Margaret Catchpole - horse thief

Discussion in 'Criminal Ancestors' started by LianeH, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    I'm still trying to confirm our family story of a convict (Margaret Catchpole - horse thief) but still can't find a connection, maybe it was wishful thinking:)
     
  2. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    I'm sure the sleuths here would love to have a go at that one :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Joanne

    Joanne Well-Known Member

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    Liane, what info do you have so far
     
  4. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    It's always been said she is a relation. I know she came from Nacton, near Ipswich but I can't find her in the parish registers for there or anywhere near there. My Catchpole side come from Kings Lynn in Norfolk, quite a distance from Nacton but there could still be a connection. I know she stole a horse from her employers, loads of info on the internet about it. It would be great to think she's a relation but I have my doubts. Still I have criminals on my Cornish side so I don't feel too cheated:D
     
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  5. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Her entry in the Australian Dictionary of National Biography suggests a possible baptism at Hoo on 14 March 1762:
    http://
    adb.anu.edu.au/biography/catchpole-margaret-1886

    The main contributor to this discussion seems certain that's the correct baptism and says she was born at Brandeston, illegitimate daughter of an Elizabeth Catchpole:
    http://
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Margaret_Catchpole
     
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  6. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Just so that this rather interesting query does not get lost amongst the posts in this thread, I have moved it - and the responses - to a thread of its own. :)
     
  7. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Morning all!
    Last night I came across an on-line book 'The History of Margaret Catchpole a Suffolk Girl' by Richard Cobbald.
    It is an historical novel based on supposed fact.
    He suggests that she was born in 1773, father Jonathon Catchpole, no mention of mother so far, who was a ploughman working on the Denton Estate near Seven Hills 'nearest to Orwell' near Nacton. Two families worked the land, the Catchpoles and the Cracknells.
    She was the second youngest child, her eldest sibling, Susan died at about 20 years and Margaret nursed her until she left to work at the home of Nathan Southgate.
    There is a brother mentioned by the name of Charles.
    So far that is where I am up to, but her lover 'Willie' has just shown up.......
    will read more later today.
    This book may shed some light on where to do some 'delving'
     
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  8. Sandiep

    Sandiep Successfully Supports Searches!

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    I have that book fascinating story as I remember long time since I read it the copy I have I picked up 2nd hand it is a proof copy and very tiny writing
    but I may just reread!
     
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  9. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    There are some fascinating letters from Margaret here, one to an 'Uncle and Aunt Howes':

    http://www.
    sl.nsw.gov.au/discover_collections/history_nation/justice/convict/MargaretCatchpole/catchpole.html

    (follow the link at the bottom of the page to see more letters)

    The Wikipedia discussion page mentioned in post #5 says that 'Aunt Howes' was one of her mother's sisters, and Sarah Leader, who features in Richard Cobbold's book, was another.
     
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  10. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    There is also some discussion on various forums about the age of Margaret at death. Some say she was 57-58 others that she was 51-52.
    She is buried at St Peters Church, Richmond, NSW. The headstones haven't been transcribed as yet so I have no idea if she has one. (looks like a cemetery search coming up-----yeh)
     
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  11. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    The Suffolk marriage index on FMP does have a Sarah Catchpole marrying William Leader at Brandeston in 1776, who might be 'Aunt Leader'. There's also an Elizabeth Catchpole who married Robert Nunn (of Easton, Suffolk) at Brandeston in 1766: is she Margaret's mother?

    As for 'Aunt Howes', I can't see a marriage at Brandeston. There is an Ann Catchpole marrying William Howes at Ipswich in 1781. I will have to have a closer look at Margaret's letters to Uncle and Aunt Howes to see if we get any more clues about who/where they were.
     
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  12. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Thanks Jane. I have bookmarked all of that and will study it later as well.
    So the author was a descendant of the Cobbalds and also a relative of Margarets? He would have had a good grasp of her life, I would think. The 1773 birth date might be more correct then....
     
  13. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    Hiya all. Yes I have that book too. Rev. Richard Cobbald was (I think) the grandson of the Cobbald family that Margaret worked for when she stole the horse. He probably didn't know Margaret but would, I suppose, have heard of her. Apparently Mrs Cobbald kept in touch with Margaret and vouched for her at her trial. Incidentally Rev. Richard was the vicar that officiated at my husbands 3x great grandparents marriage - small world.

    If memory serves correct Margaret also holds the accolade of the longest horse ride without a break made by a woman - she supposedly rode the stolen horse from Ipswich to Chelmsford which is about 50 miles or so.

    I had a genealogist look into her birth for me a number of years ago but he couldn't find anything conclusive, so more digging me thinks. I wonder who 'aunt Howes' was. As the name Hawes is a very popular Norfolk/Suffolk name (it is also mine) I wonder if it was mis-transcribed - oooh could there be a family connection on hubby's side as well. The plot thickens
     
  14. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    I am getting really engrossed in the letters. The spelling is wonderful. This is just one little bit of a letter written by Margaret in Sydney to Mrs Cobbold in 1802:

    'It is a Grat deel moor Lik englent then ever i Did expet to a seen for hear is Gardden stuff of all koind.expt gosbres an Currenes and appelles'​

    I love the 'gosbres' especially :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  15. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    I'm guessing that is 'gooseberries'.
    I love it too but have to go out so won't be reading today. Off to get some 'appelles' straight from the tree.;)
     
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  16. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    See Liane. Told you there would be sleuths just dying to get stuck into Margaret Catchpole.
     
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  17. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    There was also a family rumour that she sent home cuttings or seeds from different plants etc and that some found their way to Kew Gardens but again I think that May have been wishful thinking
     
  18. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    I know she seems a fascinating character, she's one of my 'too do' list that I'd put to one side for the moment but you guys are brilliant and sooooo knowledgeable that we may well break this down a bit more. Thank you all
     
  19. Joanne

    Joanne Well-Known Member

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    Ok found it again. Mary's burial at St. Peter's in Richmond NSW is an unmarked burial plot. Possibly buried with the Dight family.
    Church Register entry
    Mary Catchpole,age 58 years came prisonerin the ship Nile, in the year 1801,
    died May 13th,was buried May 14th,1801
    Henry Fulton
    1801 is what is written on the site,obviously should read 1819.

    Wonder if this was the cemetery my friends and I went into looking for ghosts?
     
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  20. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    google it Jo' & have a looksee. ')
     

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