is born in Needingworth, Huntingdonshire,
the son of Joseph and Mary Mansfield, and
baptised in Holywell church on the 11th June.
1831: Abraham was a witness to
the marriage of John Mansfield (presumably his
brother) to Mary Circus at Holywell church on 5th
1832: Abraham was a witness to
the marriage of James Mansfield (presumably
another brother) to Ann See at Holywell church on
1833: Abraham married Kezia
Clarke at St John the Baptist, Holywell,
Huntingdonshire on 18th December. The witnesses
were Robert Hepher and Elizabeth Colson.
1835: Abraham's son Samuel was
born in Holywell-cum-Needingworth.
1837: Abraham's son Abram was
born in Holywell-cum-Needingworth.
1839: On the 24th November,
Abraham's eldest daughter Eliza, my
great-great-grandmother, was born in
1839: On the 29th July, Abraham
Mansfield was charged at St Ives petty sessions
with an assault on John Harradine of
Needingworth. he was fined 6d with 6s costs, in
default to be committed, which is to say that he
was gaoled given his inability to pay.
Abraham was 25 years
old at the time of the 1841
census. His name was recorded as
Abram. The Mansfields are living
at Fen Lane,
Abraham is shown as
an agricultural labourer. His
wife Kesiah is also 25.
There were three
children in the household, Joseph
6, Abram 4 and Eliza, 1.
All the household
are shown as being born in Huntingdonshire.
The transcript for their entry is
1841: On the 28th June, Abraham appeared before Huntingdon Assizes on a charge of larceny. He was
recorded as being 26 years old, and imperfectly
educated. He was sentenced to seven years
The Cambridge Independent
Press of Saturday 3rd July 1841 reported that Abraham
Mansfield (26) was charged on the oath of James
Walton (sic), of Bluntisham, with having
stolen two blankets, his property. Mr Byles
opened the case, and called James Wratton, the
prosecutor, who stated that himself and wife left
home on Sunday, to dine with their father; when
they returned home they found a pane of glass
broken, and missed a pair of blankets and several
other articles. Thomas Smith, constable, of
Needingworth, searched the prisoner's house on
the 8th of June, and found two blankets, which he
produced, which were identified by Mrs Wratton by
the way in which they were cut, and some other
marks. Mr Gunning defended the prisoner, and
contended there was no case made out against him.
Guilty: 7 years transportation.
On the 25th August, Abraham
was received into the custody of HMS Warrior, a
prison ship moored in the Thames Estuary, as
recorded in the Prison Hulk
Registers. He was
prisoner 1206, and the registers record that he
was 'received from the gaol at Worcester'. He was
26 years old, and his offence is noted as
'stealing from a dwelling house'. The register
notes that he has a wife and three children,
could neither read nor write, and was a labourer.
In the gaoler's notes, it is recorded that
Abraham had been 'convicted and imprisoned five
times for various offences, & character
Independent Press of Saturday 28th August 1841
reported the Removal of a Convict - on
Tuesday the 24th inst, Abraham Mansfield,
convicted at the last Quarter Sessions of
stealing in a dewelling house at Bluntisham, was
removed on board the Warrior hulk at
Woolwich, to be transported for seven years. The
prisoner is a fine, stout, good-looking young
man, and has not the least appearance of being a
bad character; he has been convicted no less than
six times of various offences.
final column in the Prison Hulk Registers, 'how
disposed of', records that Abraham was
transported to Van Diemen's Land (the modern
Tasmania) aboard HMS Triton on 26 July 1842.
Tasmanian State Archives record that the ship
arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 19th December
1842, at the height of the Australian summer. His
on arrival gives a
remarkably detailed picture of him. He was a
protestant, and 'can read'. He was five feet
eight and a quarter inches tall, and had dark
brown hair. His complexion was described as dark.
His trade was given as a ploughman. The record
gives a more optimistic opinion of his character,
noting that his behaviour on the hulks had been
'good' and that his conduct on the journey had
been 'good'. The entry records the specifics of
his offence, that he had stolen blankets from one
James Rattan, and that he had broken windows,
that he had 'left my work', and had also been
found guilty of drunkenness and robbing a garden.
The indentures also record his wife's name as
Keziah and the names of his parents Joseph and
Mary, and his siblings as James, John, Isaac,
William, Mary, Susan and Rebecca. The registers
record Abraham's movements and activities through
1843 and 1844, including punishments for minor
offences including 'being out after hours'.
the 7th January, the Launceston Examiner
published in Launceston, Tasmania, recorded that Abraham Mansfield was one of
those granted the status of third-class
probabation holder. This meant that he could be
employed by private citizens.
On the 27th October, Abraham received a Ticket of
Leave. This effectively gave him complete freedom
from his sentence, except that he was not allowed
to leave Tasmania, and he could be rearrested and
forced to serve the rest of his sentence if he
committed a further offence.
the 28th June, Abraham Mansfield's original
sentence of seven years transportation was
completed. On the 16th September, the Cornwall
Chronicle, published in Launceston, Tasmania, recorded that Abraham Mansfield, who had
arrived on the Triton, was one of those who had
been granted their Certificate of Freedom.