Frederick Pointon

A Convict from Codicote, Hertfordshire
to
Van Diemen's Land, Australia
per 'Sarah 2' 1836
My Great Great Grandfather

Frederick Pointon was born on 3rd September 1809 and Christened on 13th September,
1812  at Codicote, Hertford, the son of
Thomas Pointon and Eleanor Phelps.

Early Life in Codicote:
Frederick along with his older brothers Thomas and Henry and cousins William were often in
trouble with the law. The earliest mention of this comes from
Diary of a Village which states
that on 22nd April 1831
"The Constable of Whitwell, Carter, and an assistant came to Codicote
in pursuit of W [William] Pointon and his cousins F [Frederick] Pointon for some alleged
misconduct on 10th April."


27th May 1833 [Diary of a Village] Being Whitsun Monday a fair is held in Codicote and some
young persons attempting to hunt a duck in a pond belonging to H Crane senior occasioned a
great uproar for H Crane kicked F.P.s [Frederick Pointon's] dog. Swore he would ring the ducks
head off. F.P struck him. H Crane kicked him. F.P. struck him again. The constable was
charged who took him [Frederick] His brother came, swore he should not be put in the cage
[local gaol] and all Codicote was in an uproar.


Convictions:
1st April 1834:
Frederick was taken into custody at Hitchin Market for stealing a coat at
Potters Bar, the property of  John Walker. He was sentenced to three weeks solitary
confinement and also received the lash for this crime.

23rd June 1835: From Diary of a Village: Mr Parsons who had hired the house of Mr T Pointon
[Frederick father] sent part of his furniture this day being the day before mids [midsummer]
which Frederick Pointon broke and behaved very disorderly. Swore Parsons should not come
there. Knocked his father down. The constable was charged whom he [Frederick] knocked
down, took his staff away. His brother Henry assisted. Prepared a horse and cart for him and
away they rode to Wellwyn to have his hand dressed which was cut in the affray. Here he was
taken by the Constables of Wellwyn and Codocite viz G Brand of W[Wellwyn] and M Smith of C
[Codicote] and put into the cage and from thence to St Alban's gaol till ensuing Saturday to await
his trial at sessions.
Hertford Mercury and Reformer dated 7th July 1835 reports [Note: some words from this
account are missing  and are marked with **] Frederick Pointon was convicted of assaulting M
Smith, constable of Codicote, in the execution of his duty and sentenced to six months hard
labour. He was arraigned for grossly assaulting his own father **er. It appeared that on the
prisoner returning ** some dispute arose between him and his father, **turning a horse into a
field, when the prisoner ** commenced breaking the goods and asked for his gun ** swore that
he would shoot the prosecutor. On ** [being] told that it was not at home, he went to fetch it, **
[and] the door was fastened against him. On his return **[he] made a most desperate attack
and presented the gun **road at his father. On the door being opened ** [he] knocked him
down; the cap had dropped off the  ** [gun] which prevented it from being fired. One month
imprisonment and at the expiration of that time to ** [give] into sureties himself in 20 pounds
and 1 in 20 pounds to ** [keep] the peace for 12 months. The former case **ated from the
present, the constable being assaulted attempting to take him into custody.
County Press dated 4th July 1835
At St Albans Petty Sessions on Saturday, Frederick Pointon was committed for trial for an
assault on Martin Smith, a constable of Codicote. The Constable had interfered to prevent the
defendant shooting his aged father with a loaded gun he at the time held in his hand. He had
previously broken in a fit of passion most of the chairs and tables in the house where his
father had lived for some years, but which he had quitted in consequence of the misconduct of
his family.

17th October 1836 Frederick was convicted in the Hertford Quarter Sessions of receiving
twenty dozen pigeons
valued at five pounds stolen by older brother Henry Pointon, Charles
Hill and Frederick Everett property of William Irons Jnr of Lilley, Yeoman. Their place of
residence was shown as Offley.  Frederick was convicted and sentenced to transportation for
life.  Henry was transported for seven years. At the time his occupation was labourer and his
residence was North Mimms. Frederick and Henry spent about 6 weeks aboard the prison hulk
Leviathan before being transported.

Transportation:  Frederick and brother Henry were transported from England aboard the
Sarah 2 which sailed from Spithead on 22nd December 1836 with 255 male convicts aboard.
The voyage was an eventful one. The 'Sarah' was due to sail, and fully loaded, in the second
week of November 1836 but was held over by bad weather. The weather was so bad and rough
that the SARAH lost her anchor and was forced to put into harbour.  In his journal, James
McTernan, surgeon, describes how the waves washed the deck so badly that the water
penetrated all the lower decks soaking all the bedding which had to brought up on deck to dry
when the weather permitted. Frederick's name appears on the surgeons sick list on 24th
February suffering from Erysipelas an acute streptococcus bacterial infection of the dermis
[skin] which may have been caused by the wet living conditions. He is listed as cured on 9th
March. In all 68 convicts suffered from this disease of which seven died. Both Frederick and
Henry had money in safe keeping with the surgeon. Henry had 10 pounds and Frederick had
four. During the voyage, some convicts attempted to stage a mutiny. Henry Pointon was first
person to give information about the forthcoming attempt and is mentioned in the ships log [d]
The Sarah arrived in Van Damiens Land on 29th March, 1837 making the voyage 97 days in
length. 245 males Convicts arrived, 10 convicts had died enroute.

Description: [b]
Trade: Able to look after horses, labourer.
Height without shoes: 5 feet, 7 inches [5 foot 8 inches - ref c]
Age 21
Complexion: fair [fresh- reference c]
Head: Large
Hair: Light Brown [brown - reference c]
Whiskers: none
Visage: Brown
Forehead: High
Eyebrows: Light
Eyes: blue
Nose: m length
Mouth: m width
Chin: small
Remarks: small cut on right hand same on right arm. Several warts on both hands. Small
moles on neck - [reference c]
Read Imperfectly -[reference c]
Frederick would later signed his name with an X on his marriage certificate indicating he could
not write.
Frederick's native place is also listed as 'Near Hitchin' on various records.
On arrival in Tasmania, Frederick was assigned to W.G Walker, Esq of Launceston.

Disciplinary Record: [b]
Gaol Report: Character, very bad
Gaoled once before for stealing a coat-sentenced to 7 months
Hulk Report: Good
Surgeons report: Very Good
19th May 1838 Insolence, admonished [Walker]
3rd January, 1845 Misconduct, discharged [Walker]
12th April, 1844: Class 3
4th March 1845, Ticket of leave
25th August 1846, recommended for conditional pardon
23rd November 1847, Approved.  

Frederick's brother
Thomas Pointon also had various brushes with the law and spent time in
prison. He was later transported aboard the
Lady Raffles, arriving in 1841. Frederick’s cousin
William Pointon
was also transported to VDL aboard the Aurora in 1835 for crimes.

Continued Page 2


Below Right: Christ Church Longford, Tasmania













Right: Portrait reported to be of Frederick Pointon
but probably his son also named Frederick.
Courtesy of Ted Pointon [owner] and Geoff Ralph.  

References:
[a] Victorian Lives in North Mims; by Peter Kingsford
[b] Tasmanian Convict Records
[c] Bedford Gaol Register
[d] Information kindly supplied by John Goold
[e] Diary of a Village compiled by Eric L Lawrence
Tasmanian Pioneers Index 1803-1899 CD Rom
Additional Information:
Sharon Long and G.G. Ralph