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Spragg Family
of Mattishall
Thanks to Robbie Stockfeld of Australia for helping her end.
And Iris Coe for filling in some parish records that have not been transcribed.
Old newspapers have revealed a lot of interesting facts relating to Mattishall, it seemed our small community of Mattishall had many issues going on that were considered worthy to newspaper reporters, the more serious ending up in litigation and put before the courts. In the late 1700's and early 1800's transportation to Australia and Van Demons Land (Tasmania) was a common form of punishment. These were new colonies and the British government wanted them worked and populated. In the 'Crime and Punishment' page on this website you can read the cases and stories of all that have been found. In most cases they never returned, mainly, as they could not afford it, but more likely they knew they would have a better life there as free men and many acquired land. One particular name appeared quite a lot, it turned out they were all from the same family or connected. From what has been found the family seemed to be notorious in the county and apart from the father and his daughter Lydia three of his son's and one grandson were sent to the colonies. Their individual stories can be found below or there are some quick links if you have a particular name to research.
son of Lydia above
son of William above

We start with Robert Spragg (father to the above) who was baptised on June 2nd 1770 at All Saints Church Runhall, the illegitimate child of Mary Spragg. Nothing is known of Robert's early years until February 3rd 1790 when he married Jane Cob a single women at All Saints Church Mattishall. Witness to the wedding was William Dade and Patience Allen, they all signed with an 'x'. Jane was the daughter of William Cob a farm labourer and Jane Colman of Mattishall, She was baptised on February 28th 1766 at All Saints Church.

Robert and Jane had several children, the first was Charles, who was baptised on June 1st 1790. There was then a gap of 10 years where others could have been born but the next record is of Lydia, baptised April 30th 1801. William, was born about 1802-4 although no baptism record has been found to-date. Robert Newyear Spragg, was baptised on January 2nd 1805 and then Francis, who was baptised on August 16th 1806, all at All Saints Church Mattishall.

From newspaper files we have found Robert had a least two spells in prison (recorded below). Robert died in 1840 age 73 and was buried at All Saints Churchyard on March 29th. No record of Jane's death has been found.

Jun 2 – Baptism at All Saints Church Runhall
Robert Spragg natural son of Mary Spragg

1790: Feb 3 – Marriage at All Saints Church Mattishall
Robert Spragg, a single man married Jane Cob, a single women by Banns – both signed with x
Witness: William Dade and Patients Allen

More on Jane:-
1766: Feb 28 – Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Jane Cob daughter of William Cob and his wife Jane Coleman – they had married on December 24th 1761 at All Saints Church Mattishall

Robert and Jane had children

1790: Jun 1 – Baptism at All Saint Church Mattishall
Charles Spragg son of Robert Spragg a Labourer and his wife Jane
More below

1796: Jul 11 - Baprtism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Elizabeth Spragg daughter of Robert Spragg and his wife Jane
Elizabeth married Henry Johnson a Labourer on March 23rd 1818 at All Saints Church
Witness: C.D. Barrett & Edward Carthew

1801: Apr 30 – Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Lydia Spragg daughter of Robert Spragg a Labourer and his wife Jane
More below

1803: Feb 17 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
William Spragg son of Robert Spragg and his wife Jane
More below

1805: Jan 2 – Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Robert Newyear Spragg son of Robert Spragg a Labourer and his wife Jane Cob
Robert died in 1813 age 8 and was buried on Sep 9th at All Saints Church Mattishall

1806: Aug 16 – Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Francis Spragg son of Robert Spragg and Jane Cob
More below

1796: July 23 - Ipswich Journal
At the Quarter Sessions of the county of Norfolk, on Thursday last - Robert Spragg, for fowl stealing, 3 months

Is this Robert's mother?
Jan 13 - Burial at All Saints Churchyard Runhall, Norfolk - Entry 29
Mary Spragg age 95 a single women.

1826: Nov 12 - Burial at All Saints Churchyard
Jane Spragg age 62

1834: Jul 12 - Norfolk Chronicle
Robert Spragg, age 68, for stealing a plank, the property of William Dobbs of Mattishall, was sentenced to two months' imprisonment.

1836: Robert senior was in receipt of Out Relief: House of Industry: No employment: aged 70 years

1840: Robert was again in receipt of Out Relief: House of Industry: No employment: aged 73 years

Robert died
1840: Mar 29 – Burial at All Saints Church Mattishall
Robert Spragg age 73



1790: Jun 1 – Baptism at All Saint Church Mattishall
Charles Spragg son of Robert Spragg a Labourer and his wife Jane

1813: Mar 8 – Marriage at St Margaret Church Garveston – by Banns - Entry 2
Charles Spragg a Bachelor of Mattishall married Mary Woodhouse a Widow (fomerly Gilbert) of Garveston
Witness: Robert Spragg and William Tillney – All signed with an x

MORE on Mary
Mary was baptised on Oct 15th 1785 daughter of John Gilbert a weaver and his wife Lydia
Mary had married William Woodhouse on November 5th 1802 at All Saints Church Mattishall. William died age 29 in 1811, he was buried on September 7th at All Saints Churchyard Mattishall. - Mary and William had two sons, William Woodhouse 1806 and John Woodhouse 1809.
It is not clear whay happened to William and John

Charles and Mary had children:

1817: May 27 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 137
Mary Sprags daughter of Charles Sprags a Labourer and his wife Mary Gilbert

1819: Jun 8 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 203
Lydia Sprags daughter of Charles Sprags and his wife Mary Gilbert
It appears Lydia had her own problems as there are several entries for Poor relief, on March 16th 1834 the parish paid Justices Clerks fees of 8 shillings and 6d. December 18th the same year another 8 shillings and 6d together with 3 shillings for wear and tear of clothes whilst spending 6 weeks in prison. then several days as and inmate in the Workhouse
Lydia married John Dutchman Ostler in the Jun quarter of 1846 at Kings Lynn
She was working as a servant in The Union House, James's Place, Kings Lynn - She died there a few weeks later.

1821: May 7 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Harriet Sprags daughter of Charles Sprags a Labourer and his wife Mary Gilbert

1821: Dec 20 - Burial at All Saints Churchyard
Mary Spragg age 36

1823: Oct 18 - Norfolk Chronicle
The King (on the prosecution of the Rev Frederick Money) against Charles Spragg for an assault committed upon the prosecutor, who is a curate of Mattishall. The prisoner was found guilty and sentenced to one month's imprisonment and to find sureties for his good behavior for one year after.

1825: – Order of Bastardy issued – Charles Spragg to pay 1s. 9d. a week for his illegitimate son born to Elizabeth Fitt, widow.
The child is believed to be William Fitt - baptised February 23rd 1824 at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 336

1830: List of Paupers of Parish of Mattishall : House of Industry (Church Chest)
Month – April, aged 43 – 3 weeks, total expense 2s. 6d., Charge upon Parish 8s. Od.

1831: Jan 15 - Norfolk Chronicle
Charles Spragg, indicted for stealing a basket of linen cloth, the property of James Bultitude of Mattishall, aquitted.

1834: Jul 9 - Bury and Norwich Post:
Charles Spragg, aged 44, for stealing from the barn of Wace Philco, of Mattishall, a pewter basin and three pieces of lead pipe, (being and old offender) was sentenced to be transported for 7 years.

1842: Jul 16 - Certificate of Freedom: No 42/1214 - Charles Spragg, Prisoners No: 25/2118 - Ship, England. Master, Bian. Year, 1835. Native Place, Norfolk, Trade, Farm Labourer and Shepard. Widowed.
Date and Place of Trial, July 2nd 1835, Norfolk Assizes. Sentence, 7 years.
Height, 5 feet 2, 3/4 inches. Completion, Dark Sallow. Hair, Brown to Grey. Eyes, Hazel. Remarks, Bald on top of head, Scar top of forefinger right hand, two scares back of left thumb, Scar top of third finger, right hand.


LYDIA SPRAGG born 1801

1801: Apr 30 – Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Lydia Spragg daughter of Robert Spragg a Labourer and his wife Jane

1823: Jun 22 - Marriage at St Stephen Church Norwich - Entry 310
Edward Fitt a Bachlor and Weaver married Lydia Spragg a Spinster
Witness: John English and Benjamin Garthon

1823: Aug 24 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 325
James Fitt son of Edward Fitt a Labourer of Norwich and his wife Lydia Spragg
Sentenced to 10 years transportation - SEE BELOW

1827: May 13 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 454
Mary Ann Fitt daughter of Edward Fitt a Labourer and his Wife Lydia Spragg

1831: Mar 30 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 567
George Fitt son of Edward Fitt a Labourer and his wife Lydia Spragg

1833: Mar 24 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 635
Eliza Fitt daughter of Edward Fitt a Labourer and his wife Lydia Spragg

1835: Sept 6 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 710
William Fitt son of Edward Fitt a Labourer and his wife Lydia Spragg

1837: Jun 25 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 755
Robert Fitt son of Edward Fitt a Labourer and his wife Lydia Spragg

1840: Jul 19 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 55
Caroline Fitt daughter of Edward Fitt a Labourer and his wife Lydia Spragg

1844: Jan 28 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 147
John Fitt son of Edward Fitt a Labourer and his wife Lydia Spragg

1851: Census - South Green Mattishall
Edward Fitt - Head - age 52 - Ag Lab - Mattishall-NFK
Lydia Fitt - Wife - age 50 - Mattishall-NFK
George Fitt - Son - age 20 - Blacksmith - Mattishall-NFK
Eliza Fitt - Dau - age 18 - Mattishall-NFK
Robert Fitt - Son - age 13 - Mattishall-NFK
Caroline Fitt - Dau - age 10 - Mattishall-NFK

1861: Census - South Green
Edward Fitt - Head - age 62 - Labourer - Norfolk - Mattishall
Lydia Fitt - Wife - age 61 - Labourers Wife - Norfolk - Mattishall
Caroline Fitt - Dau - single - age 20 - Dressmaker Norfolk - Mattishall

1871: Census - 33 Southgreen Mattishall
Edward Fitt - Head - age 71 - Ag Lab - Norfolk - Mattishall
Lydia Fitt - Wife - age 70 - Norfolk - Mattishall

1876: Death record - Lydia Fitt at Mitford - Dec quarter (4b 169) age 76

1881: Census - 1, Welborne Road, Mattishall,
John Parling - Head - age 58 - Carpenter & Woodcarver Empg 1 Man - Norfolk
Eliza Parling - Wife - age 47 - Mattishall, Norfolk
Edward C Parling - Son - single - age 21 - Ag Lab - Mattishall, Norfolk
Joseph Parling - Son - age 16 - Ag Lab - Mattishall, Norfolk
Frederick Parling - Son - age 13 - Ag Lab - Mattishall, Norfolk
Harry Parling - Son - age 10 - Scholar - Mattishall, Norfolk
Walter Parling - Son - age 5 - Scholar - Mattishall, Norfolk
Edward Fitt - Father - inlaw - Widower - age 81 - Ag Lab Unemployed - Mattishall, Norfolk

1886: Death record - Edward Fitt at Mitford - Jun quarter (4b 160) age 86

JAMES FITT born 1823
Son of Edward Fitt and Lydia Spragg 1801

1823: Aug 24 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 325
James Fitt son of Edward Fitt a Labourer of Norwich and his wife Lydia Spragg

1847: Jan 6 - (Norwich) County Sessions
James Fitt age 23, Larceny in a Dwelling House - 12 months

1849: Aug 4 - Norfolk News: - STEALING A MARE
James Fitt, aged 26, was charged with stealing, on the 5th of April last at Outwell, a brown mare, the property of Mr Thomas W. Horton, farmer. Mr Brown prosecuted the prisoner, who was undefended. Mr Horton deposed, that on the 6th of April he missed his mare, which he had seen safe on the previous evening. The mare was afterwards shown to him by Police Constable Willis. Walham Horton, son of the last witness, stated that he fastened the mare up in the stable on the evening of April 5th. Early the next morning witness entered the stable, and found that the mare was gone. He traced the mare's footsteps to the turnpike on the road to Mattishall, George Page said he kept the toll-gate at Fincham. About a quarter before one o'clock on the morning of the 6th of April a man passed through the gate with a brown mare, on the road from Outwell to Mattishall. The gate was about sixteen miles from Outwell. The mare appeared to have been hard ridden. Witness could not actually swear to the man, but the man was of the same size as the prisoner. Witness saw the same mare again on the 11th.
P Johnson said he lived at Mattishall. He knew the prisoner, and saw him there on the 6th of April, about ten minutes after five in the morning, riding on a brown mare, which appeared very warm. The prisoner was then dressed with a cap, and a brown coat with one cape to it. Witness again saw the mare passing his house on the 11th, in possession of a police officer. He also saw the animal subsequently at Downham, in a cart belonging to the prosecutor. Police Constable Willis deposed to finding a mare feeding in the highway, at Mattishall, and taking her to Mr. Horton on the 11th. Prisoner had. been away from his house ever since. Police Constable Priest stated, that on the 10th of July, he apprehended the prisoner, when he denied having stolen the mare. Prisoner succeeded in absconding the same night, but witness, after a chase, retook him.
Elizabeth Fisher said I reside at Outsell; the prisoner lodged with me in the beginning of April last. He left on the 5th without paying me, and I did not see him again for some weeks. My house is about a mile and a quarter from Mr Morton's, and on the way to Mattishall. When I saw him again, I asked him how he came to take the mare away. He replied, that he took her to ride home with, and he turned her into a field of Mr Gowing's, at Mattishall. He also said, that he had seen the horse that he stole that very morning, on the bank. When he left my house he had a cap on, and a light brown coat. Prisoner cross-examined every witness at some length, and afterwards addressed the jury in his own defence, telling them that he left Outsell on the 5th of April, to go home, and found the mare on the way thither. He thought he knew the mare, and took charge of her for the purpose of finding the owner, but not being able to do so, he turned her loose again upon the road. After his lordship had briefly summed up, the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the prisoner haring been on a former occasion convicted of burglary, he was sentenced to ten years' transportation.

James Fit,covicted at Norfolk Assizes at Norwich on July 25th 1849, left England in 1849 on the ship Dunbrook, he arrived in Western Australia on November 17th 1852

It appears James married soon after ariving in Australia where he then settled - The below information was taken from the internet and show some of his descendants:-
James married on October 14th 1854 to Mary Kilford who was born in Galway Ireland in 1823. They had a least 9 children. Mary died Jan 16th 1894 at Coolgardie, Western Australia. James died on May 9th 1904 in Narrogin, Western Australia, age about 81. Their son, James Fitt was born 1856 in York, Western Australia. He married Alice Dimmock in 1878 in Williams, Western Australia and he died 3 Dec 1920 in Perth. Their son Francis Fitt was born 1885 in Narrogin, Western Australia and married Elizabeth Margaret Finnigan He died 21 Sep 1973 in Narrogin. Francis and Elizabeth had a daughter Winifred Beryl Fitt born 21 Feb 1922 in St Kilda, Western Australia and she died 1987 in Perth. She married Stanley Moyle.

James's son also James Fitt
1878: Marriage record at Williams, Western Australia
James Fitt married Alice Dimmock

1904: May 14 - Great Southern Herald Katanning, WA
The death of Mr James Fitt senior. occured on Monday. Deceased was a very old resident of the district, having resided at Narrogin for the past 26 years. He was 84 years of age. The funeral took place on Tuesday and was largely attended.

This could be James's son
Dec 28 - Wickepin Argus - SAD FATALITY
A very sad fatality occurred on Sunday evening last a few 'miles out of Wickepin. It appears that Mr James Fitt, a very old resident of Narrogin district, in company with John Hamilton Brown, a rabbit poisoner in the employ of the 'Government, visited Wickepin on that day for the purpose of trucking some horses. Having accomplished their work Mr Fitt was in favour of 'remaining overnight owing to the horse he was driving being somewhat fractious. - Brown, however, was anxious to get back home and it was at last decided to more on. On the road Mr Fitt told his black servant who was following behind to ride ahead and acquaint the housekeeper at his homestead to prepare tea, and the native got on his horse to tighten the saddle girth. Soon after he set off after the vehicle which he passed at a gallop, and the 'result was that the horse Mr Fitt was driving began to play up. Mr Fitt used every effort to stop the animal from bolting and was successful, but the animal began to plunge and kick with such vigor that both the occupants were thrown heavily to the ground and rendered unconscious. The native having sensed that something was wrong then returned, and was terror stricken to find both men insensible. He immediately rode away for assistance, which was nearby, and both men were made as comfortable as possible pending the arrival of a motor car from Wickepin. Unfortunately it was found impossible to remove Brown in the car owing to his fearful injuries, but Mr Fitt was not so badly off, and he was at .once taken to the Narrogin Hospital -where he was attended to. It was found on examination that he had been severely braised on the hip and one arm, whilst a deep, heavy cut over the left eye left the impression that the horse had kicked him when falling. At least he was processing the horse ---- ---- when falling. At latest he is progressing favorably. Brown, was removed in a cart, and on arrival by train at Narrogin he was in a very bad way. He had sustained a terrible injury to his spine, and had completely lost the use of the lower portion of his body. No hope was expressed from the first, and he died peacefully at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday. The deceased was 51 years of age and a returned soldier. We understand that he leaves a grown-up family, but their whereabouts is unknown.



WILLIAM SPRAGG - born about 1802-4

William was born about 1802-4 , todate we have no record of a baptism

1825: Jun 21 - Marriage at All Saints Church Mattishall by Banns
William Spragg a Batchelor married Mary Ann Mallett a Spinter both of this parish
Witness: *James Gunton, Mary Gunton and Ann Gunton
Strangely witness James Gunton mentioned above was transported in 1831 for Machine Braking sentaence 10 years.
For more on James Gunton, click HERE

From 1826-39 William and Mary Ann were living at Sandy Cottage, Doctor's Lane, South Green.

William and Marianne had two children

JAMES SPRAGG born 1826
Son of William Spragg 1803 and Mary Ann Mallett

1826: Jun 11 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall - Entry 397
James Sprags son of William Sprags a Labourer and his wife Marianne Mallett

James Spragg and James Fitt are cousins
Jan 9 - Norfolk News:
James Spragg, aged 21, and James Fitt, aged 23, were charged with having, on the 26th of November last, stolen from the dwelling house of John Walpole, of Mattishall, two boxes, one chisel, four sovereigns, and other moneys, amounting to £3, the property of Robert Gunton, lodger at Walpole's. Mary Ann Walpole heard her husband go out about six o'clock in the morning; shortly after, heard a noise in the kitchen, and came down. Upon searching, missed a box - the box belonged to Gunton, a lodger; was not aware of having had any one in the house within the last few days, excepting Fitt, who had been there the previous afternoon.
Robert Gunton, coal dealer, and a lodger at Mrs.Walpole's, was called up on the morning of the robbery by Mrs. Walpole: he missed his box, which contained four sovereigns and between two and three pounds of silver, a book in which he kept account of work and a chisel. He traced footmarks to the house of Spragg's, and from that to a pond, near Waltham, a distance of a quarter of a mile.
Police Officer Willis, went to Walpole's on the 26th of November saw footmarks by the back door, traced them to Spragg's house, and back again to Walpole's: took Spragg's highlows, and made further examination, and found them to correspond in every respect with the footprints; afterwards dragged the pond, and found a and found a box, with two stones in, tied up with rope and list.
Simmons' a police officer, sworn - Had Spragg in custody whilst Willis was in search of Fitt. The evidence as to the identity of the footmarks was similar to last witness. Abbot, police officer, found some rope in the back kitchen, which corresponded with that upon the box. Mr. W. Cooper having addressed the jury, and the chairman having summed up, the jury after a short consultation, returned a verdict of guilty against both prisoners. Proof was then produced as to three previous convictions against Fitt, and two indictments against Spragg, upon each of which he was acquitted. Both prisoners were each sentenced to twelve mouths' imprisonment, and hard labour, with 14 days' solitary confinement at the end of each four months. Spragg in the Norwich Castle, Fitt in Walsingham.

1847: Jun 15 - Burial at All Saints Churchyard Mattishall
James Spragg age 22 - taken fron Norwich Castle

1828: Feb 19 - Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Jane Spragg daughter of William Spragg and his wife Mary Ann Mallett
Jane died age 6 months and was buried on July 6th 1826 at All Saints Churchyard.

1828: Aug 16 - Norwich Mercury - WITH INTENT TO MURDER
William Spragg, was indicted for having, on the morning of the 20th of April, shot at Thomas Tuttle, of Mattishall, carpenter, with intent to murder him. There were other counts charging him with intent to maim and do him some grievous bodily harm.
Thomas Tuttle, the prosecutor, is a carpenter, and knows the prisoner Spragg and one Edward Fitt, both of whom live at Mattishall, and the latter married Spragg's sister. Witness belongs to a club at Mattishall, and was at it on Saturday, the 19th of April, in the evening, at eight o'clock. He met there William Spragg and others. Witness asked the prisoner if he had any animosity against him. Prisoner said, if witness wanted any assistance he would assist him. Witness asked in what manner, and prisoner said, you may guess - there had then been no quarrel between them before - no malice at all. Witness left the club about eight, or a little after, and went home. At about ten o'clock he went to bed. There is a window in his bedroom, and the bed stood in the middle of the room; he hitched a chest of drawers against the window, & put a sieve on the top of them. He had hitched the drawers against the window about ten o'clock the same day, just before he went to bed. He had a gun, which was loaded with some powder only; it was not his own, and had borrowed it about a fortnight, or it might be longer. He was awoke by his wife, and he got up some little time after, and heard somebody at the outer front door of his house; there was a rattling at the door; his wife halloed, who is that, and somebody made a moaning noise; then he put on his things, and she halloed again, and the same noise was made; then witness halloed who is that, and the same noise was again made. He had a gun standing past the window; he went to fetch the gun; he came up to the drawers, and had the gun by his side; before he could get the gun up the shots came in at the window, and drove the sieve against him; the window was shot out. He was beside the drawers about an arm's length from the window; the staircase was on his left; the light was behind him; the shots were into the sieve before he heard the report; he laid his hand on the drawers, looked through the hole the shot had made, and saw the flash & the prisoner's face. The distance of time between his laying his hand on the drawers and seeing the flash was hardly a moment; the distance of time between the sieve being struck up against him, putting his hand on the drawers, and seeing the flash, was not a moment; he saw by the flash a man with a gun, which he dropped by his side; he can undertake to say, as sure as death, that the prisoner was the man; he had known the prisoner 10 or 12 year; he is certain the prisoner is the man; he then went down with his wife, and sat down such a thing an two hours; It was then about a quarter after one; he knew it was, because as soon as that man shot at him it was five minute, after one; He had a watch hung up in the chamber; he then went up to the chamber and laid on the bed till about half after four; he then got up, and went to the constable, Boltitude's, and told him what had passed; he saw the prisoner on the Sunday morning at the George Inn, at Mattishall; as soon as he, saw him he told him he was the man that had shot at witness, and that he would swear to it. Prisoneer said a little, but he cannot hardly recollect what; he has not the gun now; he kept it a very short time.
Cross-examined by Mr Preston - He had a pint of beer out of the room, and two glasses of beer in the club room that was all the beer he had in that house; he had had two pints at Dereham in the forenoons; Mattishall is about five miles from Dereham; he got to the club about half past seven, but he could not tell exactly; there was hardly any stir in the club when he went in; there was no stir afterwards except at what he said; it was not proposed that he should not be turned out of the room until he said so; he had no quarrel with them; he then went out and went home; he had been at the club only once since; he was told that if he did not hold his tongue he had better leave the room, and he went home directly; Sayer and William Just told him so: he was not very angry, not any angry; the club should break up a little after ten; there are other cottages not far off; the night was neither light nor dark; he could see only by the flash of the gun.
Mary Tuttle, the wife of the prosecutor, after corroborating her husband's testimony with the exception of seeing the prisoner fire the gun.
William Bultitude - Lived between fifty or sixty yards from the prosecutor; about a quarter before in one in the morning, he heard some persons coming from Mattishall, and in about ten minutes he heard the report of a gun, and directly after the footprints of smome person very briskly.
Jemima Ingall deposed that she recollected the night the gun was fired; she was disturbed by the rattle at Mrs Tuttle's door; she heard Mrs Tuttle say, who in there? three or our time, after this, Mrs Tuttle called to her brother, George Tice, who slept at the window at the end of the house, to get up. In a few minutes after she heard the report of the gun; she saw the light of the gun through the creases of the window shutter, which was up; the gun was fired either underneath her window, or very near it.
James Buttitude, constable, recollected the Sunday in April last, when Tuttle came to him early in the morning. In the course of the forenoon he went to the prosenutor's house, and observed the upper part of the window; the glass was shot from it. He took Spragg in the afternoon, and searched his house on the Monday, but did it find a gun. He produced the sieve and some seed which was laying about the chamber.
The sieve was given to the jury, and we observed the shot had passed through one side and some lodged in the other side. A model of the cottage was also put in, on a scale of a quarter of an inch to a foot, and a plan of the road near the neighbourhood was also produced.
William Just - Lived at Mattishall Bergh, about one mile and a quarter from Mattishall; he knows South Green, where Tuttles cottage is, and belongs to the club at the George; he was there on the 19th of April a little after seven; they sometimes sit late; Tuttle came in about an hour after they met; Spragg was there; he heard a conversation between Tuttle and Spragg; Tuttle did not go away exactly of his own accord; he said to him he had better go away, and there would be no words; he gave him a tap, and he went away; he was not exactly sent away; the club said let us have no rioting here, if you do, go out and riot, if not we will turn you out; it was said to Tuttle; witness stopped until after twelve at the club; Spragg went away a quarter after twelve; witness went away towards Yaxham, and when he had got about a mile he heard a gun go off; it appeared to sound as if it came over Mattishall; he went to the George next morning; saw Tuttle; the prisoner came in, and Tuttle said that is the man who shot at me at one o'clock, & I will swear it; Spragg said if he would swear it, he (Spragg) could bring proof where he was at that time; witness said John, what makes you positive about this man, it was not either light nor dark; prosecutor said he could see him by the flash of the gun.
Benjamin Fellowes - Was at the club on Saturday, 19th of April; Spragg was there; witness went away at twelve clock, and all came away together; Spragg went with him; Spragg left him and went down to the lane that joins South Green, where prisoner lives.
Robert. Gunn - Lent Tuttle a gun about a month before the cottage was shot at; he saw the gun the next morning, and it had not been fired off, because the powder was rusted in the pan.
Joseph Green - Lives at Mattishall on South Green, about eight or ten yards from Spragg's cottage he recollects the time when the shot was fired at the cottage; he saw Spragg's with a gun on the Sunday afternoon before going into his own house.
Ann Tuffs - Lives at Mattishall; recollects Tuttle's cottage being shot at; she had seen Spragg with a gun the afternoon before Mr Tuttle was shot at in his own garden about seven o'clock in the evening ; she never saw him with a gun at any other time.
The prisoner said he was at work at the time the last witness said she saw him in the garden, and that the witnesses swore falsely against him.
Two or three witnesses were called to character, and the Jury found the prisoner NOT GUILTY, not thinking the identification sufficiently proved.

1845: Jul 5 - Norfolk Chronicle:
William Spragg, (41) was indicted for having stolen five bushels of undressed wheat, the property of Sarah Bloomfield, of Mattishall widow. He was further charged with having stolen an elm plank, the property of Edward Stearman, of Mattishall. The prisoner was convicted on the first charge; no evidence was offered on the second. The Chairman, in passing sentence, said, the prisoner had been tried for many offences, and he had used great violence in resisting the police. The sentence of the court was, that he be transported for seven years,

William Spragg departed England on December 18th 1845 with 249 other convicts on the ship ' Joseph Somes' and arrived at Van Dieman's Land on May 19th 1846.
Prisoners information: - Age 40, Farm Labourer, Married, 1 child. Height 5 feet, 5 inches. Complextion, fresh. Hair, brown. Whiskers, brown. Visage, broad. Forehead, highbrow. Eyebrows, brown. Eyes, hazel.

Meanwhile back at Mattishall - Mary Ann (William's wife) was here
1851: Census - Welgate Mattishall
George High - Head - Widower - age 60 - Ag Lab - Boyton-NFK
Mary Ann Spragg - House Keeper - Married - age 41 - House Keeper - Hardingham-NFK

Mary Ann Spragg then vanish no other records are found.

1852: The Cornwall Cronicle (Launceston, Tasmainia) - Convict Department
William Spragg, listed as sentence having been expired - he is now a Free-Man.

Nothing is known of how William spent the next 30 years - until....

1882: Jul 12 - Wednesday The Ballarat Star
An old man named William Spragg, aged about 80, residing at Durham Leads, met with a painful accident yesterday. He was sitting by a fire, when he dozed and fell forward right into it, severely burning his face and hands. He was taken to the Hospital, and after his injury had been attended he went home.

1882: Jul 14 - Friday. Ballarat (from our own correspondant)
On Thursday - A death has occurred in the Ballarat Hospital to day, which is likely to be the cause of complaint against the resident surgeon of that institution. An old man named William Spraggs, about 80 years of age, fell with his head into the fire on Monday Iast, while cooking his food in, hut at the Durham. Some charitable people, who knew him, having got a ticket of admission brought him into the hospital. The resident surgeon attended to his injuries, but endorsed on the ticket that it was not an indoor patient case, and told the old man's friends to take him away. They did so, but were so sure that the poor old man would not live long that they went to the president of the hospital (Mr. J. J. Goller) and asked him to see the state the man was in, and to urge on the resident surgeon to admit him, pointing out that he had no friends and no one to care for him if they took him back, a distance of 12 or 14 miles Mr. Goller saw the man and directed that he should be admitted, which was done. Much indignation is expressed at the refusal of the resident surgeon to admit the old man, but he says decidedly it was not an in-patient case, and that he could not without breaking a rule have sanctioned his admission; to which it is retorted that in such a case he should bave exercised his discretion and dis-
regarded the rule.

1882: Jul 15 - Magisterial Enquiry
An enquiry was held yesterday at the Hospital, before Mr Thompson P.M. in regard to the circumstances of the death of William Spragg who died in the hospital on the morning off 13th instant. From the evidence of three medical gentlemen, namely Dr's Owen, Pinnock and Ochitree, it appears that death resulted from the failure of the heart's action. The decease was a long standing, and deceased might have died at any time. The Magistrate found that the deceased had died from failure of the heart's action. It is satisfactory thus to say that no blame attaches to anyone respecting the deceased's death, as there were some unpleasant rumours afloat in connection with the case.


1806: Aug 16 – Baptism at All Saints Church Mattishall
Francis Spragg son of Robert Spragg and Jane Cob

1824: – Surgeon’s Certificate to the Overseers of Mattishall:
‘Sir, Francis Spragg is in a very weak state and requires more support than he can procure. He is also suffering severely from want of flannel next to his skin and warm clothing - Yours tr - W. Brunton

1828: Dec 10 - Bury and Norwich Post
COMMITTED TO THE CASTLE - Francis Spragg age 22 - (by William Mason and W W Lee Warner, Esqrs) charged with having stolen from Henry Howe Bricklayer of East Tuddenham 10shillings. - On January 17th the Norwich Chronicle reported he was acquitted.

1831: Jan 5 - Trial Reports: James Gunton, 28 and James Brightly, 18, pleaded guilty to destroying the chaff-cutting machine of Robert Aylmer of Whinburgh. On the other occasion the other members of the gang were Thomas Anderson, * John Gilbert, Francis Spraggs, George Bowles, John Bugg and Jane Taylor. They were all convicted but Samuel Gunton and George Bowles, five were given prison sentences but James, for leading the riots was sentenced to 7 years transportation plus one month in solitary confinement.

1832: Feb 9 - Francis Spragg, age 26 - Committed by W W Lee Warner Esq, charged on the oath of Rayner Howes, of Mattishall, carrier, with having, on the 31st day of January last, fraudulently obtained from him, one shilling.

1832: May 5 - Francis Spragg, age 26 - Committed by W W Lee Warner Esq, charged on the oth of Charles Fisher, of Mattishall, butcher and others, with having stolen one mare ass.

July 18 - Bury and Norwich Post
NORFOLK SESSIONS - At the Sessions held last week at the Shirehall Norwich the following sentence was passed:- Transportation:- Francis Spragg, (having before convicted of a felony) for stealing an ass, 10 years.

Francis departed England on November 13th 1832 on the ship 'Andromeda' with 186 other convicts and arrived in New South Wales on March 11th 1833.
Prisoners details: Francis Spragg, Number, 33/672. Single man.
Height 5 feet 7 1/2 inches. Complextion, ruddy. Hair, brown. Eyes, Hazel. Scar back of right wrist.

He was assigned to Charles Wright of Sutton Forrest as a farm labourer.

On July 8th 1838 Francis is recorded as absconding from his master at Crooks River New South Wales but was recaptured on July 25th.
1838: Jul 8 - The undermentioned Prisoners having absconded from the individuals and employments set against their respective names, and some of them being at large with stolen Certificates and Tickets of Leave - Francis Spragg, Andromeda, age 28, Norfolk, Farm Servant, 5 feet 7 1/2 inches, ruddy comp, brown hair, hazel eyes, scar on back of right wrist. From R Hannum, Cook's River, since June 6th.

1842: Mar 7 - Certificate of Freedom, number 42/351

1845: Apr 9 - Certificate of Freedom, number 45/480 - Notes: ?????

Francis did get his Certificate of Freedom - which means he could well have returned to the UK, although surprisingly few could afford to.




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