Sunday, 18 January 2015

e Elizabeth Wood

Elizabeth Wood (born about 1763), (wife of John Wood ), was tried at the Old Bailey Sessions on 9th September 1789, convicted, and sentenced to transportation for 7 years.

Elizabeth Wood was married to John Wood. Her maiden name was Adams.  She was found guilty of defrauding Ann Gadbury and sentenced to transportation for 7 years.  She arrived in the Second Fleet on the Neptune, 1790.  She was 5'5" tall, grey eyes, brown hair, shallow complexion, and came from Kent.

She was charged with stealing, on 19th August from a hosier's shop kept at Shoreditch Turnpike (London) by Isaac Garner, a pair of silk stockings (worth seven shillings ) and a pair of cotton stockings (three shillings and sixpence ). She and a younger woman, Sarah Conjuit, were tried by Mr Justice Wilson and a Middlesex Jury;

Researchers have noted that Sarah was carrying a child, thought to be Elizabeth Wood's daughter. Elizabeth and her small daughter, aged about 4, also named Elizabeth , were in Newgate Prison until 11th November 1789 when they and other convicts taken to the River Thames to be taken by lighter to the "Neptune" transport  at Woolwich, where she had been since mid-October awaiting her complement of convicts.  That could not be the case as Sarah was not transported, she was sent to the Hall of Corrections.

The "Neptune" sailed as part of the Second Fleet from Portsmouth on 17th January 1790; the "Neptune" was built in the Thames in 1779 and was the largest vessel used to that date in transporting convicts. She arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 13rd April and after 16 days at the Cape she sailed again on 29th April, arriving at Port Jackson, New South Wales, 28th June 1790, having been 160 days on passage.

A total of 502 convicts embarked  on "Neptune", 161 died at sea and 269 sick were landed at Port Jackson. The conditions on board were indescribably bad, scurvy was rife.

Elizabeth and her small daughter were sent from Port Jackson to Norfolk Island on the "Surprize", arriving 7th August 1790.

On Norfolk Island, Elizabeth (senior) formed a relationship with a First Fleeter, Edward Westlake.
There is a marriage record for 1791.

Edward and Elizabeth had 7 children. 
Mary Ann Shone

Samuel               born        1791  d  1871 Victoria
Mary                  born        1794, d 1879 married John Broadhurst Boothman, and had 7 children
Stephanie Ann    born        1797  d   1882
Susannah           born         1798, d  1882 married Thomas Shone  mother of                                               Mary Ann Shone and  Thomas Shone. 

                                            She had a daughter Amelia, to an unknown                                                          father   when she was 16, in 1816.
Richard               1799, 
George               born         1802  d   1814
Samuel              born          1803
Charles              born          1804       d  1877

Elizabeth's daughter Elizabeth was also known as Elizabeth Westlake.  Elizabeth Jnr married James Pillinger on 15th January 1806 on Norfolk Island. They had two children while on Norfolk, and many more when they returned to Tasmania.                                 

William was born 1805 prior to the marriage and was known as William Wood. (No further records can be found but he did return to VDL   James Pillinger was born in 1806.

Again the plaque in St David's is incorrect, because neither children were named, in fact they never had a child called John and Elizabeth was born in 1812!  Long after the ship docked.

The Westlake and Pillinger families were relocated to Van Diemens Land aboard the "City of Edinburgh" in 1808.  

Alfred Pillinger

One of the Pillinger grandchildren became a member of Parliament in Tasmania, and his portrait hangs in the Oatlands Town Hall.  He was also Mayor of Oatlands.

Elizabeth Westlake was buried as Elizabeth Wood in Hobart on 19th November 1808 (age given as 45). 

Edward Westlake died in New Norfolk 11th November 1828   (age given as 77).

(Note Edward Westlake was buried in the Old Council Cemetery at New Norfolk, but since 1992 his headstone has not been visible).  Was this the same cemetery as Lawitta, or Magna?)

Only 6 children are listed as returning on the City of Edinburgh.  Susannah is not listed, but she certainly returned to Hobart!  Several of the children can be accounted for as the remaining 3 sons all appear on the musters recorded in 1818, 1819.   Mary and Susannah had recorded marriages , and George died in 1814, Charles died in 1877.

The newspaper records of the day provide an insight into the life and times of the families.  In 1827 Samuel Westlake, a sawyer absconded from his employer, he stated he was sick and never returned!  

In 1829, Edward Westlake owed 18 shillings to the Government for his 105 acres at Gloucester.  He was farming wheat.  His partner in crime Noah Mortimer also owed money for his rent!

Records indicate that Elizabeth Westlake died in Hobart 19th November 1808.  Who then, raised the children?

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