Richard Holland was born in England on 8 May 1783. He may have been born at Holborn in Middlesex but that is supposition at this point. A Richard Holland was baptised at St Andrews, Holborn, on 13 July 1783. If this is the right Richard Holland his parents were Cornelius and Elizabeth Holland and he had three brothers, Cornelius, Henry and Thomas, and a sister, Mary.
What we do know about Richard was that on 24 May 1806 he was arrested for stealing a promissory note valued at £10, a promissory note valued at £5, a yard of canvas valued at 1 shilling and 20 yards of woollen cloth valued at £10 from the back of a truck belonging to John Burr in Holborn.
Apparently John Royce was driving a cart loaded with goods to be delivered. He stopped at the White Hart and William Baker got off the cart to deliver a parcel. John Royce drove the cart to make another delivery at 10 Red Lion Street and discovered that the parcel was missing. Turning back he saw that Mr Speering had apprehended Richard. Mr Speering told the court that he had seen the cart pass his premises and that a man was following the cart and removed a parcel. Mr Speering took Richard to the watch-house and then called the constable.
At his trial at the Old Bailey 2 July 1806 Richard said nothing in his defence. He found guilty and was sentenced to seven years transportation.
Richard was 23 when he was arrested. At the trial Mr Speering said that Richard did not resist when he was apprehended and that he appeared to be in distress. He said that he had never done anything like that before. From the conversation we also learn that Richard had a wife and a new baby. One can only speculate why Richard might commit what appears to be a senseless crime - stealing an article from a cart in daylight when there is every likelihood of being caught. Perhaps he wanted a new start. Not knowing what employment he had and the conditions in which he lived it is not possible to tell. We do know that he had had some education as unlike many of the convicts he was able to sign his name.
On 2 January 1807 many of the convicts were transferred from Newgate Gaol to the hulk, Captivity, at Portsmouth. The chaplain who performed services aboard the hulks described how the convicts were treated while waiting to leave for Australia. Those who were healthy worked on the dock-yards during the day for which they received a dock allowance of one biscuit, a pint of small beer and a half-penny worth of tobacco a day. The convicts wore a uniform, each being issued with a jacket, waistcoat, breeches and handkerchief once a year plus stockings and coarse linen shirt four times a year. They had clean linen once a week and shaved twice a week. The provisions were considered adequate and although vegetables were scarce, on days when they had meat it was boiled with cabbage. The convicts were then transferred to the convict ship, Duke of Portland, which left England on 19 February 1807.
One hundred and ninety-two male convicts were transported on the Duke of Portland and three died during the five month voyage. The ship arrived at Port Jackson on 27 July 1807.
The next that we hear of Richard Holland was when he married Mary Roberts, the eldest daughter of William Roberts and Kezia Brown, at St Matthews Anglican Church, Windsor. As Richard was already married when he was arrested he had to wait seven years before he could marry again.
On 16 January 1816 Richard received a grant of land, probably in the Windsor area. In subsequent musters his residence is given as Windsor or Cornwallis which is near Windsor. His occupation is listed at different times as land holder, shop keeper, baker and butcher. The 1828 census of New South Wales lists Richard as a farmer at Cornwallis holding 30 acres of land which is cleared and cultivated plus 18 head of cattle. It would appear that he also had a shop in Windsor which at different times had been a bakery or a butchers shop.
Richard and Mary had nine children - William (1813-1897), Richard (1815-1881), John (1817-1897), Sarah (1820-1891), Thomas (1822-1824), Thomas (1825-1913), Henry (1828-1828), Henry Edward (1830-1906) and Ann Maria (1836-1905). Two of the boys, Thomas and Henry died as infants.
Mary Holland died in Windsor on 22 July 1863 aged 70. Richard Holland died on 10 May 1867 aged 84.
Richard Holland was my great (x3) grandfather.