Redmund / Redmond,
McGrah / McGrath.
Born in England circa 1756--Died in the
Redmund McGrah (so indicted) was
sentenced to seven years transportation at the Old
Bailey on 29 October 1783. He had been tried and
sentenced to a whipping a month earlier, and had given a
plausible story for trying to sell some stolen sheets,
promising never to do it again if let him go.
In court again for the trial that earned
him transportation. McGrah gave another plausible story
about having been offered a shilling to carry the bag
containing the stolen goods. He was found to have forced
the door of a shop with a “chisel” and taken everything
he could lay his hands on: tea, sugar, soap, Spanish
liquorice, 24 yards of tape, half a pound of thread, six
pounds of tallow, candles, an apron, six books, one
pound of pearl barley and three linen towels. He had
come lately from the sea, “I have been abroad most of
this war…I had been three months in London.” A witness
said he had “rehearsed” exactly the contents of the bag.
“We went along [to the watch house] very jocose”.
On 30 March 1784 McGrah was
delivered to the Mercury transport from Newgate, and was
among those recaptured by the Helena at Torbay after the
convicts had taken control of the ship. To Exeter via
Topsham on the River Exe and committed to gaol on 16
April. McGrah was remanded to his former orders without
trial by the Special Commission presiding at Exeter on
24 May. Sent to the Dunkirk hulk, aged 27, he was
“troublesome at times”. On 11 March 1787 he was embarked
on Friendship for the journey to NSW; Ralph Clark
recorded him as aged 28 with no trade.
McGrah died and was buried at Sydney Cove
29 July 1788 as “Edmund
To The Memory of
Edmund (Redmund) McGrath.
Look not through the sheltering bars,
your longest walk has ended.
Now, the friendly Port of Heaven is
calling you home.
Founders of Australia.
Verse: J. Mortimer # 6409.