George Sinel

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George Sinel was one of 237 convicts transported to Port Philip, Victoria, Australia on the Eden on 30 September 1848, arriving in 1849, having been convicted by Jersey's Royal Court of theft from a boat on 29 August 1846 and sentenced to seven years transportation.

Thefts from boats

Brought before the Court by Centenier Chevalier - George Sinel, George Robrough, Daniel Pigeon, Michael Keaton and Henry Spillar were accused of, on the night of Saturday 20 June 1846, raiding the boat Lady Falkland berthed in St Helier Harbour and stealing two pairs of trousers, one red shirt, one pair of undergarments, a bonnet and two hats belonging to Joseph Biva. George Robrough, George Sinel and Michael Keaton were also accused of boarding the Sultana on the night of Monday 29 June 1846 and stealing a blue jacket, one pair of blue trousers and two silk handkerchiefs belonging to Philip Vincent.

Their case was heard by a Grande Enquete - eight men called from each of three parishes - St Helier, St Saviour and St Lawrence - as a Jury - who acquitted Spillar and found Pigeon guilty of receiving stolen goods (but not participating in the raid) and sentenced him to six months hard labour. The others were found guilty on all counts and sentenced to seven years transportation, to be sent back to prison until confirmation had been received from His Majesty's Privy Council.

A newspaper report of the case says that the accused were represented by Advocate Marett who pleaded guilty on their behalf (except Spillar), asking the Court for leniency as they were poor orphans of limited intelligence.

Previous convictions

This was not George Sinel's first appearance before the Court. On 12 July 1844 he was brought before the Court with George Collings and John Croker accused by Centenier Anthoine of St Saviour of robbery. The three were found guilty and sentenced to four months imprisonment at the St Helier poorhouse, the last eight days to be on bread and water.

On 11 January 1845 Sinel and Martin Morris, described as jeunes garçons - young boys - were again before the court after being caught by neighbours while breaking into the house of William Aldam in Trinity on 17 December 1844. They were sentenced to one month in the prison, the last eight days to be on bread and water.

George was 20 at the time of his final conviction. He was the son of John Sinel (1792 – 1861) and Elizabeth Mallet (1794 – 1836), so he does not appear to have been an orphan as described in the newspaper report.

Following his transportation he settled in Australia and in 1851 he married Marion McPhee, also born in 1826, in the Isle of Skye. They had six children.

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