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John Abell

John Abell, one of 320 convicts transported on the Lord William Bentinck, 11 April 1838

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Abell
Aliases: none
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1811
Occupation: Gentleman's servant
Date of Death: 1880
Age: 69 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Uttering forged notes
Convicted at: Southampton Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Lord William Bentinck
Departure date: 11th April, 1838
Arrival date: 26th August, 1838
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 319 other convicts


Primary source: London Courier and Evening Gazette, 15 July 1837; Hampshire Advertiser, 15 July 1837
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

Carole Kernick on 2nd October, 2012 wrote:

given permission to marry Charlotte Rowe 4/1/1845.  Given pardon 1847-1848

D Wong on 2nd October, 2012 wrote:

John Abell was 25 years old on arrival in VDL, transported for uttering a forged £10 note.  His occupation was Gents servant/groom/coachman.

John was 5’1 1/2” tall, grey eyes, dark hair, single, he had 2 brothers and 2 sisters all at his native place of Markham, Berkshire.

13/1/1844: Permission to marry Blanch Labele (free)

4/1/1845: Permission to marry Charlotte Rowe, they married in 1846 and had 5 children, only 2 survived infancy, Mary Ann and Edward, Charlotte, William and John all died in the year they were born.

10/1/1843: John Abell was appointed Javelin-man at the new goal at Longford.

19/8/1848: CP

Alisa on 17th June, 2021 wrote:

John Abell is my great-great-great grandfather.

John and Charlotte Abell’s son, Richard (my great-great grandfather), was born on 3 June 1863 in Back Creek (later known as Talbot) in Victoria.

John Abell died on 7th April 1880 in Talbot, Victoria. His age was listed as 69 years. His father’s name was listed as John Abell (occupation: horse dealer), his mother listed as ‘not known’. His son, Robert, residing in Talbot, was the informant. Death certificate listed his place of birth as Berkshire, England, and that he had resided for 35 years in Victoria. Married in Tasmania to Charlotte Rhodes.

Issue (children): Mary Ann (29 years), Robert (24 years), Richard (17 years), Charlotte, John, William, Edward, Esther, David, Frederick (all deceased), James (7 years).

Newspaper article published in the Hampshire Advertiser, 15 July 1837 (source: British Newspaper Archives online):
“John Abell, charged with passing a forged 10/. note, purporting to be of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, at Alton, on the 29th of April last. It appears that on the 29th of April, a gentleman of Steep, near Petersfield, sent his servant man to sell a horse at Alton Fair, when the man met the prisoner, who became a purchaser, tendering a 10/. note of the Newbury Old Bank, but the servant man not liking the note, refused to take it, the prisoner then tendered the note in question, which he subsequently found, on presentation at the Alton Bank, to be forged. The man, with the assistance of a constable, over-took the prisoner at the Good-Intent beer-shop, about a mile from Alton, with the horse in his possession, but the prisoner ran away; he was ultimately taken. At the spot near where the prisoner was taken was found a pocket-book, proved to be the same he had when he paid for the horse in the fair, and in it were found several 10/. notes of the Newbury Old Bank, which bank has stopped payment for twenty years. An inspector of the Bank of England proved the 10/. note in the indictment to be forged. The prisoner confessed his guilty knowledge of uttering, and said it was a shame he should suffer more than the rest, as others were as guilty as himself. -Guilty, transportation for life.”

Newspaper article published in the London Courier and Evening Gazette, 15 July 1837 (source: British Newspaper Archives online):
“John Abell was indicted for uttering a forged Bank of England note for 10/., knowing the same to be forged, with intent to defraud the Bank of England. It appeared by the evidence that the prisoner had agreed to buy a mare at Alton fair on the 29th of April of a poor man, and that he gave him a 10/. note of the Old Newbury Bank (which failed upwards of 20 years since). The man’s brother-in-law, however, said he did not like it, and the prisoner then gave him the 10/. note in question. The man took the note to the Alton Bank, where it was discovered to be a forgery. Search was then made for the prisoner, who was overtaken some way from Alton, and as soon as he discovered he was pursued he ran away, but was taken. A pocketbook was found near the spot where the prisoner was apprehended, in which were several notes of the Old Newbury Bank. When the prisoner was asked if he knew the pocketbook, he said, ‘That queers me altogether - I am in a rum place.’ The Jury found the prisoner Guilty, and he was sentenced to be transported for life.”

Convict Changes History

Carole Kernick on 2nd October, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1811, date of death 1880

D Wong on 2nd October, 2012 made the following changes:

occupation, crime

Alisa on 17th June, 2021 made the following changes:

source: London Courier and Evening Gazette, 15 July 1837; Hampshire Advertiser, 15 July 1837 (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/11, Page Number 250)

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au