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2016-11-24 20:57:40
Manuscript - Court Martial Document - Trial and Sentencing of Private Thomas Smith for Deserting His Regiment - Escaping Imprisonment - Sent to Australia Penal Colony
Trinidad, 1818. Port of Spain, Trinidad, 3-8 September 1818. Manuscript Court Martial proceedings which took place at the Orange Grove Barracks, for the trial and sentencing of Private Thomas Smith for deserting his regiment, and, after being apprehended, escaping imprisonment. Folio. 7 pages of text on two double leafs, laid watermarked paper made by Molineux Johnston in 1813, measuring approximately 32 x 20 cm. Signed in the original by three significant parties involved in the trial, including Governor of Barbados, Lord Combermere. Some splitting at folds, otherwise in very good condition, a rare and fascinating primary source account of an Australian penal colony convict. Private Thomas Smith, alias John Jackson (1791-1866), was a convict assigned to Captain Thomas H. Baylis's Company of the Royal York Rangers in 1816. [The Royal York Rangers was formed in 1807 from condemned men, mostly British and Irish prisoners desperate to escape hanging, and also with drafts from the Royal African Corps. Despite this eclectic grouping, it was an extremely effective regiment.] At the risk of receiving lashes and extended sentencing, Smith dared to abandon his imposed commitment of penance and army duty, and fleed the regiment. According to this court document, dated 3 September 1818, he was captured near Arima, Trinidad, in July, having been quartered at Saint Joseph with the regiment, until his desertion. He was tried in Trinidad. The hearing addressed three charges against him, first for desertion from the regiment, also for the crime of leaving with 'Regimental Necessaries', and … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts,
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