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Drawn Into a Snare

John Sawford (1804–1857)

Son of Uriah and Martha, John Sawford of Islip Northamptonshire was sentenced to 14 years transportation for poaching. The ploughman was twenty-five years old, and married with two children.
He arrived on the convict transport Mary III in 1830. During his time under sentence he was once given a warning for ‘insolence’, and another occasion was suspected of receiving stolen property, a hand vice, but the charge was dismissed.
Once a free man, in 1843 he settled in the Oatlands area. At 5 feet 9¼ inches (176cm) John was tall and strong. He worked hard on the land, and saved enough to buy four properties.
In 1855 the tables were turned when three felons stole calico fabric belonging to John. The two men involved each got ten years’ transportation, and the woman received seven.

For centuries in Britain and Ireland, the right to hunt was limited to landowners and the nobility.  But rural poverty was so widespread, many turned to ‘poaching’ for food, simply to survive.
For centuries in Britain and Ireland, the right to hunt was limited to landowners and the nobility. But rural poverty was so widespread, many turned to ‘poaching’ for food, simply to survive.

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