You are in [Events] [1830 Agricultural "Swing" Riots] [Charles Green]

Charles Green was one of the Hungerford men sent to trial for their involvement in the Agricultural "Swing" Riots of November 1830.

The story of Charles Green is a particularly interesting one - and it merits this expanded article.

The Story of Charles Green:

Charles Green was indicted for destroying threshing machines, and forcibly demanding food, was found guilty and was transported to New South Wales (Sydney) on S.S. Eleanor in July 1831 for 7 years, (aged 27 years, 5' 4½" tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes, married with one child, able to read, a labourer (able to plough, reap and sow).

Warren Read (Charles Green's gt-gt-grandson from Australia) kindly emailed the Virtual Museum (Jan 2017) with the following detailed information following his extensive research:

"On 31 Dec 1830 Charles was transferred to the prison hulk “York” at Gosport, Hampshire to await his transportation to New South Wales.

On 1 Feb 1831 Charles was moved to the convict transport the “Eleanor” which set sail from Portsmouth, Hampshire on 19/2/1831 destined for Sydney. All of the 132 convicts onboard were Swing Rioters.

The Eleanor arrived in Sydney on 25 Jun 1831. Charles was assigned to a John Buckland who was a wealthy man residing at Hoare Town which later became known as Douglas Park. John Buckland held several parcels of land in the colony. Charles’ initial assignment was to work on John Buckland’s property in the area of the Illawarra now known as Fairy Meadow. John Buckland who had several convicts assigned to him was known to be a very severe master and the local magistrate, Henry Antill, had occasion more than once to reprimand him for striking and kicking his men. Charles kept himself out of trouble.

Back in Berkshire in January 1833, his wife Sarah Green was allowed five shillings a week by the Hungerford Guardians. In November 1833 the Guardians also authorised that she be issued with a loaf of bread each week for herself and one child.

Charles received his Ticket of Leave for the Camden District on 26 Oct 1836, which meant that he must have been by then working in that area.

That same year because of his good record Charles was able to obtain Colonial permission and free passages to bring his wife and daughter out from England. The application was supported by both John Buckland and Henry Antill. His wife does not appear to have taken up the offer.

The 1837 Convict Muster shows that John Buckland had retained Charles as an employee. Charles was at that time working for John Buckland in the Brisbane Water (Gosford NSW) area. The employer would have had to obtain approval for Charles to leave the Camden District.

Charles later returned to the Camden District and in September 1842 an application by him to marry a fellow convict Rose Cunningham, who was still under sentence, was refused as Charles had stated on his arrival that he was married with a child.

The supporting letter he provided with the application was deemed by the authorities to be a fabrication. Charles apparently did not contest the decision.

Rose Cunningham, who was a Country Servant, had been transported for seven years in 1837 on the “Sir Charles Forbes”.

Charles received his Certificate of Freedom on 20 May 1846. There is nothing to indicate why Charles waited so long to apply for his Certificate of Freedom, which he would have been entitled to in 1837.

Rose Cunningham also received her Certificate of Freedom on 20 May 1846. As they were now both free persons and Charles had been separated from his first wife for many years there was no longer anything to prevent them from marrying.

On 31 Aug 1846 Charles Green, Widower, married Rose Cunningham at St. Marks, Appin. Rose Green died at Appin on 14 Oct 1848 aged about 48 years. There were no children from this marriage.

Charles Green later married Elizabeth Heness at St. Marks Appin on 1 May 1851 with the consent of her father as she was only 18 at the time. A few weeks earlier on 8 Apr 1851 Elizabeth Heness, Spinster of the Bourke Hotel, Appin, gave birth to a daughter. This baby was baptised as Maria Heness on 4 May 1851. We can only surmise that Charles was the father.

In approx 1861 Charles obtained employment as a Labourer/General Servant at the “Nepean Towers” estate of the benevolent Dr. Richard Jenkins at Douglas Park.

Charles’ marriages to Rose Cunningham and Elizabeth Heness both occurred at St. Marks Appin NSW and not at Campbelltown.

His marriage to Rose which had previously been refused by the Colonial Authorities later became possible because the Church was the approving authority for free persons.

Charles was employed by Dr Richard Lewis Jenkins from about 1861 until his death in 1874. Dr Jenkins purchased “Park Hall” from the estate of Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1860 and renamed the property “Nepean Towers”." (see Photo Gallery below)

The Charles Green love token:

Steve Bray (of Worthing UK) kindly contacted the Virtual Museum (Jan 2018) to enquire if the following article (in an Australian newspaper) had caused us to link Warren Read with this Charles Green love token:

The Australian Daily Telegraph (of 3 Feb 2017) included the following article:

Mission to give antique convict love token to rightful owner

Tarik Elmerhebe, Macarthur Chronicle Campbelltown

THE SEARCH is on to find Warren Read — a man who is believed to be the great great grandson of one of the Macarthur region’s earliest residents, Charles Green.

The Macarthur Chronicle was contacted by David Brown, a man from West Sussex, England, who has in his possession a convict love token.

Convicts, about to be sent to Australia, often smoothed over one side of a coin and left an engraving as a memento for a loved one in England.

It is believed Mr Green etched the 1807 penny and left it with his first wife Sarah before he was placed on the SS Eleanor and sent to Sydney in 1831. (Pictures of the love token are in the Photo Gallery of the main article on the Agricultural "Swing" Riots of November 1830).

The message on the coin reads “When this you see remember me until I gain my liberty. A token of love from CG to SG. Dec 9th 1830”.

Mr Brown said he hoped to pass the love token on to Mr Read or another descendant. “I have worked out the various options such as do nothing, sell it, give it to my son and his Australian family, return it to a descendant of Charles Green or give it to an appropriate museum in Sydney,” he said.

“A few days ago I decided that it would be best if it could be returned to a descendant of Charles Green.”

Mr Brown said he was unsure how the old coin came to be in his house.“I have been racking my brain to try to remember but until a few weeks ago I had no idea it was in my possession,” he said.

But the 71-year-old, who has lived in the same house in Worthing, West Sussex for the past 42 years, said he had accumulated a number of possessions from relatives who had died and assumed it likely came from one of them. “I only discovered it when searching for treasures to put in a box for one of our grandsons,” he said. “I opened a bag of old penny coins and was sifting through them when I noticed that it had writing on it. I then Googled the writing and discovered that it was a convict love token.”

Mr Green’s wife Sarah either did not follow him to Australia or passed away soon after doing so. He received his certificate of freedom in 1846. According to Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society historian Marie Holmes, he married Rose Cunningham in 1846 at St Mark’s Church, Appin. She said he later married Elizabeth Mary Henness in the 1850s at the same church. Mr Green was first assigned to work for a wealthy man in Douglas Park. In the early 1860s he starting working as a labourer also at Douglas Park. He died in 1874.

Warren Read added (Jun 2018): "The link between David Brown and Warren Read was established through the email that Hugh Pihlens (Hungerford Virtual Museum) sent to Warren. The newspaper articles which contain a degree of journalistic licence were an after-event."

A Convict Love Token:

Tony Smith kindly emaild (Mar 2018) saying: "I finally came up with a song about my ancestor, Charles Green.

The ballad can be heard on the free service "Soundcloud" - under "A convict love token".

Tony added the following text:

"David Brown of West Sussex came across a coin etched by a convict ‘CG to SG’ in late 1830. He was able to trace a descendant of Charles Green because Warren Read had contributed research on his ancestor to the Hungerford Virtual Museum, In late 2017, Mr Brown came to Australia and presented the coin to Mr Read. It is now in the Camden Museum.

Like Warren Read, I am a great great grandson of Charles Green. I was delighted to discover this third cousin after being ignorant of his existence for 70 years! I am in awe of Warren’s meticulous research and thank him for his generosity in sharing it.

Charles, of Kintbury Berkshire, was in prison for his part in the rural protest movement known as the Swing Riots. These protestors, like the Luddites in urban areas, took direct action against the machines which threatened their way of life. He etched the coin while awaiting transportation for his crimes. He sailed on the Eleanor, which carried 133 men – all Swing Rioters - from Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. He and Sarah were never re-united. The chorus of the song approximates Charles’ inscription."

Warren Read added (Jin 2018): "Charles Green was of Hungerford, Berkshire when he joined the rioters. The coin was etched for him by another inmate whilst he was in Reading Gaol awaiting trial."

Photo Gallery:

18300000 Love t...
18300000 Love token 18300000 Love token
NepeanTowers
NepeanTowers NepeanTowers

Charles Green Love Token (kindly sent by Warren Read, Jun 2018)

Nepean Towers (kindly sent by Warren Read, Jun 2018)

Further information:

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr Read or another descendant of Charles Green should contact the Chronicle on 8832 1670 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See also:

(all by kind permission of Warren Read):

- Life Story of Charles Green (updated Nov 2017 - 14 pages)

- Transcripts of petitions and letters relating to Charles Green

- Charles Green and Rose Cunningham's marriage

- Charles Green and Elizabeth Heness's marriage

- Article in Australian Daily Telegraph 3 Feb 2017

- Article in District Reporter, 8 Jun 2018 "A convict's token of love" (kindly sent by Warren Read)

Return to main article on the 1830 Agricultural "Swing" Riots