- Born: 1800, England, United Kingdom
- Christened: 21 Dec 1800, St Andrews Church, Enfield, Middlesex, England
- Marriage (1): Julia Murphy on 14 Jan 1828 in St Matthew's, Windsor, New South Wales, Australia
- Marriage (2): Mary Smith on 12 Oct 1831 in Windsor, New South Wales, Australia
- Died: After 1843, prob Australia
Another name for Charles was Francis Charles Fell.
As Charles committed his crime Enfield area in Middlesex, London (see below) it is likely he was born Francis Charles Fell, to parents Francis Charles and Anne Fell and christened on 21 December 1800 at St Andrews, Enfield. These parents also seem to have had daughters Mary ch. 6 Dec 1795 (father's name just Francis) and Elizabeth, ch. 22 July 1798 and Mary ch.19 August 1804 at the same church, but with the father's name recorded as just Charles. This appears to be the only Charles Fell born in Middlesex at the right time. His age is a perfect fit.
Charles Fell, aged 18, was found guilty in the Old Bailey of stealing a coat on the 15th September 1819 and transported to Australia as a convict for 7 years. He arrived in Sydney, New South Wales on the Coromandel on 4th April 1820, having departed Spithead on 1st Nov 1819 - a journey of 154 days. There were 300 male convicts on board, 150 of whom disembarked in Sydney, and 150 in Hobart.
The transcript of Charles Fell's trial:
"1321. CHARLES FELL was indicted for stealing, on the 16th September, one coat, value 1 l., the property of John Eyres.
JOHN EYRES. I am servant to Mr. Bolland, who lives in Southstreet, Grosvenor-square. I was going through Ball's-pond gate, with a chaise and pair, towards Enfield - the coat was tied on the front of the chaise. The prisoner and another followed me about half a mile - I kept my eye on them. I took my eye off for a moment, and then saw the prisoner run off with the coat. I rode after him, lost sight of him for a moment, and he threw it away.
JOHN TRAVERS. I am a gardener. I saw the prosecutor riding very fast after the prisoner. I followed, secured him, and picked the coat up in the way he ran - it was thrown over the hedge.
(Property Produced and sworn to)
Prisoner's Defence. I never touched it.
GUILTY. Aged 18 Transported for Seven Years. Fourth Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant."
His record on the Australian Convict Transporation Registers shows that he was delivered to the ship from the Middlesex Gaol.
The following records exist for him in the Colonial Secretary Index 1788 -1825 (State Records of NSW)
1820 Apr 10 - On list of convicts disembarked from the "Coromandel" and forwarded to Windsor for distribution (Reel 6007; 4/3501 p.333)
1822 Dec 19 - On list of prisoners victualled at Windsor (Reel 6053; 4/1756 p.108)
In the 1825 Convict Muster he is recorded as being Employed in Windsor as "Govt Employ".
Charles received his Ticket of Freedom on 21 September 1826. Having a Ticket of Leave meant that a former Convict could employ himself for his own benefit and acquire property, provided he notified the clerk of the local Bench of Magistrates within seven days of any change of address. However, he could not travel any more than ten miles from his residence without a pass, and he had to attend Worship weekly.
He is recorded as living in Windsor in the 1828 Census, age 23, occupation Brickmaker, religion Catholic. There is a column "Free or Bond" he appears to be dsignated "Fr" which would be consistent with the fact that he received his Ticket in 1826. On the next line below him is a record for Judy Fell. Charles and Judy are bracketed together as "Residence" Windsor. This is actually Julia Murphy his wife, whom he married in 1828. She is recorded as 22 years old, not Free (I think). She came out on the Mariner in 1824, with a 7 year sentence, religion Catholic.
Charles married Mary Smith in 1831, after receiving the Governors permission to do so on the 3rd October. It is assumed that Julia/Judy had died by this time but I havent yet found any record of this.
In the 1841 Census of NSW Charles and Mary were recorded as living at New Country Brush, Jamberoo. His employer was AB Spark, a prominent businessman at the time. His house was built of wood, it was completed and inhabited. There were 2 people living there (Charles and his wife Mary), only one of whom was designated "Free" (Charles). Both are recorded as aged between 21 and 45, Charles was Free, Mary held a Ticket of Leave, both were Church of England. Charles was ticked in the box for Occupation entitled "Shepherds and others in the care of sheep, Gardeners, Stockmen, and Persons employed in Agriculture". Mary was recorded in a general category, which excluded Domestic Servants, Agriculture workers, Mechanics, Retail occupations and Professional occupations (including Landowners). Charles made his mark suggesting he could not write.
In 1844 Michael Hyam, who owned the 'Harp Inn' at Jamberoo, conducted a race meeting, on the flat near his inn, which was immortalised in the poem "The Song of the Jamberoo Races". In verse seven the poet refers to the "members from Hell" (Hell Hole Forest) - Jack Hunter, Billy Winley, Dick Lett and Charles Fell. Richard Lett and Charles Fell were a pair of sawyers who had been employed on A.B. Spark's 'New Country Brush' property at Jamberoo since 1841. Jack Hunter may well have been William Windley's partner at Hell Hole Forest. Verse ten of the poem also mentions William Windley and describes the two horses participating in the race:
"There was sporting old 'Jerry', the horse you all know;
That once drew the black cart at famous Channel Row;
Against Billy Wright's 'Pedro' a hardy old dog;
That drew a turf-cart in Allan's Great Bog;
Old Jerry put foot to amaze us
Says Billy Windley, 'He's running to blazes'
'He is' says Ned Ryan 'by Jazes',
At the races of famed Jamberoo."
The colony suffered an economic depression during the 1840's and William's employer A.B. Spark was one of the casualties.
Source: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~johnnichols/williamwindley.html - A history of William Windley, which refers to Charles Fell. © 2002 John Nichols Family Society.
The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal 10 Dec 1858 reported that:
Charles Fell, charged with horse-stealing, was remanded to the 13th inst. for further evidence.
On 15 December it was reported that:
Charles Fell, on remand, charged under the Cattle Stealing Prevention Act, with being unlawfully in possession of a mare, the property of James Hayes, of Bathurst, was found guilty, and sentenced to six mouths' hard labor on the roads, and when not so employed, to be confined in Bathurst gaol.
The NSW Police Gazette, 23 June 1859, records that Charles Fell was released from Bathurst Gaol in the week ending 19 June 1859.... His wife Mary was living in Bathurst in 1855 when she died. But This may have been the Charles Fell from Hartley (see below).
There is a Death Record for a Charles Fell in 1866 at Carcoar, NSW, but this is a different Charles Fell who was a farmer at Hartley and married to Fanny Pembroke (nee Frances Collitt) in 1840. There is also a record for a Charles Fell who died in 1863 in Randwick, Sydney but he was only 21 years old so is not our Charles. These are the only two deaths for a Charles Fell in the period 1840-1905 in NSW. There are no deaths for a person named Charles Fell in the Victorian records at all over the same period.
The following is interesting in that Fell was collecting sawn timber, but seems to be the one mentioned above.
KILLED BY THE CAPSIZING OF A DRAY.-We regret to state that poor old Charles Fell, well known in the western districts as a carrier on the roads for the last thirty years, met with a most untimely death last week. He had gone into the bush for a load of sawn timber, as was his wont, and it appears he must have been two days dead before be was discovered. He was found with the
dray capsized over his body, a knife in his right hand, and a piece of bread and cheese lying alongside of the body, the shaft horse dead, the leader nearly so, and, strange to say, two horses belonging to Mr. John A. M'Donald, innkeeper, that were in the middle of the team were un-
hurt; one standing over the dead horse, the other had got out of ihe harness and was feeding olose by. It will ever remain a mystery how this accident occurred.
Bathurst Free Press, May 2.
From: The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893) Thu 17 May 1866
Noted events in his life were:
• He worked as a Labourer in Brickfield when he was transported on 15 Sep 1819.
• He worked as a Convict in Government Employment in 1825 in Wiindsor, New South Wales, Australia.
• He worked as a Sawyer in 1841 in New Country Brush, Jamberoo, Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia.
• He worked as a Brickmaker at the time of his son Thomas' baptism on 25 Feb 1844 in Jamberoo, , New South Wales, Australia.
• He resided at the time of the 1828 Census in 1828 in Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.
• He resided at at the time of the NSW 1841 Census in 1841 in New Country Brush, Jamberoo, Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia.
Charles married Julia Murphy on 14 Jan 1828 in St Matthew's, Windsor, New South Wales, Australia. (Julia Murphy was born about 1806 in Kilkenny, Ireland and died in 1828-1831 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.)
Charles next married Mary Smith on 12 Oct 1831 in Windsor, New South Wales, Australia. (Mary Smith was born about 1813 in prob Surrey, England, died in 1855 in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia and was buried on 7 Feb 1855 in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.)
The consent of the Governor was received. Witnesses were Peter Gorman & Charles Sommers of Windsor.