Opening his eyes, focusing on a beam of sunlight crossing the room, he thought “What a beautiful 1854 spring morning. Longer, warmer days. It’s great to be alive”
At nineteen the world seemed full of opportunity for a strapping young lad all the way from County Cork, Ireland growing up in Liverpool, England. He had big plans for today. Waving to his mother as he headed out the front door into the busy industrial streets of Toxteth Park. He could see all the way to the docks at the end of the street. The shipyards alive with noise of people hurrying about their day. It didn’t take long to find familiar faces. Thomas Brown strutting towards him with Elizabeth Rafferty and Mary Stanley, on each arm.
“Oh what I wouldn’t do to impress Mary” he thought
Just then he felt a shove.
“Move over, give me some room” came a voice from beside him.
Again he focused his eyes and his surroundings became clear. Sitting in almost darkness, cold and cramped, with chains on his ankles. Impressing Mary had cost him everything. The girls had noticed a somewhat drunk cart owner, Mr Bibby staggering towards home late that evening. They jostled with him in a playful tug-of-war. Then, Mary wrapped her night scarf around his neck and, holding tight let out a yell;
“Quick, check his pockets. He’s sure to have some money”
In that moment life changed.
John Brady, in the charge of Savage Garrotte Robbery, Seven Years Transportation
Source: Liverpool Mercury Newspaper, 14 March 1854
HAA004 Writing Family History
Week 1 E-tivity – The Story in History
University of Tasmania
Student ID: 425182