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Joshua Denley
c1867, Cooma


Photos supplied by Jill Roder [jillybelle-at-hotmail.com]  14.09.11

Joshua Denley 1850-1929


William Henry Denley 1904-1981


Information supplied by Jill Roder [jillybelle-at-hotmail.com] (This information has been collated over many years by myself Jill Roder, (Denley family history researcher).  A big thank you to John Denley Barnes from England (Denley family history researcher, and author of A Clearing in the Vallley); with whom I have corresponded for many decades;  also Alison Lyons (Denley family history researcher) from Queensland who assisted with the Queensland link of Charlotte Denley, twin daughter of Joshua and Charlotte Denley, who married John Wright; and various other researchers too numerous to mention. All have contributed essential information to enable, I feel,  a true representation of this line of the Denley family whose family started in Australia with convict Joshua Denley being transported to Tasmania, and later marrying Charlotte Moore).

Joshua Denley was born June 20, 1806 and christened July 27, 1806 in St John the Baptist Church, Croydon, Surrey, England. Joshua's early life is assumed to have been spent in or near Croydon, Surrey, England.  Joshua, and a sister, Charlotte, are known to have fallen foul of the law. In Charlotte's case, for pick pocketing, while Joshua appears to have been arrested and tried on two separate occasions. Life was harsh in those times and crimes were treated accordingly. Joshua's first brush with the law in 1826 saw him receive a seven year sentence, but presumably for good conduct he only served four years eleven months of this term at Dolphin, Chatham, Kent. It is interesting to note that during his incarceration on the Hulk Dolphin, it was reported in the London Times that the hulk caught fire on the night of October 16, 1829. She housed 650 - 700 prisoners, and was supervised by Captain George Lloyd. Arson was suspected. Hulks were large old warships converted to imprison convicts and ease overcrowding in gaols. In 1776, the government passed a ‘temporary’ Act of Parliament to hold prisoners waiting transportation to Australia. Despite concerns and protests over the inhuman conditions, the process was in place for over 80 years, with some prisoners serving their entire sentence on the hulk.  On the second occasion Joshua appeared at the Surrey Quarter Sessions at  Southwark, England. Both of his offences are unknown. Records show that Joshua Denley, aged 26, was convicted at Southwark, Surrey, England on July 3, 1832, for a term of fourteen years. He was transported on board the York II, from Plymouth, Devon, England, to Van Dieman`s Land, arriving there December 29, 1832. The York II' was a 429 ton, E1 class sailing ship, built in 1819 at Southwick, commanded by Captain Richard Spratley.  The surgeon was James McTernan.  After 119 days at sea the York reached Hobart Tasmania on December 29,  1832. Joshua Denley's name appeared on the Convict Absconder`s List in 1836, his assigned Convict Number 798. He would have been eligible for release in 1846 aged 40, and departed Launceston Tasmania on the brig Palmyra on August 30, 1846, arriving in Sydney NSW on September 5, 1846. It appears he may have married Charlotte Moore in Tasmania about 1840, and according to details on Charlotte`s Death Certificate, together they produced eight (8) sons and five (5) daughters. Of these thirteen children, only four sons and two daughters have been traced. After their son, William, was born in 1851, they decided to try their luck in the Victorian goldfields. The discovery of gold in the 1850s was the most significant event in the evolution of the state of Victoria. In July 1851, Victoria gained its` independence from New South Wales and the very same month the Victorian Government announced that gold had been discovered. Fuelled by extravagant stories of wealth gained at the 1849 Californian gold rush, gold fever hit Victoria, following the early gold discoveries around Clunes, Warrandyte, and Ballarat. An eager digging population was on the move from other colonies within the Australian continent. A building boom soon followed the rush of riches and lavish houses began appearing on the streets of previously quiet pastoral towns. In the 1850s the heaviest traffic in Australia was on the road from Melbourne to Bendigo. Within a decade the population of Australia had trebled. Following the news of discoveries of gold near Kiandra NSW in 1859, Joshua and Charlotte and their family settled at Mount Pleasant near Myalla NSW, in the Snowy Mountains area near Cooma. Tragedy struck on February 28, 1867 when Joshua`s wife Charlotte, aged 46, died from an abscess on the liver. Charlotte Denley was buried on March 2, 1867 at Cooma NSW.  Verbal history from Bill Denley, son of Charles of Pound Hill, Queanbeyan, told to Bert Sheedy in 1964, was that Joshua Snr and the four boys, Joshua Jnr, William, John, and Charles, were working in the Kiandra Goldfields and Joshua Snr disappeared one night and never returned to camp.

Unable to discover the whereabouts of their father, the boys split into twos, with the younger pair, John and Charles, walking over eighty miles to the Goongongs, a familiar area to them, five miles south of Queanbeyan and fourteen miles south of Canberra, to where they were raised. The two older of Joshua`s sons, Joshua and William, also kept in touch with each other. Thirty odd years later Charles met up with William, and the four brothers were again reunited.


Descendants of Joshua Denley

Jill Roder <jillybelle-at-hotmail.com>  18.11.06
Recompiled from the new Monaro Pioneers database: 9.06.08
with some additional information supplied by:
Marg Denley [mldargyll-at-bigpond.com] 15.01.12


Descendants Report



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