Friday, May 3, 2013

Morgan Poole

The kids and I were doing a bit of thinking about convicts today (Georgian era) and something we came across reminded me about one of the questions I wanted to research about one of the convicts on my mum's side of the family - Morgan Poole.

I had already found out that Morgan Poole was a miller convicted of stealing flour who had been sent to New South Wales for seven years. Curiously (and this is something I also want to follow up one day), he went back to England after he was given his ticket of leave. According to another family historian he had made two trips back (I haven't confirmed this) and met his wife Ann Fletcher on the boat back from England in 1849. He set up a successful flour mill in Tinonee and died in 1879.

There are lots of loose ends to follow up with Morgan Poole, but the one I set about finding an answer to today was in relation to the fact he was listed as 'married' when he was transported. There are apparently appeal documents (I also haven't got my hands on these yet) that say he had a child as well. 

I wondered what happened to this marriage between the time he had been transported and the time he went back to England. Did she die in the meantime, or did she just move on with her life once he left for Australia assuming she'd never see him again? Maybe he did secretly meet up with her on his return? Is she the reason he went back as soon as he could?

I managed to uncover quite a few interesting things in the process of trying to find some answers.

The first interesting thing was that I could find just one reference to a Morgan Poole marrying in the right sort of time frame. It was a record of marriage in 1832 to a Sarah Johnson. However, this marriage was in London, at St Gabriel's Fenchurch, and I know from his convict records that Morgan Poole was born in Chelmsford Essex. This meant I was less confident it was the same person.

So I left that and started looking through the Essex records. I looked for both birth records and marriage records usuing the online registers available (original scans - fantastic!) and found nothing in any of the parishes in Chelmford or the surrounding areas (I searched the parish registers in Chelmsford as well as parishes like Great and Little Totham - nothing). 

I then thought I'd try a different approach and search for "Morgan Poole" amongst their other documents. Here I had more luck! I found a  record of apprenticeship indenture for Morgan Poole in 1822. Dated 4 November 1822, it's for a period of 5 years for a sum of 30 pounds. It states: "Morgan Poole with consent of Isaac Boole [Poole?] of Great Totham, farmer, to John Sizer of Great Bentley, for learning the art of milling". I'm assuming that Boole should probably read "Poole" here, but I'd need to have a look at the original as well. On Morgan Poole's death certificate (NSW), his father is listed as "Morgan Isaac Poole". I think this is the same person and he either went by the name of Isaac, or the informant of Morgan Poole's death had the details wrong (another detail I will have to check!).

In the same search, I also found the will of another Morgan Poole in 1809. I think this Morgan Poole is the grandfather of the convict Morgan Poole, father of Isaac. His will says:

1st column - Morgan Poole, late of Great Totham in Essex.
2nd Column - Son - Isaac Poole
3rd Column - 1. son - Daniel Poole - 50 pounds; 2. daughter - Mary Mustard - two hundred pounds; 3. son - said Isaac Poole - residuary legate.

So that all gives me a bit of information to help me push back further with the family tree (and also leaves me wondering about the relationships between him and his various children!). 

But back to the question of Morgan Poole's marriage. After initially discounting the London marriage, I ended up finding some more information that leads me to think that this record of marriage to Sarah Johnson is the Morgan Poole I am looking for.

The first little bit of evidence is in the actual register itself. While Sarah Johnson is listed as being 'of this parish', these words are crossed out next to Morgan Poole's name. So it could be him. But I'm left wondering why he was getting married in London and how they met.

The next bit of information I found helps me with this question. It was a newspaper article that seems to refer to the crime which led to Morgan Poole being sent to Australlia. In the Morning Post, 12 February 1833, it reports under "Police Intelligence":
Morgan Pool, a middle-aged man, was committed for trial for " feloniously stealing, taking and carrying away" twenty sacks of flour, the property of Mr Carpenter, a miller, and the proprietor of the steam flour-mills at Greenwich.
 I also found out from newspaper records that he was tried at the Old Bailey, so I searched for the record his trial and (under Morgan Pool), found gold! Here is the link - it's fascinating reading. As well as telling me all the details of his arrest and the proceedings, it also tells me that he was living in London in 1833 when the crime was committed. I think he must have met and married Sarah Johnson in London where he was working near the docklands.

Now, as for Sarah and what became of her, I still don't know. I will have to keep digging!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nic, just got tio the new blog. This is fascinating reading. Can't wait to find out more about Morgan Poole.