The convict Henry John Warland

The details on this page were provided by Keith and Lynne Radford.

Henry John Warland (1822 - 29 May 1883), the son of John Warland (1798 - 1865) and Ann Marie (nee Stickland) (1797 - 1855), was a plumber/glazier living in Wimborne.

Soon after Henry John was born in 1822, his uncle William Henry Warland (1795 - 1859) travelled to Australia, arriving in 1823. From 1838, his other uncles (William, Robert, James) migrated to South Australia and one other, Edward, went to Scone in New South Wales, not far from his older brother. It is not clear why Henry John's father didn't migrate. Perhaps he had to stay to look after the farm.

On 16 January 1844, Henry John married Sarah Foster Reynolds and they had a daughter Catherine Elizabeth Warland, born on 16 November 1844.

In 1845, Henry John was convicted at the Dorset Assizes in Dorchester of the rape of his 16 year old servant girl. A local newspaper reported the following story:

At Dorchester assizes Henry Warland was indicted for a rape on Susanna Butler. The prosecutrix, who is a delicate and very good-looking girl of 16, was the servant of the prisoner, who was a plumber and glazier, living at Wimborne Minster; upon the 17th of June last the prisoner and the prosecutrix were coming home from the house of the prisoner's mother-in-law, where the prisoner's wife was remaining at the time; when the prisoner and prosecutrix re-entered prisoner's house he bolted the door, after which he kissed the young woman, who told him that he was very rude; the prisoner then went into the garden, upon returning from which he locked the door; the prosecutrix had lighted a candle for her own use, but the prisoner blew it out, saying that one candle would do for both parties, as she must sleep with him; she refused to comply, upon which he seized hold of her hands, and took her up stairs to his room, where he desired her to take off her clothes; the girl, who had recently been ill of the small-pox, and was exceedingly weak, then fainted away, and, upon coming to herself, found that she was in bed with the prisoner, who had accomplished his purpose; she was afraid to cry out, lest the prisoner should repeat his violence, or otherwise ill-treat her; he then directed her to go down stairs and bring some beer for him, and she did so; she said she was so much agitated that she did not know what she was doing; after some time she took her clothes and went into her own room; early the next morning she sent for her sister, who came and took her away. Upon the part of the prisoner witnesses were called for the purpose of shaking her testimony, but the attempt was not successful. The prisoner, who is a married man with two children, was found guilty, and sentenced to be transported for life (later commuted to 7 years).

The newspaper reports of the time differ, one saying that he was married with one child, the other saying he had two children.

Henry John Warland was transported on the 'China' in 1846 to Norfolk Island where he served a period of 24 months. He was then transferred to Van Diemans Land (later Tasmania) to serve out the rest of his sentence. These dates are backed up by the Post Office Directory of 1849 which shows his wife Sarah and daughter Catherine living alone in Wimborne, and his absence from the 1851 census, which shows that his wife Sarah and daughter Catherine living with her parents.

In 1848, Henry John obtained a Ticket of Leave with a pardon (no mention of it being conditional). He then appears to have planned his return to England, although this seems unusual as one of the conditions of a pardon were that the criminal should not return. It seems possible that he made contact with either of his uncles then residing in New South Wales (William Henry or Edward), and obtained sufficient funds or means to return to England.

Sadly, Henry John's daughter Catherine Elizabeth died during his period of absence of servitude in Australia passing away on 18 Dec 1852.

It is not yet known where Henry was from 1848 to 1864 but he appears to have returned to England, and his wife, sometime before 1864. This fact is established by the fact that Sarah died on 13 September 1864. Her death certificate notes her last address as 4 Oakley Crescent South in the sub-district of South Chelsea. Her occupation shows as 'wife of Henry Warland, Foreman to a Builder'. The cause of death was given as: 'Disease of the heart, many years. Accelerated by haemorrhage of miscarriage 4 days'. This appears to indicate that Henry returned to England, was re-united with his wife and moved to London with her but, after falling pregnant, she had a miscarriage and died.

After the death of his wife, Henry John Warland re-married Elizabeth Thomasin Adams on 5 August 1867 and had four more children:

In 1871 Henry John Warland was listed as a Master Builder at 35 New Kings Road, Chelsea. In the 1881 census he is listed as a builders foreman of 12 Waterford Road, Fulham. He died on 29 May 1883 at 12 Waterford Road, Fulham.

Page created 2011, last updated 9 April 2020. Copyright Andrew Warland.