Thursday, June 30, 2011

Convict research, by Lydia.

Patrick monks                                 in 1836 Patrick MONKS of Dublin arrived in Sydney aboard the convict transport Waterloo, which had departed from Cork 108 days earlier. At thirty years of age he was older than many of his 224 peers, although a few were in their late thirties.

The Waterloo was a very old ship, so conditions were probably damp, poorly ventilated and inadequate. The number aboard was high for its tonnage. In general the standard of convict transports deteriorated in this era, as shipping was diverted to military purposes. Five years later, on another voyage, the Waterloo sank off the Cape of Good Hope, with nearly two thirds of her convict cargo perishing.

As well as being older Patrick Monks was taller than his peers, of dark complexion, his hair greying. He was a "poulterer" from Dublin, sentenced seven years for "stealing a book". He was literate, and like most of his fellows was Catholic.

According to the official records Patrick
s wife Maria Monks had been transported a year earlier, although it has not been possible to identify exactly when and how this occurred. Many relationships did not survive this type of disruption, even where both parties eventually reached Sydney. In Patrick and Marias case they seem to have renewed their association in the colony.

By 1836 convicts no longer enjoyed the latitude afforded in the earlier decades of the colony. The growing population of free settlers resented the competition for jobs, and there was strong pressure to cease transportation. In 1837 Patrick was employed by the Government in Sydney, probably on public works labour. By 1841 he was in Port Macquarie, by then no longer a penal settlement. He had probably been assigned to a settler.

In August 1841 he was granted a Ticket of Leave to remain in Port Macquarie. As well as ensuring that sentences were served according to strict conditions Tickets of Leave were a means of forcing an inexpensive labour source to remain in developing regional areas. A year later, when his sentence expired, it would seem that there was little to keep Patrick in Port Macquarie, and consistent with the family trend, he returned to Sydney shortly afterwards when he was at liberty to do so.

At the end of 1844 Mary Anne was born to Maria and Patrick. By then he had returned to his old trade, working as a poulterer at 17 York Street South. Seven years later he still had his business, although by 1858 he was no longer listed in the trade directory. When his daughter married in 1862 she was living with relatives in Clarence Street, and there is no information concerning Patrick's life between 1851 and his death in 1871.

When he died it is clear that no ties remained with other family

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