Townsend, John

Birth date and placec. 1831 Headington, Oxfordshire, England (see proposed verification in Additional Details below).
Baptism date and place18 Apr 1831 St Andrew’s Church, Headington, Oxfordshire [Parish Register entry #716].
Civil Census Residences1841 Barton, Headington, Oxfordshire [HO107-877-1].
1851 Barton, Headington, Oxfordshire [HO107-1727-40].
John Townsend appears in no other civil census returns in England.
Occupations pre-WAFarm Labourer.
Physical DescriptionHeight: 5 ft. 5 ins. Complexion: dark. Eyes: hazel. Hair: dark brown. Face: oval. Build: middling stout.
Distinguishing marks: D left side; burn on breast [Acc 1156-R11].
Marriage date and placeSingle.
Death date and place30 Aug 1913 Old Men’s Home, Claremont, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.#153. WASRO Cons 752-10].
Burial date and placeAug 1913 Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia.
Location: Anglican Section EC, Gravesite 0096.
Will and ProbateNone.
Death Notices and ObituariesNone.
Regiment(s)2nd Battalion, 23rd (Royal Welch Fusiliers) Regiment.
Regiment No. and Rank#??41. Private
Attestation date and placeafter 1851.
Service/CampaignsCrimean War.
Medals, Clasps and BadgesCrimea War Medal. Turkish Crimea Medal.
Regimental Courts MartialUnknown.
District Courts MartialAldershott Military Prison moved to Reading Gaol  [WO86-10-27].
Trial: 16 Feb 1859. Desertion. Losing necessaries.
Sentence: 84 days imprisonment. D branding. Stoppages.
Civil AuthorityMaidstone Winter Assizes [PCom2-42].
Trial: 5 Dec 1859. Rape.
Sentence: 20 years penal servitude.
Prison and Register #Maidstone Prison, Kent 1 month 10 days to 14 Jan 1860 [PCom2-42]
Millbank Prison #63 14 Jan to 12 Oct 1860, 8 months 28 days [PCCom2-42].
Portsmouth Prison #6448 12 Oct 1860 to 18 Sep 1861, 11 months 7 days [PR1Com2-109]. 
Lincelles convict ship #78 sailed from Portland 5 Oct 1861. 115 days passage.
Chelsea Pension ReferenceNot eligible.
Post Discharge ResidenceWestern Australia.
Departure and ArrivalDep. 5 Oct 1861 Portland; arr. 28 Jan 1862 Fremantle.
Labourer – Perth, Toodyay.
General Servant – Wellington, Sussex.
WA ConvictFremantle Prison #5900.
Dates and Details23 Mar 1865 Resident Magistrate Perth: Attempted to commit suicide, remanded for eight days.
11 Feb 1866 Resident Magistrate Vasse: Breaking Regulations, 6 months Vasse Depot.
WA Ticket of Leave15 Feb 1865.
15 Jul 1867 Bunbury.
WA Certificate of Freedom
WA Conditional Pardon9 Jul 1872 Vasse.
Misc. Newspaper ArticlesWest Australian 16 Jan 1885 – sleeping out.
Inquirer and Commercial News – 18 Aug 1886 – drunkenness.
West Australian 19 Aug 1886 – drunkenness.
British Crimea War and Turkish Crimea War Medals
The Sun 9 Dec 1859

Proposed Verification of John Townsend’s Origins

Details of next of kin first appeared in Millbank Prison register PCom2-42 and were probably copied to subsequent prison records.  Townsend’s father was recorded as John Townsend residing in ‘Addington’, Oxfordshire.  There is no such town or village of this name in Oxfordshire, and I am therefore suggesting that the Townsend family lived in Headington, Oxfordshire (a case of mispronunciation). Headington baptism and census records (above) show this family in Headington in years relevant to the convict John Townsend.  Following the years of the Crimean War and thereafter, no census, marriage or death records of a John Townsend with a birthplace of Headington can be found in England; the inference is obvious – he disappeared to Western Australia on a convict ship.

Records of baptism, census, Millbank and Portsmouth prisons are on file.