|Age when admitted:||10yrs|
|Date admitted:||15 Jun 1837|
|Date discharged:||1 Jun 1840|
|Institution(s):||Queens Orphan School|
|Remarks:||mother at Ralph's Bay - father dead Spelt Ratcliffe in admission register|
|References:||SWD28, CSO5/86/1885, CSO5/93/2074|
William Marshall Ratcliffe (originaly listed as Radcliffe) was born 5th June 1827 in Hobart.
His mother Sarah Phillips born 19th September 1802 in Bristol England. She was convicted of larceny stealing a pound note from a man. Transported for 7 years on the "Lord Sidmouth" arriving in Hobart 1823. She as assigned soon after and later married James Ratcliffe at St Davids Church Hobart on 1st March 1824.
James Ratcliffe, a chimney sweep was born about 1800 in England. He was convicted with two others for stealing 8 yards of fustian and some clothes. Transported for 7 years. Arrived on the "Almorah" to Sydney and then "Pilot" to Van Diemen’s Land arriving 24th December 1816.
Sarah and James had a small holding in Ralphs Bay area of about 50 acres.
They had 6 children: James, William Marshall, Robert Felix, Phoebe Elizabeth, John and Joseph Josiah.
James Ratcliffe died 9th march 1837 at York Plains. There are no details of how he died.
Sarah kept the eldest son James to help on the farm and the two youngest children John and Joseph to stay with her.
William, his brother Robert (sometimes listed as Richard) and Phoebe were taken to the Queens Orphan School by Sarah in 1837.
William absconded from the school on 1th June 1840 and went home.