David BARBER (1786 - 1843)

       Born: 9 August 1786
       Died: 18 December 1843

     Father: BARBER, David
     Mother: Sarah

   1st Wife: WARBURTON, Alice ( - )

   2nd Wife: FAULKNER, Mary ( - 1852)
   Children: 2..

David BARBER 1786-1843

St Georges Carrington

David Barber was born in Carrington a small rural village in the Bowdon parish in Cheshire England. David was baptised at the Carrington chapel in 1786, the second son of David and Sarah Barber.(1) At the age of 24 David was married to Alice Warburton in the Bowdon parish church.(2) They went on to have four children David, Mary Ann, Alfred and Elfrida. David was working as a weaver when their daughter Elfrida was baptised (3) (4)

St Georges Carrington   

St George’s Carrington was built in 1759 for Mary, Countess of Stamford as a chapel of ease to serve the hamlets of Partington and Carrington. A chapel of ease or chapelry was often built in larger parishes to allow parishioners to attend a church closer to their homes. Christenings and some burials were conducted in the chapelry although it was the custom for marriages to be performed in the parish church.

David was convicted of larceny in 1820 at the Chester quarter sessions where he was sentenced to 7 years transportation.(5) Shortly after sentencing David was one of twelve prisoners transferred to the Justitia hulk anchored at Woolwich to await his fate.(6)

Hulks were often unseaworthy ships and many were ex naval vessels which were converted into floating prisons. The hulks were moored in rivers and estuaries around England. Prisoners were sent out to work in nearby dockyards or on the banks of the river Thames. The convict chain gangs removed gravel and soil from the shores of the river to improve navigation. This was hard backbreaking work. The rations provided were quite often inadequate and disease was a continual problem with so many men living in unsanitary crowded conditions.
Not all prisoners were transported. The men deemed unsuitable for transportation because of health or infirmity often served out their sentence on the hulks.

David was among 150 male convicts sent to the convict transport Shipley which departed Portsmouth on the 14 May 1820, travelling via the Cape arriving in New South Wales 4 months later. (7)  In the early days fewer vessels went direct to Van Diemen’s Land, and after arriving in Port Jackson David was one of 190 convicts transferred to the Guildford for the short 4 week voyage to Hobart Town.(8) (9)

Built at Whitby in 1805 the Shipley was a second class vessel with two decks and weighed 381 tons. The vessel under the command of Lewis William Moncrief proved reliable, making four trips transporting convicts to New South Wales.

Surgeon superintendents were appointed to ensure the convict’s arrived in good health and maintain ship hygiene during the voyage. From the time of embarkation the surgeon, Henry Ryan recorded the prisoners’ condition and any treatment he provided during the voyage in a journal. Four deaths were reported during the voyage including that of Joseph Ellis a convict boy who died from severe abdominal pain and nausea. On the morning of the 7 July David Barber came down with an acute pain in his right side. Ryan described Barber “of a weak and delicate constitution.” He remained under the medical officer’s care until he was discharged on 23 July. (10)

David was 33 years of age at the time of his conviction, his occupation was recorded as a labourer or gardener. To aid the convict department to identify convicts his personal description was provided. David was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, with greying brown hair, hazel eyes and a pale fair complexion with a few scars on his left hand.

David was reported in 1822 for neglect of duty & being repeatedly absent from his master Jas. Gordon’s premises at night. (11)  He was immediately returned to the public works office and sentenced to receive 25 lashes. In 1823 he was sent to Jericho where he was assigned to a road party. His duties involved hard back breaking manual labour in the construction of the roads and bridges.(12) Having learnt from his previous transgressions and resulting from his improved behaviour in 1824 David was appointed overseer of a road party at an annual salary of £10. David continued working as an overseer and his salary was increased to £13 a year.(13)
The early days of the colony were a continuous struggle where suspicion and malicious accusations were widespread. David was charged by Ann Geary in 1828 with having stolen cattle in his possession. The case was dismissed.(14)

David rented a small farm on Constitution Hill near Green Ponds. A feud between David and his neighbour Thomas Welsh, saw them before the courts on several occasions.  Charged by Thomas Welsh in 1830 with a forcible entry & detainer on the 21 September was dismissed. A charge in 1831 of having on the 4th day of March willfully and maliciously pulled down and destroyed a fence the property of Mary Connor or Welsh at Constitutional Hill was dismissed.

David was charged in 1837 with receiving a Cloak valued at five pounds and one pair of trousers valued at 10/s the property of Nathaniel Simpson Quick knowing them to be stolen. (15) He was committed for trial on Friday 22nd September 1837, however at the time the court house was undergoing repairs and the case was heard at the Macquarie Hotel before Justice Montagu. David was acquitted of stealing the clothing and was released. (16)

The inhabitants felt uneasy with the threat of bushrangers (escaped convicts) raiding homes for food and supplies and skirmishes with the natives.

BOTHWELL, Sept.5 - Last week the natives surprised one of Captain Wood's servants, at a stock hut on the Jordan, beat him and speared him and left him for dead, but he is likely to recover. The day before yesterday they attacked Mr. Allardice’s shepherd within 300 yards of his house, and speared him twice in the loins, but he escaped with life by plunging into the Clyde. Parties of military and constables have been dispatched in various directions by Lieut. Williams, but up to this hour no tidings have been received of these black wretches being overtaken. They seem to have Jack the Giant's invisible coat, and also his seven league boots.
The 7 prisoners who absconded last week from New Norfolk robbed a hut belonging to Mr. David Barber in Huntingdon parish, of a gun and some provisions and on Friday night they robbed Mr. Hooper's hut in Springhill parish, carrying off their booty in a westerly direction among the hills. Jorgenson with his party was close upon their traces, and we presume they are already apprehended. Nothing indeed in the present organised state of the colony can evince in a stronger degree the stolidity or rather madness consequent on depraved or wicked habits than the absconding of prisoners, or taking to the bush as it is called. There is scarcely a chance for them to be at large even a few days. It is like rushing headlong of their own accord into punishment and wretchedness.  

The Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 12 September 1829, p. 2

Some of the Blacks have occasionally made their appearance during the week, in various parts of the Oatlands district, but without having committed any outrage that has come to our knowledge. Some suppose them to be a portion of the half domesticated ones, under Mr. G. A. Robinson's care.
The above little paragraph was written on Monday, in consequence of the information received by that post. We yesterday received a mass of intelligence giving the particulars of the appearance of several small tribes in various parts of the Oatlands district on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fortunately, from the exemplary caution of the inhabitants, and the truly praiseworthy vigilance of the police in that part of the country, no fatal outrage had been committed, and from the immediate presence of Mr. Robinson with the friendly blacks, we most earnestly hope that a reconciliatory meeting may be effected, and that the murderous tribes may be captured and placed in a state of safety to themselves and security to the white population.
On Sunday they were distinctly observed by the progress of their fires to be making their way from the lakes towards the east. They were ascertained to be in 2 or 3 parties, one crossing by Curryjong bottom to Malony's sugar loaf where they attacked Mr. Bunster's stock hut, but fortunately with little damage. A second mob crossed Albany vale, and went by Gulliver's lagoon straight towards Fonthill and Bothertom's marsh. While a third crossed the road near St. Peter's Pass on Tuesday and proceeded to Michael Howe's marsh. At Uncle Hill, close to the marsh, they must have seen some splitters for there they suddenly turned to the right and made very rapidly for the Old Man's Head, which is in a direct line for lakes Crescent and Sorell. A small party of 5 or 6 were seen by Mr. Jones, the lime burner, at Brady's Sugar Loaf, near the Sideling Hill, on Monday. They went towards the square and the Denhill at the back of Mr. Brodribb's.
On Wednesday afternoon, John Collett, the post office messenger, was attacked by 5 blacks on Major Bell's road, near Albany vale, which is now rather an unfrequented road. A spear was thrown at him which passed through his jacket and shirt and wounded his right arm. They pursued him about 300 yards, when he escaped to Mr. Salmon's. On Thursday they crossed Constitution Hill in sight of Mr. McMahon's house, and were tracked to David Barber's, at the 26 mile stone.

The Hobart Town Courier, Launceston Advertiser, 16 Nov 1831, p. 358 (17)

Many of the early settlers struggled to make a living from the land, this led to David being confined to Hobart gaol in February 1835 for failing to pay his debts. He petitioned the court for assistance and stated he had no available effects or property sufficient to maintain himself whilst in prison and appealed for a weekly allowance. He was soon released and back on his property.
The census of 1842 describes David as the head of the household living in a wooden hut at Green Ponds, owned by Thomas Learmonth. The household consisted of 11 people including 5 children all born in the colony of which there were 3 single males (2 under 21 and 1 under 14) and 2 single females (1 under 14 and 1 under 7). Unfortunately it was not customary to record their names. None of the adults living with David arrived free and were recorded under the category of ‘other free persons’ (emancipated convicts) 1 married male, 1 single male and 2 married females. The household included Mary Faulkner an emancipated convict and 2 female children, Mary Ann and Hannah Barber.

David was making steady progress clearing his land and growing crops. A number of settlers provided goods and services to the government. David earned addition funds supplying the government with timber and shingles.(18)   The following advertisement appeared in the local newspaper in 1843.

TO BE LET, a FARM of 50 Acres of land,
on which there is a convenient dwelling-house, with barn and outhouses, and good garden; the land is fenced and subdivided into paddocks, of which the greater portion is in cultivation. The whole area in excellent repair, and are now in the occupation of Mr. D. Barber, whose lease of the premises expires on the 25th instant. For terms apply to the proprietor, Mr. Learmonth at Green Ponds. 

The Courier, Friday, 24 March 1843, p. 1

It is unclear why Mr. Learmonth sought new tenants for his property. David may have given up the property due to his failing health as he died later that year from dropsy on the 18 December 1843, aged 56 years.(19) His remains were interred in the Anglican churchyard in Sorell.  News of David’s death eventually reached Alice in Cheshire England. David had not left a will and his widow Alice submitted an oath to the court on the 15 Nov 1845 stating David Barber formerly of Altrincham, died in December 1843 in Van Diemen’s Land and his estate was valued at less than £50.(20)


David Barber baptised at Carrington Chapel on the 9 August 1786
David Barber married Alice Warburton on the 31 December 1810
Elfrida Barber was baptized in 1818
Baptisms, Bishop's transcripts Bowdon Cheshire, LDS film 1655420
David Barber Convicted of Larceny on the 11 January 1820
AJCP M845 Cheshire Record Office
Shipley Convict Transport arrived in New South Wales on the 26 September 1820
Guildford arrived Hobart town on the 28 October 1820
TAHO, CON 13/2 Indent Shipley
Medical Journal, Shipley, Henry Ryan, 1820, Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857.
The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Reference Number: ADM 101/67/3B
David was reported for neglect of duty & being repeatedly absent on 11 May 1822
TAHO, CON 31/1 p. 79
TAHO, CSO 50/1, p. 230-31 (1824)
David was charged by Ann Geary with having stolen cattle in his possession on the 2nd of January 1828
David was charged on 24 July 1837 with receiving stolen goods
Colonial Times, Tuesday, 26 September 1837
From The Hobart Town Courier (1831, November 16). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), p. 358.
Retrieved July 17, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84773383
Commissariat Office. (1842, January 15). The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880), p. 1.
Retrieved July 17, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66015667
Death certificate, David Barber, 18 Dec 1843, Hobart, reg.no.27/1844 RGD35
Findmypast, Admon, David Barber, Cheshire, Nov 1845.
# Convict Hulks, accessed 1 Oct 2019, https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/Convict_Hulks


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