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Orphan Number: 3164
Orphan: William LAWSON
Mother:LAWSON, Mary Ann
Mother's ship:
Father's ship:
Age when admitted:5yrs
Date admitted:20 Feb 1829
Date discharged:10 Aug 1839
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: Herbert Jones
Remarks: mother a convict at Female Factory
References: SWD24p123, 28, CSO5/86/1885

This orphan has been claimed by: Andrew Cocker

William is my great great uncle.  He is the son of Hugh McMillan and Euphemia Lawson.  The admission register incorrectly records his mother's name as Mary Ann.

Euphemia Lawson was born on 26 Jul 1802 to William Lawson and Jean Campbell in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1821 she married Hugh McMillan, a house painter born at Paisley, Renfrewshire about 1800. Known to Edinburgh authorities as honest and decent, she was convicted of murder and sentenced to death at the Edinburgh Court of Justiciary on 17 December 1827 for throwing sulphuric acid over a neighbour named Archibald Campbell. Euphemia was married and living with her husband when taken but he was found not guilty of the same crime. She had two children who came out with her. She was convicted in, and continued to use, her maiden name which was common practice in Scotland at that time.

The two children, William and Sarah, accompanied Euphemia when she was transported for life to Van Diemen’s Land on the Borneo which arrived at Hobart Town on 8 October 1828 and they were both admitted, but separately, to the Orphan School at New Town a few months after arrival. Euphemia's conduct record paints a picture of a sad and violent life with many reports of drunkenness. Nearly twenty years after she arrived in Hobart Town she received an additional life sentence for 'feloniously stabbing Mary Worster with intent'. She was still a convict when she died a pauper at the New Town Charitable Institution on 9 Sep 1878, aged in her 70s, and more than 50 years after she was originally convicted.

WILLIAM LAWSON, apprenticed to my service from the Orphan School, having absconded—any person found harboring or employing him after this notice, will be prosecuted as the law directs—He is about 17 years of age, dark hair, and was dressed at the time of abscond­ing in corduroy jacket, moleskin trousers and blue cap.

T. W. Midwood.

April 6, 1841

 Colonial Times Tuesday 27 April 1841 Page 3

William Lawson, indented apprentice from the Orphan School, charged by his master with neglect of duty, and absence without leave, convicted to the House of Correction to hard labour for fourteen days. Saturday, April 24

Thomas Wroot Midwood was an ex-military, middle ranking public servant, Deputy Assistant Commissary General, living in Hobart from the 1820-1850’s.

William died at the New Town Charitable Institution on 26 Apr 1886 and was buried at Cornelian Bay.

 See also his sisters, orphans no 3163 and 3157/2227


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 Site last updated June 2021