Van Dieman's Land


traditional (as sung by Ewan MacColl)

Now come all you wild and wicked youths, wheresoever you may be
I pray now pay attention and listen unto me
the fateful awful transports as you shall understand
and the hardships they do undergo upon Van Diemon's Land.

My parents reared me tenderly, good learning they give to me
'til all my bad companions beguiled my home from me
I was brought up in Worcestershire, near to the Tunbridge wells
my name is Henry Abbott, and many knows me well.

Me and three more went out one night to squire Daniel's farm
to get some game was our intent as the night come falling down
but to our sad misfortune, they took us there with speed
they sent us off to Warrick jail which made our hearts to bleed.

It was at the magistrates, at the bar we did appear
like Job we stood with patience to hear our sentence there
and being some old offenders, it made our case go hard
our sentence were for fourteen years, and we were sent on board.

The ship that bore us from the land, the Speedwell was her name
and for four months and a half we plowed across the raging main
no land or harbor could we see, and believe it is no lie
all around us one black water and above us one blue sky.

I ofttimes look behind me towards my native shore
and that cottage of contentment that I shall see no more
likewise my aged father, who tore his hoary hair
also my tender mother whose arms once did me bear.

It was on the fourth of July, the day we made the land
at four o'clock we went on shore, all chain and hand in hand
and to see my fellow sufferers, I feel I can't tell how
some chained onto a harrow, and some onto a plow.

So we were marched into the town without no more delay
and there a gentleman took me, a beekeeper for to be
I took my occupation, my master likes me well
my joys are out of measure; I'm sure no one can tell.

He kept a female servant, Rosanna was her name
for 14 years a convict, from Worcestershire she came
we ofttimes tell our love tales there where we are so far from home
for now we're rattling over chains in foreign lands to rome.



SURNAME: ABBOTT GIVEN NAME: HENRYOTHER NAMES: N
AGE: 0 SEX: M ALIAS:
PLACE OF TRIAL: Queens CountyTRIAL DATE: 00/00/1835
PLACE OF IMPRISONMENT: DOCUMENT DATE:
CRIME DESCRIPTION: Murder
SENTENCE:
SHIP:
PETITIONER: RELATIONSHIP:
DOCUMENT REFERENCES: CRF 1836 misc94
MICROFILM REFERENCES:
COMMENTS:
Correspondance in connection with the murder of a Mr. Carters in Queens Co. in which the convict was believed to be implicated.

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