William Postle1

#19897, b. 25 September 1820, d. 18 September 1854

Individual's Timeline

Birth25 September 1820William Postle5,6
Christening27 May 1821William Postle
Death of Father17 December 1833John Purcell7
Marriage27 October 1842William Postle8,9,10
Death18 September 1854William Postle8

Primary events

  • Birth: William Postle was born on 25 September 1820 in George Town, Tasmania, Australia, Also recorded as 6th September in the Parish Records of George Town.5,6
  • Christening: He was christened on 27 May 1821 in St Phillip's, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. As seen in the film of the original parish record book at Latrobe Library in Melbourne. Also recorded as 10th January 1821 in the Parish records of George Town. This may mean that the family were in George Town in Jan 1821 and (the mother and child at least) were back in NSW by May of that year. Note that St Phillip's was the 'place of record' for army BMD, so it does not really mean that he was Chr again, but of course may well have been.
  • Death of Father: His father John Purcell died on 17 December 1833 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.7
  • Marriage: William Postle married Mary Ann Larn, daughter of Samuel Larn and Martha Ayers, on Thursday, 27 October 1842 in St Nicholas' Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, when they were 22 years, 1 month and 2 days ~&~ 18 years old. Witnesses John LARN and Mary Ann LARN. Note that John and Mary Ann are not the bride's Siblings nor parents. Husband's father was a soldier. Wife's father was a mariner. Groom was a labourer and the Bride was a Th**woman. The only one of the 4 to be able to sign their name was the Groom, William. Groom named as PURCIELL in the index.8,9,10
  • Death: William died on 18 September 1854 in Market North Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Witnessed by George POSTLE, who lived in Row 19. Note this cannot be the son as he was only 7 at the time. (Aged 33 years, 11 months and 24 days, worked back from recorded birth date).8
  • Burial: He was buried on 21 September 1854 in St Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.11
  • Death cause: Death was caused by Dropsy. Note that the certificates says this was 'certified', so maybe there was an autopsy or a coroner's inquest. He was after all only 33 when he died.8

Secondary circumstances

Census details

  • In 1841 in Great Yarmouth William Postle was included in the census schedule of Yarmouth Prison. He was aged 20 years. William was listed as a prisoner. Named as William POSTLE aged 20 born outside Norfolk.
  • In the census taken on the night of 6th June 1841 William was included in the household of Ann (?) in Laughing Image Corner, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England along with Elizabeth Sewell (widow) and Christopher Page. He was aged 20 years.. Even though William was counted in the prison I believe his mother put him in the census with her as well. They are named as POSTLE. There was also Elizabeth SEWELL and Christopher PAGE at the same address.
  • In the census taken on the night of 30th March 1851, William was the head of the household and Mary was his wife. The address was 142 South Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. All recorded as Purcell, and Samuel is listed as 'wife's father'. Their children Martha, William, George and Mary were living with them.12
Brushes with the LAW

In 1841, William was in Yarmouth Gaol. I have seen a copy of the Gaol Register, in the Yarmouth Library, where it says William was in prison for debt.

At this time there was a Prison Visitor, Sarah MARTIN, whose writings about the prison have been published in a booklet. I have a copy. She was a single woman of about 50, living in Row 57 at the time of the 1841 census. She was with 2 charwomen, and one of the women's mother. By 1843, Sarah was an invalid. She wrote many letters, some of which have been published in the booklet. Also in the booklet are some excerpts from her Day Journal, which contains stories of the prisoners, and this portion in particular gives insight into what life in and out of the prison was like.

Sarah says of herself that she was orphaned early in life and brought up by her grandmother. She was buried in St Nicholas' Churchyard 10th June 1849, aged 56.

Research Notes

  • Research note 02: There is an Ann POSTLE Living in Laughing Image Corner in the 1841 census. She has with her her son William, and they are both fish mongers. Something to think about - our William POSTLE/PURCELL was in prison for the 1841 census, but maybe it is possible his mother had him counted as being with her. I have a marriage for Ann to a William POSTLE from the Norfolk Marriages, but we need to prove that this Ann is not the one who married William. One thing to check - was this William in Laughing Image Corner was born in Norfolk or not..
  • Research note 01: Note that PESTILL (various spellings) is used interchangeably with POSTLE in the early registers of North Walsham. We should research this name in North Walsham and nearby villages to see if there is a link to POSTLE/PURCELL.

Children of William Postle and Mary Ann Larn


  1. International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  2. Letter, Jean Eastoe to Shirley Elrick, dec 2007.
  3. BDM, British Isles Vital Record CD, Source:     FHL Film 1526456.          
  4. DB - NSW BDM on line, online http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/familyHistory
  5. Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922: NSW BDM INDEX - V1820320 8/1820 - PURCELL - WILLIAM FATHER = JOHN, MOTHER = ANN and V18205452 1B/1820 - PURCELL - WILLIAM, father = JOHN, mother = ANN.
  6. Tas Christenings 1803-1832, online https://familysearch.org, Entry 1129.
  7. International Genealogical Index (IGI), https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JZ1P-M3T
    Name: John Purcell
    Gender: Male
    Burial Date:
    Burial Place:
    Death Date: 19 Dec 1833
    Death Place: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
    Age: 50
    Birth Date: 1783
    Marital Status:
    Spouse's Name:
    Father's Name:
    Father's Birthplace:
    Mother's Name:
    Mother's Birthplace:
    Indexing Project (Batch) Number: I02241-3
    System Origin: England-EASy
    GS Film number: 1470863
    Reference ID: 128
    Collection: John Purcell, "England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991."
  8. Copies of original certificates and docs.
  9. BDM, British Isles Vital Record CD, PURCEILL, William               Marriage
         Wife:     Mary Ann LARN          
         Marriage Date:     27 Oct 1842     Recorded in:     Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
                   Collection:     St Nicholas
         Husband's Father:     John PURCEILL
         Wife's Father:     Samuel LARN
    Source:     FHL Film 1526456     Dates:     1806 - 1848.
  10. Free parish registers, online http://www.freereg.org.uk,      Norfolk
    Place     Great Yarmouth
    Church     St Nicholas
    RegisterNumber     17
    MarriageDate     27 Oct 1842
    GroomForename     William
    GroomSurname     PURCEILL
    GroomCondition     Bachelor
    GroomOccupation     Labourer
    GroomAbode     Row No.
    BrideForename     Mary Ann
    BrideSurname     LARN
    BrideCondition     Spinster
    BrideOccupation     Charwoman
    BrideAbode     Row No.
    GroomFatherForename     John
    GroomFatherSurname     PURCEILL
    GroomFatherOccupation     Soldier
    BrideFatherForename     Samuel
    BrideFatherSurname     LARN
    BrideFatherOccupation     Mariner
    WitnessOneForename     John
    WitnessOneSurname     LARN
    WitnessTwoForename     Mary Ann
    WitnessTwoSurname     LARN
    Notes     Bride & both witnesses sign X
    FileNumber     24468.
  11. Free parish registers, online http://www.freereg.org.uk,      Norfolk
    Place     Great Yarmouth
    Church     St Nicholas
    RegisterNumber     1832
    BurialDate     21 Sep 1854
    Forename     William
    Surname     PURCELL
    Age     33
    FileNumber     3406.
  12. Norfolk Trans Archive, online http://www.genealogy.doun.org/transcriptions, year only recorded. Named as Laren.