Mary Hindle, with other alleged rioters, was taken to Lancaster Castle to await trial. This began on Tuesday 8th August 1826. When the trial ended several days later, thirty-five men and six women, including Mary Hindle, were sentenced to death.
On 8th September the death sentences were, in the case of eight men and two women - Mary Hindle and Ann Entwistle - commuted to transportation to New South Wales for life. The remaining men and women received prison sentences - none longer than two years.
Many people in Haslingden were disturbed at the harsh sentence meted out to Mary. On 10 October 1826 John Holgate, a Helmshore factory owner, sent a petition signed by thirty-four "very respectable inhabitants" (including William Turner himself) to Robert Peel, the Home Secretary. Other petitions by the Revd. William Gray J.P., the vicar of St. James; by George, her husband, who said she had simply gone to the scene of the riot to look for her daughter; and by her late father'semployer, John Rostron of Holcombe (who offered her a job for life). All were rejected.
On 25th April 1827, exactly a year after the riot at Middle Mill, Mary Hindle left Lancaster Castle for Woolwich and the convict ship "Harmony". She arrived in Sydney, New South Wales on 27th September 1827. She was in the ship's hospital suffering from pleurisy for most of the voyage.
Mary was assigned, as a convict to be a laundress for the family of John Nicholson, who was Mater attendant at the Dockyard at Darling Harbour (now part of Sydney Harbour).
On 30 September 1830 Mary wrote to the Govern of New South Wales asking if a pardon for her had arrived from England. The answer was "Nothing is known about this matter".
A year later, on 19 November 1831 Mary received her "Ticket of Leave". This was only given for good conduct and exempted her from working for a particular employer, provided she remained in the district of Sydney. This was renewed on 12 February 1835.
The next reference to Mary Hindle is in the "Government Gazette" of April 1838. Unfortunately she is on the list of runaways apprehended in the third week of that month. She absconded as she was being escorted to Parramatta Female Factory (a prison, hospital etc) and recaptured several days later. (It is possible she was found out of her district, which was strictly forbidden).
Sometime later, on 28 May 1838, whilst in Parramatta Female Factory, Mary wrote to the Governor asking for a free pardon. Three anotations on her letter show how the injustices she suffered were to continue. "Is this woman one of the machine breakers?" "No pardon has been received for this woman," (dated 22nd June); "Let her be told so through Mrs. Leach," (dated 25 June). (Mrs. Leach was the Matron of the Female Factory).
In 1840 it is possible that Mary Hindle was a laundress for Thomas Ryan, the Chief Clerk to the Principal Superintendent of Convicts. Thomas Ryan, an ex-convict himself, lived at 139 Princess Street, Sydney. Sadly, in the Government Gazette for June 1840, Mary is again listed as a runaway from Thomas Ryan since 6 June. She was apprehended within days.
However, on 21 August 1841 Mary took her own life whilst in Parramatta Female Factory. She was buried the following day in the graveyard of St. John's Church, Parramatta. There is no headstone. So ended fifteen years of imprisonment and transportation with all the horrors that went with both.
In the petition of the thirty-four signatures in 1826, Mary Hindle is described - "---hath uniformly borne a good character for peaceable demeanour, honesty and industry ---- she was not activated by any malignity of dispostion ----- and further, your petitioners are truly affected by the severity of her sentence ----".
John Rostron's (her father's employer) petition spoke " ---- very few have come so clean and descent and none have done their work better ----". He then asked that Mary be restored to her family.
Mary Holden, as she was, bore a name, which is arguably the oldest in Haslingden. Nothing - the good name of her family or the petitions on her behalf - made any difference to those in the legal and political system who were determined to make a example of a descent woman in order to put fear in the hearts of others. The accusations that she destroyed looms were never proved. Elementary justice would have see her acquitted.
Like so many in East Lancashire, Mary Hindle endured starvation and deprivation. The death of her mother, father and two children within three years indicates the effect on her family alone. To bring the full retribution of the law onto Mary Hindle in such circumstances was monstrously cruel and unjust. This continued even in New South Wales.
The manner of Mary's death is especially saddening after being treated with such gross injustice, prejudice and bigotry. The "The Mary Hindle Centre" will keep her name alive in the minds of those who deeply oppose such things.
Our many thanks to the late William Turner who compiled this information back in - February 2000.
|This was Davitts home in Wilkinson St|
from 1867 to 1870 - The spot
is now marked with a
Davitt Stone Memorial and Plaque
|A beautiful drawing showing Michael Davitt in the upper rooms of the Mechanics Institute (Haslingden Library) - source unknown|
|New badge erected for Robert Scott VC |
(Photo: Courtesy of Hylton Craig)
|This is a copy of the actual birth certificate for Robert Scott|
(Click over certificate to enlarge)
|Click over to enlarge|
This is the 1911 Census Return for the family that lived at No.14 Peel Street at that time, so it's
clear the Scott family had left this address previous to 1911.
|Robert's baptism certificate showing he lived at Havelock Terrace at that time (June 7th 1874)|