Convict Histories

Edmund Champ (1830 – 1853) (Reg. No. 1763)

By Irma Walter, 2019.

Three men, Edmund Champ, Daniel Steel and James Witt were convicted at Southampton in Hampshire of sheep-stealing in the Parish of Hale and were sentenced on 4 March 1849 to 10 years’ transportation.[1] They were in a group of Hampshire prisoners taken to Millbank Prison in May 1849.[2] In 1852 Champ’s companions James Witt and Daniel Steel were sent onboard the Equestrian (3rd voyage) to Tasmania.

Champ spent time in Portsmouth Prison[3] before being taken onboard the Pyrenees (2nd voyage). He arrived in Western Australia on 30 April 1853. His description – single, 5’8½”, light coloured hair, grey eyes, oval face, fair complexion, tolerably stout, with no distinguishing marks.[4]

He received his Ticket of Leave on 1 May 1853. His life in WA was cut short as the result of an accident while employed by William Pearce Clifton: A Ticket-of-leave holder was accidentally killed a few days ago in the Leschenault district. The man, whose name was Edward Champ, was a sawyer in the service of Mr Pearce Clifton, and was in the act of felling a tree, when it fell upon him, and occasioned such injuries as to cause his death.[5]

Marshall Waller Clifton of Australind made a note in his journal that he was ‘unable to go down to bury Pearce’s Sawyer killed in falling a tree’.[6] Where Champ was buried is not known.


[1] England & Wales Criminal Registers, Hampshire 1849.

[2] Hampshire Telegraph, 5 May 1849.

[3] National Archives, Portsmouth Prison Registers, Nos. 2901 – 49-40, Series PCOM2, Piece No. 107.

[4] Convict Ships to Western Australia,

[5] Perth Gazette, 2 September 1853.

[6] P Barnes, JM Cameron, HA Willis, The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840-1861, Hesperian Press, Carlyle, WA, 2010, p. 453.