+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Question Can't find Death record of Criminal Ancestor

    Hello everyone! (Sorry for how long winded this post is)

    I'm currently searching for a death record of my Great grandfathers great-great-uncle 'George Bennett' - born in 1833 in Bedmont, Hertfordshire (in the parish of Kings Langley), son of 'David Burrage' (born 1811) and 'Phoeba Burrage' (born 1806).

    In 1860 he was sentenced to 2 years hard labour at Bedford Gaol, and one year later was put on trial again for a suspected burglary and found guilty - to which he was sentenced to another 7 years hard labour (at the lent assizes - I tried to attach pictures of the newspaper article but you could hardly read the words). After 1861 he disappears from the records... He either died in prison or moved under a new alias once he was released? I've also considered the possibility of a prison transfer - though I don't know how common this was in the 1860s.

    His criminal record does state him as being a 'Roman Catholic' - though he probably only said this since he robbed a Protestant church - as the family do not appear on any non-conformist registers (atleast not to my knowledge), and upon being arrested he gave a different name 'Henry Simpson'; all this lying makes finding records quite difficult.

    Before the burglary he had purchased a ticket to travel to the 'Cape of Goodhope' (South Africa), though this was only to throw off the polices investigation into the burglary, since he jumped off the train at Watford and walked back to St. Albans... so I'm not sure whether he ever genuinely considered moving country?

    Anyhow I've had great difficulty finding any information on him after 1861; I've searched for household census', marriage certificates, immigration papers and death records to no avail. Any help or advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

    *** Also could any one tell me why my Direct ancestor 'James Bennett' and his brother 'George Bennett' have different surnames to their parents and other 5 siblings? It's rather unusual to me...

  2. #2
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    2,815
    Thanks
    377
    Thanked 1,200 Times in 986 Posts

    Default

    Did you know that the Bedfordshire Gaol records are online?

    They can be accessed either directly via Bedfordshire Archives or through Ancestry.
    http://apps.bedford.gov.uk/grd/results.aspx

    According to the 1860 records he either had 19 or 25 previous convictions! But if you click on the links you can apparently buy a photograph of him.

    The last conviction, which may or may not be the same man, because that chap apparently only had 2 prior convictions, was in 1876.

    Many criminals used aliases. This was to try and throw authorities off their trails, particularly when it came to sentencing. If previous convictions weren’t known about they got lighter sentences.

    There is something rattling around in the back of mind about why many convicts claimed to be Catholics when they weren’t and I can’t recall why. I think that there was a positive reason for them to do so, whether it was something to with getting out work to go to church and confession, perhaps someone else will know.

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Megan Roberts For This Useful Post:

    christanel (11-11-2018), Pam Downes (11-11-2018), Russell12 (11-11-2018)

  4. #3
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    manchester
    Posts
    855
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 213 Times in 197 Posts

    Default

    It’s possible James & George were from a previous marriage.

    David & Phoebe may have lived as ‘man & wife’ and had children prior to their marriage.

    On 1851 census some of the younger children have MMN - Atkins

    Possible 2nd marriage reg.

    David Burrage
    19 Nov 1836
    Marriage Place: St. Albans, Hertford, England
    Spouse: Phebe Bennett

    Maybe a first marriage?
    Phiebe Atkins
    Marriage Date: 31 Oct 1831
    Marriage Place: Abbots Langley,Hertford,England
    Spouse: George Bennett
    Last edited by Pamelawagster; 11-11-2018 at 6:17 PM. Reason: Added info

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Pamelawagster For This Useful Post:

    christanel (11-11-2018), Pam Downes (11-11-2018), Russell12 (11-11-2018)

  6. #4
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I did consider that they may have come from a previous marriage however they are actually born later;

    In 1830 they have Eman and David Burrage

    1833; They have George Bennett

    1834; Henry Burrage

    1835; James Bennett

    and then 2 more children (William and Phoeba) with the Burrage surname... so very confusing! I've often wondered if perhaps they were illegitimate children? Since they were the only 2 who were not christened and don't have any birth records. They appear in a 1841 and 1851 household census with the family however - but there is never any Grandparent/lodger with the surname Bennett who appears. It's also interesting to note that the 2 Bennetts are the only children in the family who appear to be quite troubled - both breaking the law quite frequently; whereas all the other 'siblings' took up respetable jobs such as Lawyers and Carpenters.

    Bedford Gaol Archives list his age as being 23 - however he would have been 27 in 1860? Defintely the same George since I've already found most the newspaper articles for most the listed crimes on his record - including the 'riot in a beerhouse' in Hemel, Hempstead (!!) for which his age corresponds with an 1833 birth year.

    I have already obtained the mugshot/photo of him from the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives service and as you can see from the photo - he definitely isn't 23 years old! Any particular reason why he'd lie about his real age?



    Thank you for your responses! I'm still keeping an eye out for that elusive death record...

  7. #5
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    manchester
    Posts
    855
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 213 Times in 197 Posts

    Default

    Possible baptisms

    Name: James Bennet
    Baptism Date: 30 Nov 1834
    Baptism Place: Abbots Langley,Hertford,England
    Father: George Bennet
    Mother: Phoebe


    Name: George Bennet
    Baptism Date: 7 Oct 1832
    Baptism Place: Abbots Langley,Hertford,England
    Father: George Bennet
    Mother: Phiebe

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Pamelawagster For This Useful Post:

    Russell12 (11-11-2018)

  9. #6
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamelawagster View Post
    Possible baptism.

    Name: James Bennet
    Baptism Date: 30 Nov 1834
    Baptism Place: Abbots Langley,Hertford,England
    Father: George Bennet
    Mother: Phoebe
    This could well be him!

    Thank you! - I had been looking for a baptism under father 'David Burrage' all this time - no wonder why I never found information.

    Guess I'm going to need edit my family tree now haha

    I also suppose that the other Burrage children; born in 1830-1836 were from David's previous marriage, so only 2 of the children would be part of my family tree (William and Phoeba). Makes a lot more sense now!

  10. #7
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    manchester
    Posts
    855
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 213 Times in 197 Posts

    Default

    It is possible the older Burrige children were from a different mother,the Bennet boys from Phoebes first marriage and the younger Burrage children are David & Phoebes children together!

    Ages weren’t always exact back then.

    The younger Burrage children’s births are on the GRO index with MMN Atkins.

    1851 census has an Eman Atkins as stepson


    Name Age
    David Burridge 44
    Phoeba Burridge 46
    Eman Atkins 20
    David Burridge 20
    Henry Burridge 17
    James Bennet 16
    Phoeba Burridge 13
    William Burridge 9
    John Burridge 7
    Mary Burridge 3


    Possible baptisms

    Name: James Bennet
    Baptism Date: 30 Nov 1834
    Baptism Place: Abbots Langley,Hertford,England
    Father: George Bennet
    Mother: Phoebe


    Name: George Bennet
    Baptism Date: 7 Oct 1832
    Baptism Place: Abbots Langley,Hertford,England
    Father: George Bennet
    Mother: Phiebe

    Possible for first husbands death.
    Name: George Bennett
    Burial Date: 9 Sep 1835
    Burial Place: Abbots-Langley, Hertford, England

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Pamelawagster For This Useful Post:

    Russell12 (11-11-2018)

  12. #8
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Ahah!

    So I was just updating my family tree with the accurate information on My Heritage - and lo and behold - a smart match finally appears and I now have a death date for George Bennett - 1864! Thank you Pamela!

    I've also found marriage information now alswell.

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Select a file: