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The Wildest Dreams of Samuel Phillips

Samuel Phillips (1804-1886)

Samuel Phillips, ploughman, had priors for poaching rabbits, and had served prison time twice. Third time round, in 1829, he was sentenced to fourteen years’ transportation.
His record mentions trouble only twice - first, for being ‘absent after hours’ and an unreliable witness to a theft, and, second, for ‘disobeying orders’. By 1845 he was a free man.
For another seven years Samuel remained in Tasmania, working on farms. Then in 1852 he left for the Victorian goldfields. After 19 months there he sailed to Liverpool, England, arriving in February 1854. Six weeks later he married Sarah Patrick, mother of his grown-up daughter Ann, in Corby, Northamptonshire.
Samuel went home with money, presumably from the goldfields. He spent £1,000 on land, set up a farm, and built a stone cottage there. But he was never able to read or write.

Samuel returned to England on the steamship, SS Great Britain.  Typically she carried 600 passengers, a crew of 145, a cow, 36 sheep, 140 pigs, 96 goats and a total of 1114 chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, and the journey took 64 days.
Samuel returned to England on the steamship, SS Great Britain. Typically she carried 600 passengers, a crew of 145, a cow, 36 sheep, 140 pigs, 96 goats and a total of 1114 chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, and the journey took 64 days.

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