Very interesting "notable" from Australia

+4 votes
While completing the merge on this profile, I realized that this profile really could use the help of someone who knows and understands Australian records and history.    Such an interesting story, I figured some project would like to step in and make this a profile to be proud of.....
WikiTree profile: William Woodward
in The Tree House by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (755k points)

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
I wonder if other Australia Project members would agree with me that William Woodward's story as a transportee to Australia who "made good" once he was free is not at all remarkable. What is remarkable is the amount of detail in this Profile. Someone, probably a descendant, has put a lot of work into research and been lucky enough to find their relative's life documented by writers of the day. But not a candidate for the "Notables" category, in my humble opinion.
There is one error of interpretation in the profile: "ticket of leave" was not a pardon and did not make the holder "free". It allowed the holder to seek paid employment. The ticket could still be revoked for bad behaviour. Only at the end of their sentence did a convict become free.
So thanks for drawing our attention to this Profile, I'm sure it will take its place as a "showpiece" among Profiles of Australian convicts. Ill add some appropriate categories.
by Living Turner G2G6 Mach 3 (38.7k points)
selected by Eileen Strikwerda
I agree with Anne. There must be hundreds (or more?) convicts who "made good" after they had served their punishment. That would surely have been the hoped-for outcome of a term of punishment. Woodward's story  could be described as a success story, but that does not, in my book, make him "Notable"

Al O.
+2 votes
The identification of the birth and parents looks very shaky, considering this could be some harmless English family's perfectly blameless ancestor who's being fingered.  There were several William Woodwards born in Yorkshire and Derbyshire in the timeframe, which is vague.

The other thing that strikes is that the false conviction rate must have been appalling.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (573k points)
I'm surprised he got off with only 7 years transportation. Highway robbery was a more serious offence than larceny, wasn't it? You could get 7 years for just lifting a handkerchief from someone's pocket.

It does seem like a soft sentence. My other half's ancestor, John Cobcroft, got death - commuted to transportation for life - for highway robbery, and in that case no one got injured.

Hence the saying, Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.

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