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John Bennett

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Bennett
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1769
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 2nd May, 1788
Age: 19 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Salop. Shrewsbury Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Friendship
Departure date: 13th May, 1787
Arrival date: 21st January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 102 other convicts

References

Primary source: http://www.firstlanding.com.au Derby Mercury - Thursday 23 March 1786 page 4, Derby Mercury - Thursday 10 May 1792 page 4
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Eric Harry Daly on 10th January, 2013 wrote:

He was tried at Shrewsbury, Shropshire on 18 March 1786 for highway robbery of unknown value. He was sentenced to transportation for 7 years and left England on the Friendship aged about 18 at that time (May 1787). His occupation was listed as No Trade.
Report from Dunkirk hulk was that he behaved “remarkably well”.Behaviour deteriorated on the journey. After one flogging Lt Clark wrote “a young man But an old Rogue”.Flogged for theft on 15 February 1788.Executed 2 May 1788 for theft.

Robin Sharkey on 7th December, 2016 wrote:

ENGLISH CRIME:

Derby Mercury - Thursday 23 March 1786 page 4, column 3:
“At Shrewsburyy Assizes, which ended on Wednesday last, [ i.e. 15th March] three persons were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death … they were all reprieved before the Judge left town Derby Mercury - Thursday 23 March 1786 page 4, column 3:
At Shrewsburyy Assizes, which ended on Wednesday last, [ i.e. 15th March] three persons were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death Edward Revell and William Terry … and Ann Vaughan … they were all reprieved before the Judge left town [NONE WAS TRANSPORTED TO NSW]

” ______ ... John Bennett for stealing a Box, containing a quantity of Button from a Waggon belonging to Mr James Joy; “

This may have technically been highway robbery if the cart were on the highway.  However, it was not robbery from the person.

JOHN BENNETT was first sent to the Dunkirk Hulk, at the age of 17.  Then he was discharged to the “Friendship” convict sip on 11 March 1787 and sailed on the First Fleet, 14 months after the trial, on ship “Friendship”.

However, he would not last long in the Colony, being executed on 2nd May 1788 for theft of food.

VOYAGE -
The ship sailed on 13th May and 2 weeks later John Bennett was flogged with 37 lashes for breaking out of irons, recorded by Lt Ralph Clark in his diary for 28 May “flog this day” John Bennett, “a young man but an old rogue”.

in November, Bennett was found asleep in the long boat after he’d stolen provisions of other convicts. This time, Ralph Clark wrote ” “Mark my words that we will not have been at Botany above six months before this young Villain…comes to the Gallows”.

ARRIVAL

On 9th February Governor Phillip took some time addressing all the convicts.
Sugeon Worgan recorded inhis dairy that Phillip assured them that thefts would never more be pardoned, but if detected, they should have every justice done them in
in their Trial, and if found Guilty, the Laws should take their Course.

Nevertheless, On 15th February 1788 John Bennett was flogged for theft. Wrote Surgeon Worgan:
“We have had no less than 6 or 7 Trials for petty Larcenies, some were sentenced to be Flogged, and some to be put upon a barren Island, in the Harbour, there to remain for a Week, to live on Bread and Water; These Thefts are generally, of Provisions ...”

Then on 27th February when 3 convicts were found guilty of stealing from the government stores, two were respited, one to be executioner and one to be put on a barren island with bread and water, and the other was hung.  When another four were sentenced to hang for stealing food from the stores, they were reprieved at the last minute, but one was made to agree to be hangman for the colony (named Freeman).

In April, Gov Phillip announced that any further thefts would be met with immediate hanging.

Despite all this, JOHN BENNETT stole again and at the beginning of May was tried, sentenced and hanged all on the same day, the 2nd May 1788.
He had broken into a tent belonging to the “Charlotte” transport ship and stole property from in there above 5s value.

Collins wrote that Bennett ” ... confessed that he had often merited death before he committed the crime for which he was then about to suffer, and that a love of idleness and bad connexions had been his ruin. He was executed immediately on receiving his sentence, in the hope of making a greater impression on the convicts than if it had been delayed for a day or two. “

Surgeon Worgan wrote of him on 5th May “We have had another Execution of a very young Lad but an old hardened Offender, who, on his arrival at the fatal Tree, said, that he was now going to suffer a Death, which he had long deserved.”

ADVICE BACK TO ENGLAND

News of his death was published in English media in 1792, as follows:
Derby Mercury - Thursday 10 May 1792 page 4
“DERBY, May 9th
” Letter [has] been received from Botany Bay, by the keeper of SALOP Gaol, informing him that the following convicts sent from that gaol, are no more, viz:
Margaret Fownes
William Fans [i.e. Evans] Francis Woodcock, Joseph Owen, who have died natural deaths; Richard Carter killed by the natives, and E. Wildblood and John Bennet, hanged for stealing.”

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 10th January, 2013 made the following changes:

convicted at, term 7 years, voyage, source, firstname, surname, alias1, alias2, alias3, alias4, date of birth 1769, date of death 2nd May, 1788, gender, occupation, crime

Eric Harry Daly on 10th January, 2013 made the following changes:

source

Robin Sharkey on 7th December, 2016 made the following changes:

source: http://www.firstlanding.com.au Derby Mercury - Thursday 23 March 1786 page 4, Derby Mercury - Thursday 10 May 1792 page 4 (prev. http://www.firstlanding.com.au)

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