14 Mar 1800
Married Thomas Russell Pigram
19 Oct 1820
Died Jan-Mar 1881
Children with Thomas Russell Pigram
Elizabeth Pigram, died young
Unknown Pigram, alive when father was convicted of embezzlement, but died before the census of 1841
Ann Pigram, born during her father’s imprisonment
John A. Pigram, born after the family was reunited
Elizabeth married Thomas Pigram when she was still a minor, and lived most of her life without him. Christened Thomas Russell Pigram, Thomas took a certain pride in his middle name, and I have not identified a single record, from birth through criminal conviction to eventual pardon, where he did not identify himself as “Thomas Russell Pigram”. The three two-syllable words roll off the tongue with a metered smartness: Tho-mas Rus-sell Pig-ram.
After marrying in
What he used it for is not known. According to the court transcript, Elizabeth’s family had previously raised large sums to cover for him, but in this case he was discovered having received two sovereigns from a grocer named Henry Parton, before he could restore them. As a result, Thomas was tried for embezzlement.
The trial took place at the Old Bailey in
The defense inquired whether the grocer had actually lent the money to Thomas rather than paying off a debt. Parton conceded that Thomas had indeed requested a loan, but when he gave Thomas the money he verbally stated the true purpose. He also didn’t get a receipt for the transaction. This is peculiar. If a man asks another man to lend him some money, it would be very odd to pay money intended to fulfill an obligation to a third party instead.
Regardless, the testimony against Thomas by Parton and his employer’s clerk Charles Neal was enough to convict him of the crime. His sentence was “14 years transportation”, which meant exile to Australia, New Zealand, or some other faraway place for 14 years.
Though essentially a death sentence, this sort of penalty for a petty embezzler was not so unusual for the times. Thomas was sent from court in London to the prison hulk Ganymede, a ship moored at the port of Chatham – coincidentally enough, home of the grocer from whom he had collected the two pounds.
Convicts were not usually sent directly into
exile. They often stayed on
the prison hulks in
This was the case with Thomas Russell Pigram. He was not hardened or hostile and took to prison discipline with comparative ease. The jailor’s official record states that Thomas “behaves well here”, and Thomas was pardoned 9 Jun 1832, after serving six years of his fourteen year sentence.
Six years is still plenty long to be separated from
family, and we can dare imagine the emotion of their reunion. Life had not been easy on the
outside: Shortly after Thomas’ conviction
Together again, they continued on in
Thomas Russell, son of James and Elizabeth Pigram, christened 13 Jul 1798
Parish Records for
Elizabeth, daughter of Tilden & Mary Wilmshurst, christened 14 Mar 1800
Book: Volume 35
Thomas Russell Pigram of the parish of
Note: Both Thomas and Elizabeth signed their name.
St James Garlickhythe, City of
Elizabeth Pigram, res #
Note: Parents are not mentioned, but in 1841 the
family lived at
Proceedings of the Old Bailey Criminal Court,
May Session 1826
Before Mr. Recorder.
907. THOMAS RUSSELL PIGRAM was indicted for embezzlement .
MR. ADOLPHUS conducted the prosecution
Mr. WILLIAM ALLEN: I am a wholesale cheesemonger . The
prisoner was in my service, and entrusted to collect monies for me. Mr.
Cross-examined by Mr. PHILLIPS
Q. What salary had the prisoner?
A. Thirty-five shillings a week; he has a wife and two children - he has stated to me that he has repaid 75 pounds and 25 pounds, which he had used, but I know nothing of that; I know nothing of any deficiency prior to February - he never returned any money to me, as having used it.
HENRY PARTON: I am a grocer, and live at
Q. Might not you have paid him in silver?
A. No - I am certain it was sovereigns.
Q. Did he borrow 2 pounds of you?
A. He asked me to lend him two sovereigns - I gave them to him, and told him to place them to my credit, as I owed Mr. Allen an account; I made it an express condition that he was to put it to my credit.
CHARLES THOMAS NEALE: I am the prosecutor's clerk - it was the prisoner's duty to account to me for money he received. When he came from his Christmas journey he delivered me an account, in his own hand-writing, which I produce - here is no account of this 2 pounds.
Q. Do you know of his being deficient in 75 pounds and 25 pounds, and paying it back when he got money?
A. He certainly was deficient; when I applied for
75 pounds to Mr. Alchin, of
Q. Was that before or after you discovered it?
A. Afterwards, about February this year - he had received it in August.
GUILTY . Aged 27.
Transported for Fourteen Years .
Thomas Russell Pigram, 27, tried for embezzlement at Old Bailey, May Session 1826, sentenced to 14 years transportation
Register of the Ganymede, moored at
Received from Newgate (
Thos Russell Pigram, 27, convicted of embezzlement in Middlesex on 11 May 1826, sentenced to 14 years, pardoned 9 Jun 1832. Character from gaoler: Behaves well here.
Note: From wikipedia.org: "Ganymede was the French frigate Hébé captured in 1809. She was converted to a prison hulk in 1819 and broken up in 1838." Register for the vessel appears to go back to 1814, however.
1841 Census District 14, St. James Garlick Hythe, Middlesex
Elizabeth Pigram, 40, laundress, not born Middlesex
Ann Pigram 14, born Middlesex
John A. Pigram 6, born Middlesex
Mary Wilmshurst 60, laundress, not born Middlesex
Mary Wilmshurst, 40, "F. L.", not born Middlesex
Note: They lived at
Ann, Daughter of Thomas Russell (a grocer) & Elizabeth Pigram, of 194 Upper Thames St., London, baptized 1 May 1842 by J. Luhton (?), Rector in Parish of St. Michael Queenhithe, in City of London,
born 5 Oct 1826
1851 Census District 2d,
Elizabeth Pigram servant 51, born
Note: Served as a nurse for a 3 and a 5 year old in the home of Benjamin Stable, a “Clergyman no cure”. Lived on Common.
1851 Census District 2a,
James Wilmshurst head 43, born
Sarah Wilmshurst daut 12, born
Elizth Wilmshurst daut 8, born
Jonathan Wilmshurst son 6, born
Mary Wilmshurst daut 3, born
Ebenezer Wilmshurst son 1, born
Ann Jonathan m-in-law 70, born Cardeger the Cardigan, housekeeper
John Pigram apprentice 16, born London Upper Thames, apprentice
Mary Thomas visitor 36, born
Note: Lived at
1861 Census, District 5, Clapham,
Elizabeth Pigram, servant, 61, born
Note: Lived in home of Arthur Wilson, an unmarried 45 year old woolen cloth merchant. As there were no children in the household according to the census, she may have served as nurse for William Wilson, a “gentleman” 80 years of age. Lived at #3 Lark Hill Grove.
1861 Census District 1,
John Pigram lodger, 25, born
Note: Lived in household of James Davis, rope and twine maker master. Lived on High Street.
Name: John Pegram, Agnes Couchman
Year of Registration: 1862
Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec
John, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Pigram of
Note: Occupation is probably that of John and not his father, since John was almost 30 years old and his father had probably been dead for a couple of decades. It is possible that after being pardoned Thomas was a butcher, but we have no records for that time period and don’t know how long Thomas lived after prison.
1871 Census, District 4, Lee,
Ann Pigram, visitor, 72, grocer's widow, born
Note: This is probably
1871 Census, District 2,
John Pigram head 39, born
Agnes Pigram wife 40, born
Thomas Pigram son 10, born
John Pigram son 8, born
William Pigram son 6, born
Elizabeth Pigram daut 3, born
Note: Lived on High Street.
Name: Elizabeth Pigram
Estimated birth year: abt 1801
Year of Registration: 1881
Quarter of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar
Age at Death: 80
Note: It is very likely that this is her.
1881 Census District 2,
John Pigram head, born
Agnes Pigram wife, born
John Pigram son, born
William Pigram son, born
Elizabeth Pigram daut, born
James Pigram son, born
Alfred Pigram son, born
Henry Pigram son, born
Emily Pigram daut, born
Note: Lived on High Street.
1891 Census District 2,
John Pigram head 58, born
Sarah Sivyer boarder 58, born
William Pigram son 27, born
James Pigram son 20, born
Henry Pigram son 14, born
Emily A. Pigram daut 12, born
Kate F. Pigram daut 9, born
Note: Lived at Lan Yard.
1901 Census District 2,
John Pigram head 69, born
Emily A. Pigram daut 21, born
Note: Lived on High Street.
Name: John Pigram
Estimated birth year: abt 1832
Year of Registration: 1908
Quarter of Registration: Apr-May-Jun
Age at Death: 76