There is very little information available for Charles Frederick Hatton as his record of service in the Army is not available. However, other sources indicate that:
- He joined the 20th Company RSM by September 1857, Service #3539, trade – smith.
- On 23 September 1857 Hatton embarked on then ship Nile for service in Western Australia and arrived in Fremantle 1st January 1858 as part of a contingent of 27 Sappers and Miners who were to replace those who had returned to England on the Devonshire, Esmeralda and Dolphin between 1855 and 1857.
- During the first eight months of his service in Western Australia, Hatton is described in notes on the Muster Rolls as follows:
January 7 days imprisonment per Commanding Officer Sentence, £1 13s. 8d.
February 11 days imprisonment per Commanding Officer Sentence, £1 7s. 10½d.
March Tried by a District Court Martial on the 11th March 1858 and sentenced to 168 days imprisonment from 11th March 1858 to the 25th August 1858. 6 days prisoner prior to trial, viz. from 5th to 10th, March 1858, 16s. 8½d.
April Prison, 15s.
May Prison by Sentence of District Court Martial, 15s.
June Prison by Sentence of District Court Martial, 15s.
July Prison by Sentence of District Court Martial, 15s. 6d.
August 25 days imprisonment by Sentence of District Court Martial, 19s. 9d.
September 1858 was the first full month he had been a free man in the Colony and returned to his full pay of £1 16s. 3d. per month.
- To date I have been unable to discover the offences for which Hatton was imprisoned by his Commander Officer’s sentence (January and February), nor what prompted his District Court Martial. Under the rules governing trials by District Court Martial, five officers must be present if a trial occurs ‘overseas’. In March 1858, only four Royal Engineer officers were in the Colony: Captain Henderson had returned to Western Australia the previous month after leave of absence in England; Lieutenants J J Bury, E C Sim and R Thorold had voyaged with Hatton on the Nile; but Captain Wray had left the Colony on the Nile’s return journey to England in February. Perhaps an officer from another regiment was available for the task – a company of the 12th Regiment of Foot was in the Colony at the time.
- The voyage on the Nile was a fractious one; perhaps Hatton’s imprisonment was part of the drama set out in Bishop Hale’s letters to a friend about the voyage.
Although Fremantle Gaol was accommodating prisoners other than convicts at this time, Hatton’s name does not appear on the register of ‘local’ prisoners perhaps because his first admission to prison was prior to the commencement of this surviving register.
- On 6th July 1859, ‘Frederick’ Hatton married ‘Margitta’ Carroll at St Patrick’s Church, Fremantle; the civil entry of the event records Charles Fred Hatton and Margaret Louisa Carroll. The couple had two sons born in Fremantle: William Andrew, 4 May 1860 and Charles Frederick, 24 Feb 1862. On 27th April 1862, the family returned to England on Lincelles.
- Among the many hundreds of Charles Hatton/Hutton options, without the basic knowledge of our Hatton’s age and place of birth, it seemed impossible to identify the family back in England. Charles Frederick junior joined the Royal Engineers aged 14 in 1876. His discharge papers in May 1902 (after 26 years as a surveyor) show his next-of-kin as Margaret Hatton residing in South Hackney.
- Despite transcription errors in the census records, further research found possibilities from the 1881 and 1891 Census suggesting the following profile:
Charles Frederick Hatton was born in Weymouth, Dorset c.1836.
Lydia Jane, a daughter, was born in Medway Registration District in Kent Q3, 1864.
Charles may have been serving overseas in the Army at the time of the 1871 Census.
Charles, Margaret and Lydia were living in Ash Grove, Hackney in 1881.
Charles died in Hackney Registration District in Q4, 1881.
Margaret and Lydia were living in Glaskin Road, Hackney in 1891.
No record can be found in UK for William Andrew Hatton born in Fremantle in 1860.
Muster Rolls & Pay Lists January to September 1858 [WO11-158 & WO-162].
Voyage Diaries, Nile 1858: Letters from the Bishop of Perth transcribed by Janice Hayes.
Fremantle Local Prisoners’ Register 27 May 1858 to 18 Aug 1868, Acc 1156, V.16 & 17.
Birth & Marriage Index, Family Search & WA General Registar’s Office Index.
Muster Rolls & Pay Lists April to June 1862 [WO11-207].
Chelsea Pension Records for Charles Frederick Hatton Junior [WO97-5072-123].
1881 & 1891 Census of England & Wales [RG11-312 & RG12-205].
England & Wales General Registrar’s Office Index.