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The Trial of Henry Worms [Jan. 20th, 2014|02:04 pm]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |hothot]

In my entry dated December 7th 2009

Ancestry from Van Diemen's Land

I mentioned my ancestor Henry Worms. Henry gets mentioned in the book "Charles Dickens and the Blacking Factory"

 "Allen’s account opens up the world of Warren’s Blacking, taking us beyond the knowledge and understanding of a young child.  But more than that, Allen uncovers a great deal of new information, peeling away layers about Lamerte, the man who first offered Charley the job at the blacking factory, Lamerte’s family background, it’s Jewish roots, his Jewish cousins in the Worms family, Henry Worms – a likely model for Fagin, sent to Australia for handling stolen goods.  Here we have, for the first time, an accurate history of Warren’s Blacking, written down within two years of Dickens working there.  Allen puts before us, from a contemporary source, what really went on in a blacking factory.  Here is a feast of new material.  For anybody who thought they knew the full story of Dickens’ childhood, think again."

 Poor Henry got transported to Van Diemen's land in 1825 for 14 years but seemingly before he begat my grandmothers father....

[ Note Henry Worms was found NOT GUILTY on a previous occasion 22 October 1823 ]

 Here's the account .....

Lewis Worms (his son) stated

"I did not leave the house till the watchman cried nine o'clock, when my father had not returned."

 Here's an account of his second trial.....

I note that a Henry Worms was back at the Old Bailey in 1840 - meaning that he could have returned to England after his sentence was served in Australia but given the account in the book it appears more likely he remained in Australia and died at a ripe old age after several encounters with the legal system.

from the net.....

Henry Worms absconded in 1833 and was listed at large so maybe he disappeared and changed his name

No marriage, births & deaths listed for his name in tasmania.

According to the book "Charles Dickens and the Blacking Factory" after absconding in 1833 Henry Worms appears in court in Australia with his son Henry Lewis Worms joining him in Australia in 1838 - two years after the birth of my grandmother in 1836.

From a University of Sydney blog.....

"Dickens had a keen interest in Australia and fortuitously began publishing the periodical at a transitional moment, just before the heady days of the 1850s gold rush set the world ablaze. The discovery of gold drove a period of mass immigration, expansion into the hinterlands, and caused radical economic and social changes in an emerging nation.

Of the nearly 3000 articles published in Household Words, some 100 related to Australia and have been collected in this anthology. Dickens saw Australia offering opportunities for England's poor and downtrodden to make a new start and a brighter future for themselves; optimism reflected in many of the articles."

 and welcome to 2014 :-)