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Rose Flood

My 4th great grandmother

Rose Flood was sentenced to seven years transportation at the September 1789 Old Bailey Sessions for the theft of an apron (value sixpence) and tablecloth (value 13 pence). She had been lodging with William Connell, a breeches maker of 99 Rosemary Lane*, Whitechapel, for a fortnight when the items were missed. Suspecting her, the landlord enquired at the pawnbroker’s four doors away and found she had pawned the missing items of 13d (pence). At a committal examination she admitted taking and pawning the items pleading that she had been in great distress (poverty). Her shaky signature at the bottom of the statement indicates that she was barely literate. Changing her story at the trial, she claimed to have bought the tablecloth in Rosemary Lane, which had a thriving street market. After two months in Newgate, Flood was sent to the 'Neptune' transport on 11 November 1789.

Less than five months after arrival Flood married Charles Cross (b. c1765, tried Somerset, qv) at Parramatta on 21 November 1790; both signed the register with a mark X (although she had signed the committal document in 1789). The couple were living in a hut at Parramatta in July 1791 when Cross was charged with receiving some clothing, the proceeds of a burglary there. Two constables searching for the burglar arrested James Chapman (qv) and Cross as they were walking together along Parramatta Rod at 4am. Chapman confessed to the burglary and named First Fleet convict Joseph Hatton as the man who had received the stolen clothes and hid them in the bush. Hatton said Rose Cross had begged him to warn her husband that the constables were searching for the burglar. The court accepted the belief of the constables that, although his behavior was highly suspicious, Cross had not known that the property was stolen. Chapman strongly asserted that Cross was innocent. He was acquitted. Hatton was ordered 800 lashes and Chapman was hanged the next day.

In 1795 Cross acquired a farm in the Hawkesbury district which by 1800 was modestly productive with 30 acres sown in wheat and maize. The couple owned 4 pigs and 24 goats. Their children were Sarah (1791), Mary Ann (1792), Susannah 1794, Edward (1799), Christopher (1800) and Elizabeth (1802). The couple were threatened a number of times with the forced sale of their land and possessions to satisfy debts in the 1803 - 1805 period but managed to survive this time of financial hardship. From about 1811 Charles and Rose Cross farmed in the Wilberforce area. They were still there in 1828 when he was listed as protestant, she a Catholic.

Charles died in 1835. Rose died on 4 November, 1836; she would have been about 78. They were both buried at St. Johns, Wilberforce.

*From the book The Second Fleeters, Rosemary Lane is now known as Royal Mint Street, London E1

Submitted by : Jean Macleay, Member WFHG, 17 February 2012

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