I was looking in the Complete book of Emigrants in Bondage (listed as a source for the Nicholas Hancher/Hinshaw/Henshaw lineage) and found some interesting things. First off, the passenger list for the Gilbert has been transcribed and is available online and does not contain a Henshaw/Hinshaw or Hancher. In the book on emigrants in bondage it did. I found another book by the same author that listed ships coming to MD in that time period and it stated that the ship Gilbert had a Nicholas Henshaw on board but did not have him listed on the Landing Certificate. The landing certificate was how the captains and investors were paid on return to England.
Three choices here. 1) DOA since chattel were commodities that were accounted for and not necessarily recorded if died in passage (burial at sea without ceremony). 2) Jumped ship and deserted the bondage time to be served (on average 7 years) to a big city such as Philadelphia or NYC. 3) Error in recording them on the landing certificate (not likely since it's the way to get paid...but possible)...
On the third option of not listed, if he did become slave labor to a planter in those days only about 5% ever went on to own land and only slightly higher % of those who came over even lived more than a season or two. He was supposed to have come over in 1721 on the gilbert and then fast forward to 1726, he gets married in the Christ Church (Church of England, the country he was deported from?) in Philadelphia to a Quaker, Rebecca Smith. For indentured servitude there was an option to buy out your contract early, but not for convicts. So how could he have a served sentence shorter than the average of 7 years? On the jump ship option most likely there would have been an ad in the MD gazette or the VA gazette looking for their property. None found in my searches FWIW.
I realize there are records for Nicholas Hancher from 1726 on in records by the Quakers and later land and tax records. But before nothing? Anyone have anything before 1726 in the Colonies? Has anyone gone to the records beyond the Old Bailey online (trials in Surrey are in a different not online accessible area but still in the PRO) to see what the crime was he was sentenced to Transportation?