CONVICT: Richard Scaddan – Spouse of Catherine Penhale (My Maternal GGGG Aunt)

Richard Scaddan was born in Gwinear, Cornwall, England in c1775. He was the son of Henry Scaddan & Jane Clemens. He was baptised in Gwinear on 30 July 1775. He married Catherine Penhale, in Gwinear, in 1802. They had 4 children – Richard (1803); William (1809); Sphia (1815); and James (1817).
Richard  was found guilty at the Cornwall Assizes at Bodmin on 4.8.1817 of stealing “one ewe sheep of the price of twenty shillings of the goods and chattels of William Roberts”. On trial with him were John Wills and Richard Bath and the three were sentenced “to be severally hanged by the neck until they are dead”  It is reported that the judges reprieved the capital offenders and sentenced them to transportation for life. The trial papers are stored at Chancery Lane, London.

England & Wales Criminal Register 1791-1892. Richard Scaddan – Death Penalty

Richard was received onboard the Prison Hulk “Captivity”, moored at Portsmouth, on 24 October 1817. He was sent to NSW on 26 August 1818. 

UK Prison Hulk Registers & Letter Books 1802-1849


The convict ship “Globe” departed Portsmouth on 9 September 1818, and arrived in Sydney on 8.1.1819 with 140 other male convicts (139 landed). The ships Master was Joseph Blyth, and ships Surgeon was George Clayton. Convict records state that he was a native of Cornwall, his trade was ship’s carpenter, sawyer and boat builder, his age was given as 42, height 5’5″, fair to sallow complexion, brown to grey hair and grey eyes

On the 3 March 1819 (Colonial Secretary’s Papers), Richard  was listed as a runaway, captured near Newcastle. He was forwarded to Sydney. Then on 3 April 1819, he absconded from a dockyard in Sydney with a J. Burton. On the 10 April 1819, he eas forwarded to Sydney. On the 17 April 1819, he was sentenced to 100 lashes, and confined to the Gaol Gang in double-irons for 12 months for escaping from the Colony in an open boat, captured off Newcastle. 

From the Sydney Gazette & NSW Advertiser, Saturday 17 April 1819, Page 2

In the convict records for 8 September1821, he is listed as a “Shopwright, victualled HM Magazines (NSW State Archives, Reel 6016′ 4/5781 p75). In 1822 the Muster of Convicts listed Richard as a government servant appointed to William Thurston of Sydney. He appears in the 1822 NSW general convict Muster. In the Colonial Secretary’s Papers, event dated 28 April 1824, it is noted that Richard “Carpenter. On return of bonded mechanics.”. The Colonial Secretary’s Papers record an event dated 1 October 1824 “On monthly return of convict’s assigned in the counties of Northumberland & Durham, to William Evans.”. 

From the Census & Population Books, noted in yhe District Constable’s Notebook, that from 1822-1824 he resided in Parramatta (Baulham Hills 1822). The 1828 Census showed that he was a government servant to William Evans at Bellevue, Pattersons Plains. His age was given as 61 and he was working as a boatbuilder. The entry in the 1828 Census is under the name of SEADON not SCADDEN but it is definitely Richard Scadden from other details given.

 In the Convict Records – Assignment & Employment of Convicts – 1810-189, and dated 13 May 1830, it is noted that due to his wife now being here he is given a “Ticket of Exemption from Govt Labour 1830-1831″.”. The same exemption is granted 6 January 1831. On the 2 January 1832 he is granted a further exemption from Govt Labour from 1831-1832. On a petition to Governor Darling in 1831 it was stated that he had been in Mr Evans’ service since November, 1823. The petition was for his son Richard & Richard’s wife Grace, and their son Thomas to join the family in the colony. It is not known if Richard came to Austealia, thiugh he appears to have died in Cornwall.

His wife Catherine, son James, and daughter Soohia, came to Australia on a ship “Lady of the Lake” which left England on 12.9.1829 and arrived in Hobart on 1.11.1829. From Hobart Catherine, James and his sister Sophia travelled on the “Calista” which arrived in Sydney on 5.12.1829. Catherine had come to Australia to join her husband Richard nearly 11 years after he had arrived in Sydney as a convict. 

It is sad to relate that Catherine, Richard, James & Sophia were not to be together for long as Richard is noted in the Convict Death Register for 1826-1879 as having died on 29.1.1833 at Matiland at the age of 65, buried in the Parish of Newcastle, County of Cumberland.


 After her husband’s death Catherine [aged 48] remarried on 27.8.1833 to William Pregnell, a widower aged 46 in the Parish of Maitland. Catherine had been born circa 1785 and was baptised in the Parish of Gwinear, Cornwall on 22nd May, 1785 the daughter of John Penhale and his wife Eleanor Hooper who were married in Gwinear on 7th February, 1785. Eleanor had been baptised in Gwinear on 26.7.1761 the daughter of John Hooper and his wife Jane. No record has been found of Catherine’s death (up to 1905).

James married Margaret Arnold on 3.9.1860 according to the rites of the Church of England at Grafton. No record of James’ arrival in Grafton is known and he died in Killean Street, Balmain on 19.5.1887. To date no arrival in Australia has been found of Margaret Arnold or her mother & father, William Arnold, a farmer, and his wife Jane Griffith[s. 

James & Margaret had 7 children, William, Jane (Sophia Jane) Emily, Bessie Martha, Sarah & Louisa, all living when their father died in 1887. The informant on the death certificate was aged 17 and gave James’ age at death at 87 but this is not correct. James was a shipwright and boatbuilder and it is assumed he worked in Grafton at this trade. Margaret Scadden married again in Balmain in 1888 to a William Green but no death date is known. Her age in 1888 was given as 43.

Sophia Scaddan married James Moy (Convict) on 20 December 1832. They had 8 children – Henry J, Rebecca, Richard, Rebecca, Eliza Jane, Eleanor C, William E & Sophia.

Tim Alderman ©2017

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