Susannah Holmes and Henry Kable were independantly incarcerated at Norwich Castle gaol for over three and a half years. It was in this squalid setting that Susannah met, and fell in love with, Henry Kable. It was here, too, that they requested on several occasions to be able to marry. As prisoners this was not allowed, however in 1786 she gave birth to a son, Henry Junior.
Committed to the Castle in 1783, they were both condemned to hang and then reprieved.
It is worth remembering that the idea of a judge or Justices of the Peace sending someone to prison as a punishment was still many years ahead. Prisons were used to hold offenders such as Susannah and Henry awaiting trial or sentence. More common punishments were whippings, brandings, the stocks and the pillory.
Following Susannah and Henry’s reprieve they were sentenced to transportation, firstly to the Americas and later changed to the proposed Colony of New South Wales.
She remained there until she and baby Henry were sent under guard to Plymouth in 1786 to await transportation.
Distressingly Henry was not nominated for transportation.
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The story that emerged when Henry Snr was not nominated for transportation drew such public attention which is presented in more detail in the section – the redemptive power of love, humanity and justice.