Samuel Forward

Samuel  Forward was baptised in Newton St Cyres in December 1796; he was the youngest son of John and Agnes Forward who at various times lived in Crediton or Newton St Cyres.


In 1817, then a stonemason, he was named as the putative father of William, the illegitimate son of Mary Coombe(s) of South Tawton, and made to pay maintenance for this child. However in December that year he enlisted in the 55th Regiment of Foot and served in Canada.


Back in the UK, in October 1820 he was convicted in Lancashire of larceny and sentenced to seven years’ transportation. He was taken on board the “Shipley” in October 1821, arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, in the following March. He was assigned to Messrs Berry and Wollstonecraft who were clearing land south of Sydney.

In 1833 he married another convict Sarah Davis (otherwise Adderley) from Staffordshire.

They lived in and around Kiama on the coast, where he farmed, 70 miles south of Sydney.

Kiama, New South Wales. Famous for its blow holes

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Plots of land in the Township of Kiama owned by Samuel Forward (red arrows)

Courtesy  NSW Land and Property Information

It seems they had no children. Sarah died in Kiama on 3 January 1856, aged 61. By the 16 April Samuel had sold his land and was heading back to England on the “Catherine Adamson”.

He returned to Devon after being out of the country for 36 years. For two years he lived in Crediton with Elizabeth (nee Rogers), the wife of John Williams who for several years had been a pauper inmate of the Devon County Asylum in Exminster.


Samuel died in Crediton on 2 December 1858, aged 62. In his will he left his watch and clothes to his brother William, still living in Crediton; the residue (including most of the proceeds of a secured loan of seven hundred pounds to a Thomas Chapman in Kiama) to Elizabeth whom he appointed as his executor.

At that time and probably unbeknown to him, Samuel's son William Coombe, born before he was transported, was married and living in Moretonhampstead.