So I thought I'd share a bit of information about them. A lot of Australians are descended from this trio of law-breakers and maybe one of them will find this post and get in touch. We genealogists love hearing from cousins...
The first genealogy centenary is 13 June, 2016, the 200th anniversary of the official founding of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.
|The Domain and Mrs Macquarie's Point, 1830, Creative Commons by Paul K|
On 13 June, 1816, Nicholas Delaney, my 3x great grandfather, and his gang of convict workers finished building Mrs Macquarie's Drive, the road that runs round what was then the Government Domain. It's now part of the Botanic Garden.
|The Botanic Gardens in the 21st century CC via Wikipedia|
Cleverly, Nicholas arranged to finish the work on the birthday of Governor Lachlan Macquarie's wife, Elizabeth. The delighted Governor awarded Nicholas and his 10-man gang five gallons of spirits as a reward. There would have been sore heads as well as muscles the next morning.
|Inscription on Mrs Macquarie's Chair, celebrating the day Nicholas finished the road CC by Graeme Churchyard|
I've already written about building Mrs Macquarie's Drive as well as the only part of the original road which now survives, the Macquarie Culvert. As the 200th anniversary comes even nearer I hope to post more over on the A Rebel Hand blog.
Update: here's the first of those posts on Nicholas Delaney, Mrs Macquarie's Drive and the Botanic Garden's 200th anniversary.
|The Macquarie Culvert, Mrs Macquarie's Drive, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney CC via Wikipedia|
There's going to be a big party in the Botanic Gardens on the 13th and I've heard from some fellow Delaney descendants that they'll be going. If only I weren't half the world away I'd be there celebrating my ancestor's achievement. But I can't get to Australia this year. You can bet I'll be keeping up via social media and other channels, though.
The next bicentenary of this year is of the trial and sentencing of Sarah Marshall, my 3x great grandmother, on 24 July, 1816, at the Lancaster Assizes.
|Sarah Marshall's sentence via Ancestry|
Sarah was convicted of 'stealing a petticoat valued at one penny, a bed gown valued at one penny, two caps valued at one penny, a pair of silk stockings valued at one penny and a sheet valued at one penny, being of the Goods and Chattels of John Oldham.'
And for fivepence-worth of clothes, she was to be 'transported to some part beyond the seas.' To New South Wales, in fact, like all my convict ancestors.
|Australian Convict Transportation Records for Friendship II via Ancestry|
Sarah's story - or what I can find out about it, because there are plenty of strong Lancashire brick walls surrounding her life before she half-inched the goods and chattels - includes two particularly dramatic episodes after her trial. She was sent out on a notorious convict ship, the Friendship, famous for the licentious behaviour on board during the voyage. Again, I'm planning to write more about that.
And she's popularly believed to be the 'Sarah's Ghost' who is said to haunt Castlereagh General Cemetery, having been murdered by a group of lust-driven men. But the story's inaccurate. I'm glad about that. Poor Sarah, as if she hadn't suffered enough.
Sarah went on to marry, or live as if married to, John Simpson, a tailor, and his is the last of my trio of bicentenaries.
John was born in Yarm, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. On 8 November, 1816, he was charged with 'feloniously taking and carrying away two bales of goods, consisting of muslin and shawls' at Hope in the Derbyshire Peak District and committed to Derby county gaol. The Derby Mercury reported the facts on 21 November.
|Derby Mercury report via FindMyPast|
He was to stay in Derby Gaol until the Lent Assizes in March, 1817, when he was tried and sentenced to seven years' transportation.
John and Sarah's daughter Lucy Simpson married Thomas Delaney, the son of Nicholas and his wife Elizabeth Bayly, which ties up my three bicentenary ancestors neatly.