William Bown (c1806-1 Sep 1893)

Below are two extracts from the Derby Mercury of 1827 and 1828. These describe the trials of William Bown.

William was finally transported on "The Albion"(3) and arrived in Port Jackson on 3 Nov 1828. He used the name William Bownds and fathered 17 children who lived to adult age.

William died on 1 Sep 1893 at Wodonga, VIC, Australia. Bownds street in Albury, NSW recognises the family's long connection with the area.

Derby Mercury 15th August 1827

William Bown, aged 21 was indicted for stealing at Kirk Ireton, on the 2nd April last, five hog sheep, the property of Joseph Matkin. The prosecutor stated that he was a farmer residing at Kirk Ireton aforesaid, and that on the 2nd April last he had a flock of sheep in number of forty-five depasturing in a close called Gorsty Hill, all of which he saw safe about 11 o'clock in the forenoon of that day; that on the following Wednesday he went to look them over and found five of them (two ewes and three wethers) missing and that about six weeks before the robbery he had purchased the same five sheep of a person named Dean, and when he received them in to his possession they had been previously marked with a blue dot upon the hip; that in about a month after he had first missed the sheep he saw them again in a field on Wirksworth Moor, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Hall, and that Dean, the person from whom he had purchased them, was with him at the time.

Mr. John Ford, farmer, at Bradburn, stated that he was in a Lane called Hognaston Old Lane on the 2nd April last about 8 o"clock in the evening, and saw the prisoner with five sheep trying to drive them over a bridge; that witness assisted the prisoner in getting them over, and having known the prisoner several years, afterwards accompanied him as much as half a mile on the road, that in the course of conversation prisoner told witness he had purchased the sheep at Wirksworth Fair on the 25th March last for 18s.6d. each: he was driving the sheep in a direction from prosecutor's close called Gorsty Hill, towards Hognaston.

Samuel Smith knew the prisoners very well and on the 2nd April last overtook him on the road leading to Tissington between ten and eleven o'clock at night with five sheep; witness walked with him about a mile.

Mr. Thomas Hall, farmer, at Middleton, stated that he was at Ashborne Fair on the 3rd April last, and bought five sheep from the prisoner at 15s. a head, having one shilling returned; that he left the sheep in the care of a butcher named Slack, with directions to drive them to a farm occupied by witness at Hopton; that they were subsequently taken to his farm a Middleton, and having been marked on the ear, were sent to depasture on Wirksworth Moor; witness was quite sure they were the same five sheep he purchased of the prisoner at Ashborne Fair; he could speak to them from their general appearance, and from the particular notice he took of them when he bought them; they had each a blue mark upon some part of the body, but he did not positively remember where. He afterwards stated that he thought it was on the hind part.

Witness being cross-examined, said the prisoner told him his name, and where he came from, and that the sheep were exposed in the open fair at Ashborne, which was about three miles from prisoner's home. John Dean was then called, and confirmed the fact of his having sold five sheep to the prosecutor marked with the blue dot as before described. He further stated that on the 28th April last, he went with prosecutor to Mr. Hall's field on Wirkworth Moor, where he saw five sheep, which on examination proved to be the same five he had sold to prosecutor; they had then witness's blue mark on them, and in addition and ear mark; he was confident they were the same sheep.

Mr. John Brittlebank of Ashborne and two others with all of whom prisoner had lived, spoke favorably of his character. The jury found the prisoner Guilty, but recommended him to mercy on account of his youth, and good character given him. Guilty - Judgement of death recorded.

Derby Mercury 26th March 1828 CROWN BAR. Friday March 21st

The court assembled this morning at nine o'clock, and the first prisoner placed before the bar was William BOWN, aged 22, charged with being at large before the expiration of the term for which he had been sentenced to be transported.

Prisoner pleaded guilty; on which judgement of death was immediately recorded against him.


Wodonga and Towong Sentinel (Vic. : 1885 - 1954) Friday 11 August 1893 One of the oldest residents of this district, Mr William Bownds, sen., who resides at House Creek, fractured his thigh on Tuesday morning last. The unfortunate man, who has reached the extreme age of 94 years, cannot ex- plain the cause of the mishap, but thinks that he became light headed and fell to the ground near his hut, breaking the hip bone. Mrs Bownds, who is very short-sighted, apparently did not perceive the injury her husband had sustained for some time, and the old man lay all day in his hut suffering acutely. In the evening, fortunately, Mr Michael Ryan, a neighbour, called with some provisions, and at once he saw that something serious had occurred to Mr Bownds, and, with the aid of a buggy, brought the sufferer to Dr Schlink. The medico, after examination, advised the removal of the patient to the Albury Hospital, which was accordingly done. He is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances, but it is doubtful if he will recover at such an age.


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