Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Fate of the Luddites: Joseph Maples

At the time of his conviction for frame-breaking on 17th March 1812, Joseph Maples was only 16 years of age. Shirley Cook is a direct descendant of Joseph and lives in Australia. She contacted us with the results of her research into Joseph's life after his conviction, which we now publish below.

After Joseph Maples was convicted on 17th March, 1812 in the County Court of Nottingham, he was transferred from the Woolwich prison hulks to a convict ship 'Indefatigable' which left London on 4th June 1812, bound for Van Dieman's Land, (now Tasmania). He arrived on 19th October after sailing for 137 days with 200 other convicts on board.

Van Dieman's Land had become a British penal colony in 1803, and labor was needed to establish the colony. Joseph worked as a bricklayer - his occupation in Nottinghamshire - taking part in constructing government buildings.

On 13th June 1819, Joseph became a father to a son, James, but he had to wait until he had gained permission from the Governor to marry Louisa Atkins, also a convict, on 27th December, 1819.

He was granted a conditional pardon on 7th August, 1821, which allowed him to work for himself.

He was granted an allotment of land in Hobart Town on 31st December, 1823.

He & Louisa had four more children, but only 2 girls survived to marry.

Joseph died on 6th September, 1858. He was 63 yrs. old.

I am a descendant of his son James Maples.

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