19th Century Emigrants & Transportees

The effects of the end of the Napoleonic War in 1815 were not too dissimilar to those of all other wars before and afterwards; the result of major wars was inevitably change. The male population had reduced and those soldiers returning from mainland Europe expected something better as a result of their efforts. This created the first seeds of dissatisfaction. During the war, farmers obtained high prices for their corn but prices fell steadily for the next 15 years after the war's end. The 1815 Corn Law sought to prevent the importation of cheap continental corn imports and protect the landed classes who were being squeezed financially. They did, however, successfully petition for the abolition of income tax. The workers had had their wages slashed as a result of landowners' financial stress, the former perceiving that the middle and ruling classes were getting richer at their expense. The rising contribution to the Poor Law rates (Sussex already having the highest rates in England) placed an intolerable burden on farmers which in turn had a knock-on effect on the wages of agricultural labourers. In an attempt to reduce costs, farmers started to introduce threshing machines which signalled the end of labour intensive harvesting. By 1831 poverty was rife in southern England with farm workers seething with discontent. The first of the "Swing Riots" occurred in Orpington, Kent, in 1831 and by November of that year they had spread to Sussex.

Young men and families sought a better life, and one of the options was emigration. Locally in Sussex, the years between 1832 and 1837 saw the emigration of many young families to Canada - one major scheme was supported and paid for by Lord Egremont of Petworth. In later years, further families were lost by emigration to various parts of the world, Australia being one of the principal locations. Visit
http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/passengerlists/petworth.html to see Ships' lists for people emigrating under the Petworth Scheme or http://www.theshipslist.com/ for other ships' lists and interesting articles on 19th Century emigration.

In the Angmering General Vestry Minutes of January 1832, consideration was given to the financing of "emigration persons" who agreed to emigrate at the rate of £11 each. Included were Robert & John Goddard, Francis Jordan, Richard Woods, William Grevatt, Eliza Grevatt, and Fanny Hopkins.

At another General Vestry Meeting in 1834, a decision was taken to borrow money on the security of the rates to assist the family of William Willett.

A list of emigrants (not necessarily complete) from Angmering is given below:

Amoore, Duke (21) Australia (Vic.) 1853
Baker, Edgar (28) Australia (Vic.) 1853
Bougard, - Canada 1834
Evans, David Canada 1832
Goddard, John Canada 1832
Goddard, Robert Canada 1832
Grevatt, William Canada 1832
Grevatt, Eliza Canada 1832
Hopkins, Fanny Canada 1832
Jordan, Francis Canada 1832
Millett, William ? 1834
Miles, John (19) Australia (Vic) 1853
Miller, Frederick (26) Australia (Vic.) 1853
Pelling, Allan Australia (Vic.) 1863
Pelling, Edwin Australia (Vic.) 1864
Pelling, James Australia (Vic.) 1870
Ragless, Alfred Australia (SA) c1864
Ragless, John Australia (SA) 1838
  Stammers, George Australia (NSW) 1831
  Stammers, James Australia (NSW) 1831
Willett, William Canada 1834
Woods, Richard Canada 1832

Of course, not all of those who travelled overseas left of their own accord! Below is a list of convicted felons from Angmering who were transported although at this stage we do not know to which country. We should not judge them too harshly; some probably stole to feed their starving families but others had previous convictions for theft.

Field, John Labourer. Theft of one wether sheep worth 46/-, the property of John West Heasman. Sentenced to transportation for Life.
(Source: WSRO QR/W799)
Transported on the "Asia" on 12/04/1841 to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)
Harbett, John
Labourer. Theft of 3 Foldstakes (2d) and 3 Hurdles (1/6d), the property of Thomas Amore. Transported for 7 years.
(Source: WSRO QR/W849)

This was his second offence. Earlier, on the evidence of two gamekeepers, he was convicted and sentenced to 7 years' transportation on two charges of poaching, which he denied. On his return, he was sentenced on the other charge to 7 years of transportation to Van Dieman's Land.
(Source: Edwin A Harris, 1914)

Hills, Thomas Labourer. Receiving stolen livestock, i.e. 2 geese (5/-) and 5 fowls (10/-), the property of Thomas Amore. Sentenced to transportation for 7 years.
(Source: WSRO QR/R755 Pt.I f.89)
Transported on the "Royal George" on 25/06/1830 to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)
Sturt, John Labourer. Theft of 13 sheepskins worth 5/-, the property of William Gratwicke Kinleside Gratwicke, Esq. Sentenced to transportationfor 7 years.
(Source: WSRO QR/R751 Pt.I f.102)
Transported on the "Sarah" on 28/04/1829 to New South Wales
Tregus, William Labourer. Theft of 3 fowls worth 3/-. Sentenced to transportation for 3 years.
(Source: WSRO QR/R704 Pt.II f.130)

(Possibly the William Tregus, a convict who died of nervous fever, 23 April 1821 on board the convict hospital ship "HMS Racoon" in Portsmouth Harbour)

Last updated 15 September 2011