James Goddard

"The Holes Was Eaten By Rats ..."

Web Site Main Pages: Home Hudson Family Page


James Goddard (1822-1860)

Compiled by Russell Hudson 28 January 2006. Updated 15 September 2006.

The Barwon River near Pollocksford, Victoria

My great-great grandfather, James Goddard, was born in Hawley, Hampshire on 9 October 1822 and was transported to Victoria as an "exile" in 1847. James married Mary Askew, originally from Derbyshire, on 6 January 1863 at Christ Church, Geelong. Their marriage certificate confirms that both he and Mary were resident at "Pollocks Ford" prior to their marriage, and is likely they were still in the district at the time of the birth of their first child, Mary Jane Goddard, on 4 September 1863. Mary Jane's marriage certificate gives her birthplace as "Mudgee Boloc", believed to be the Shire of Murgheboluc, located immediately to the north of the Barwon River and just west of "Pollocks Ford".

View downstream and south-east across an abandoned ford to the new bridge on the Barwon River at "Pollocks Ford". 

(Photograph God-gee-015, Russell Hudson, 2002)

God-gee-015.jpg (32216 bytes)


Link Pages: Exile Hawley Prison Records Joseph Somes Geelong District Mary Askew Goddard Family

James Goddard of Hawley, Hampshire

My great-great grandfather James Goddard was the first of my ancestors to come to Australia, arriving in Geelong on 24 September 1847 at the age of 24 years. He was an "exile", a convicted prisoner given a Royal Pardon conditional on him not returning to England during the unexpired term of his sentence. He was one of 249 exiles to successfully complete the three month journey to Australia on the sailing ship "Joseph Somes", departing from Spithead on 4 June 1847. James Goddard walked ashore at Point Henry, near Geelong, as a free man, and with a contract to work for a Mr. Willis of Geelong for a period of 3 months at an annual salary of 25. For details of how I came to the conclusion that my great-great grandfather was an exile and that he was born at Hawley, Hampshire, readers are referred to the link Exile.

James Goddard was born on 9 October 1822 at Hawley in northeast Hampshire, England (see the link to Hawley). He was the first of ten children of James Goddard and Jane Coffee. Few details are known about his childhood and education, but at the age of 22, in 1845, official prison records indicate that he was married with two children and employed as a farm labourer in the Hawley-Yateley district. The circumstances of his trial and imprisonment are summarised below, and described in greater detail in the link to Prison Records.

On 30 June 1845, James Goddard was tried at the Winchester Sessions (Southampton County) for housebreaking. It was alleged that on 16 May 1845 he broke into the house of John Edgel of Hawley and stole a clock. He was found guilty and was sentenced to 10 years transportation  . He spent about four weeks in Winchester Gaol, before being transferred on 23 July 1845 to Millbank Prison where he remained until 21 August 1945. He was then transferred to Pentonville Prison, where he remained until 26 March 1847 (about nineteen months).

In Pentonville, he and a number of his cellmates were identified as prisoners of good behaviour and were recommended to be classified as "exiles", whereby they would receive a Royal Pardon, conditional on them being transported to the Port Phillip District in Australia and remaining there until such time as their sentences had expired. For further details on "exiles" see the link to Prison Records. James Goddard was then transferred back to Millwall Prison where he remained until 12 May 1847, before embarking on the ship "Joseph Somes" for the voyage to Australia. The sailing vessel, with 249 exiles on board, sailed from Spithead on 4 June 1847, arriving in Geelong on 24 September 1847. For details of the voyage to Australia click on "Joseph Somes".

A New Life in Australia

The "Joseph Somes" disembarked its exiles at Point Henry, a sand spit partially closing the entrance to Corio Bay upon which Geelong is situated (for descriptions of the Geelong District click the link). They were briefed as to the colony's expectations for their future behaviour, and those with employment contracts were introduced to their future employers. James Goddard could both read and write, although the records from Millbank Prison suggest that his abilities in these disciplines were “imperfect”. His occupation prior to imprisonment was described as “Labourer” (Millbank Prison records) and “Farm Labourer” (Pentonville Prison records), and within Pentonville he was trained as a “Carpenter”. On arrival in Australia, James Goddard was to be employed by a Mr Willis of Geelong for a period of three months; his occupation was given as a "General Servant". Mr Willis also employed other exiles from the “Joseph Somes”, including William Furnifs (who Mr. Willis employed as a “General Servant”), Andrew Harper (who was employed as a “?Cutter”), and James Wilkinson (employed as a “Carter”). James Goddard’s pay was set at an annual rate of 25.

James Goddard’s employment history in Victoria is not known in any detail, but the following facts provide some control on his movements and occupations. He was resident at Pollocksford at the time of his marriage to Mary Askew on 6 January 1853, and probably remained in the district until after September 1853, when his first daughter, Mary Jane Goddard, was born at Murgheboluc. He was thus working on the Barwon, to the west of Geelong, in the early 1850s. It seems most likely that he received his first posting to this district immediately on disembarking from the "Joseph Somes" in September 1847, to take up a work contract on a property on the Barwon River, owned jointly by Mr Edward Willis and Captain Charles Swanston, (see the link to the Geelong District page where some details are given of Willis and Swanston and their property holdings).

A further clue to his employment history occurs on the certificate of marriage between his daughter Mary Jane Goddard and William Hudson on 4 September 1873 (some 13 years after his death). On this document his occupation is described as a “gardener”. It is possible he was employed in the gardens or orchards of properties along the Barwon, or perhaps found work in the vineyards that were established along the Barwon, and particularly at Pollocksford. Following the birth of their first child, James and Mary Goddard moved from Pollocksford and, as  all subsequent Goddard children were born in Geelong, it seems he worked in the Geelong area between about 1855 and his death in 1860.  At the time of his death on 11 February 1860, he was resident at Austin Street, Chilwell, Geelong, and his occupation was listed as “Labourer”.

A Cottage in Austin Street, Chillwell, Geelong

James and Mary Goddard (nee Askew) and their family were resident at Austin Street, Chillwell at the time of his death on 11 February 1860 at the age of 37 years. I do not know which particular cottage was the Goddard home, but Austin Street contains a number of nineteenth century cottages similar to the beautifully restored example that is illustrated in the photograph. 

(Photograph God-gee-041: Russell Hudson, 2002)

God-gee-041.jpg (26915 bytes)

For more details of James Goddard's life after his marriage to Mary Askew, readers are referred to the page Mary Askew and in particular the paragraph entitled "Marriage to James Goddard".

Return to Top of Page