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John Beck

John Beck, one of 200 convicts transported on the Lloyds, 25 March 1837

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Beck
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1819
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Lloyds
Departure date: 25th March, 1837
Arrival date: 17th July, 1837
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/11, Page Number 26
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

Tony Beale on 2nd September, 2021 wrote:

Old Bailey Online (D o B from here)

2017. JONATHAN HOLCOMBE and JOHN BECK were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling of Louis Stechert, about the hour of twelve in the night of the 10th of August, at St. James, Westminster, with intent to steal, and stealing therein 2 pairs of shoes, value 30s.; the goods of Philip Freil, Esq.; 35 yards of woolen cloth, value 36l.; 4 yards of velvet, value 4l.; 30 yards of silk serge, value 5l. 2 coats, value 6l.; 4 waistcoats, value 3l.; 1 wine strainer, value 30s.; 1 pepper-box, value 2l.; and 1 decanter stand, value 5s., the goods of the said Louis Stechert.

LOUIS STECHERT I am a tailor and live at No. 17, Argyle-street, in the parish of St. James, Westminster. On the night of the 10th of August I went to bed at eleven o’clock precisely and was the last person up—I make it my business every night before going to bed to see all the doors and windows, safe and I saw the house fastened up in every way that night—I was disturbed about a quarter after twelve o’clock—my wife made an observation to me about the creaking of the street-door—she got out of bed, came back to me, and alarmed me—I ran down stairs in my shirt, and on the first fight of stairs I noticed that the street-door was about a quarter of a yard open—I ran to the street-door and opened it quite, and saw a lad running round the corner of Argyle-street into Oxford-street—I followed him, but when I got round the corner he had vanished—I got a policeman who stood by the lamp-post, and took him to the house—he sprang his rattle for assistance, and when I came into the house my wife had got a candle alight—I found two pieces of woollen cloth, a piece of velvet, a piece of silk, and other things placed in the passage ready to be removed—I could not tell how the thieves got in, the door being locked before—the policeman and I went over the house—the door of the back parlour where the cloth had been was locked, and locked them as I had left it—when I got to the parlour I found the window partly open—they had moved the goods through the window into the yard—they could not get them but by moving them through the window into the back yard, and then into the passage, and the thieves had gone out at the front door—we examined the house, but could find no body concealed in it—I then took my errand-boy into custody, and brought him to the station-house, suspecting he might know something of it—he did not live in the house—I suspected at the time that he had brought the thieves into the house.

Cross-examined by MR. DOANE. Q. Is your errand-boy here? A. No, he is not—I was the last person who went to bed that night—I saw the premises quite safe.

WILLIAM TROWBRIDGE . I am foreman to Mr. Stechert. When I came to my employment in the morning, he told me of the robbery—he suspected Holcombe, and wished me to go to him with the officer, which we did—he had been errand-boy at our place formerly, and was then errand-boy at another place—I went to his house, No.8, Grafton-street, about half-past eight o’clock in the morning, and found him there—nothing passed in the house—as soon as we came out, I told him what had occurred—and said he had better tell the truth, if he was in it—he denied being in the house at the time—he did not say any thing about any goods which I afterwards found—he said he could point out his accomplice—I saw the two prisoners together—Holcombe did not say any thing in Beck’s presence about his being concerned—I did not know Beck before—I told Beck that Holcombe had given me information that he, Beck, had been in it—he said, if that was the case, he wished to make a confession—I did not any it would be better for him to state the truth—I said I would not taken any confession from him, but would take him before the proper authorities—I took him before the Magistrate, and he was examined there—he was in the policeman’s custody the whole time.

JOHN GILBIN . I am a policeman. Stechert did not apply to me on the night of the 10th of August, but on the following morning, the 11th, between seven and eight o’clock—in consequence of that, I went to Holcombe’s house with Trowbridge—what he said was in consequence of his promising him some favour—nothing else passed—I took him into custody, and is consequence of what he said I took Beck, and took him before the Magistrate, between eleven and twelve o’clock—I did not say any thing to Beck about confessing—I never spoke to him—I did not hear him examined before the Magistrate—one was examined before the Magistrate, and the other was examined in the back place, where the clerks are—when I took Beck into custody, he asked what it was for—I told him—he denied all knowledge of it, till I got him to Mr. Stechert’s house—then Mr. Stechert said, “Jonathan, is this the young man who was with you last night?”—he said, “Yes”—Beck then to us what property he took away, and where they disposed of it, and for what price—he said that in Holcombe’s presence—he said Holcombe put him up to it, to go in there and take the things—and they were to have a cab—(there was another I took as well)—he said the robbery had been planned for above a week, and if they got the property they were to take it to a house in Monmouth-street—I searched that house, but found no property there—Holcombe’s father, about two hours after, brought some property to Mr. Stechert, which he said he had found in his own house—Beck said, in Holcombe’s presence, that he took a coat away, and a pair of shoes and a waistcoat, a wine-strainer, and pepper-castor, and sold them to the Jew in Monmouth-street, for 14s.; but I have not found them—Holcombe then said it was Beck who wanted to put him up to it, on account of knowing his way in there, when he brought his dinner there several times, when he lived errand-boy with Mr. Stechert—I took them before the Magistrate—Holcombe made a statement before the Magistrate—the Magistrate asked Beck what he meant to do with the things—Holcombe said, to sell them to the Jew, as he had sold the other things—they were both present—Holcombe said something in answer to that—the Magistrate did not give Holcombe any warning before he put any question to him, but asked him how he meant to dispose of come of the property—he said he meant to dispose of it to the Jew in Monmouth-street, that he had sold some property there, and the Jew owed him?.

Cross-examined. Q. Was what Holcombe said taken down in writing? A. I was not there when it was taken down—but afterwards, when the depositions were read over, and they were fully committed, it was put down—it was put down in writing before.

COURT. Q. Did you see it taken down? A. No—I heard the depositions read over to him—I did not hear his examination read to him—there was nothing taken down by the clerk nor Magistrate that he said in my presence.

Cross-examined by MR. DOANE. Q. Was it taken down at any time? A. Not to my knowledge.

COURT. Q. Did he say any thing else about what he meant to do with the property? A. No.

MR. DOANE. Q. Holcombe said they meant to have taken some property to a Jew? A. They asked him where they meant to dispose of the property—Holcombe said they meant to take it to the Jew’s Monmouth-street—not that he meant, but they meant—two persons besides the prisoners were apprehended for this, but they were discharged.

COURT. Q. Did he say they or we? A. We meant to take it to the Jew in Monmouth-street—I am not positive whether he said they or we—the question was put to both the prisoners—the others had been discharged at that time.

WILLIAM TROWBRIDGE re-examined. I heard Beck examined before the Maigstrate, and I attested his examination—I saw him sign it—it was road over to him before he signed it—I saw it taken down from his statement—(read)—The voluntary statement of John Beek, taken before me, Robert Joseph Chambers, Esq., one of his Majesty’s justice of the peace for the country of Middlesex, this 11th day of August, 1836, who says, “I have known Jonathan Holcombe for about five weeks, and about three or four days ago he said to me that he knew a place where we could get two or three rolls of cloth, and that if I knew any body to bring it away, he would show me the place—I said, ‘Perhaps I did know a man who would bring it away’—soon after the conversation we parted—this was in Tottenham-court-road—I did not again see him until yesterday, when I again met him near Tottenham-court-road, and I said to him, ‘Are you going after the cloth?’—he said, ‘Yes’, and that we must go and see Jack, that lived at Pridmore’s—we walked down Tottenham-court-road, and on our way we met Jack, and we both told him that we were going after some cloth in Argyle-street, and asked him if he would come with a cab at twelve o’clock at night—he said he would, and soon after he left us, and Holcombe and me went down to Monmouth-street, and went into a shop at the corner of Monmouth-court, and we asked the man in the shop if he would buy some cloth—he said he would—we told him we were going to take it from a place near Regent-street—and he said that he would change two £10 notes, and have the money ready for us—we then left his shop—this was about six o’clock in the evening—from there, I am Holcombe went to the New Inn-yard, Tottenham-court-road, to meet Jack, which he had before agreed to; and shortly after he met us there, and we all three walked on to Argyle-street—I and Holcombe walked over to Mr. Stechert’s shop; and Holcombe said, ‘I will go in and see if it’s all right, as I shall want to put you in a little hole; and he went in at the shop door, and in a very short time he came towards the door and beckoned to me, and I went in—he took me into the water-closet, We must go and look for a better place; and he left me, but soon returned again, and then took me to near the pump, which is a dark place, and I concealed myself in a nook there—at that time I heard one of the men speak to Holcombe, who had gone back into the water-closet—soon after, one of the men came to wash his hands at the pump, and when he went away, Holcombe came and said to me, ‘Keep yourself up close;’ and Holcombe washed his hands; when another man came and washed himself and went away, Holcombe then said, ‘Come in the dust-hole;’ and we both got in, and were there nearly two hours; and after we heard the doors and places fastened we got out and went upstairs into the workshop, and laid on the floor about an hour—he then went down-stairs to look for a candle, as he said, and he got a light from the gas—we then went down into the kitchen, but found nothing there—we then went up into the front parlour, and Holcombe said, ‘Here is the place where the cloth is;’ pointing to the back parlour, and he got in at the window, the door being fastened—he called to me to follow him, which I did; and we took about three pieces of cloth, two coats, and some pieces of silk from out of the room into the passage—before we had done that, Holcombe said, ‘I will look for the keys, as I know where they are kept, to let us out at the door we came in at;’ and he looked about for them, but could not find them, and he said that we must go out at the front door, and soon after he went and opened the front door to see if the cab was come—it was not there, and he said, ‘I will go out and see if I can see him;’ and he went out, and whilst he was gone, I thought I heard somebody up-stairs opening a door, and I ran out, taking with me a coat which I had taken from the back parlour, and had put on—I also had put into the pocket of the coat a pair of shoes, a silver pepper-stand, and a silver strainer—when I got to the top of the street, I saw some police-constables, and I thought they were looking at me—I commenced running, and took the pair of shoes from out of the coat-pocket and threw them away—I then went on the Monmouth-street, to the shop where we had been before—I knocked at the shop door, and the man said, ‘Is it Jack?’ I said ‘Yes;’ and he said, ‘Come in the morning’—I went away, and went to a mews in Tottenham-court-road, and got into a hackney-coach, and slept there until about eight o’clock this morning—I then went again to the shop in Monmouth-street, and saw a female—she said her husband was not at home—I told her I had a coat to sell, and she said she would send for her brother-in-law; she gave a little girl a halfpenny, and sent her for him, and soon after a man came—I showed him the coat, also the silver pepper-stand and silver strainer—I asked him 14s. for the whole—he agreed to give it, and gave me 7s., and told me if I would call again in half-an-hour he would give me the other 7s.—I then left, and went up into the Hampstread-road, and left the 7s. the man had given me in a field, covering the money over with a brick—I then went to Grafton-street, and there saw Holcombe—he spoke to me, and said that he had been taken, but that they had let him go again, and he took me up towards the canal, and in Crescent-street I was taken into custody.

(Signed) JOHN BECK.”

WILLIAM TROWBRIDGE re-examined. I have a coat and two waistcoats which were brought to our place by Holcombe’s father—the property left in the passage is not here.

The Prisoner made no defence.

LOUIS STECHERT re-examined. Holcombe bore a good character when I employed him—I frequently had occasion to trust him.

(George Holland, of 31, Grafton-street East, gave Holcombe a good character.)


BECK— GUILTY . Aged 17.


Before Lord Chief Justice Denman.

Convict Changes History

Tony Beale on 2nd September, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1819 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

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