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Memoirs of George Barrington; from his Birth in MDCCLV, to his last Conviction at the Old Bailey, on Friday, the 17th of September, MDCCXC. A New Edition.
Printed for M. Smith, opposite Fetter-Lane, in Fleet-Street. 1790 - [4], 115, [1]p ad., half title, engraved frontispiece. 8vo. Some dusting, marginal browning & occasional old waterstaining, mainly to top or fore-edge of leaves towards the rear, B1-4 creased at foot. 19th century ownership name of Alfred Draper, Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire, written on half title & recto of frontispiece, with some visibility on to image. Stitched in contemporary limp paste-board wrappers, original slate blue sugar paper covering spine, mainly worn away, spine chipped at head & tail. ESTC T116125, but not noting the 'new edition' statement. Copies recorded at BL; Harvard, Watkinson Library, and State Library of South Australia. Other editions of this work were published in 1790 and 1791 with the title The Genuine Life and Trial of George Barrington. ?George Barrington (or Waldron), one of London's most notorious pickpockets, was born in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland, on 14 May 1755. Apprenticed to an apothecary, he showed sufficient aptitude for learning that he was provided with an education at Dublin Blue Coat School. At the age of sixteen, he absconded after stabbing a fellow pupil in a fight, joined a band of travelling players and learned the art of pickpocketing, at which he became highly skilled. When his thieving partner was arrested in 1773, George fled to England, taking the name of Barrington. He was able to persuade well-placed people to introduce him in London society as an actor and a gentleman of Anglo-Irish descent (though sometimes he claimed to be a surgeon). He soon became notorious for his thieving activities amongst members of genteel society in churches, theatres, and on race courses. His last appearance at the Old Bailey was in September 1790, charged with the theft of a watch and associated items from Henry Hare Townsend Esq. at Enfield Race Course. Despite the attempts of William Garrow, the noted defence counsel, and another very long and flowery speech begging not to be executed (he was not in danger of this since the crime for which he was tried was not capital), he was found guilty and sentenced to transportation for seven years to New South Wales. In March 1791 George Barrington left for Australia on the convict ship Active, arriving in Sydney in September of the same year. Although absent from England, his notoriety continued. In a popular ballad, The Jolly Lad's Trip to Botany Bay, in which convicts treat transportation as a lark, the convicts say that the first thing they will do when they get to Australia is appoint a king, 'for who knows but it may be the noted Barrington'. Despite the stories growing up around him, crediting him (probably falsely) with many publications, letters, journals and theatre pieces, it is clear that transportation dramatically changed his life. In 1792 he received a conditional pardon. He was appointed Superintendent of Convicts at Paramatta, and purchased large amounts of land at Paramatta and near the Hawkesbury River. By 1794 he was also Chief Constable at Paramatta. He received a full pardon in 1796. In 1801, he retired to one of his Paramatta farms (because of ill-health) with a pension, and died on 27 December 1804.? (Ref: London Lives, 1690-1800.) [Attributes: Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Jarndyce, The 19th Century Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2015-12-15           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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