William Temple

William Temple

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William Temple (1779 - 1839)

William Temple was a native of Boston, Lincolnshire. Temple's Convict Indent papers record that he was tried and sentenced for larceny at the Lincoln Assizes on 6 March 1813. He was charged with burglary and robbery at the house of John Fawn, a carpenter of Whaplode. Although he was sentenced to death, this was commuted to life, and transportation (for life) to New South Wales in 1813

Temple was described as 34 years of age, 5 ft 6 3/4 inches in height, dark to sallow in complexion, with dark brown hair, and hazel-coloured eyes. He was listed as a "carpenter and joiner".

Temple arrived in New South Wales on the convict transport General Hewitt on February 7th 1814. There is evidence that during his free time from government service Temple worked as a part-time employee of the Irishman, Lawrence Butler (1750-1820), a former convict, who had established a successful business as a cabinet-maker, upholsterer, merchant and undertaker. (By 1814 Butler was employing five men in his workshop).

On 7 May 1814, when he was appearing before the Bench of Magistrates as a witness in the case between Captain Gill (46th Regiment) and Lawrence Butler, Temple stated that:

"I am a prisoner and a cabinetmaker by trade. I have been in the employ of Lawrence Butler... I used to go to Butler, immediately after I had done my government work... I have been in the habit of working for Butler during my after hours ever since my arrival."

Temple was back before the Bench of Magistrates on 5 November 1814, along with the Irishman Patrick O'Riley, charged with the theft of a boat (and carpentry tools) with the intent of escaping from the Colony. Both men were sentenced to Hard Labour on the Gaol Gang. This is confirmed in the 1814 General Muster (taken between 17 October - 16 November 1814) where both men are listed as a members of a "Gaol Gang." However by 1815 he had been assigned to work at the Government Lumber Yard in Sydney.

In August 1817 Temple received another prison sentence (one year) for an unlisted offence, and in September of that year he was sent to Newcastle on the Mary with a number of other prisoners. While there he was undoubtedly reunited with his old friend Patrick Riley

When Temple applied for (and was granted) a conditional pardon from Governor Macquarie in November 1821 he was listed as a "cabinet maker". In his petition for a conditional pardon he stated that he had been "exclusively employed under your Excellency's direction for the last 18 months at Government House".

The entry for William Temple in the 1828 Census of New South Wales lists him as a "Carpenter" residing at Parramatta.

After 1828 there is little evidence to indicate the activities and/or whereabouts of Temple: he is most probably the 'William Temple' (aged 60) whose death is recorded on 20 May 1839 in the burial records of St. Johns, Parramatta. This would correlate with earlier convict records regarding his age (34) at the time of his conviction in 1813.

William Temple: Trial 1814

Saturday the 5th day of November 1814

Bench of Magistrates 
Present, The Judge Advocate. 
D'Arcy Wentworth Esqr. 
S. Lord Esqr.

Patrick Riley, (a Prisoner) and William Temple (also a prisoner) are brought up charged with taking away a Boat and with stealing the mast and sails belonging to her the property of William Halfpenny, and also with stealing two saws and a chisel the property of his Majesty -----

The Prisoners confess to taking away the boat mast sails saws & chisel intending to make their escape out of the Colony ----

-----The Magistrates direct that the said Prisoners be confined to Hard labour in the Gaol Gang at Sydney for the space of three months they having already been confined in Gaol in irons for seven weeks, and that the sum of nine dollars now in the constables hands belonging to the prisoners be paid over to the prosecutor William Halfpenny as a remuneration to him for the loss & trouble he has suffered ----" 

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William Temple: Conditional Pardon

"The humble memorial of William Temple respectfully states, 
That your Memorialist was convicted at Lincoln in March 1813 for Life - and arrived in this colony in February 1814 in the Ship General Hewitt- Earl, Master.
That Memorialist has been exclusively Employed under Your Excellency's direction for the last 18 months at Govt House, and has always studied to conduct himself with propriety.
That Memorialist humbly implores Your Excellency to bestow upon him, before Your Excellency departs the Colony, the indulgence of a Conditional Pardon.
And Memorialist as in duty bound and in Sincere Gratitude will ever pray.
Wm Temple"

Transcript of Conditional Pardon for William Temple
(Colonial Office: Petitions #3211 (1821) p.80

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References: Primary Sources 
Convicts: Bound Indents, 1801 - 1814. 
[4/4004 AO Fiche 634 p.503]. Archives Authority of NSW. 
General Muster of New South Wales,1814.
Edited by Carol J. Baxter. Sydney: Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record, 1987. 
Census of New South Wales, November 1828. 
Edited by Malcolm R. Sainty and Keith A. Johnson. Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1980. 
Bench of Magistrates. Sydney district 1788 - 1820 7 May 1814; 5 November 1814. Archives Authority of NSW. [AO Reel 1259, COD 235]. 
N.S.W. Colonial Secretary Papers.
List of Prisoners to be sent to Newcastle per "Mary". [4/3497 p.57 Reel 6005]. Archives Authority of NSW. 
N.S.W. Colonial Secretary.
Register of Conditional Pardons. [Petition #3211 (1821) p.80]. 
Burials in the Parish of St Johns, Parramatta, County of Cumberland 1839. Archives Authority of NSW [Reel 5005]. Reference no. V1839797 23A: Page 7. Registry no. 103: Entry no.797.

Secondary Sources
Australian Furniture: Pictorial History and Dictionary 1788-1938. 
Compiled by Kevin Fahy and Andrew Simpson. Sydney: Casuarina Press, 1999. 
Bickersteth, Julian. "The Three Macquarie Chairs." Australiana. Vol.14 Pt. 1 February 1992 pp.11-14. 
Butler, Barbara and Kelly, David St. L. "Lawrence Butler." Australiana. February 2009 pp.10-34. 
Fahy, Kevin. "The Simon Cabinet" in The Strathallan Cabinet in the Ruth Simon Collection. (eds.) Anne McCormick and Derek McDonnell. Sydney: Hordern House, 1991 pp.1-11.

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