The BBC Documentary - Secret History of my Family?
I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to participate in a BBC History documentary on the Ogilvie Family which traced one line of our ancestry from London to Tasmania. As the story unfolded it became quite remarkable, how a family had remade itself in the new world of Van Diemen's Land. This January the BBC will travel to Hobart to film the Tasmanian part of the story. Their notes are reproduced below....its quite a tale.
Please click the following link to view the story - The Mercury
From BBN Documentary Research...
CAROLINE GADBURY AND THE OGILVIES
You have come down to us today through many lines – and of course, many family names get lost as women marry and take on the surnames of their husbands. One name you may not know about is Caroline Gadbury – who, though not a blood-ancestor, nevertheless loved and nurtured your ancestor for 25 years – and, as she helped propel your family onto a different path, played a vital role in shaping the extraordinary, unfolding story your family…The story actually begins not with the woman who helped found your family – but with someone from the opposite end of Victorian England’s social spectrum: William Miles - the bastard son of the Prince Regent, George IV, and perhaps England’s first criminologist.
Miles saw that Britain faced a social crisis in the form of a burgeoning and dangerous criminal class:‘London Thieves have no Sense of Moral Degradation; they are corrupt to the Core; they are Strangers to virtue and Character, even by name, for many of them are the Children of Thieves or of exceedingly dissolute People, consequently they can have no Contrition; they are in a State of predatory Existence, without any Knowledge of social Duty...’And the problem was intergenerational.
Children, from a very young age, were being raised by the values and practices of this criminal class – and Britain, London in particular, faced an epidemic of juvenile delinquency and crime.‘There is a youthful Population in the Metropolis devoted to Crime, trained to it from Infancy, adhering to it from Education and Circumstances, whose Connexions prevent the possibility of Reformation, and whom no punishment can deter; a Race “sui generis”, different from the rest of Society, not only in Thoughts, Habits, and Manners but even in Appearance; possessing, moreover, a Language exclusively their own.’Miles had been campaigning for the establishment of the first organized, centrally controlled nationwide police force since 1835.
And, as part of this campaign, he decided to conduct a series of ‘interviews’ with juvenile delinquents. He wanted to show how the existing night-watchman-based policing system was not fit for the purpose of tackling the endemic problem.In 1825 Miles was asked to study delinquency for the House of Lords Select Committee on Gaols. As part of the study, he boarded the prison ship. Euralylus, moored on the Thames at Chatham and interviewed 146 of the young lads who’d been spat out by England’s criminal justice system.
The interviews are written out in a weird mix of firsthand reporting and Miles’ own commentary. They make for astonishing reading. They are the first-ever close-to-first-hand accounts of the lives of England’s young criminal class – an astonishing near verbatim historical record, from almost 200 years ago…‘Some kids who I had known from the streets came and said to me “Cook, come along with us to the Serpentine. So I went with them and they stole somebody’s clothes who was swimming.” The next day they gave me my share of the robbery – and that is the first time I went bad.’ (William Cook, 15, Orphan).‘Father tried to keep me at home – has stripped me, taken away my clothes and tied me to a bed post – because the boys used to come round the House at night and whistle and entice me to go out thieving again with them – they once got some clothes, got in at the window in the back parlour where I was tied up naked, dressed me in them.” (Samuel Holmes, 13).
‘I have never worked since I began thieving – I generally sold my plunder to sister keepers in Field Lane – they keep a “Handkerchief shop”… Young thieves brag to each other of the amount they have stolen – they never think of punishment when at liberty… Policemen, especially city policemen are frequently treated by the thieves with a drink.’ (George Hickman, 16).“Two of these boys took me to a House in Stepney, kept by a Jew and he agreed to board and lodge me for 2/6 a night, provided I bought and sold him all that I might steal. He has about 13 boys in the house……The landlord has also the adjoining House and there is a communication into it from every room – the back kitchen is fitted up with a trap door to help escape and in a corner of one of the back kitchen is a sliding floor underneath which property is hidden. ‘A coat is hung up in the kitchen or public room and boys practice how to pick the pockets, the men in the house shew [sic] them how to manage.” (Samuel Holmes, 13)‘Transportation is looked upon by each thief as an event which must occur sometime of another, and the only twist is to keep from it as long as they can.’ (Henry Thompson, 16).
It wasn’t just the boys. Genteel slum-tourists in Victorian Britain were often shocked by the uncouth, violent, and criminal behaviour of the young women … and Miles wanted to meet some of these types……And now, we come to meet the matriarch of your own family – in the same way, William Miles meets her: sitting opposite her in a cell in Westminster’s notorious Bridewell Prison for women.
Sitting with him is two young girls, Mary Mausand Caroline Gadbury. Caroline is only fifteen, but is already an accomplished criminal.“I used to go out and work… at Mr Howard’swhere I earnt four shillings and sixpence a week … I used to go home with other girls and was induced to go with them to penny theatres, telling my parents that I was working later. There I got acquainted with girls who used to go shoplifting.”“We would go everyday and sometimes frequently in the day stealing and we made as much as £3 or £4 on some days, which was divided between us. We’d go to plays and dances, buy smart clothes, treat others to various things…”Caroline’s gang of girl shoplifters and pickpockets appears to have surprisingly well organised. She tells Miles they pay into some kind of kitty, to help pay the legal fees of those who got nicked – ‘we would all subscribe to pay Counsel to defend acquaintances.”And they developed close relationships with the city police’s night watchmen who’s job it was to arrest them. This wasn’t the organised
The City of London Police as it exists today, that wasn’t created until two years after Caroline was interviewed. London was policed by a disparate series of night watchmen who were answerable to a sheriff and very easily corrupted – so when Caroline speaks of the ‘police’ she actually means the night watchman. “I was never afraid of the police, but of the shopmen… I was intimate with a policeman called George and used to give him money” By the end of the interview Caroline is boasting about her achievements.
‘One time I was at large for about two months… and during that time committed at least forty or fifty robberies without detection going out shoplifting two or three times a day. We were expert robbers and used to practice it.’In her interview with Miles, Caroline tells him that the gang sold what they stole to Jewesses on Field Lane – a street-name which appears prominently in one of the great works of English literature… “We would sell our plunder to Jews in the Field Lane, and in Petticoat Lane, who would give us 30% or 35% for goods forth £7.”
And we know what you’re thinking … these stories can’t be true. They’ve just lifted them from Oliver Twist. Well, no – it’s the other way round. Dickens was, by trade, a journalist, tourist a court reporter. Miles’ interviews appeared in the parliamentary record from 1835 – some were deemed so controversial that they were delivered in secret.
It seems certain that Dickens will have seen these interviews, before writing Oliver Twist, which appeared, in serial form, in 1837, just as William Miles was meeting Caroline.Let’s get back to Caroline, your ancestor/matriarch... Was Caroline born into this criminal class that Miles was so vexed by? Well, in fact, she seems to have come from a decent family- that had somehow gone very badly wrong…Her dad, Robert, had been born in the Norfolk weaving town of Norwich. As a young teenager found his life uprooted when his father lost his job as a weaver as a result of mechanisation, as the industrial revolution swept through Britain’s country towns. Robert’s dad moved his family in search of work. Like many others, they may have walked the 100 miles (160km) to London, and found out quickly that the cheapest place to live was in London’s rapidly growing slum, the East End. They settled in Bethnal Green, later moving to The Old Nichol, in Shoreditch – perhaps the most notorious of all London’s slum neighbourhoods.
Soon after their arrival in the metropolis, Robert joined the Second Royal Militia - a British Home Guard; set up as the last line of defence against Napoleon’s planned invasion of Britain. Young Robert met Caroline’s mother, Rachel, a fellow immigrant to London from Wiltshire– perhaps in an East End pub, we don’t know – but they married in 1805 – probably in the cheapest possible way. Working Class families scrimped and saved to afford funerals but paid less attention to their wedding. The bride’s mother usually stayed at home to cook a wedding breakfast whilst the bride and groom went to church in normal Sunday clothes with friends to serve as witnesses. It’s likely that Robert would have gone back to work immediately after the wedding as they wouldn’t be able to afford for him to lose a full day’s wages.Rachel gave birth to their first child.
Robert wanted to work hard to provide for his new family. He switched militias to one that paid better. But the child died aged just five - three more died young. But some of Robert and Rachel’s kids did make it into adulthood – and our Caroline was born in 1822, the youngest of four surviving siblings. We don’t have a photograph of Caroline – so we don’t really know what she looked like … But we know quite a lot about her life – and how she was destined to embark on a life-journey which would shape the history of your family…Caroline’s dad Robert lost his job with the militia when she was six.
The family’s regular income disappeared – and Robert took a less well-paid job as a night watchman, or Charley as they were commonly known, who were paid on a commission basis. The general public hated the charleys and would do all they could to make their lives difficult. Robert’s name appears frequently in the Old Bailey records, testifying against defendants. So as Robert patrolled the often-violent and drink-charged streets of East London at night, and gave evidence at the Old Bailey during the day, it’s unlikely that growing up, Caroline saw much of her dad.… And now, despite their honest and hardworking parents, the Gadbury kids started to go off the rails …When Caroline was just six, her brother Tom appeared at the Old Bailey accused of stealing a bag of money from his own father. Robert and Rachel, the boy’s mum and dad, were the only witnesses.
They had to decide whether to testify against their own son. This latest charge was part of a pattern of repeat offending, and if they decided against testifying they knew he would go to put himself, and the family in more trouble. On the other hand, if they did testify they knew he might be transported, and never be seen by them again…They decided to testify.
Thomas was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation. On 27th April 1830, Thomas was transported to Tasmania.
There was no postal service for Australia. No way of ever contacting your transported loved one. No one in the family would ever see, or hear from Tom again. We don't know how Robert and Rachel would have explained what had happened to Caroline. But we do know that at the age of eight, Caroline big brother disappeared from her life, forever.Four years on, and we come across evidence that Caroline too had fallen in with the wrong kind of people. She appears in the Old Bailey records bringing a case against three women aged 32, 28, and 17, who she accuses of stealing her new boots and forcing her to pawn them.
When she refused to give the women her boots, Caroline said, they held her down forcibly removed them. Caroline said she’d been so scared of returning home without her new boots that she stayed with the women over the weekend drinking. Then “Woodson [one of the girls] brought a man home, and they locked me in a room with him – the man wanted me to come on his knee – I would not, and I screamed out – he then sent for some gin, and the door was opened – I ran out…” The case fell apart as witnesses undermined Caroline’s character and testimony.
Robert and Rachel tried to get Caroline back on track by getting her a job, but it was no use. She was lying to her parents and her boss, constantly missing work to go out to picking pockets – and spending the money on drink and clothes and going out. Robert and Rachel were desperate. They tried to take Caroline’s clothes to stop her going out –“I would sometimes visit my parents who would take my clothes away from me”– but it was no use.Sarah Eliza, Caroline’s older-by-two-years sister, had also begun to fall into a life of petty crime – and at just fourteen Caroline was back in court alongside her sister, Sarah Eliza. The sisters were accused of stealing five yards of cotton. They managed to get off - but the following year Caroline was back again, this time she was found guilty of stealing a shawl with another member of her pickpocketing gang, Mary Mause. The two were sentenced to a years confinement with six weeks solitary confinement. And it was eight months into this sentence that Caroline and Mary met the criminologist, William Miles …And while Caroline sat alone in her cell, she couldn’t have known that she was losing her sister … Sarah Eliza was back at the Old Bailey again, this time, been found guilty of theft.
At seventeen, she was transported to New South Wales –And again, never seen by her family, or heard from again.The Gadbury’s had lost a second child.Caroline began to re-offend the moment she was released from Bridewell. Within months she was back at the Old Bailey after being caught stealing in a West End shop. Caroline didn’t go quietly, screaming and attacking the policeman as a crowd of over a hundred looked on. The gang-girls knew that re-offenders were almost always transported, and amid the commotion, she had the presence of mind to give a false name: Sarah Cope.
At the Old Bailey, ‘Sarah Cope’ was found guilty - but it seemed like all she was facing was another prison sentence … until policeman William Morris, stepped forward. “I am a policeman. I produce a certificate of Cope’s former conviction– I was present at the trial – this is the same person mentioned in the certificate by the name of Caroline Gadbury.” Caroline was sentenced to be transported for seven years. She had turned 16 the previous week. Now, along with Anne Effingham, another member of her gang, she was to board a ship bound for Van Diemen's Land…Stories about the convict past focus on the men. But 12,000 women were shipped to Van Diemen's land alone.It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like for a young girl on a convict ship bound for Australia. It would have been the first time Caroline had left London or seen the sea. She would have been kept below deck and behind bars in semi-darkness.
Confined alongside some very rough men. But there are many stories of friendships formed on the voyage, which would last a lifetime – and marriages, always witnessed by fellow convicts.When finally four months after leaving England, Caroline arrived in Tasmania, she was put to work as an indentured servant in the house of her new master, the free settler Edward Nettleship. Edward was an engraving clerk and legal writer who had emigrated from London with his wife to Tasmania in 1836. He came from a family of successful grocers and shopkeepers from Nottingham and Worcester.The middle-class gentry of Van Diemen's Land who’d ‘come over as free men’ had never seen anything like the women convicts. They saw the women as about as bad as they came - rowdy, rebellious, drunken, disobedient, and far too open with their sexual favours. At the time women were held to much higher standards than men and were expected to be meek and subservient so a headstrong girl like Caroline horrified well-to-do men.
The Reverend H.P. Fry described women convicts as “the most wretched beings you can imagine.”On this strangest, most alien island, Caroline was now a servant, expected to look after her master’s children … It wasn’t a turn of events she intended to accept…Three months to the day after she arrived Caroline was found drunk and was reprimanded, the following day she went missing and was found in a pub. The authorities gave her 16 days in a cell on bread and water then returned her to her service. Almost immediately she ran away again and was put on bread and water.Then on the 8th June 1839, Mrs Nettleship gave Caroline her bunch of keys and told her to go upstairs and get some sugar from a room. Caroline, knowing that Mrs Nettleship kept valuables in her bedroom, immediately ran to it and stole her watch, running away to “a house of questionable repute,” selling the watch to an ex-convict for ten shillings.
Caroline was pulled up before a judge and military jury found guilty of theft and sentenced to two years imprisonment and hard labour.Almost as soon as she was released and returned to service Caroline was found absent again, then she was found disorderly, then drunk. Her original transportation sentence was first extended by six months with three months detention at the Hobart House of Correction and then by a further twelve months.Her list of convictions reads like the life story of one very disruptive young woman, determined to resist the domestic servitude into which she had been placed…March 1839 - found drunk and reprimandedMarch 1839 - absent and found in a public house.
Given 16 days in a cell on bread and water, and then returned to service.April 1839 - absent without leave. Given 14 days in a cell on bread and water.June 1839 - caught stealing a Gold watch from her master, EdwardNettleship.July 1841 - absent without leave. 1 month at Wash Tub and returned to service.Sep 1841 – absent without leave. 10 days solitary confinement.Nov 1841. Original transportation sentence is extended by 6 months. Detained for 3 months on Probation in the House of Correction before assignment.Nov 1841 – disorderly conduct.14 days solitary confinement.May 1842: Original transportation sentence is extended by 12 months. She is placed on probation in the House of Correction in separate working cells for 3 months.Feb 1843 - disorderly conduct. 10 days solitary confinement.May 1844 – ‘misconduct.’ 10 days solitary confinement for misconduct.Over time, Caroline’s re-offending became less frequent, and she was finally granted her her ticket of leave in 1845, after six years of servitude.
Caroline met Charles Chapman, a cabman and fellow ex-convict, who had arrived in Tasmania in 1839 after being transported for fifteen years for counterfeiting coins in London Bridge. They soon began a long-lasting relationship. They had 3 children out of wedlock and finally married in 1854. But it was to be a short-lived marriage. Charles died 18 months later from consumption.So Caroline was left alone, with three children … and quite possibly, something a reputation… We don’t know how she was able to support herself and her kids after Charles died and it's likely that the family fell on some harsh times. But Caroline still had prospects. Men outnumbered women by ten to one in Tasmania, so there was always the hope of meeting the right man…… George Ogilvie was an Aberdeen hell raiser, with a tattoo of a woman holding a flag on one arm and a rose-and-thistle on the other. Transported for stealing a shirt and a pair of cotton stockings in 1842, the same year Caroline was having her sentence extended, he was assigned to be a government blacksmith, but unlike Caroline, generally behaved himself and was soon granted his freedom.
A year into his life as a free man, George had met and married another Caroline, Caroline Justin, from Chester. She’d been transported for stealing a gown, and she and George had had two boys, James and George. Young George died when he was a toddler… and his mother followed him just a few years later. At the age of nine, little James was left alone, with his blacksmith, and part-time publican, dad …… But then, four years after the loss of his first wife, George met and fell in love with the second Caroline in his life --- our Caroline, Caroline Gadbury, who’d been living alone with her three kids since Charles Chapman’s death.Little James Ogilvie had a mum and dad again. And so did Sarah, Caroline’s one remaining child … And the evidence suggests the united Ogilvie/Gadbury family did, over the years, became very close indeed… For instance, we know that when Caroline’s girl, Sarah, got married, she was given away by her stepdad, George. And when young Sarah gave birth to her first son, he was given the middle name Ogilvie, in her step-dad's honour.Caroline Gadbury raised young James, who she called Jimmy, as her son. Jimmy trained with his dad to become a blacksmith but found that he preferred his father’s other business and soon took over the running of the Mariner’s Compass from his Dad and Caroline. Jimmy was a proper entertainer, who liked to get a sing-song going as he played music for his regulars.
Years later, Harry Ogilvie Miles an elderly Hobart resident remembered George and Jimmy’s pub, and how “there were no limits to the hours you should enjoy yourself, provided your money did not run out, or you did not get turned out!”Jimmy Ogilvie met Kate McGee, a Catholic housemaid from Ireland who had come out to Tasmania with her sister who had died soon after they arrived. With no family in Tasmania Kate had no one to walk her down the aisle so Jimmy immediately turned to his half-sister Sarah’s husband, Arthur Miles to walk his fiancée down the aisle. Soon after they were married Jimmy gave up the Mariner’s Compass and moved into the Victoria Tavern on Hobart’s Murray Street. It’s still there today.There, in a little room above the pub Albert George Ogilvie was born on in March 1890, Along with his brother, Eric Ogilvie, who followed in1892, Albert was to become perhaps the greatest reformer inTasmanian politics. His full given name was Albert George Ogilvie – Jimmy and Kate had given him the middle name of his convict grandfather. Jimmy, died from a sudden heart attack just a year after Eric was born. Murray Street, Hobart in the 1930s Kate was left a widow – and Caroline was left without her stepson of 25 years. She would have been there at his death...
And when Caroline herself finally died in not long after, she was laid to rest in the same grave with her husband George, and Jimmy… Two families united in death, as they had been in life.And so, if they had ever known how their daughter’s story was going to turn out, back in London, Robert and Rachel would have been proud of their daughter, after all…… Caroline Gadbury, the unmanageable juvenile delinquent, gangmember and hard drinker had, against all the odds for her time and place, somehow made it through. She’d survived a one-hundred-day sea-crossing below deck and behind bars...She’d survived the life of an indentured servant…She’d lived through repeated imprisonment on a strange new island…Five years of single parenthood … the death of two of her children … and finally, marriage to a tattooed Scot… With who she had made a long and fruitful life - the one man who had managed to tame her. The Cockney-girl and the Aberdonian had built a life together – and a stable, loving family, which, in years to come, was going to reshape Tasmania’s history …
And whatever happened to Caroline’s brother, Tom, and her sister, Sarah-Eliza, both transported before Caroline had grown up. It’s almost certain that Caroline herself never found out – but, she might well have visited Kangaroo Point, a hilltop, just across the river from her enforced home-town, Hobart … where Thomas had died, just a few months after his arrival in the Colony, after a night of hard drinking. A pointless death, but not so out of the ordinary in a hard, even brutalised Colony, Van Diemen's Land – whose name was to become a byword for deprivation and cruelty… Which makes Caroline’s story, and the story of her family, all the more remarkable…
After Jimmy’s death, Kate McGee remarried and together with her new husband, Frank Westbrook, ran the family pub. Young Albert and Eric were expected to play their part, getting up early to wash glasses before going on a daily run up Mount Wellington.
Albert was sent Buckland’s School in Hobart. And it was here that Albert first came across the snobbery that would follow him around for most of his life. It was the start of the new century, and Tasmania was desperate to cast off the convict stain. The kids at Bucklands had been infused with the idea of the English gentleman – and to them, the Ogilvie’s background looked suspect. The boys liked to taunt Albert with bottles of lemonade and ginger beer from The Victorian Tavern. Albert took the bullying to heart – and it seems clear that these early experiences worked to mould a political philosophy that was to have a deep impact...
Albert’s mum wasn't happy with Bucklands either. She wanted a Catholic education for her boys – and there was no Catholic school on the island. And so Albert and Eric were sent off to the mainland to St Patrick School, Ballarat, Victoria. St Patrick’s, which thrives today, is an elite boarding school, on the upper-class English model. It’s not known how Kate and Frank, ordinary publicans, could have afforded to send their kids to a school like this --- but there’s no other obvious source of income in the records, and it seems likely that the Gadbury/Ogilvie/Westbrook clan had simply become very good at running their pubs. (They had at least two by now.) Convicts and their descendants who, by sheer of hard work, was building a better life for their children…
The boys returned to Tasmania and trained to be lawyers and it wasn’t long before Albert was making his mark. At posh, St Patrick’s the boy from convict stock had witnessed a class system, which looked a lot like the one that had been operating in the Old Country for hundreds of years. Albert believed passionately in a better deal for the less privileged. He became active on the left of the Tasmanian Labour Party, winning a great deal of support from working families, and working his way up to the post of attorney general – and then in 1934 Premier of Tasmania - now with his brother Eric by his side as AttorneyGeneral.
Take a moment to think about this astonishing achievement. Voice recordings of Albert from this time have him sounding a little bit like an educated Londoner. His English, working-class roots seem to come through loud and clear … And within two generations the
Gadbury/Ogilvie’s had come from convicts to the Premiership. Working people had bitterly opposed transportation – the greatest forced migration ever undertaken by a European power and the systematic removal of tens of thousands from their families and communities – and their placement in a brutalised, ‘hunger-games’ world in which survival was a lottery.
But many, like Charles Dickens, had advocated transportation on the grounds that it might liberate the criminals and slum dwellers of Britain – helping them to find new and unimagined opportunities.
And for the Gadbury-Ogilvies, so it had proved…
Albert and Eric set about trying to improve the lives of ordinary Tasmanians. School fees were abolished, hospitals were improved, housing loans were provided for the needy, and hydroelectric power stations were put up. Albert set the unemployed to work, funding the building of a road to the top of Mount Wellington. It soon became known as the Ogilvie Scar, a name it retains to this day.
Albert set his sights firmly on opening up Tasmania’s economy to the wider world through a grand tour of Europe. Albert attended the coronation celebrations of George V, was blessed by the Pope, met the ruler of the Irish Free State Eamon de Valera, met and played mind games with Mussolini, travelled through Stalin’s Russia, and even approached Hitler for a meeting. Not bad for the grandson of a convict. Whilst in Vienna Albert came across a Jewish taxi driver who told him of how tough Jewish life was under the Nazis. Albert was touched and campaigned for Tasmania’s borders to be opened to German and Austrian Jewish immigrants and took on the cases of Jews who had been refused entry, overturning many decisions and saving many Jews from the gas chambers.
He returned from Europe convinced that war would come but that the greatest threat to Tasmania came from the East and Japan rather than from Europe. He spoke of the need to blacken the Tasmanian skies with planes to defend the threat, and warned Tasmanians to be prepared for the worst…Then, in the months running up to the war, Albert was unexpectedly taken ill, while playing golf and died soon after. He died suddenly of a heart attack. Tasmania had lost its greatest ever statesman.
Tasmania recoiled in shock at his death and lined the streets of Hobart for his funeral. 40,000 people turned out in the surrounding the Victorian Tavern. Amongst the mourners were political rivals, including a group of men whom Albert had threatened to deny the dole if they did not agree to work in orchards picking apples. They proudly held aloft “a great big hawthorn wreath, all prickles.”
Albert was evoked throughout the Second World War in Tasmania as someone who had realized what was on the horizon. He soon became known as Tasmania’s JFK, a politician who had captured the public’s imagination and inspired a nation.
You know how you are descended from Albert and Eric Ogilvie … and how, with Albert and Eric as your inspiration, your family has reshaped the history of Tasmania… But you may not have known about the role played by Caroline Gadbury in the story of your family.
And what about those left behind at the beginning of this extraordinary family-journey? …
You remember, Robert and Rachel, Caroline’s parents? –How they lost three of their kids to transportation, and another two to hunger and disease?
And what about those left behind at the beginning of this incredible adventure.
You remember, Robert and Rachel, Caroline’s parents? – How they lost three of their kids to transportation, and another two to hunger and disease?
But there was one child they must have been so proud of. Mary Ann Gadbury, the sister who had testified against her brother Thomas, was a good girl who worked hard, never once got into any trouble with the law – and survived into adulthood.
Mary-Ann was settled long before Caroline was sent to Australia. At just eighteen she married William Richard Barnadear, a dyer who came from a long line of Huguenot fabric weavers. They went on to have nine children together. Mary-Ann named her oldest Caroline after her younger sister who disappeared to Australia just a year later.
Mary-Ann and Richard lived a tough, hardworking life in the East End in the same Old Nichol Slum as Caroline’s parents. She finally died in 1860 - the same year her sister Caroline married George Ogilvie, in Tasmania. Aged just 48. Mary Ann had never escaped the slum and she had buried her dad, Robert, just a year before.
But Mary-Anne’s descendants have survived into the present day, just like your branch of the family… Your British cousins. Solid working class people Among them, a bin man, a food distributor, a window cleaner, a taxi driver, a hairdresser, and a woman, who lives just a few streets from where Robert, Rachel and Caroline themselves lived --- now the only British woman on the street.