Mason Family History

William Hurst & Mary Keep






William Hurst was born on the 8th June, 1794 at Wootton by Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. His parents were Ambrose Valentine Hurst and Elizabeth Goodman (see details below).

At age 19 years, on 6th April 1814, William married Mary Keep, also in Wootton. Mary Keep was the daughter of Richard Keep & Elizabeth Hull, England. She was born in the 11th of November 1792 in Wootton by Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.

William and Mary were living at Wootton with their four children Rhoda, Sarah, Leah and Ambrose when William was arrested on the 17th December, 1822, for horse stealing from Owen Cambridge of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire.

He stole two horses and a cart.

He had a previous conviction for poaching, and served 3 months in Bedford Gaol.

William was tried at Cambridge, Isle of Ely, Assizes on the 13th March 1823 and sentenced to death by hanging, but after a plea for leniency by Owen Cambridge, this was changed to transportation for life.

William Hurst (alias Billy Goodman) was described as aged about 29 years, 5' 5 1/4" tall with light grey eyes and brown hair. His trade was listed as groom or ploughman.

Goal report: bad character, attempted to escape.

Hulk report: orderly

William was transported on the 9th August, 1823 sailing from Downs aboard the ship "Asia", with 150 male convicts on board, bound for Van Dieman's Land. The ship departed Portsmouth on 28th Aug 1823. The ship sailed via the Cape of Good Hope and arrived in Hobart 163 days later, on the 19th January, 1824.

His convict number was 38616, and his conduct record is CON31/19, and indent CS01/217, p215.

On arrival William was assigned to Thomas Abrahams, Chief District Constable of Stranford, in the Brighton District. On the 8th February, 1827, William petitioned to have his wife and children sent out to him from Bedfordshire England. Abrahams certified that he had served him faithfully and well and that he was perfectly able to support his family, should they be sent to him. On the 8th March 1827, Lieutenant Governor Arthur approved that the family be sent from England.

His worked as a carpenter.

Mary Hurst and her four children arrived at Botany Bay on the "Lucy Davidson", and then sailed to Hobart, Tasmania on the "Guildford" on the 1st January, 1830. In 1830 his wife aplled to have her husband assigned to her (CS01/418/9373). William and Mary had four more children in Tasmania, Elizabeth Maria, Emma, Rebecca and William Keep, eight children in all.

On July 1st 1836 he was granted a conditional pardon, then recommended for an absolute pardon on the 13th October 1846. On the 30th December 1851 his conditional pardon was extended to all parts save the United Kingdom (CON31/19).

On the 26th February, 1859, aged 65 years, William died at Wellington Street, Hobart, cause of death was listed as old age and debility. He is buried at the Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Tasmania.

Mary died of old age on the 6th January, 1866 Aged 73 years. Death place was listed on her death certificate as Argyle Street, Hobart (another reference listed her death place as Goulburn St, NewTown, Hobart). She is buried at the Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Tasmania with her husband William.

William's Parents

His parent were Ambrose Valentine Hurst and Elizabeth Goodman. Ambrose was born on the 23rd of February, 1772, in Wootton by Bedford, Bedfordshire, England, and died there on the 28th June 1851. Occupation: Labourer. Ambrose married Elizabeth Goodman by licence on the 5th February 1794 at Lidlington, near Bedford, Bedfordshire. Elizabeth died on the 10th of May 1796 at Wootton by Bedford.