Letter was written and signed by Samuel Mansell
11 August 1852
Samuel Mansell Prisoner at the Salop County Gaol
I was tried 1848 at the much wenlock borough sessions in the County of Salop and reseved the sentence of 10 years transportation out of wich I surved five weeks at the Salop County Gaol I was then remuved to Millbank Prison in London Where I served 28 weeks and 3 days after that I was removed to the Justitia Convict Ship Where I remained two years and seven months With an exemplary Carricter prevous to the 24 of March last whereon The night of 12 of march two Prisiners one the name of Green and the other the Name of Thompson made there escape in a Boat from the Horspital Ship as soon as The alarm was give to our ship my Self and three other prisoners with three Officers had to go in persuit after the Two prisoners the other three prisoners That was in the boat with me was William Brown, Henry Counter and William Griffis The three officers names was Mr Harmon the Courter Master Mr Stevinson and Mr Carpenter We Captured the two prisoners about Two miles down the river and brought
[Page 2] Them back to the Ship after which we lost The affections of all our felow prisoners on bord the Ship we was shouted at scoft at and Thretoned by allmost every prisoner in The ship on Sunday the 21 of Marsh Mr Rutherford the officer was on duty over us in the boat and herd the prisoners Shouting at us has we past backwards and frowards by the ship he then reported it to Mr fenn the extra Worder Mr feenn said we had better se the Governor about it my self and William Brown put our names down And wen I saw the Governor he hasked Me my greevance I told him that I felt very uneasey in mind concerning the two Prisoners the other night I told him that we had no peas in the Ship sence it a Cured I told him that we was shouted At and scoft at and threatoned by allmost every prisoner in the ship he then Hast me what i wonted him to dow I told Him that I wished to be remuved he said he could not thik of remuving me I then Hast him to pleas to put my name down to see a Derecter to get remuved He said he could not dow it he said we had
[Page 3] Better remain as we was the wod soon get the better of shouting at us but in stead of them geting The better the got wors till it was daingerous for us to go betwen Decks Where on the Night of the 24 March my self and one of the other three made our escape That being the only reason we had for to Dow it I was a gain taken prisoner on the 21 of May I was at work in the Pit wen the came and called for me up I then came up and owned to my Charge I was then Commited to take my triall on the Assises which being on the 27 of July last During which time i rote a Statment Concurring my case but there Was no one there from the Ship to proov Wether my statement was Corect or not If there had been any on there to have Proven it the Judge wood not have been so sever at the same time the Judge Desired me to Petishon to the Secetary of State he said that every atendance Would be shown me and if that my statment Was true he Did not Doubt but what I Should get a Middegation of sentence He then past the sentence of 12 months Hard labour in the House of Corrections
[Page 4] And 20 years transportation I hope that my case will be looked into and some Niddegeation a forded me it is very hard to have such a sentence past up on me after having over my a lotted probation out out of my former sentence I was 10 Caurtly Mustars at The Justitia Ship and good and very good I served 3 years adn 3 months out of my former sentence and Never brought before governor for any ofence what ever. Had we been remuved the ofence wood Not a Curd but i hope that my case will be looed into and some middegation of Sentance aforded me.
Samuel Mansell Prisoner at the Salop County Gaol
To the Right Honorable the Secretary of State Home Office London. 
1852, 20 August – letter from William Fenn
Defence C.S (?) 20 Augt 1852
Sir, With reference to the statement of Convict Mansell, contained in a Memorial which you read to me this morning relative to the prisoners on board this Ship having hooted and chanted at him, in consequence of his having been in the Cutter when sent in search of Convicts Green and Thompson who had attempted to escape and of Warder Rutherford having made known to me the circumstance of the prisoners shouting and hooting at them as they passed the Ship. I beg to state that I never heard of anything of the sort having occurred on board, as stated in said Memorial and have not the slightest recollection of any report made to me on the subject and further, that, I believe had anything of the sort occurred it must have come to my knowledge. I am Sir, your obedient servant Wm Fenn.
1852, 20 August – Letter to Defence C.P. – from John Reed
Sir, I beg to state that being employed on Board the “Defence” as Boarding Officer for some time past, I consider there was no ill feeling existed between convict Mansell and the Prisoners on Board. In consequence of having to pull in the boat after two prisoners that made their escape from the Unite hospital Ship, on the 11th March 52 or I should have heard of it.
John Reed Warder. S Byrne Esq, Governor.
1853, April 30 – Letter from the Surgeon
Salop County Gaol, April 30 1853
I hereby certify that I have this day examined Saml Mansell and am of opinion that a prolonged imprisonment will seriously affect his mind as he has suffered from a severe attack of mania a few months ago in the gaol caused by the dread of what he considered his severe sentence viz 12 months imprisonment and 20 years transportation. I also am of opinion that his bodily health is not so good as before his attack of insanity.
J H Heathcoth, surgeon
1853, May 5 – Salop County Gaol – Former Convictions
Salop County Gaol May 5th 1853, Samuel Mansell’s former Convictions.
1840 – Stafford – Disorderly Servant, one month
Salop County Sessions March 1843 Stealing a watch etc 3 months
Salop August 1843 Vagrancy – one calendar month
Salop January 1845 Vagrancy – 14 days
Salop January 1846 Assaulting a Police Officer – 2 calendar months
Salop March assizes 1846 Cutting & Wounding – 6 calendar months
Wenlock Borough Sessions December 1848 Assault and Robbery 10 years transportation
Escaping from the Hulk, Tried at Salop July Assizes 1852 and sentenced to one years imprisonment and at the expiration to be transported from twenty years.
John Shepherd, Governor, Salop County Gaol
1853, May 5 – Letter to Clerk of the Peace’s Office
My Lord, The visiting justices of the Salop Prison having received the enclosed Certificate from the Surgeon of the Prison relative to the mind and health of Samuel Mansell, a transport, now under sentence for escaping from transportation, they deem it their duty to lay it before your Lordship for your consideration.
They have also directed that your Lordship should at the same time be furnished with a Report from the Governor of the Prisoner’s previous Convictions, which I have the honor to enclose
The Prisoner upon being brought before the Visiting Justices stated that he had been confined at Milbank where there was no complaint against him, that he was subsequently removed to the Justitia Hulk at Woolwich, where owing to good conduct he was placed in the Boats Crew. That he was instrumental in recapturing 2 Convicts, Green and Thompson, on 12th March 1852, that owing to this he was much bullied by other Prisoners and applied to be removed, that the Officer he applied to said he could not remove him, and he made his escape. That he was recaptured on 21st May 1852. Of the truth of the Prisoner’s statement the Visiting Justices know nothing.
I have the honor to remain, My Lord, Your Lordship’s most obedient Servant. John Luxdale (??)
The Viscount Palmerston M.P.