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«WILLIAM NINESS (The Younger) One of 160 Convicts Transported on “Vittoria” 1828 Sentenced to Life at Cornwall Assizes Transported to New South ...»

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One of 160 Convicts Transported on “Vittoria” 1828

Sentenced to Life at Cornwall Assizes

Transported to New South Wales


ALSO KNOWN AS: William Ninness, William Niness

AGE: 19

BORN; 1806, Penryn-Cornwall; son of William Ninness and Grace Dillon Jenkins

DIED: 21 March 1882, Lambton-NSW (online family history, see below)

TRIED: 25 March 1828, Launceston Assizes, Cornwall

SENTENCE: Life (Online family history : He would have hanged for the offence but was given lenience for saving a mans life.) CRIME: Stealing from a church


HULK REGISTER: No 519 - William Ninnis, aged 19, convicted 25 March 1828 at Launceston for Sacrilege and sentenced to Transportation for Life, received onboard prison hulk “Captivity” moored at Woolwich and Devonport, sent to NSW SHIP: Vittoria – departed Devonport 1 September 1828, arrived Sydney 17 January 1829, a voyage of 138 days, carrying 160 male convicts (151 landed). Master John Smith, Surgeon James Dickson SURGEON’S GENERAL COMMENTS: (Folios: 39-40) - The Vittoria completed her complement at two depots, Woolwich and Devonport, 160 in number. The ship left Devonport for Port Jackson, New South Wales, on 1 September 1828, touching at Teneriffe to complete water, sailing from the latter port on 24 September 1828 during which time little or no sickness occurred. Immediately afterwards pyrexia began to show itself. I remarked the happy effects produced by extracting blood in very large quantities. On an early application I have used the lancet to a great extent, even more than what the symptoms present would seem to indicate, with a speedy return to health. One case in particular the patient lost 36 ounces at one bleeding without producing syncope. Along with venesection, cooling saline purgatives, and in those cases where great determination to the head manifested itself cold affusion to the parts affected in almost every case was attended with the happiest results. The next concomitant of fever, dysentery was not behind in showing itself which for the most part yielded to calomel [jpecac?] Rhubarb and opiates and those convicts who had been previously diseases were generally the subjects who were first attacked.

This may be accounted for in some measure by their change of life, diet, climate and c. About the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope when the weather began to cool, symptoms of scorbutus exhibited themselves notwithstanding every attention paid to the soaking of provisions, exercise, clothing, ventilation, cleanliness towards the termination of the voyage. This dreadful malady had increased to an alarming extent ( which the annexed nosological arrangement shows) and from the long passage all our medical comforts, lemon juice and c were exhausted. Immediately upon the arrival of the ship at Port Jackson, all the sick were sent on shore to the hospital. I was afterwards informed that the whole recovered.



FAMILY (found on IGI) – Marital status: Single Father: William Ninness (a brazier) Mother: Grace Dillon Jenkins


Grace Dillon Jenking married William Minness, 5 May 1805, St Gluvias, Cornwall (IGI) Grace Dillon Jenking married William Ninness, 5 May 1805, St Gluvias, Cornwall (OPC) Children – William Ninnis, baptised 23 May 1806, St Gluvias (CO22371) Mary Ninnis, baptised 4 March 1808, St Gluvias (CO22371) Jane Ninness, baptised 14 October 1810, St Gluvias (CO22371) Jemima Ninness, baptised 13 June 1813, St Gluvias (CO22373) Susan Niness, b.25 May 1815, bapt 8 Sept 1836, Wesleyan, Penryn (CO65271) Jane Dillon Ninnis, b.15 Dec 1819, bapt 19 Feb 1821 Wesleyan, Penryn (CO65271) Grace Dillon Ninnis, b.27 March 1823 bapt 21 April 1823 Wesleyan, Penryn (CO65271) DESCRIPTION – Trade: Brazier Native Place: Penryn, Cornwall



Ticket of Leave:

14 May 1839

Conditional Pardon:

1847 – Advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald dated 17 February 1847


10 February 1862 – MAITLAND QUARTER SESSIONS – Wednesday, 5th February, Before W.A. Purefoy, Esq, Chairman – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH – William Niness and Joseph Hollinsbed were brought up for sentence – the former convicted on Tuesday for stealing a calf at the Paterson, and the latter for stealing a heifer at the Wollombi. His Honor sentenced Niness to one years’ imprisonment, and Hollinsbed to eighteen months’ imprisonment – both in Darlinghurst gaol.

12 November 1862 - One of 25 prisoners who received a remission of sentence on the occasion of the Prince of Wales' reaching his Majority. Released from the prison on Monday 10th November 1862


First Marriages– 27 April 1840 - Marriage of William Ninness and Jane Bloodworth, at Houghton-Paterson Children of William and Jane Ninness May 1841 – Sarah Jane Ninness, baptised Houghton-Paterson 17 August 1842 – William Ninness (born 23 June 1842), baptised Houghton-Paterson; married Ann Towns on 19 July 1864 at Paterson-Durham NSW 30 January 1844 – Grace Dillon Ninness (born 20 October 1843), baptised Houghton-Paterson 1 November 1845 – Mary Grace Dillon Ninness, baptised Houghton-Paterson 1845 – George D. Ninness, died, infant (NSW BDM) 26 August 1849 – John Dillon Ninness (born 30 April 1849), baptised Scottish Episcopalian Church, HoughtonPaterson; John Ninnis, son of William H. and Jane N, died 1884, Adelong (13628/1884) 30 March 1853 – Thomas Dillon Ninness (born 30 March1853), privately baptised Houghton-Paterson 31 July 1853 – Thomas Dillon Ninness, baptised Houghton-Paterson; died 1875 (NSW BDM) 26 November 1854 – Hannah Ninness, born Houghton-Paterson; died 1854, infant (NSW BDM) 26 November 1854 – Joseph Ninness, born Houghton-Paterson; died 1854, infant (NSW BDM) 1886 – Edward T. Ninnis, son of William H, and Jane N, died Adelong (14010/1886) (Marriage and Baptisms found on Free Settler website) NSW BDMs – 1857 - Jane Ninniss, daughter of William and Sarah, died at Paterson (4033/1857) Second Marriage – 5 January 1874 – William Ninness, aged 69 years and the father of 10 children, married Charlotte Curtayne, aged 26 years, in Paterson. She was born at Houghton on 13 June 1848, the daughter of James Curtayne and Mary Ann Kennewell William and Charlotte Ninness had 7 children – Catherine (1866), Jane (1868), Ann, Richard (1872), Thomas (1874), Charles (1877), and Mary Ann (1879). (Catherine and Jane appear to have been born from a previous relationnship, and Ann and Richard were born prior to their parents’ marriage but their father was shown as William Ninness.) William snr died 21 March 1882 at Lambton, and Charlotte remarried William Charles Purcell on 21 January 1883 at St Barnabas in Booral, and had four more children.

(Note: This online family history shows that William Ninness was born 1806 in Penryn-Cornwall to William Ninness and Grace Dillon Jenkins, but from the above information it appears she has skipped a generation and shown the father as the grandfather NSW BDMs – 1882 - William Ninnis, son of William and Grace, died Lambton (11313/1882) http://www.huntervalleygenealogy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=429&start=0 http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GENANZ/2002-04/1018658354\ http://genforum.genealogy.com/ninness/messages/33.html


1847 – William Ninness of Paterson, Requesting a Public meeting to adopt a petition to the Legislative Council against the breaking up of the Paterson Police District, on 11 September 1857 – Loss of mare, ₤1 reward, advertised in The Maitland Mercury dated 26 February 1857 1861 – William Ninness (no 3382), committed 18 November 1861 for horse-stealing at Dungog and committed for trial at Maitland (NSW State Archives, Deposition Register) 1867 – William Ninness, appears in Bailliere’s Official Postal Directory for 1867 as a Farmer, living at “Sherwood”, Eccleston, co. Durham, Police District of Paterson - Requesting a Public meeting to adopt a petition to the Legislative Council against the breaking up of the Paterson Police District 1868 – 23 April, Fined 40s for trespassing and driving off the cattle belonging to Joseph Smith, see article in The Maitland Mercury dated 23 April 1865 1875 – Near the Sherwood Estate, Eccleston, Paterson district - Lost the entire crop and all fencing swept away in a recent flood on 16 March 1881 – Charge of drunkenness on 19 May 1881 in The Maitland Mercury (father or son?)


ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE, 29 MARCH 1828 – CORNWALL LENT ASSIZE – The Judges, Sir Stephen Gaselee and Sir Joseph Littledale, arrived at Launceston from Exeter on Tuesday the 25th instant, about five o’clock in the afternoon, and immediately opened the commission. On Wednesday morning, the Judges attended Divine Service, when an admirable sermon was preached by the Rev John Buller of Morval. The Courts were opened as 12 o’clock, Sir Joseph Littledale presiding at the Crown Bar, and Sir Stephen Gaselee as Nisi Prius. The Calendar contained the names of 26 prisoners for trial, and there were 15 out on bail.

(Note: The trial of William Niness was not reported in this edition; at foot of newspaper page : “Remainder of trials in our next”) ROYAL CORNWALL GAZETTE, 5 APRIL 1828 – CORNWALL LENT ASSIZE – CROWN BAR – Continued.

SACRILEGE – George Risden and William Ninnis were indicted for breaking into the parish church of St Gluvias, and vestry-room adjoining, and stealing the sacramental plate, several pounds from the poor’s box, and five bottles of wine.

John Tucker, the sexton, proved that on the 2d September, he put the plate into the chest in which it was usually kept in the vestry-room, and that on the 5th October he found the window of that room had been broken open, and the chest with all the plate carried off. On his return from giving information to the Clergyman and Churchwardens, he also discovered that the church had been entered by the window, as on the cushion of the seat under it there were feet marks made by the thieves. The evidence of this witness was corroborated by his wife.

Thomas Rogers, churchwarden, stated the amount of the sacramental money which he put into the chest in the vestry-room. The size of the panes of glass in the church window were 44 by 14 inches, quite large enough for a person to get through. Henry Rose, another churchwarden, saw the church window on the first of October, and was quite sure it was not then broke.

Joseph Joseph, a Jew, silversmith, at Redruth, deposed a person came to him on the 12th of October (the fair day), and offered some silver for sale. He detained the man and the silver, and gave him in charge of a constable. Constable produced the silver. Witness said it had been cut in pieces by a tinman’s shears.

Alexander Bray, an accomplice, has known the prisoners from a child; they are, with himself, all of Penryn.

Ninnis, who is a brazier and tinman, slept in the same bed with Risden for three months. On the 4th of October, witness worked at Wendron; on his return home met with Ninnis in the street, who asked him to go to Falmouth, and he went to an inn there with the prisoners, where they drank until eleven o’clock. They then returned home, but Risden and witness found they were locked out. They then went into Truro-lane, where Ninnis said he knew there was wine, if they would go with him. He said it was at the church, to which they all proceeded, got over the church-yard wall, and on reaching the vestry-room window Ninnis was looking about for a stone, when witness said “William, I have a knife,” and gave it to him, with which he opened the window, pushed back the shutter and went in, followed by witness. Ninnis found the keys of the box – did not see where he found them – and gave witness some wine, when they left the vestry, bringing the wine along with them.

They then broke in at the church window, and forcibly (Note: from the point in the article, the right-hand side of the page is very faint and a number of words are missing) opening the poor’s box found a shilling and some p__ which they divided amongst them. On leaving the church they went to Elm field and drank some of the wine.

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