Keep Family Genealogy Forum
Thank you for your message. I have a full copy of the indictment against Richard Keep -(for handling a stolen bag of beans!) - from the Surrey Summer Assizes for 1807. He was found guilty and sentenced to transportation for 14 years. I have a small problem with this, because I have had to take it on trust that this is Richard Keep born in Marston, Beds in 1765, but I have no direct evidence for this. In the indictment, Richard Keep is said to be 'of St Mary Lambeth in the county of Surrey'. I have copies of the account book of the overseers of the poor of Marston, whcih continue to record payments to 'Richard Keep in want' until 1809 - by which time Richard was in Australia. Perhaps this is a shorthand way of recording payments made to his dependents. There is a record of someone with the surname Keep breaking into the local lock-up in neighbouring Wooton to rescue an accomplice, and Richard's son in law, William Hurst (alias Goodman) was certainly transported to Australia for horse theft in 1823. (I have a copy of a small book written by the owner of the horse, desribing his chase across England to catch William Hurst. In this, Hurst tells how he and his friends sold stolen farm produce in London, so this could explain Richard's Surrey address.) It would not be out of character for Richard to be convicted of theft, but have you any direct evidence that the man transported in 1808 came from Beds?