Samuel Hurved

Samuel Hurved and Mary Ewings were both born in Sandford in 1801. Samuel when aged 8 had been apprenticed to farmer John Pope, junior, for Woodparks.

Samuel and Mary were married in Sandford Church in 1826 and went on to have eight children over the next 20 years.

In January 1849 he was arrested for stealing a sheep.

He was a bit unfortunate. Some weeks previously a packman (travelling salesman) had called at his house in East Village to sell his goods, and had been offered mutton in exchange. Suspecting it must have been stolen, he wrote anonymously to the parish constable William Wellacott, suggesting that if he should hear of sheep being stolen in the neighbourhood of Sandford, he should at once get a warrant and search Hurved’s house.

So when, on 4 January, Abraham Bere of North Creedy Farm lost a sheep, and the constable of Sandford hearing of the robbery, he availed himself of the information he had received, and immediately obtained a warrant. He searched Hurved’s house, in which was found the four quarters of a sheep recently slaughtered; the skin was found buried in the garden. Hurved not being able to give any account how he came by the mutton, was apprehended. The next day he was taken before the local magistrate John Quicke, Esq., (of Newton St Cyres) and fully committed to take his trial at the next Sessions.



The Devon County Assizes were held at the Castle in Exeter. Hurved’s case was heard on 20 February in front of Baldwin Fulford JP (1801 – 1871 of Great Fulford, Dunsford).

What is unusual about this case is that some of this magistrate’s notes survived and have been transcribed. From these it appears that Abraham Bere had checked his 41 sheep in a turnip field on the afternoon of 3 January between 4 and 5 p.m. and that they were alright. Next day just after 9 a.m. he found some sheepskin in the next field and about 20 yards off some ewe fat. One ewe was missing; it had a dark spot on its ear and a sore foot. The skin corresponded. The same day he went to house of Hurved with the constable and found mutton and mutton fat. Also part of head was on the table for dinner.

William Wellacott testified that he found fresh mutton in the bedroom, about 40lb. In an outhouse he found 2 forequarters hidden under straw. He arrested Hurved. On his way to gaol the prisoner told him that (his son) Elias had nothing to do with the crime, and that poverty and a large family had driven him to it.

He was found guilty and sentenced to transportation for seven years. He was remanded in Devon County Gaol until 4 May when he was transferred to Bath Prison, but it wasn’t until 4 Feb 1851 that he left Portsmouth in “Lady Kennaway” with 230 other male convicts, on her second convict journey to Hobart, Tasmania, arriving 27 May.


He was described as a farm labourer and gardner, aged 50, 5'4¼", dark complexion, dark brown hair, with hazel eyes. He had a scar on his chin. Church of England. He was able to read and write "a little".

He was assigned to Mr Richard Crocker, of Thornhill, Sorell, near Hobart

In February 1856, when he obtained his freedom, he married Jane McFarlane in Chalmer's Free Church in Hobart. His wife was probably another convict, Jane Woodhouse, born in Ross-on-Wye in 1813, and the widow of John McFarlane. Samuel was now 55, she about twenty years younger. Both described themselves as widowed. The following year this notice appeared in a Hobart newspaper –

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Between 1871 and 1880 they lived in New Zealand, in the South of South Island, in the Jacob’s River area of Riverton. There farm ironically was named Woodparks, after the farm in Devon where as a youngster he had served his apprenticeship.


In 1873, he won prizes at the Western District Grain Show for his kidney potatoes, swede turnips, green top and fresh butter.


He sold his farm in 1880 and then his livestock and farm equipment etc. were sold at an auction.

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Surprisingly he seems to have returned to Devon, aged 80. He must have arrived a short while before his death at Frost Cottage, near Morchard Bishop, on 25 March 1881. He was stated to be a coal dealer. He was buried at Sandford on 1 April. Two days later, the 1881 census was conducted which showed his widow, Jane Hurved (shown as born in Hobart Town, Tasmania) resident at "Milestone". She was the sole beneficiary of his will, written on the day of his death and witnessed by Thomas Zeal, schoolmaster and Robert Tucker Grant, a butcher in Oldborough, close by. His estate was valued at under £100. A Jane Hurved died in the asylum at Cane Hill, Croydon, in 1896: this is probably Samuel's widow..



The early 19th century milestone is opposite Frost Cottages - XI Miles From Exon (11 miles from Exeter, along the turnpike road.)

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Back in Sandford, in 1851, shortly after Samuel left his family for Tasmania, his wife Mary was living in the village with her three youngest sons, earning a little as a weaver. All the other children were servants. Their eldest son Elias, 21 was in Exeter Prison, serving an eighteen month sentence for “assault with attempt to ravish”. Son Samuel was an agricultural labourer with the Ocock brothers of Upton Hellions nearby. He married in 1858 and then moved with his wife to Somerset, as servants for Frederick Comyns Kingdon whose wife Jane had lived at Lower Creedy Farm. They moved back to the Crediton area, but Samuel died in 1891 after he was crushed by the cow he was milking at Yendacott in Shobrooke. Mary Hurved died in Sandford aged 77 in 1878, 2 years before her husband returned from New Zealand.

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The gravestones of the Hurveds in Sandford. There were originally three gravestones. Left: Samuel Junior (who was killed by a cow) and his daughter, Emily Mary.  Right Samuel Hurved who died after returning from New Zealand. The missing third stone, which was to the left of Samuel Junior's, was in memory of Mary Hurved, his mother, and Samuel's first wife.

Emily Mary

Beloved daughter of

Samuel and Eliza Hurved

Who died Jan 13 1878

Aged 17 years

Also of

Samuel Hurved

father of the above

who died Nov 8 1891

aged 55 years


The beloved husband of

Jane Hurved

who died March 26 1881

aged 79 years

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