Transported Convicts, 1617 to 1669

24 March 1617

An open Warrant. Whereas it hath pleased his Majesty out of his singular Clemency and mercy to take into his princely Consideration the wretched estate of diverse of his Subjects who by the Laws of the Realm are adjudged to die for the sundry offences though heinous in themselves, yet not of the highest nature, so as his Majesty both out of his gracious Clemency, as also for diverse weighty Considerations Could wish they might be rather Corrected than destroyed, and that in their punishments some of them might live, and yield a profitable Service to the Common wealth in parts abroad, where it shall be found fit to employe them. For which purpose his Majesty having directed his Commission under the great Seal of England, to us and the rest of his privy Council, giving full power Warrant and Authority to us or any Six or more of us whereof the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Lord Treasurer, Lord Privy Seal, and one principal Secretary to be two, to Reprive and stay from execution such persons as now stand Convicted of any Robbery or felony (willfull murther, Rape, witchcraft, or Burglary only excepted) who for strength of body or other abilities shall be thought fit to be employed in foreign discoveries or other Services beyond the Seas, as shall be Certified unto us in writing by any one or more of the Judges, or Sergeants at Law before whom such felonies have been tried, or in their absence, then by two such principal Commissioners, before whom such felons have been Convicted, and the said parties so reprived and certified as aforesaid, to appoint, bestow, and Commit to serve in such Discoveries or other foreign employments, as we or any Six or more of us shall assign, or appoint, and the time to be prefixed by us or any such Six of us as aforesaid, how long the said Offenders or any of them shall remain in such Employments. Willing and Commanding by virtue of the said Commission all his Majesty’s Judges, Justices, Sheriffs, Gaolers, and all other his Majesty’s officers and loving Subjects to whom it shall appertain to be aiding and assisting to the Due performance of the premises with this special proviso, that if any of the said Offenders shall refuse to go, or yielding to go, shall afterwards come back, and return from those places where they are, or shall be sent or employed, before the time limited by us his majesty’s Commissioners be fully expired, that then the said Reprivall shall no longer stand nor be of any force, but the said Offender or Offenders shall be thence forth be subject to the execution of Law, the the offence whereof he was first convicted as if nothing had been done by virtue of this Commission. Theese are therefore to signify unto all his Majesty’s Officers and other persons whom it may Concern, that having received a Certificate from Sir Henry Finche knight, one of his Majesty’s Sergeants at Law, and Sir William Lovelace knight one of the Justices of peace in the County of Kent, that John Browne now prisoner in his Majesty’s Castle of Canterbury, being a person of able body, and fit to be employed in the parts beyond the Seas, hath had his Trial before them, and stands convicted of felony (but not for any Murther, Rape, Burglary or Witchcraft) We do by virtue of his majesty’s said Commission Reprive the said John Browne from execution of law, and do appoint him to be delivered unto Sir Thomas Smith knight Governor of the East Indie Company or his Assignees, to be Conveyed into the East Indies or other parts beyond the Seas where he shall direct, with all convenient speed, and not to return again upon the pain before specified, without Warrant first obtained under the hands of Six of us of his Majesty’s Privy Council. And do will and in in his Majesty’s name Command the high Sheriff of the County where the said John Browne doth remain, to deliver him accordingly to the said Sir Thomas Smith or those whome he shall appoint to receive him. For doing whereof this being according to his Majesty’s Commission, shall be to him a sufficient Warrant and discharge in that behalf.

13 July 1617

An open warrant for the Reprive of Christopher Potley, Roger Powell, Sapcott Molineux, Thomas Middleton, and Thomas Chrouchley, Prisoners in Oxford Gaole, and to deliver them unto Sir Thomas Smyth knight to be transported into Virginia or other partes beyound the Seas with provisoe that they retourne not againe into England according to the forme of a former Warrant entred at large the 24 March last.

24 August 1617
[A similar warrant for the transportation of] George Harrison out of Hartford Gaole condempned for stealing of a Horse.

20 March 1618
[A warrant for the transportation to Virginia of] William Lambe, prisoner in Newgate.

31 October 1618
Ann Russell to be transported to Virginia.

30 November 1618
An open warrant for James Stringer, prisoner in Newgate, to be sent over and disposed of by Sir. Thomas Smyth into Virginia and other foreign parts.

2 May 1622
[A warrant for the repreive of] Daniell Frank, William Beare and John Ireland now Prisoners in the White Lyon in Southwark, [and for their transportation to Virginia, not to return without warrant].

12 August 1622
[A warrant to the High Sheriff of Norfolk for the reprieve, and for the transportation to Virginia of] James Wharton convicted and condemned…for drawing of a purse.

20 November 1622
A warrant to the Sheriff of London concerning John Carter, who was convicted for the stealing of a horse. Carter having an able body to do his Majesty and his country, and it being doubtful upon the evidence whether the horse was stolen or not, he is to be handed over to Sir Edward Sackville for transportaion into Virginia or the Bermudas.

28 September 1628
A warrant for discharging of John Burley, John Gates, Francis Perin, Prudence Mathewes, Elizabeth Holland, and Damoris Adderton and to cause them to be delivered to Lewis Hughs Minister, to be sent into Virginia, by virtue of a Commission directed to the Lords and others of the Privy Council dated 20 September 1628.

18 January 1656
Peptition of Edward Penruddock and Geo. Duke, prisoners at Exeter, to the Council of State. To be transported to Virginia, where there are greater probabilities of enjoying better accommodation and supplies than at Barbadoes, whence they are ordered.
Warrant to release Edward Penruddock and George Duke, upon giving security to embark for Virginia within three months.

September 1662
Warrant for Richard Miller, prisoner in Newgate, pardoned upon condition of transportation, to be transported upon his own humble suit to Jamaica.

March 1664
Petition of Capt. John Gregory to the King. Has been long prisoner in the Tower, insomuch that his health is much impaired and his small estate exhausted; is not kindly treated by the King’s old friends on account of his employment in the late wars, and is not kindly owned by others because of his principles, which are for peace and quiet subjection; begs therefore that his Majesty will give order for transportation of him and Paul Hobson to Barbadoes and so to Jamaica; Hobson will give security not to return without his Majesty’s leave.

15 April 1664
Warrant to the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen, Justices, and Sheriffs of Exeter, and to the Keeper of the prison. Whereas Richard Tilley, baker of Exeter, a condemned prisoner in their custody, was always of honest conversation, and behaved as a good subject in his Majesty’s father’s service, and has petitioned to be banished out of this kingdom; his Majesty hereby requires them to send said Richard Tilley to Jamaica or any other his Majesty’s Foreign Plantations, there to remain banished.

Extract from a letter. There were yesterday four young men scourged by the hangman through Edinburgh, burnt behind the ear, and delivered up to be sent to Barbadoes, for abusing James Scott, minister at Ancram, in time of sermon.

Statement that Mary Wood and Capt. Provise, prisoners, who have had the King’s pardon, are yet in prison for mere want of money to discharge their fees. Pray for an order to discharge them, and hope her Majesty the Queen Mother will send them to her Maryland.

28 April 1665
Upon the Petition of Paul Hobson a prisoner in the Tower setting forth his weake and Infirme Condicon in restraint Not likely to live unless liberty bee given him of goeing abroad It is this day ordered his majesty present in Councell that the said Paul Hobson giving in bonds with good security of one thousnad pounds to the Clerke of the Councell conditioned That hee will goe on board such ship as his grace the Duke of Albermarle shall direct for the Province of Carolina in the West Indies and shall not thence returne without Licence of this Board first obtained The Lieutenant of the Tower bee and is hereby authorized and required to permitt him to goe on board such ship accordingly.

15 October 1666
Warrant to the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex to deliver Sir John Towers, Bart., sentenced to death for high treason for counterfeiting the Royal Seal and Sign Manual, but repreived, to John Thompson, commander of the Companion, to be by him transported into the Colonies on bond and security for his safe and secure transportation.
N.B. In a draft, Barbadoes is named as the place of transportation.

1 March 1667
Warrant to the High Sheriffs of London and Middlesex. To give order for delivery to John Pate or his deputy, to be put on board the ships bound for Virginia, or other his Majesty’s Plantations, the convicts now in Newgate, viz., Wm. Payne, Edward Evans, John Ward, Thomas Harwood, Robert Allen, Wm. Allen, Jonas Sonier, alias Somner, Dorothy Bywater, Nicholas Danse, John English, George Windrewe, Wm. Alexander, Matthew Cotten, Wm. Kellam, Isaac Oliver, John Coughtland, John Smith, Mathew Jones, John Sowell, John Rivers, and Nathaniel Hubberte.

April 1667
Petition of James Ward to the King. His wife was convicted at the Oxford quarter sessions of stealing goods value 3s. 4d.; prays for an order for stay of execution, and for her transportation to any of his Majesty’s Plantations.

21 January 1669
Petition of Margaret Griffith, prisoner in Newgate, convicted of felony, and desiring to be transported to Virginia, referred to the Lord Chief Justice or Mr. Recorder, who sat on her trial, to consider and report to his Majesty.

21 January 1669
Petition of John Ludlowe, convicted of felony to the value of 14 s. 6d., and desiring to be transported to some of his Majesty’s Plantations, referred to the Lord Chief Justice or Mr. Recorder, who sat on his trial, to consider and report to his Majesty.

29 January 1669
Warrant to the Sheriffs of London to discharge Margaret Gryffyth, convicted of felony at the old Bailey the 14th Oct. last, on her giving security for her transportation into Virginia, to live with her brother there.

19 February 1669
Warrant to the Sheriffs of London to discharge John Ludlow, convicted of felony, on giving security to transport himself to some of His Majesty’s Colonies or Foreign Plantations.

Acts of the Privy Council of England: Colonial Series, Vol. 1, AD 1613-1680 (Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint Ltd., 1966) First Published London: HMSO, 1908. pp. 10-13, 19, 21, 22, 40, 52, 55, 56, 131, 399; Sainsbury, W. Noel, ed., Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series (Volume 1), America and West Indies, 1574-1660, Preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty’s Public Record Office (Vaduz: Kraus Reprint Ltd., 1964) First Published London: HMSO, 1860. p. 435; Sainsbury, W. Noel, ed., Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series (Volume 5), America and West Indies, 1661-1668, Preserved in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office (Vaduz: Kraus Reprint Ltd., 1964) First Published London: HMSO, 1880. pp. 111, 196, 197, 351, 415, 451, 463; Sainsbury, W. Noel, ed., Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series (Volume 7), America and West Indies, 1669-1674, Preserved in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office (Vaduz: Kraus Reprint Ltd., 1964) First Published London: HMSO, 1889. pp. 6 & 7.

One Response to Transported Convicts, 1617 to 1669

  1. Judy Wardlow says:

    I am especially interested in prisoners that were reprieved from Newgate to Barbados in the mid-1600s and then from Barbados to Colonial America just a few years later.

    I would also be interested in learning where to research what crimes an individual might be convicted of that would send them to Newgate Gaol.

Leave a Reply