On the History Trail: emigration

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Next week’s On the History Trail focuses on emigration from the region in the 18th and 19th centuries.

A young Pocklington shoemaker called John Champley was sentenced for two years hard labour for being party to the theft of eighty pounds of butt leather in Pocklington on 13 December 1817.

He was sent to the House of Correction in Beverley but attempted an escape by scaling the wall with a rope but was caught and sentenced to transportation to Australia. He arrived in the penal colony of Sydney in October 1819.

After serving his sentence, he was assigned to a shoemaker in Parramatta and eventually left with the shoemaker’s wife.

This story, and others, provides a fascinating account of how Pocklington and district residents were convicted of the most petty of crimes, and then transported to the colonies where they served their sentences, and later released to help build the fledgling communities of the British colonies.

Full story in next Thursday’s Pocklington Post (24 October).