The history of the Besfords

Criminal Besfords who were transported to Australia

Thomas Besford

Thomas Besford was convicted at Shropshire Assizes in 1818 and sentenced to 14 years.

He was one of 300 convicts transported to Australia on board the Baring, departing in December that same year. He arrived in New South Wales on 26th June 1819.

John Besford

John Besford was convicted and sentenced to life at Shropshire Assizes in 1834. He was transported to Australia along with another 279 convicts on board the Norfolk, sailing from Sheerness on 14th May 1835. He arrived in Van Dieman’s Land on 28th August 1835.

A subsequent record shows John Besford was housed in the Prisoners’ Barracks at Hobart, Tasmania.

John Besford received his Conditional Pardon on 26th November 1849.

Hannah Besford

Hannah Besford (born 1795) was described as a “needlewoman” and “an old offender” when she was convicted of the theft of £60 10s at Shropshire Assizes in 1832. She was given a life sentence.

She was transported to Australia the following year on board the Fanny and arrived in New South Wales at the age of 38.

On 10th August 1835, Hannah married James Whittingham, a fellow convict, at St Philip’s, Sydney, New South Wales. On 21st September 1842 Hannah was granted a Convict Indulgence. This would have allowed her to work for herself or for someone else provided that she remained in a specified area and reported regularly to the local authorities. 

On 21st January 1850, Hannah was granted a Ticket of Leave Passport (number 50/0080) on the recommendation of the Queanbeyan Bench. This would have allowed her more freedom provided that she produced the Ticket of Leave whenever it was demanded. 

See also – Besford family in Australia

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