This article examines the petitions arising from convictions at Yorkshire courts in the mind-nineteenth century, with a detailed case study which examines the events surrounding and following the conviction of Sarah Ann Hill, who in December 1851 was sentenced to death for the murder of her new-born child. This case is selected to illustrate how petitions influenced the judicial process, and to reveal the life and circumstances of the convict.
Sarah was transported to Van Diemen’s Land on the Sir Robert Seppings arriving in July 1852. She married a convict shoemaker, James Blowfield, and had six children, all of whom were born in Hobart. Sarah died 23 November 1867 at Hobart of chronic bronchitis. She was only 36.