|Birth: ||1824, England|
|Death: ||Jun. 30, 1876|
Samuel Crooks, son of Bromley (England) School clerk, Samuel Crooks, and his wife, Elizabeth, was born at Sheerness, England, in 1824; he entered the Royal Navy sometime between 1841 and 1851, and was residing with his wife, Sarah, a laundress, at Tweedside Place, East Stonehouse, Devon, England, in 1851; a son, also named Samuel, was born to the couple about 1856, but the 1861 census shows Sarah and Samuel, junior residing at the home of her brother in law, Samuel Skelton, at East Stonehouse, after having obviously been deserted by her husband; Samuel Crooks had left his wife about 1857, and after leaving the port of Liverpool on April 21, 1857, he arrived at Hobson's Bay, aboard the Sir William Eyre, on July 14, 1857, after a journey of 81 days; he may have, at the same time, deserted the Royal Navy, though this has yet to be verified; after arriving in Melbourne he settled in the then small village of Williamstown, a seafaring community, and would sometimes go out to sea as a mariner, or occupy his time as a fisherman; when the Confederate cruiser, CSS Shenandoah, arrived in Melbourne in January, 1865, Crooks had obviously made up his mind to go aboard as a sailor of the Confederate States, and, after selling off all his personal belongings that he did not need, he went aboard the cruiser on the night of Friday, February 17, 1865, and, the next day, was shipped aboard as a seaman in the Confederate States Navy, at the rate of $29.10; at the end of the cruise, and, arriving in Liverpool in early November, 1866, Crooks remained for only a few brief weeks before taking a passenger vessel back to Melbourne, leaving Liverpool in early December, and arriving in Melbourne at the end of March, 1866; for the remainder of his life he resided at Stafford Place, Little Nelson Street, Williamstown, and never again married, while living in Australia; Crooks was nicknamed "Little Sam", and was described as a little clean shaven nautical looking man who was often seen at the steamboat jetty or the Pier Hotel; he was an alcoholic, and was fined several times for drunkenness and disorderly behavior; he also suffered from asthma in his later years, which consequently caused his death on June 30, 1876; he was buried in public ground, in an unmarked mass grave, at Williamstown Cemetery, the next day.
1841 United Kingdom Census;
1851 United Kingdom Census;
1861 United Kingdom Census;
Williamstown Chronicle Saturday, July 1, 1876, page 3;
Argus (Melbourne) newspaper dated Thursday, November 7, 1867, page 1 (supplement) and Wednesday, April 22, 1868, page 6;
Alabama Claims 1, 817, 820 & 976;
1875 and 1876 issues of the Victorian Sands and McDougall's Directory;
some biographical data obtained from his death certificate.
Hobsons Bay City
Plot: Comp. M - 4
Created by: Terry Foenander
Record added: May 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19379327