday.
These sessions concluded this day, and the Recorder proceeded to pass sentence upon those who had been convicted. The following thirty-nine were ordered to be transported for 14 years, viz. : -
..... Richard Arnott ....... 4

Richard had previously been charged and tried "on suspicion of housebreaking" and with "passing bad money" and acquitted on both occasions. A Flute Keymaker by trade, arrived in Hobart Town on board the convict transport Marmion on 6 March 1828; 5 "out of employ", married and having left behind "his wife Sarah in White Cross street". 6

Convict musters of 1830 and 1833 show Richard as being assigned to "Public Works" and "to Mr Thos. Arnett" respectively. 7

Richard was a strong willed character, and did not always "approve" of the situations he found himself enduring, within the British penal sytem, as his convict conduct record reflects a number of penal offences and subsequent "typical" convict punishments.

1828 - July 23rd - whilst at the Prisoner's Barracks, charged with "Inter... (?) in P.B. last night" and sentenced to the "T[read] wheel [for] 7 days" by the P[olice] S[uperintendent].

1829 - March 12th - also whilst at the Prisoner's Barracks, charged with "Neglect of duty last Sunday" and again sentenced to the "T[read] wheel [for] 7 days" by the P[olice] S[uperintendent].

1830 - July 22nd - again whilst at the Prisoner's Barracks, and charged by the Wardsman with "Insolence to the Overseer of the Yard this morning" and for a third time, sentenced to the "T[read] wheel [for] 7 days & returned to his duty" by the P[olice] S[uperintendent].

1831 - August 17th - still at the Prisoner's Barracks, charged with being "Absent from Muster on Monday night last" and sentenced to receive "2 Dozen lashes & to be removed to the Green Point road party" and "Corporal Punishment is remitted at the intercefsion of the Colonial Treasurer who states the mans previous conduct to have been good & to be replaced in his situation" by the P[olice] S[uperintendent].

1832 - May 4th - whilst working at the treasury, he was charged with being "Drunk and Disorderly at the P[olice] S[uperintendent's] office" and sentenced to be confined in a "Cell 4 days [on] B[read] & W[ater]" by T. Mason Esq.

1833 - September 18th - Charged by his assigned Master, Thomas Arnott, with "Absconding" and sentenced to receive "25 lashes" by S.R.D.

1834 - May 16th - again charged by his assigned Master, Thomas Arnott, and this time he was tried in a court of law.

Present - Joseph Hone, Esq. J. P. Chairman ; J. Kerr, Esq. J. P., M. Vicary, Esq. J. P., J. Bell, Esq. J. P., H. Nicholls, Esq. J. P. ,
Richard Arnott, charged with stealing from Mr. Morrisby, publican, at Kangaroo Point, five shillings in copper coin.
Guilty. Sentenced to work in chains three years. 8

Richard endured his sentence at Port Arthur, arriving at the penal station on 20 June 1834. Subsequent muster reports for September and December 1834, and March and December 1835, show he was still at Port Arthur. 9

Even whilst undergoing his sentence at the Port Arthur penal settlement, Richard appeared before the authorities, charged with a number of offences.

1835 - July 4th - charged with "Neglect of duty, refusing to obey the orders of his Overseer & insolence" and sentenced to "7 days Solitary [confinement]."

1835 - September 12th - charged with "Insolence & improper language to his Overseer, immediately after being Admonished by the Commandant for idleness" and punished with "25 lashes."

1836 - April 14th - charged with "Smoking in his Hut & having Tobacco in his possession contrary to orders". This time he was only "Reprimanded & confined to a cell at night till further orders."

1836 - August 10th - charged with "Trafficking or endeavouring to traffick & having bread, Tobacco & part of a Govt. bed Tick in his possession." This time around, the punishment of "1 month in irons" was more severe.

Convict musters for June and December 1836, show his conduct or manner as "correct" and "generally correct" respectively. 10

1837 - May 26th - Whilst assigned in the Morven district, he was charged with "Disorderly conduct & feining sickness" which was "rewarded" with "7 days [in a] Cell [on] B[read] and W[ater]" by Capt O'Hara.

1837 - October 19th (?) - charged with "Disobedience of orders in refusing to Wheel his Barrow" and again punished with "25 lashes" by W.T.

Subsequent to his release from Port Arthur, but whilst still under sentence, Richard continued to commit offences against the penal regulations -

1838 - April 12th - charged by T. Tomkinson with "Absent without leave" and punished by being "Returned to Govt. service" by R.W.

Richard finally received his Certificate of Freedom No. 669 on 13th September 1841. 11

  • 1. UK Archives : Convict Musters - HO10/47 and HO10/49
  • 2. The Morning Post (London, England) : 5 September 1827 - Issue 17699
  • 3. OB : Trial of Richard Arnott
  • 4. The Morning Chronicle (London, England) : 24 September 1827 - Issue 18105
  • 5. HTC : 8 March 1828 page 3 - Article
  • 6. AOT : Convict Conduct Record CON 31/1/1 - Image # 72
  • 7. UK Archives : Convict Musters - HO10/47 and HO10/49
  • 8. CT : 3 June 1834 page 7 - Article
  • 9. AOT : General correspondence - SCO1/1/509/1118
  • 10. AOT : General correspondence - SCO1/1/509/1118
  • 11. CT : 17 August 1841 page 4 - Article