Three-masted barque (US Revenue Cutter Salmon P. Chase, 18781907)
Watford Folk Club Competition certificate

This song is based on a true story, written from the imagined viewpoint of a jailor at the Hertford County Court in 1845.


Three-masted barque (US Revenue Cutter Salmon P. Chase, 18781907)
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The Migrant

      The quarter session judges had no pity for the poor,
      so little Charlotte Kimpton felt the vengeance of the law.
      But as she was stepping down, and another took her place,
      I saw a smile of triumph as it passed across her face,
          Yes I saw a smile of triumph as it passed across her face.

      That night I checked the convicts as they settled for the night,
      and I asked wee Charlotte Kimpton for the cause of her delight
      "Oh sir," she said "you cannot mind , but this is what I planned,
      To get myself transported to far Van Diemen's Land",
          To get myself transported to far Van Diemen's Land.

      "My father's ill and cannot work, our family might starve,
      My brothers can support them, but it's time for me to leave.
      Now the crown has paid for me to go and find another land,
      And I hope with time to prosper in far Van Diemen's Land."
          And I hope with time to prosper in far Van Diemen's Land.

      Now 10 long years had passed and gone, and a letter to me came,
      From little Charlotte Kimpton, she'd not forgot my name.
      "Sir you showed to me some kindness, so I'll thank you now I can,
      For I now live free and happy in far Van Diemen's Land."
          For I now live free and happy in far Van Diemen's Land.

      To those with hearts to listen, here's a thought to keep in mind,
      Each man will strive to find a place where others are more kind.
      Don't look down on strangers, but offer them a hand,
      For maybe our Merry England could be their Van Diemen's Land.
          For maybe our Merry England could be their Van Diemen's Land.

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© Tim Brooks September 2016

About this Song

16 year old Charlotte Kimpton from Abbots Langley was sentenced, at the Liberty of St Albans Quarter Sessions in Hertford, to seven years "Transportation beyond the seas" for stealing and spending money stolen from her aunt's shop in St Albans .

Subsequently she was one of 170 convicts transported on the Lloyds on the 23rd July 1845, arriving in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) on 7th November, 1845

The Lloyds was a three masted wooden barque of 403 Tons, built in 1830 at London. The image above is of a similar vessel, the US Revenue Cutter Salmon P. Chase, 1878-1907

I first came across this story in a back-issue of the journal of the Abbots Langley Local History society - a scanned image of the article can be read here

There is more information in the 'online convict records' here

Media files

Audio and Video files

An mp3 audio clip of this song can be opened here (note that I have tweaked the lyrics since making this recording!)

Printable Song Sheet

A printable pdf file of the lyric with guitar chords can be opened here