Friday 7 September 2012

Love in the Age of Convicts

UPDATE: Click here to read the full article 'Love in the Age of Convicts' on the website of Traces magazine.

There's a great story in the Sep-Oct 2012 edition of Inside History magazine that has some wonderful local connections! The story of Joseph Crippin and his family is one of five convicts profiled in a Love in the Age of Convicts feature, which can also be read on the Inside History blog.

One of Joseph's grandsons was Frank Thomas Jnr of Coorow - later known in Coorow and Carnamah as Thomas the Bushranger! His escapades were a nuisance to local farmers and a fear to women. He made headlines when he repeatedly escaped custody. It is interesting to look at his convictions in light of his grandfather's convict past!

Joseph's daughter, who was the bushranger's mother, was Mrs Beulah Thomas. Along with her second husband Beulah was one of the earliest settlers of the Coorow district and for a number of years lived at Coorow House.

Other grandsons of the convict and sons of Beulah include Charles and James Starling, who both worked for the Midland Railway Company in the Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs districts; and Jack Thomas who farmed for a great many years in Coorow, Gunyidi and then Marchagee.

The connections don't end there! A great grand-daughter of convict Joseph Crippin is Pearl Starling, who spent some of her childhood in Coorow. In 1927 she married Malcolm Macpherson, a great grandson of Duncan and Mary Macpherson who settled in Carnamah in 1868. Her husband Malcolm was the last Macpherson to own the Macpherson Homestead in Carnamah!

Pictured above is the September-October 2012 edition of Inside History which includes the great Love in the Age of Convicts feature. In addition to the Crippin story there's another four very contrasting stories about convicts and their love lives.

UPDATE: Click here to read the full article 'Love in the Age of Convicts' on the website of Traces magazine.

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