James Ashwell b1796

Relationship to me in tree
Arthur William Hicks (grandfather) –>
Mother Minnie Plant (great grandmother) –>
Mother Dinah Skinner (gr gr grandmother)–>
Mother Mary Ashwell b 1817 (gr gr gr grandmother)–>
Father James Ashwell B 1796

James Ashwell records and documents

James was born in Langford, Bedfordshire, and in 1823. He was married to Mary Crowther, they had two children James (1816) and Mary (1817).

As I am living in Bedfordshire I thought I maybe able to access some local knowledge. This has not been the case, all the knowledge has been from the internet, although I did wander around the graveyards of the local churches.

In 1824 he was arrested for stealing pickled pig, as reported in this newspaper article:

This lead to him being transported for life, and was sent to Van Dieman’s Land, here are the details from the records published by Bedfordshire archives:

Record ID: 3173
Commital Year: 1823
Reference Doc: BLARS QGV10/1
ID in Reference Doc: 86
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Height: 5 feet 5 inches
Hair Colour: Light Brown
Complexion: Fresh
Identifying Features: This man was a notorious character and a terror to the neighbourhood he lived.
Residence(town/village): Langford
Residence(county): Bedfordshire
Offence: Stealing Pork
Committed By: Rev.J.Webster
When Committed: 30/12/1823
Trial Type: Lent Assizes 1824
Type of Gaol: Bedford County Gaol
Sentence: Death Transported for Life
How Disposed: Removed to the Justitia Hulk at Woolwich
Discharge Date: 24/04/1824
General Remarks: A bad fellow

There are records on
Founders and survivors

Link to Tasmanian library

Calculated Age 1796 (Estimated from age 28 at 1824)
Place Of Birth Langford/Bedford
Conviction sentence Life
Place Of Sentencing Bedford
Tried Date 10/Mar/1824
Voyage Date: 3 Jul 1824
Sailed Days 123
Sailed From Downs
Sailed Route Rio
Ship Master Jos. Blyth
Ship Name Princess Charlotte
Ship Surgeon Jn. Dobie
Arrived 1824-11-09
To Colony Van Dieman’s Land – VDL (Tasmania)
Gaol Report Attempted to escape
Body Marks Natural Mark outer Corner left eye
Eyes Grey
Family Wife & 3 Ch at Biggleswade
Trade Farmers Ploughman/labourer

On 12 Oct 1836 the record states he was given a conditional pardon, but as yet I don’t know what happened to him in Tasmania. 

His wife moved to Lincolnshire with her 2 children and appears with another man, stating to be his wife, and the family tree continues in England. Her child Mary married Samuel Skinner.