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John Allen, one of 300 convicts transported on the Randolph, 24 April 1849
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 56 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
24th April, 1849
20th August, 1849
|Place of arrival
||Port Phillip [convicts did not disembark at Port Phillip, but were sent on to Sydney]
Travelled with 298 other convicts
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Kim Winter-Bell on 5th February, 2018 wrote:
John Allen was born in 1822 to Samuel and Elizabeth in Oundle, Northamptonshire, and baptised in the parish church. He was one of ten children born to Samuel and Elizabeth, and as he was baptised on the same day as his sister Catherine. His father and grandfather were blacksmiths and it was this trade that John went into.
1846 - advert in the Northamptonshire papers.
‘Robbing a Church of its Poor-Box
Information has been circulated, with a description of three men who are charged with breaking into the parish church of Oundle, in Northamptonshire, and carrying off the poor box, which is supposed to have contained a considerable amount of money, as it had not been opened for the last eighteen years. The alleged delinquents are all natives of Oundle, two of the brothers, named Robert and John Wartley, who have the appearance of railway labourers and the other a blacksmith named John Allen.’
Robert Wartley (32) and John Allen (24) were eventually charged with the theft though I’m not yet sure what happened next to John Wartley. Robert had also been charged 10 previous times, including assaults and game offences but this was John’s first crime.
I’m pretty sure that he was involved on some level. They were caught spending a lot of money in the local pubs, and the coppers they were using to pay had turned black with age. Evidence was also received from a number of members of the community, but the most interesting was these was from a William Bunning, described as shrewd and merry looking. He had a few drinks with all of the suspects after the robbery.
John Allen was known as the old duke, I wonder if this was because he gave himself airs and graces?! They were found guilty of the crime, but the judge held off sentencing as there was some debate as to who actually owned the money and who had been harmed by the theft and therefore they could be accused of a lesser crime than larceny.
When the judge returned his verdict 4 months later he sentenced them to transportation for 7 years. John was then transferred to Millbank prison, where he was visited by ‘his sister and aunt’ before being transferred again to the ‘Warrior’ prison hulk.
The ‘Warrior’ was a decommissioned naval vessel and was moored at Woolwich. During John’s time there his behaviour was good, and bar an eye infection he was generally classed as healthy. A not unimpressive feat considering the conditions on the hulks and the fact that during his time there, there was an outbreak of Cholera According to Judith Flanders book, Victorian City, out of the 638 prisoners, 400 contracted the disease.
In April 1849 John was finally sent to the ‘Randolph’, the ship that was to carry him to Australia. The journey took just over 100 days, but was not able to land at Port Philip as the public were opposed to convicts being landed there and they had to continue on to Sydney. On September 1st John was given his Ticket of Leave for Bathurst district. This meant he was free to go and earn a living so long as he met certain conditions and stayed in that district.
After this, I lose him. I can’t find any marriage or death records for him. I can’t find a pardon or records of him returning to England.
Convict Changes History
Kim Winter-Bell on 5th February, 2018 made the following changes:
source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/16, Page Number 31 (17)