FF THOMAS SMITH/Haines Convict ‘Scarborough’ (c1757-unknown)

THOMAS SMITH (Haines) (as sentenced) and John Stevens were indicted for feloniously stealing on the 13th of March last, fifty-six yards of printed cotton, value 5£. 12 s. the property of Richard Hussey


RICHARD HUSSEY sworn.: I am a linen-draper in Russell-Court London , on the 13th of March my opposite neighbour informed me that two men had stolen something from under the window, I had a customer, and I could not go out, in a few minutes after I heard them cry stop thief, in a few minutes after I ran out, and the prisoner Smith run away with the two pieces of cotton in his apron, and I saw him throw them out of his apron, I run after him, and he drew a stick out of his coat with a large knob, and struck at every person that was like to be in his way to stop him, particularly at a child he struck at, that was likely to be in his way; I was out of breath, I could run no further, he was brought back to my shop.

Are you sure the person brought back was the man  you saw? - That I positively swear to, he is the man.

Had he the same clothes on? - It is so like, I believe it is the same. (The cotton deposed to.)

How near was he to your shop when he dropped them? - Ten or twelve yards, he went towards Henrietta-street, and turned down a little court.

Do you know anything of the other man? - Nothing at all, when I returned, he was in custody.

Court. Is the bludgeon in Court? - The constable has it, but has not brought it.

Prisoner. It was only a penny-stick.

Constable. It was a holly stick, with a hook at the top.

Jury. Was it a walking stick? - Yes.



I live opposite Mr. Hussey; on Saturday afternoon, about a quarter to five the two prisoners came up to his door, and looked at his goods, they were under the shop board, they pulled at them, but they were tied, and they went away, my man in the shop told me of it, I told him I saw it myself, and in about five minutes after they returned, the man in the jacket, Stevens, took out a knife and cut the string, they were gone some time, I am almost positive they went to buy a knife, I am a cutler by trade, and I am sure they went to buy a knife, for the knife found on them never had been used before; when they had cut the string, the milk woman came to the prosecutor's door, and prevented them carrying them off then; while they were gone I called out to my opposite neighbour, and told him to be upon his guard, for they would certainly be there again presently, as they had been once and tried the goods, and a second time, and cut the string, in about three or four minutes they passed the door, and came where the goods were; they went up close to the goods, and Stevens took the goods from the bulk, and put them into the apron of the other, and walked off with them; this I saw. The prosecutor and his servants went out when they heard the cry of stop thief, the prisoners run down a little alley, and I pursued Stevens, and Mr. Hussey pursued the other; in a few minutes the mob brought the other man to the door; I am sure to both the prisoners, positively so, I saw them four times in the whole.



I apprehended the prisoners, I searched Stevens, and found this knife in his right-hand-pocket.



Coming through the court at this time, I stood still, and this gentleman came up and catched hold on me.

Court. Then you are an innocent person and happened to be walking by? - Yes

Who is your master? - I work for Mr. Hare, in Red-cross-street; I drive a dray for him.



I was coming through Russel-court, a man chucked me two pieces of cotton into my apron, but it was not this other prisoner.

Court. He happened to chuck some cotton, and you happened to catch it? - Yes.

Court. You never had that happen to you before? - No.


THOMAS SMITH, otherwise HAINES, JOHN STEVENS; GUILTY Transported seven years.  On 21st April 1784-Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Nares.

Thomas was received on the Censor hulk on 6th September 1786 aged 27 and then delivered by wagon on 24th February 1787 to Portsmouth for the Scarborough on 27th February 1787.It is unclear what happened to Thomas’s co accused John Stevens.


A Sarah Willis, daughter of John Willis, was baptised at Wakefield All Saints on 11th June 1773, making her only 14 years old when tried in 1787.


Sarah Willis, single woman, and William Dawson, a collier of Featherstone, were committed to the Wakefield House of Corrections in late April 1787, charged with the theft of a card of lace from a linen drapers shop in Huddersfield, valued at fifteen pounds. At the trial, though there were nine and one half yards of it, its value was reduced to four shillings and ten pence. They were regarded as suspicious characters and a bundle they left in a house was found to contain the stolen lace Willis said in one document she was of Wakefield Outwood, but in another of Stanley (both adjacent to Wakefield). Both were committed to York Castle Gaol a month later and at the July 1787 sessions there Willis was sentenced to seven years transportation. On 23 October 1789 she was sent to London with four other women for embarkation on the Neptune transport. Dawson was acquitted.


At Rosehill on Sunday 5 September 1790 (just over two months after landing) Sarah married Thomas Smith/Haines (Convict Scarborough). He was literate, signing his name in the register, while Sarah made a mark. There were three other FF marriages to Second Fleeters on that day at Rosehill –John Randall (Convict Alexander) to Mary Butler (Convict Neptune), James Ruse (Convict Scarborough) to Elizabeth Perry (Convict Lady Juliana), andJoseph Haines (Convict Alexander) to Mary Ann Morgan (Convict Neptune). Another marriage on that day was Thomas Peacock(Convict Neptune) to Elizabeth Carter (Convict Neptune).Edward Smith (Convict Scarborough) and John Dawson (Convict Surprize) were witnesses of the first four weddings.


There does not appear to be any further record of Thomas Smith/Haines (Convict Scarborough) from that date.

However, Sarah Smith was acquitted on a charge of stealing pork and flour on 19 September 1790, only two weeks after the marriage.Sarah Smith nee Willis was buried at Rosehill on Monday 25 July 1791.     Compiled by John Boyd 2020


-The Founders of Australia by Mollie Gillen p336

-The Second Fleet by Michael Flynn p615

- Sydney Cove 1788 to 1800 in 5 Volumes by John Cobley

-The Crimes of the First Fleet Convicts by John Cobley

-The Women of the 1790 Neptune by Anne Needham with Laurel Ridder, Merle Hadley and Phyllis Scott.



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