back to Down St Mary                                       back to Clannaborough

Elizabeth Furze

Elizabeth Furze, the daughter of George and Elizabeth, was baptised in Down St Mary Church, Devon on 30 July 1797.

She had two brothers, who later lived in Alphington, and a sister Mary who married William Luxton of Zeal Monachorum and then lived in Bow. All the males worked as farm labourers.

In 1824 her illegitimate daughter Eliza was baptised at nearby Clannaborough Church.

On 11th  November 1828 in Clannaborough she married Nathaniel Ware (b1799), a farm labourer born in Bondleigh. Shortly afterwards they had a son, Robert, who was also baptised in that church. (Prior to his death in 1837, her father had been Church Warden at Clannaborough and lived at Clannaborough Cross .)


map showing Clannaborough Cross, and the churches at Clannaborough and Down St Mary

Nathaniel and Elizabeth moved to Kenton before the birth of her second son, William, in 1830.


In October 1836 she was convicted of receiving stolen goods namely “some beef, a duck, a quantity of cider, 18 eggs and some apples”. These had been stolen by Louisa Larkworthy from George Ireland in Kenton. Elizabeth was sentenced to seven years transportation. She was remanded in the Devon County Gaol until April 1837, when she and six other female convicts were put on board the Zephyr steamer at Topsham to be taken to the Platina convict ship on the Thames. She was immediately transported to Tasmania.


[In September 1836 her husband, then living in Alphington, had petitioned for clemency on the grounds that this was her first offence and “...the extreme poverty of the family meant they were unable to bring witnesses to the prisoner's trial because of the distances involved.”]

In Tasmania she received a conditional pardon in 1842. In that year she married Robert Purton, a convict who had arrived on the York in 1832; after which there are no further records of her. A Robert Purton with wife and child sailed from Tasmania to Adelaide in 1846.


By 1841, back in Alphington, Nathaniel was living with his new “wife” Ann and their one year old daughter Georgiana, until:

Fatal Accident at Alphington. [13 June 1856]

An inquest was held at the Admiral Vernon Inn, Alphington, on Saturday last, before R. R. Crosse, Esq., (coroner of the district) on the body of a farm labourer named Nathaniel Ware, a married man living in Midway Terrace, who had been accidentally killed on the previous day whilst in the employ of his master Mr. Way, farmer. The deceased, with another man named Burridge and a boy called Rowe, had been to a field on his employer's farm to load home vetches in a waggon with two horses. On returning home they had to bring the waggon down a steep hill in a narrow lane, called "Blackberry" or "Hangman's" Lane, and to do this the fore horse was detached and sent to the bottom of the hill by the boy, whilst the wheels of the waggon were chained and the deceased took the head of the shaft horse to lead it. Burridge followed behind. When about half way down the hill the deceased passed over to the other side of the horse, and whilst doing so the shaft struck him and knocked him into the hedge. The wheel of the waggon then directly came in contact with and crushed him, breaking nearly all his ribs. Burridge and Rowe immediately rendered assistance, and extricated the deceased from his position, but the unfortunate man died on the spot. He was removed to his own house near at hand, where the jury viewed the body. He has left two children, but both are getting their own living. The jury returned a verdict of "accidental death."


The two surviving children were Elizabeth’s son, William, an iron moulder, and Georgiana. Nathaniel's widow, Ann moved into Exeter, later relying on parochial relief, and died in Crediton in 1896.