Ellis Nicholl

Ellis Nicholl the son of weaver Francis Nicholl of Southowram.

He was baptised at Halifax Parish Church [1788].

In 1805, he joined the army for unlimited service.

In 1818,

Private Ellis Nicholl, aged about 29, five feet nine, dark brown hair, hazel eyes, dark complexion, a mason by trade, born in the Parish of Halifax was discharged from the 1st Battalion 84th Foot Regiment because of ulcers on his right leg of eighteen months standing.

He had served eleven years, two hundred and ninety five days service, from the 10th of November 1805 to the 31st of August 1817.

His general conduct was described as indifferent

On 23rd November 1818, he was a labourer when he married (1) Damaris Barker [17??-1830] of Halifax, at Halifax Parish Church.

At the West Riding October Session in 1824, he was sentenced to one year in prison for larceny.

At the West Riding January Session on 11th January 1827, he was found guilty of stealing a cask of black beer. He was sentenced to be transported for 7 years. He spent 5 years on the prison hulk Ganymede at Chatham before being pardoned in March 1832. His gaol report read

has been convicted once before, a quiet man and has behaved well in gaol

On 6th November 1832, he was again a labourer when he married (2)  widow Mary Stewart at Halifax Parish Church.


  1. Mark [b 1833]
  2. Sarah [b 1836]
  3. Mary Ann [1837-1903] Halifax

Daughter Mary Ann Nicholl had a son Mark (father unknown) born [1860-1904]. On 1st December 1889, she married widower Thomas Barrett – who had 3 daughters – at Halifax Parish Church

At the West Riding Session at Wakefield on the 6th January 1836, he was found not guilty of larceny before convicted of felony.

On 29th December 1837 he, John/Joseph Hutchinson of Lincolnshire, and William Mason of Sheffield, escaped from York Castle. Having feigned illness, the 3 men had been placed in the prison hospital and during the night, had broken through the 3-feet thick brick walls, and climbed down knotted sheets to scale the walls. A reward of £30 was offered for their apprehension.

On 30th January 1838, Constable Frazer of Halifax caught Ellis

On 3rd March 1838, he was found guilty of breaking and entering the house and shop of William Bentley at Southowram on 17th July 1837, and stealing a quantity of linen, cotton, tea and other articles. He was described as

married with 3 children

A sentence of death was recorded,

with an intimation that he would probably be transported for 15 years

He was sent from York to the Justia, a prison hulk at Woolwich, where the gaoler's report read:

Transported. Very bad character

He was one of 350 convicts who left England for Van Diemen's Land on the Coromandel [25th June 1838]

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:04 / 12th May 2021 / 5191

Page Ref: X2081

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