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William Messenger (1801–1830)

William Messenger was found guilty on 29 March 1820 at the Gloucester Assizes  of stealing clothes. His death sentence was commuted to life transportation. He arrived at Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in December 1820.

Convict Punishments

  • 9 February 1826, very strong suspicion of having stolen a cloak of skins, the property of a fellow, prisoner, and for gross prevarication when examined by the Commandant; dismissed from his position as overseer and one month in irons
  • 3 November 1826, for repeated insolence to his master was ordered to work in irons for a month
  • 2 November 1827, for disobedience and insolence was sentenced to two months in a chain gang
  • 15 May 1830 having criminal intercourse with Julia Anstey, an infant, committed for trial.

On 14 June 1830 Messenger, and fellow convicts Richard Yewdle and John Brady, were found guilty of the rape of Julia Anstey and were hanged on 10 July 1830 at Launceston, Tasmania.

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Citation details

'Messenger, William (1801–1830)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]




10 July, 1830 (aged ~ 29)
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: death
Commuted To: life
Court: Gloucestershire
Trial Date: 29 March 1820


Occupation: labourer