George Young 1828-1892 Convict No. 390

George Young was the eldest of six sons born to Aaron and Elizabeth (nee Cox) Young on the 22nd April 1828 in Somerset, England. He was baptized along with three of his younger brothers on the 8th November 1835 in Mells, Somerset.1

The 1841 Census had 14 year old George living in Frome, Somerset with his weaver father, mother and four of his brothers.2 In 1844, a year after his youngest brother was born, his father died, leaving his mother with 6 sons to support. This could be the reason why George stole a sovereign in 1846. He was caught and given a six month sentence.3

So when 19 year old George was caught stealing 2 pairs of boots and 2 pairs of shoes from his shoemaker master Jessy Cooper, he was tried as an old offender and sentenced at Taunton Quarter Sessions on 15th July 1847 to 10 years transportation.4 His employer described the reason for his stealing as associating with the wrong crowd.

George was initially imprisoned on the prison hulk Warrior in Woolwich.


The Criminal Prisons of London, and Scenes of Prison Life, Volume 3 of The Great Metropolis, Griffin, Bohn, and Company, 1862, p. 256. By Mayhew, Henry and Binny John.  (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10257312

In 1851 he was transferred to the convict ship Pyrenees, which left Torbay on 30th March and arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia on 28th June with 96 passengers, all pensioner guards and their families and 294 convicts. George Young’s convict number was 390.5

George was described as 23 years old, light brown hair 5’4 3/4 tall, blue eyes, oval face, pale complexion, mole on back of neck, a shoemaker, single with no children. His religion was Church of England.6

Within a month of his arrival in Fremantle, George was given his Ticket of Leave, enabling him to obtain work as a boot and shoemaker outside the prison confines.7 On 30th September 1853, he was granted a conditional pardon.8

Family stories suggest that on 14th July 1855, George Young eloped with Jessie Sherwood, the 19 year old daughter of immigrants Frederick and Jessie Sherwood. Jessie lied about her age, stating she was 21 when she married. She otherwise would have needed permission from her parents to marry.

Frederick Sherwood had inherited a successful building firm from his father Richard in 1831 in London and immigrated to Western Australia with his family 1843.9 In 1847 he founded the Perth Classical School. In 1857 he founded the Swan Brewery. He also worked for 40 years in the Ordnance Dept.10

Tragically, a week after George and Jessie had wed, Jessie’s mother died after a vehicle she was riding in overturned on the Fremantle Road. It is thought that the newlyweds returned to the family home and young Jessie took over the roll of housekeeper for her father and younger siblings.11

According to a book titled “The Sherwood Papers” 12 written by a descendant, Margaret Love (nee Sherwood), George became a successful boot and shoemaker, with his business in Barrack St. between Hay and Murray St. in Perth. When his father in law died in 1874, George was listed as one of his creditors, the estate owing him nearly £20, which in those days was a considerable amount.

George and Jessie had 3 children, Charles 1856-1886 (died of TB in Geraldton), Clara 1860-1934 (married Joseph Victor Ulrich), and Dora 1868-1944 (married Reuben Lewis). Jessie’s sister Annie was brought up with the couple’s children as she was only 3 years old when their mother died.

Also from the book “The Sherwood Papers”, descendants describe George and Jessie’s house on the corner of Barrack and Murray St. as having a beautiful flower garden and a grape vine on a trellis. George was known to have made beautiful shoes for his children and grandchildren.

George wrote his will just 2 months before he died, appointing Jessie as the sole executrix and leaving everything to her13. He died on 22nd November 1892 aged 65 and was buried at East Perth Cemeteries. Jessie died 3 years later in 1895. ©Maggie Speak 2019

I have volunteered to write this biography for East Perth Cemeteries https://www.eastperthcemeteries.com.au


End Notes

1. Somerset Heritage Service; Taunton, Somerset, England; Anglican Parish Registers; Ref No: D\P\mls/2/1/9; Accessed https://ancestry.com.au

2. The National Archives UK (TNAUK)1841 England Census; Class: HO107; Piece: 942; Book: 7; Civil Parish: Frome Selwood; County: Somerset; Enumeration District: 3; Folio: 39; Page: 8; Line: 15; GSU roll: 474597; Accessed https://ancestry.com.au

3. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser; 1 April 1846; Page 5, Column 3          Accessed https://findmypast.com.au

4. Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 15 July 1847; Page 4, Column 6                          Accessed https://findmypast.com.au

5. Convict Records. State Records Office of Western Australia (SROWA); Convict Department Registers; Ref No. ACC 1156/R21B; Accessed https://ancestry.com.au

6. Convict Records. State Records Office of Western Australia (SROWA); Convict Department; Reel No: FCN42; Ref No: ACC 128/40-43 Accessed https://ancestry.com.au

7. Inquirer (Perth, WA) Wed 23 July, Page 2 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/65739116?searchTerm=%22George%20Young%22searchLimits=lstate=Western+Australia%7C%7C%7Csortby=dateAsc

8. State Records Office of Western Australia (SROWA); Convict Department Registers; Ref No.ACC 1156/R21B; Accessed https://ancestry.com.au

9 and 10. Arrived in Fremantle on the Lady Grey in 1843. Battye Library, MN 1217, Rica Erickson collection of Western Australian biographical index, ACC 3710A-3736A, 3754A-3769A, 3780A-3795A, 5143A, 7538A.

11 and 12. Love, Margaret Jane. 1996,  The Sherwood papers ; a Swan River story;  Sydney; ISBN; 0646297317

13. State Records Office of Western Australia (SROWA); AU WA S34 cons 3403 1892/1146


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