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Three Months on the Town

Edward Burris (1805-1866)

Edward Burris, blacksmith, was charged with Grand Larceny. He’d stolen a watch from a ‘dwelling house’, and had priors for ‘out after hours’. He was transported on the Competitor, arriving in 1823 after 138 days at sea with 159 other male convicts. The tattoos on his right arm were a ‘woman JR JB [and] heart’. On his left, a ‘man woman [and] EBJ’. He was eighteen years old.
Edward’s convict record is clean for the first half of his time under sentence. Then he was back before the courts for disobedience, insolence and assault, receiving time on a chain gang, and the ‘tread wheel’.
Seven years later and free, Edward headed up the Derwent Valley, working as a blacksmith, and becoming a hotel licensee. With his second wife Frances he settled at Ouse to raise a family.

Convicts with a trade such as carpentry or joinery, blacksmithing, bootmaking, even nail-making were decidedly advantaged.  Possessing a trade helped to keep a convict away from gang work and usefully employed in the service of the Colony.
Convicts with a trade such as carpentry or joinery, blacksmithing, bootmaking, even nail-making were decidedly advantaged. Possessing a trade helped to keep a convict away from gang work and usefully employed in the service of the Colony.

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