Convict Histories

James Abram (or Ibram, alias Ashcroft) (c1819 – ?) (Reg. No. 1678) [Note: Not to be confused with James Abraham, Reg. No.1323.]

By Irma Walter, 2020.

At the Liverpool Boro’ Sessions in December 1849, James Abram, (alias Ashcroft), aged 28, was found guilty of stealing 70lbs mutton, the property of James Boal.[1] As he had a previous conviction, James was sentenced to seven years’ transportation.[2]

He arrived in WA onboard the Dudbrook on 7 February 1853, described as a labourer, aged 34, 5’2”, with light hair, hazel eyes, oval face, his build proportionate, and a cut on his right cheek. He was married with two children.[3]

James Abram received his Ticket of Leave on the day of his arrival and his Conditional Pardon in January 1854.[4] By July 1853 he was employed by Marshall Waller Clifton, of the Australind settlement, where he appears to have been a trusted servant:–

6 July 1853 – Abrem [Abram] joined. Gardening all day. Ashleaved potatoes.

8 July 1853 – James Abrem took charge of the Cattle, 64 in number.

5 Octo. 1853 – Heavy Thunder & Lightning & beautiful rain in the night & Morning. Started off French, Offer[5], Webb[6] & Abrems with the Cattle.

10 Octo. 1853 – Abrems came in having lost many of the Cattle.

4 Jany 1854 – James came in and I agreed him for One Year for £20.

11 Jany 1854 – James came in at night being burnt out at Mornington.

12 Jany 1854 – Mama still very ill: & as Jas. Abram was going to Bunbury I sent him to Dr. Brydges.

13 Jany 1854 – Counted Sheep made them [..?]. Sent Jas. Abrams out with them.

14 Jany 1854 – Men fencing & Jas. Abrams with Sheep.

19 Jany 1854 – Having sent Hutchinson[7] & Jas. off with the Sheep …

15 Feby. 1854 – Went up to Rosamel & received Possession from Hardy who had signed the Agreement on 1st Feby to quit this day. Put Abram in Possession of the House, & sent Dicky Woods to Myarlup to bring down the things from the Station in Hardy’s Cart.

13 Mar. 1854 – Mark Stott[8] came into My Service, Hut keeper & Farm Servt but I kept him at Rosamel till Jas Abrahams was well.

23 Mar. 1854 – Mark Stott has gone over with the Sheep as Hut keeper & James remained at Rosamel.

30 Mar. 1854 – James Abrams ill.

27 Apr. 1854 – Jas Abram came in with complaint against Offer.[9]

The reason for the complaint against Offer was not explained. There were no further references made to Abram in the Clifton journals. No other records have been found to indicate where James Abram spent the remainder of his life.

[1] Liverpool Mercury, 11 December 1849.

[2] England & Wales Criminal Registers, 1791 – 1892, Lancashire 1849.

[3] Convict Department, Estimates and Convict lists, (128/1-32)

[4] WA Government Gazette, 14 February 1854, p.2.

[5] Henry Offer, Convict No. 746

[6] Charles Webb, Convict No. 1811

[7] Henry Hutchinson, Convict Reg. No. 126

[8] Mark Stott, Convict No. 1552

[9] Barnes, Cameron, et al, The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840 – 1861, Hesperian Press, Victoria Park, WA, 2010.