This site is mainly focused on Margaret Howe‘s eldest son, James Hicks and his family – however some details are also shared on the site about his parents, siblings and their descendants. A detailed Family Tree for Margaret Howe, and her children with Richard Hicks and Thomas White can be found here – and an Index to References to Margaret Howe & her family can be found here.
Margaret Howe was born in 1778 in Surrey, England, and died on 15-12-1837 in Castlereagh. She was tried 9 Aug 1802 at Guildford, Surrey, and sentenced to 7 years. It is believed her crime may have been as follows :
‘…….On the tenth day of July in the forty second year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third [that is 1802] ….. About the hour of one in the night of the same day, with force and arms, ……. The dwelling house of MARY JONES widow, ……. Feloniously and burglariously, did break and enter, and two kettles of the value of 10 shillings, one copper lid of the value of two shillings and sixpence, eight knives of the value of one shilling and fourpence, nine forks of the value of one shilling and sixpence, and nine spoons of the value of five pence, of the goods and chattels of the said MARY JONES ……..’.
Margaret was apparently in the company of one Arthur McGinnes when the break, enter and steal crime was committed. The jury decided that Margaret was guilty of stealing but not guilty of breaking and entering the house. She was sentenced to be transported for seven years. The trial was held on the 9 August 1802 and she sailed on the “Experiment” under the command of Master T. J. Withers arriving at Sydney Cove on 24th June 1804
Source : “Convict Indent: 191-631-392/3 Surrey goal delivery – tried 9 August 1802 – 7 years transportation. Sailed from England on the experiment, arrived Sydney Cove 24 June, 1804”
Margaret was transported on the Experiment, (carrying almost entirely female convicts), which sailed with the Coromandel (which carried the male convicts). Initially the Experiment left on 4.12.1803, but was damaged, and had to return to Cowes for repairs, then finally leaving 2.1.1804. On arriving in Sydney 12.6.1804, there were strong winds and the ship could not be landed for some days.
Margaret may or may not have married Richard Hicks, but it is unlikely that a marriage occurred. The muster of 1806 states Margaret is housekeeper to Richard Hicks, and the muster of 1814 states Margaret is wife of Richard Hicks. The details we believe are correct for James Hicks‘ father are : Richard James Hicks was born in Kent England in 1785, and convicted on 13th of October in 1797 at Kent Quarter Sessions Maidstone. He was then amongst the convicts who departed in 1801 on the Canada, which arrived at Sydney in 1802 – though there is some dispute, ie an earlier arrival date of late 1801.
Richard James Hicks and Margaret Howe were to have 3 children, Sarah Mary (1806), James (1810), and Ann (1816). Sarah was a “colourful character” and was listed under her married name, Hust/Hurst (first husband was George Hurst), when she came before before the magistrates in the Illawarra in 1827, and also in the Census of 1828, she was listed as living with William Bristow in the Illawarra. It seems that Sarah came before the courts more than once, for assault and theft, and quite possibly may have ended up in Windsor gaol. She later married Joseph Herbert, son of John Herbert & his wife Deborah (nee Ellam) and is buried under the Herbert name. The early years of the Colony were full of such colourful characters.
In the same Census of 1828, Sarah‘s sister Ann Hicks is listed as living in the Illawarra as a servant to William Bristow. However little is known of Ann‘s later years. Sarah, William and Ann all appear in The Index to References in The Illawarra Pre 1856 (AP Doyle & Michael Organ) – however it is not known as yet exactly where they were living. At this point in time it is believed that both Sarah and Ann left the Illawarra, Sarah possibly from as early as 1833.
Margaret married Thomas White, on 03-04-1819 in St Luke’s, Liverpool – there were 3 children of the relationship – Thomas Jnr (1818), Elizabeth (1821) and John George (1826 in Wollongong).
Thomas White was believed to have been born 1775 in Cork, Ireland, and his occupation was Sawyer. He is believed to have died in 1829 in the sinking of the Foxhound off Coalcliff. The wreckage was reported to authorities by “Charcoal” Will the chief of the tribe at Bulli.
Sarah Hicks and her step-sister Elizabeth White married two brothers, Joseph Herbert and John Herbert, who were the sons of First Fleet Convicts, John Herbert and his wife Deborah Ellam.
Margaret White (nee Howe) died in 1837 – this is possibly her gravestone – note the 1838 date, however.