Were William and his family one of the thousands effected by the depression or just enticed to a new land by all the promising advertisements of greater prosperity? Whatever the true reasons they joined the throng of their fellow countrymen, making a long, arduous sea voyage to a strange and uncertain land. Prior to the immigrants leaving for Australia they had to submit an entitlement certificate to the shipping board stating their health, character and occupation (mind you, these documents were often falsified).
The surgeon certifying William’s health was Edward Tindale of Ashwell; Frederick Butterfield of Guilden Morden and Mountford Strickland of Royston gave signature to his character; his employer in England was also Frederick Butterfield and the clergyman corroborating these details was Rev Robert Rackham of Guilden Morden (what a mouthful of grand old names). The family boarded the ‘Royal Saxon’ along with 212 other passengers, largely comprising of hardy labourers.
The vessel sailed from London 2 March 1844 making a stop over in Cork, Ireland.
How they weathered their 99 days at sea will never truly be known but they were probably crammed in amongst the huge beams, bulkheads and vast rigging of these old creaky ships.
The migrants quarters were known to be narrow and airless, filled with chests, trunks and boxes.
Sanitary conditions were generally inadequate and this, doubled with sour water, caused outbreaks of serious disease.
However, the shipping report claimed that the ‘Royal Saxon’ migrants arrived in a clean state and were pleased with their treatment on board, even after they had complained of insufficient food to eat.
Five infants died during the voyage but not from any contagious disease. William and his young family arrived in Sydney 26 June 1844, without mishap and from the shipping report all in good health.
Being bounty migrants the amount paid for William, Mary Ann and their daughter, Ann was 18 pounds and 14 shillings and the younger children of George, Josiah, Augusta and David fetched 9 pounds and 7 shillings each.
According to the family’s travelling details William’s occupation was a farm labourer and May Ann’s as a needlewoman, with their daughter as a house servant.
William could read only but his wife had the ability to both read and write, with their religion noted as Independent. After docking in Sydney William and the family remained on board the ship for five days before signing a wage agreement with their new employer, Josiah Allen Betts.
Their new residence would be a t Wilmington, Windsor, located west of Sydney.
The dwelling was a stone/brick building and at one time Mr Betts employed eight garden/stockmen and three domestic servants.
Apart from being a landowner, Mr Betts was also a book-keeper and accountant. At Wilmington, William was engaged as a farm labourer and Mary Ann as a laundress and his wages for the year was agreed at 16 pounds.
Mr Betts was to provide the family with the weekly rations of 25lbs of beef or mutton, 30lbs of flour, 5lbs of sugar and 10ozs of tea.
I do hope there was some fruit and vegetables to add to their basic fare. Maybe the new climate in Australia agreed with our ancestors because shortly after their arrival they started to extend the family once again.
Charles William was the first on the scene born 1845, followed by Albert James (my 2xg-grandfather) and the baby of the clan was Mary Jane born during 1851. Other than William earning his living from the soil and being a resident of Windsor and South Creek (later known as St Mary’s) little more is known of him.
However, due to his premature death and its cause we may be able to perceive the type of lifestyle he had.
When only 44 years old William died 27 December 1851, the coroner’s report revealing he died of ‘Intemperance’ (habitual, excessive drinking), a trait he seems to have passed on to some of his descendants! Its unknown if William was a heavy drinker back in England but many of the new migrants found life terribly hard in the young colony, sometimes facing poverty and isolation.
They often found solace in alcohol and this was aided by the illicit grog shops positioned throughout the Windsor area. William was buried the day after he died, laid at rest at St Phillilip’s Cemetery, Clydesdale (on the Blacktown- Richmond Rd).
He lays amongst a few isolated graves, his inscription reading: WORBOYS William, Died 27 December 1851 Aged 44 years
Read more about Docking : After docking in Sydney William and the family remained on….: