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William Allen

William Allen, one of 1063 convicts transported on the Neptune, Scarborough and Surprize, December 1789

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Allen
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Neptune, Scarborough and Surprize
Departure date: December, 1789
Arrival date: 26th June, 1790
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 1072 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 54
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

Maureen Withey on 9th May, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 May 2020), December 1786, trial of WILLIAM ALLEN (t17861213-15).
WILLIAM ALLEN, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 13th December 1786.

16. WILLIAM ALLEN was indicted (together with THOMAS GLAVES ), for feloniously assaulting John M’Donald on the king’s highway, on the 11th of November last, and putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will, one red Morocco pocket book, value 12 d. and a man’s hat, value 3 s. his property .


I am an apprentice to a shipwright ; on the 11th of November last, I was seeing the Princess Amelia’s burial; on Saturday night; I got out of the croud amongst the soldiers to see the procession go by; when the procession got into the Abbey then we were all turned out of the line of the soldiers; I got on the wheel of a coach for fear of getting any hurt, and while I was on the wheel, the prisoner and one or two more came and pulled me backwards, and gave me a blow in the mouth; I turned round and got down from the wheel, and Allen the prisoner, and the other man jostled me up against the coach wheel: Glaves put his hand into my pocket, which I caught hold of; I just then turned round; and the prisoner said, have you got it; he said, no, I cannot feel one; the prisoner said, d - n your eyes feel again; I know he has got money; the prisoner and Thomas Glaves put his hand into my right hand pocket and pulled the money out; I know Glaves to have been one; I am positive to him.

Have you ever seen the prisoner before that night? - No, Sir.

Did he speak to you at all? - No; the prisoner said, has he any money; Glaves said no; the prisoner said, d - n your eyes, feel again, for I know he has got some money; with that he turned round and jostled me up against the coach again, which they had no occasion to do, for there was no person nigh enough to push them up against me; then Glaves felt again, and I caught his hand a second time; then I turned and said, my friend, you had better be quiet, or else I will have you hobbled; with that the third person that was with them, said, is it me you mean? no, says I; says another, is it me? no, says I; then says he, it must be you; no, says I, I have nothing to say to you; I was glad to get rid of them for fear of being ill used; there were many people near, but I was afraid to speak to any of them for fear of speaking to their acquaintance; they went away, and I followed, resolving if I saw any, body to give charge of them; I missed my pocket book immediately as they quitted me; it was taken out of my great coat pocket; then I lost sight of the other two, but still kept sight of the prisoner at the bar; I caught hold of his arm, I was near losing him, but he turned round, and said, d - n my eyes, do you mean to pick my pocket, I have lost my knife already; I then followed him a little farther, and I heard the name of Bill, Bill, called; he said, halloo, and went to the same two; and they went away about two hundred yards, they saw me following them, and they turned again, and the tallest of them, neither the prisoner nor Glaves, asked me what I followed them for; they all three turned about; there were some men coming along, and I asked them to assist me; but they would have nothing to do with it; then they ran away; before they ran away, they said, if you follow us further we will knock you down; upon which the prisoner said, do not knock down, let him go about his business; Glaves was soon taken; the officers came up; I never lost sight of him; I do not know what became of the other two; the prisoner was taken on the Tuesday following in the Borough; they took my hat off my head, it was very tight on, and they pulled it off when they pulled me down from the coach wheel; I never got any of my things again.

Was there much light? - Yes, the lights at the burying shewed a good distance; there were many lamps.

Can you undertake positively to swear to the man from such a short observation on such a night? - I can positively swear to him.

Prisoner. He never mentioned that before the Justice? - I never mentioned any such word.

Prisoner. And before the Justice he declared he had lost his hat? - I said, the hat was taken from me.


On the 11th of November, in the evening, I, with five more officers, having a little leisure time, went down to that spot to see for a person I wanted; I heard the cry of stop thief; I saw a man running and another after him without a hat; I followed one who dodged under a coach; I got fast hold of him; that time the prosecutor was up with us; says he, that is the man that has robbed me; I asked him of what; he said, he knocked or dragged him off the coach wheel, and had taken his hat and pocket book; I then took him into custody, and in taking him along, I gave him to Treadway and Beamish, who were with me; I found a mob of people following us very close, with several imprecations, and I was rather afraid of some mischief; Beamish hallooed out to me, take care, Freeman; I turned round, and observed a stick over my head; the prisoner was making a blow, which Beamish prevented; I turned about, and told the people not to attempt to rescue the prisoner; I drew a pistol, and said, I would shoot the first person that attempted to rescue my prisoner; I did not apprehend the prisoner but the other man; they still swore, and I drew a pistol, and told them, that the first man that attempted to rescue my prisoner, I would blow his brains out; I got him into a public house; I then got a coach, and took the prisoner Glaves to St. Giles’s round-house; I was informed that Glaves called himself a Boroughnian; and I thought to go to the Borough; on Monday I went to take my prisoner to the Magistrate, and found that he had made his escape; I went into the Borough to Ward and Smith, and enquired after Glaves, and says I, I believe you know a partner of his; and I described him; yes, says they, his name is Allen; I told them to apprehend him, and bring him to me; on Tuesday, the 14th, they brought him to me; I knew him directly; I then put him into custody, and sent for the prosecutor; when he came, I put the prisoner, which I usually do in those cases, among many more people, and one of my brother officers went in with the prosecutor, and asked him if he knew any person there, and he pitched upon the prisoner directly.

Now, what opportunity had you of seeing the prisoner that night, or had you any but what you have just described while he lifted the stick? - I never saw the prisoner before that night, but going to the public house, there were several lights, and I observed the prisoner as he was making a blow at my head, which Beamish prevented; I noticed him particularly; I am positive that is the man that followed me, and attempted to strike me; the prisoner said before the Magistrate, I advised Glaves not to knock you down.

Prisoner. I saw the men; but was not in their company; one said, cut him, and another said, knock him down, and I prevented them.


On Saturday, the 11th of November, Beamish and I went down to the burial to see for a person; we heard the cry of stop thief, and took Glaves into custody; as for the prisoner at the bar, I cannot identify at all, for Glaves got away.


On the night of the burial of the Princess Amelia, I went down with Freeman; I heard the cry of stop thief; Glaves ran under a coach, and somebody attempted to strike Freeman, but whether it was the prisoner Allen, I cannot say, for Freeman was behind.


On the 12th of November, the prisoner came to me to the Bird-cage in the Borough, and he told me that Glaves was taken up.

How came he to tell you that? - I do not know; says he, we were at the burial last night; I asked him who we were; he told me himself, William Glaves , and another man, and that they had knocked a man down, and taken his hat, and Glaves was in custody for it.

Are you a constable? - I am an officer in the Borough; I had taken this prisoner before, and I suppose he knew me: on the Monday, this Mr. Freeman came over to me, and asked me I knew one Glaves; I said yes, very well, and I know his partner Allen; says he, Glaves has got away, and if you see him, apprehend him and Allen too; says I, do you know Allen? yes, says he, and he described him, dressed in a blue jacket, and dirty nankeen breeches.

Court. You being a constable, did it not occur to you to have taken Allen up yourself? - Yes, but I did not know the contents of it; I was sure if I heard any thing more of it, I knew where to find him.

Was he in liquor? - No, he was sober that morning; on Sunday morning he was in liquor; and he told me when I took him, says he, if you had met me two hours before, I had a couple of good pistols, and I would have blown your brains out.


I can say no further than what Ward has said; I assisted in carrying him to the office.

Prisoner. I leave it to the mercy of the Court; I have not a friend in the world; they have sworn false; they live by swearing people’s lives away.

GUILTY , Death .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron HOTHAM.
National Archives. HO 47/9/21 1789 July 21
Letter from James Adair enclosing a list of capital respites, in Newgate on 24 June, to whom no pardon has yet been granted, and on which his recommendations are noted against each name. Adair mentions that he is at a loss as to what to suggest for James Carse, convicted of murder, but periodically insane.
List of capital convicts in Newgate, 24 June 1789.
December Sessions, 1786
9. William Allen, for a highway robbery, and stealing money or goods, value 4/-, property of John McDonald. Recommendation: transportation for life.

Maureen Withey on 10th May, 2020 wrote:

William Glaves was also a convict on this voyage.

Maureen Withey on 10th May, 2020 wrote:

Correction to above - Thomas Glaves was also a convict on this voyage.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 9th May, 2020 made the following changes:

gender: m, crime

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