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John Moah (1810 - 1892)

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TreeTrimmer
Posts: 4
Joined: 06 Mar 2021, 10:57

John Moah (1810 - 1892)

Post by TreeTrimmer »

Hi All,

I am researching a Black Sheep in my wife's family. John Moah was sentenced to 14 years transportation to Australia in 1855 for fraudulently obtaining £5000 from the Revenue service. He arrived in Western Australia on board The Nile on 1st January 1858. There had been some sort of insurrection for a time onboard. He very quickly was given a ticket of leave, and on 11 Feb 1861 a Conditional Pardon. What I can't understand is that he seems to have come back to UK and continued with good jobs in Liverpool as a Commissioning Agent and later as an Accountant before retiring to Flimby, Cockermouth where he describes himself as a Retired Collector, Inland Revenue and also a local person of importance who gave speeches at local events.

How can I follow up the circumstances that allowed him to return?

Also I am hoping to find his wife Elizabeth Moah (1814) on the 1861 Census when he was in Australia.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Thunder
Posts: 184
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 01:43

Re: John Moah (1810 - 1892)

Post by Thunder »

I think you going to need to look for any records for Australia, particularly for Western Australia and see if you can find the conditional pardon. I am sure the archives in Australia should be able to advise.

TreeTrimmer
Posts: 4
Joined: 06 Mar 2021, 10:57

Re: John Moah (1810 - 1892)

Post by TreeTrimmer »

Hi Thunder,

From what I have read it seems that many prisoners in Western Australia, Freemantle Area were quickly given ticket of leave and Conditional Pardons to enable them to obtain work in the area, and support themselves rather than being guarded by the authorities and given traditional punishment 'work' This seemed a very successful way of dealing with prisoners with less returning to Criminal Ways than in other areas of Australia. Most of the prisoners transported at this time were those who had committed more serious crimes with sentences of 14 years or more.

I found online a Doctoral Thesis which mentions the Nile and the small scale revolt onboard, which ultimately lead to 10 of the most violent prisoners being locked in isolation onboard the ship. Consideration was given to sending these prisoners home but disregarded because more money was paid for each violent prisoner delivered to the destination than ordinary prisoners.

avaline
Posts: 33
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 23:23

Re: John Moah (1810 - 1892)

Post by avaline »

The Inquirer & Commercial News (Perth, WA) of 10 Oct 1860 mentions a John MOA, Storekeeper to Mary Higham, Freemantle.

The passenger list for the Wonga Wonga shows a J Moah (transcribed as S Moah) arriving Sydney, NSW on 28 Apr 1861, apparently from Melbourne. As John received his conditional pardon on 12 Feb 1861, I assume that this is him.

A conditional pardon usually meant they were free so long as they didn’t leave the colonies. My best guess is that he possibly worked his passage home, perhaps using a false name, then once home claimed to have been given a full pardon back in Australia.

TreeTrimmer
Posts: 4
Joined: 06 Mar 2021, 10:57

Re: John Moah (1810 - 1892)

Post by TreeTrimmer »

Thank you Aveline,

This is absolutely brilliant sleuthing. Where did you get this info from? I have checked through Find my Past, and Ancestry World sites and also Family search and collated many of their results. One very interesting result i found was that John's literacy skills were regarded as Superior.
I spotted the info about Conditional Pardon referring t staying in the Colonies, which is why I wondered was he able to come back home. When he did come back he went back to West Derby Liverpool where he was known and later to Cumberland where he was born. He celebrated the fact the he was a Retired Revenue Collector, rather than hide it.

I would love to read a transcript of the original court case - though there were newspaper reports they give a limited picture.

avaline
Posts: 33
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 23:23

Re: John Moah (1810 - 1892)

Post by avaline »

Apologies for the late response - I don't seem to have received a notification email that you'd replied.

The information regarding John MOA was from Trove, and I found the passenger list on FmP.

TreeTrimmer
Posts: 4
Joined: 06 Mar 2021, 10:57

Re: John Moah (1810 - 1892)

Post by TreeTrimmer »

Thanks Avaline,

It just proves that finding evidence is not easy. Even putting Moa in finds all sort of irrelevant hits. The Store Keeper article has John giving evidence in a trial for theft. I have looked through most of the Newspaper listings on FMP today and find that John was appointed to his position as a Senior Revenue collector in 1850. He was based in Chester but his area cover the Northwest of England and parts of Wales. There is an Article of him giving evidence in a case in 1853 where a Shopkeeper was fined £10 for improperly labelling Chicory. He seemed to have enjoyed a good life style and lived on Watergate Street Chester, in premise shared with a Retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Royal Artillery. His job was collecting money from a whole range of other officials, including Customs Duty and Income Tax, every 6 weeks and then arranging for the money to be paid to the Revenue Service. His record keeping was correct, but he didn't pay in all of the monies he had collected. When an inspector was sent to investigate he did not attempt to cover up, admitting that he had spent a lot of it. He liked to gamble at the Horse Races. John presented himself at his trial in Dress Suit and showed no emotion when sentenced. He attempted to appeal against the charges unsuccessfully.

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