Daniel SIMS (1810-1885)

Daniel SIMS was from a labouring family in the village of St Mary Bourne in Hampshire.  On the 22nd November 1830 he took part in the local swing riots with his brother John and father William amongst others.  For his part he was transported to New South Wales, Australia, a place from which he would never return.


Daniel was the son of William SIMS (1778-1862) and Eliza GOODYEAR (1784-1856) of St Mary Bourne.  He was baptised there in the parish church on the 14th October 1810[1].  There is no record of him after this date until he is mentioned with regards to his part in the local riots.

As previously stated on the 22nd November 1830 he took part in the local riots, from this day his life would have changed dramatically. The Criminal Register[2] for the Special Commission at which he was tried is available on Ancestry.co.uk it lists him as having been sentenced to Death for the crime of Robbery.  The sentence is then commuted to Transportation for 7 years.

On the 19th February 1831 Daniel left England on board the Eleanor and set sail for New South Wales arriving at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) on the 25th June 1831.[3]

For more information about the journey see “The St Mary Bourne rioter’s journey on the Convict Ship Eleanor, 1831”.

The Convict Indents on Ancestry.co.uk give us more detail about William and what he looked like, whether he could read or write and what he was capable of doing occupation wise.[4]

Standing No. of Convict: 31-866
Indent No.: 98
Name: Daniel Sims
Age: 20
Education R Reads, W Writes: R
Religion: Protestant
Single, Married or Widowed: Single
Children Male/Female:
Native Place: Hampshire
Trade or Calling: Ploughs, reaps, sows
Offence: Machine Breaking
Tried Where/When: Southampton Special Gaol Delivery/18 December 1830
Sentence: 7 Years
Former Conviction: None
Height Feet/In.: 5ft 5½in
Complexion: Ruddy
Colour of Hair/Eyes: Brown/Brown
Particulars Marks or Scars, Remarks: Irregular perpendicular scar at top of forehead right side.  Son to No. 31-831


The Convict Lists tell us that when he arrived he was that he was assigned to be employed by Mr Hutchinson in Sutton Forrest.[5]

Convict List for William & Daniel Sims (c. 1831)

We know no more about him until he receives a Ticket of Leave in 1836.

ticket of leave was a document of parole issued to convicts who had shown they could now be trusted with some freedoms.”[6]

His ticket of leave is dated the 2nd March 1836, it gives some of his details and at the bottom states “Allowed to remain in the District of Liverpool, On recommendation of the Sydney Bench, 22097 Dated October 1835”.[7] It appears that it took some time from the recommendation to the actual issue of the ticket of leave.  This information is reported in “The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tuesday 29 March 1836”.

On the 18th December 1837 he received his “Ticket of Freedom”[8].  This is exactly 7 years after his conviction.  This must have been a momentous occasion for him as he was now free to make a new life for himself.  The Sydney Monitor, Monday 15 January 1838 states “Colonial Secretary’s Office, Sydney, 8th January, 1838. The undermentioned persons have obtained Certificates of Freedom since last publication, … Sims Daniel, Eleanor

A Certificate of Freedom was a government issued document given to a convict in one of the Australian penal colonies at the end of the convict’s sentence. This stated that the ex convict had been restored “to all the rights and privileges of free subjects” effectively now a free person and could seek out employment or leave the colony.”[9]

On the 19th October 1844 when he married Emma Park(es) at the Scots Presbyterian Churc h, Pitt Street, Sydney[10].  No children were born of this marriage.

As is typical of the working class little is reported on, but a few snippets do come up during the next 40 years.

In November 1860 he petitioned the local authorities about the state of the drains, this was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 29 November 1860

Daniel Sims, Drain problem 1860

In August 1861 he had cause to report to the Police that he had been assaulted in his own house.[11]


In 1877 he is found living off Botony Road, Botany, NSW and his occupation is given as a Market Gardener.[12]

On the 22nd May 1885 he passed away at 24 Fort Street, Sydney.  He was buried the next day at Rookwood Independent Cemetery[13] [14].

Whether Daniel learned to write so that he could communicate with his family back home in England is not known but he must have at least spoken of them as his parents are stated on his death certificate which means either his wife or his nephew (who registered his death) must have known their names.   His large tombstone available to view on Ancestry gives the impression that he did well out of life as a market gardener otherwise how would his family been able to afford it.

I like to think as is the case with many former convicts his life was a good one once his sentence was over, and that what started as a punishment became a way of escaping the hardships at home and a way to better himself in Australia.


[1] Parish Registers – St Mary Bourne, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom, 96M82 PR2 CB 1800-1812

[2] England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 – Class: HO 27; Piece: 41; Page: 298. (available on ancestry.co.uk, accessed: 13 Jul 2014)

[3] The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), 28th June 1831, Pg2 (accessed: 13 Jun 2014

[4] New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 – State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia; Series Number: NRS 12189; Collection Title: Annotated printed indents (ie. office copies); Item: [X633]; Microfiche: 696.  (available on ancestry.co.uk, accessed: 13 Jul 2014)

[5] New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834, Class: HO 10; Piece: 29. (available on ancestry.co.uk, accessed: 13 Jul 2014)

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ticket_of_leave

[7] New South Wales, Australia, Tickets of Leave, 1824-1867, State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12202; Item: [4/4101]; Reel: 965. (available on ancestry.co.uk, accessed: 14 Jul 2014)

[8] New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867, tate Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia; Series Name: Butts of Certificates of Freedom; Series Number: NRS 12210; Archive Roll: 999. (available on ancestry.co.uk, accessed: 14 Jul 2014)

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certificate_of_freedom

[10] Ancestry Public Tree: Marriage Certificate uploaded for Daniel Sims & Emma Park (1844) to public tree Parkes/Hobbs on 4th June 2009 by user mmparkes. (accessed: 27 Mar 2013)

[11] New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 (available on ancestry.co.uk, accessed: 14 Jul 2014)

[12] Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia, 1858-1933 (available on ancestry.co.uk, accessed: 14 Jul 2014)

[13] Ancestry Public Tree: Death Certificate uploaded for Daniel Sims (1885) to public tree Parkes/Hobbs on 2nd  June 2009 by user mmparkes. (accessed: 27 Mar 2013)

[14] http://www.rookwoodindependent.com.au/

2 thoughts on “Daniel SIMS (1810-1885)

  1. What an interesting site. What has made it more interesting is that my 4th Great Grand Uncle, Joseph Pope of Edmondsham Dorset, was convicted of a similar offence in the Swing Riots, found guilty, sentenced to death and commuted to 7 years transportation and was on the same voyage as William and Daniel. Amazing how a simple link on a website can produce such coincidences.

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