In 1826 a Jewish girl from London, who had arrived on Providence II, was assigned to Munday, from whom she absconded twice, and in February of the following year Church of England Chaplain William Garrard of Pitt Water married Thomas and Sarah Myers in St David's at Hobart. 1 Their marriage was witnessed by S Gunn, either Sarah or her husband Samuel Gunn jnr, whose father, Samuel Gunn was also a Calcutta man who became the first Master Builder of boats in Van Diemens Land.
Thomas' first wife Sarah Myers, had previously been tried and convicted on 28 June 1820 at the London Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) of theft by pickpocketing -
837. SARAH MYERS and EDITH WATERHOUSE were indicted for stealing, on the 8th of June , one necklace, value 20 s., the goods of Thomas Sharp , from the person of Thomas Sharp , the younger .
EDWARD GINGER. I am servant to Thomas Sharp , and had the care of his son Thomas, who is fifteen months old. On the 8th of June I was opposite Whitechapel church with him in my arms.
Coates came and said the girls had stolen the necklace off its neck, and pointed to the prisoners - they were secured - it has not been found.
SARAH COATES. I live in Grove-street. I was in Whitechapel-road, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, and saw the prisoners close behind the child. Myers attempted to take the beads off its neck, but did not. Waterhouse then went up and took them off. They both went away together. I told the boy, and they were secured.
MYERS' Defence. I stopped to look at the mob and was taken.
MYERS - GUILTY. Aged 17.
WATERHOUSE - GUILTY. Aged 15.
Confined Three Months.
First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant. 2
Sarah Myers had been sentenced to fourteen years transportation for being a member of a gang of pick-pockets that worked out of a House owned by her sister in Whitechapel. Born in Houndsditch, she was only seventeen when sentenced and was 4 foot 11 inches tall with hazel eyes and brown hair. 3
It was not her first offence, and she had spent three months in Newgate Prison previously. When in Hobart she had been incarcerated in the Female Factory in 1823, after being charged with neglect of duty and for being absent, and was imprisoned again in 1824 for insolence. 4
In the March of 1830 Sarah and Thomas, by now a turner and chair-maker, had their first daughter, Hannah, and duly had her baptised by Reverend Robert Knopwood the following month, 5 and their second daughter Priscilla was baptised by Revd. Knopwood in January 1832, 6 following her December birth. When Priscilla had not yet turned a year old her mother died of fits, in bed, and Thomas was a widower with two very young daughters to raise.
An inquest was held on Wednesday on the death of Sarah Arnett, a Jewess, the wife of a chair-maker at Kangaroo point, who being subject to fits,was found dead in bed. Mr. Row who attended was prevented by the form of the Jewish religion from opening the body in order to give evidence as to the the immediate cause of her death, until the Coroner decided that it should be so. 7
Thomas would now welcome another possible Arnott family member to his island paradise.
- 1. AOT : Marriage Registration - RGD 1827/983/36
- 2. OB - Trial of SARAH MYERS
- 3. AOT : Muster Roll - CON 13/1/2 Image # 149
- 4. AOT : Conduct Record - CON 40/1/7 Image # 19
- 5. AOT : Baptism Registration - RGD 1830/3712/32
- 6. AOT : Baptism Registration - RGD 1832/4647/32
- 7. HTC : 30 Nov 1832 p 2 - Article