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Phineas Adams

Phineas Adams, one of 170 convicts transported on the Malabar, 14 June 1819

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Phineas Adams
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 6th June, 1794
Occupation: Stonemason
Date of Death: 1820
Age: 25 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Sheep-stealing
Convicted at: Somerset Assizes
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Malabar
Departure date: 14th June, 1819
Arrival date: 30th October, 1819
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 171 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 183 (93)
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

D Wong on 26th November, 2019 wrote:

Registered on Ancestry as in and out of gaol from 1813.

29/4/1816 Gloucester Journal Gloucestershire, England:

Phineas Adams, for stealing a heifer at Staple Fitzpaine.
The name of Phineas Adams, one of the above offenders, will be recollected by our readers as the young impostor, who, a few years ago, excited so much attention by the long-continued state of torpor in which he lay, and from which no efforts of art could arouse him.

18/4/1819 National Register (London) London, England:

At the last Somerset Assizes, Phineas Adams received sentence of death for sheep stealing. This young and daring offender, aged 25, is the soldier who some few years since pretended to be in a trance, and to live a considerable time without sustenance ; he even went under the operation of having the scalp of his head taken off, whilst in that situation, to prevent his receiving the punishment awarded for desertion, since which he has been convicted of a felony, when judgement being respited on a point of law, which was decided in his favour, he was pardoned.  Since that time he advised a person, whom he knew had smuggled liquor consealed in his house, to remove it, as the house was to be searched.  The goods were removed upon a horse ; when the prisoner, in a soldier’s dress, concealed himself near a turnpike, by which the liquor was to pass, and with a drawn sword seized it in the King’s name, and kept it for his own use.  For this offence he was imprisoned six months, and he has since been imprisoned three months for stealing wood.
It appears that Adams’s mother had long been in the habit of telling fortunes round the villages for a subsistence ; and among the rest of her prognostications, she foretold that her son Phineas would never be hanged whilst she was living.  In this Sybil proved to be correct, for a short time previous to the prisoner’s apprehension the old lady died.  But whilst on her death-bed, in pursuance of her old trade, she for the last time foretold that now Phineas would be hanged__a prophecy which must, however, have been dictated by a “lying spirit,” as Phineas is reprieved!

Phineas Adams was listed as 25 years old on arrival.

Native Place: Somerset

Phineas was 5’6½” tall, fair ruddy complexion, blac hair, dark eyes.

Occupation: Stonemason/Soldier for 2 years.

1820: NSW BDM - Phineas Adams died, aged 27.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 26th November, 2019 made the following changes:

date of birth: 6th June, 1794 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1820 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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