The Great Wooster Tree


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Joseph Worster – Convict – Link to the GWT?

Joseph Worster was convicted of larceny at the Old Bailey on 30th January 1837, the offence being committed in Poplar in London: Details
He was sentenced to transportation for seven years. His age at the time suggests he was fifteen and hence born in 1822, and this accords with most of the available data. However, a physical description of him suggests he was nineteen, which would put his DOB at 1818. He was kept on the prison hulk York at Gosport in Hampshire until 24th July when he was transferred to the Euryalus at Chatham.
On 24th August he was transferred to the Royal Sovereign for transportation. This ship sailed from Sheerness on 31st August and arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on 9th January 1838. Details
Upon arrival, in his physical description (found at Tasmanian Names Index), it not only gives his age as 19, which would mean his DOB was around 1818, but it also gives his birthplace as High Wycombe which would very likely place him on the GWT. On the Bucks Baptisms the only Joseph of the right age is a Joseph Wooster baptised at All Saints in High Wycombe on 22 May 1820, parents Edward and Martha Wooster, Labourer. Edward and Martha are not currently on the GWT.
In 1838 Joseph was sentenced to a "road party" for three months after being suspected of theft from his master’s house: Newspaper Article
Joseph got his "ticket of leave" on 24th August 1842: Newspaper Article

It is suspected that Joseph moved to South Australia after this and was freed on 30th January 1844, exactly seven years after his conviction.
There are two possible further references to Joseph, although both have doubt attached to them. In 1850 he was cited as a creditor in a bankruptcy case, being owed £39: Newpaper Article and in 1952 he was fined £10 for supplying liquor to a native:

The S. A. Government Gazette, July 15, 1852, pp. 424-426.
Port Lincoln
13. March 25th, Joseph Worster, overseer, was brought up charged with giving spirituous liquor to Murpalta, an aboriginal native. He was fined ten pounds, and this extreme penalty was inflicted in consequence of his being an old and determined offender on the same score. My report of January, 1849, and the Record of the Court show as much; he continued the practice since that period, and in cases where natives only are witnesses, he possessed facilities for evading the law.



Linked toJoseph Worster

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