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Joseph Drury

(b.1773 d. 1823)

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Joseph, the son of Joseph and Hannah, was born on 29th. July 1773 (Ref:01) and married Ann Heath at St. Nicholas church Kenilworth.

Joseph was a wool comber by trade and was apprenticed on 29th. July 1773, at the age of 20, to Robert Warrington of Coventry (Ref:63). The wool industry was changing rapidly at this time as more and more machines were being introduced to do labour intensive work and when Joseph completed his apprenticeship the future must have appeared bleak. There was a large amount of unrest in towns and villages around this time as the work force rebelled against the relentless progress of the machines which were effectively putting them out of their jobs.

Joseph was probably caught up in some of the rioting that took place around this time and is known to have been convicted in 1807 of 'Larceny' and sentenced to 12 months hard labour. He is shown in the Kenilworth Manor Suit Rolls of 1807 to be in 'gaol'. In addition he was convicted again in 1812 and sentenced to 7 years Transportation, however, it appears he served out his sentence on various prison ships (hulks) until he received a full pardon in 1817. (Ref:98). To add to his problems when he was released his wife, Ann Drury, was pregnant with a child of Samuel Bishop (Ref:97).

A convicted criminal his future employment prospects would have been severely impaired and with his family life clearly in a mess he took the decision to emigrate to Canada. His exact date of departure is not known but, from land petitions, he is know to have been in Canada by 1819 and he is known to have taken two of his sons with him, Richard and Thomas. In the Kenilworth Manor Suit Rolls Joseph is shown paying his fines and attending court between 1808 and 1811. In 1812 the entry changes to 'Ex' meaning he had left the parish and in 1814 the entry changes to Ann Drury, his wife, presumably because he was in prison at this time. Assuming he departed around 1818/19 his sons, Richard and Thomas, would only have been 13 and 15 at this time and so would have been quite young to go on such a trip.

Whatever date they departed, and for whatever reason, they are know to have been in York (now Toronto), Canada, by 1819. The journey was hazardous and they almost didn't make it when the ship they were on which was taking them from New York to York sank and they had to complete the trip by wagon via Niagara to York.

Canada in those days was divided into two parts, namely Upper and Lower Canada. Upper Canada was the area around the head waters of the St. Lawrence River and is now known as Ontario; Lower Canada is now known as Quebec

The land was divided into Counties and then again into Townships which , in turn, were divided into Lots. It was these Lots which were given to settlers after they had sworn an oath of allegiance to the King and paid a small fee. The settler did not choose his Lot he was merely given a 'location ticket" and would have to fulfil certain conditions before he could claim title to the land. The Lots were almost 200 acres in area and in order keep his Lot a settler would have to begin settlement duties within one month and clear and fence 10 acres of land, build a house at least 16 feet by 29 feet with a shingle roof and clear at least half his road allotment (33 feet) in front of his Lot. Only when this was done was he able to claim title to the land and pay his tax of £3:5s:2d.

In 1819 Joseph, having reached Toronto, was given a 'location ticket' for Lot 30, Concession 1, Oro Township, Simcoe County. This he settled with his two sons but the land turned out to be rather poor and in 1820 Richard and Thomas took a further Lot, Lot 12 Concession 1, which they split in two, Richard settling the northern half, Thomas the southern half. This land is still being farmed by descendants of Joseph today.

Joseph had left England to start a new life and once he had settled it was, so the family story goes, his intention to bring all his family from England to Canada. During a blizzard on 24th.December 1823 Joseph lost his way in the bush and perished. The money he had raised to help him and his sons settle in Canada had been hidden by him and the knowledge of its location died with him. Whether the intention was for the the rest of the family to go over to Canada it never happened and part of the family remained in England, thereby producing the two branches of the same family.

Canadian Land Petitions

Joseph married Ann Heath on 12th. July 1797 at St. Nicholas Church Kenilworth. (Ref: 31)

Joseph c.01/07/1798 m.n/k d.02/08/1852
James c.29/09/1799 m.1801 d.15/02/1859
William ** c.08/11/1801 m.n/k d.n/k
Thomas *** c.18/12/1803 m.1826 d.29/04/1883
Richard *** c.04/05/1806 m.04/04/1831 d.19/12/1862
Ann c.22/05/1808 m.n/k d.n/k
Edmond *** c.17/06/1810 m.n/k d.26/01/1874
Elizabeth c.18/10/1812 m.n/k d.n/k

** William was convicted at Warwick Assizes and deported to Australia for life in 1819. He later married and there is a branch of the family now resident in Tasmania.

*** Thomas, Richard and Edmond all emigrated to Canada during the early 1800's together with their father Joseph.

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