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John Best

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Best
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1757
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 16th March, 1839
Age: 82 years

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 7 years

Crime: Burglary
Convicted at: Old Bailey
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 103 other convicts


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Community Contributions

Eric Harry Daly on 11th January, 2013 wrote:

John Best was tried at Old Bailey, London on 29 October 1783 for burglary with a value of 39 shillings. He was sentenced to transportation for 7 years and left England on the Friendship aged about 27 at that time (May 1787). His occupation was listed as None. He died in 1839.
Guilty of return from transport following the Mercury mutiny.Report from Dunkirk hulk was “troublesome at times”.

Carol Axton-Thompson on 26th October, 2013 wrote:

Old Bailey transcript 29 Oct. 1783 :
GUILTY Of stealing to the value of 39 s. but not of breaking and entering the dwelling-house.
Transported for seven years.

John Best, along with his partner in crime John Tasker, were on board the convict transport ‘Mercury’ - bound for America - which was taken over by the convicts in a mutiny. Best was among the escapees who were recaptured at Torbay on 13 April 1784.
4 March 1790 - Sent to Norfolk Island on the ‘Sirius’
30 Nov. 1791 - John held 12 acres of land on Lot 65 at Sydney Town, Norfolk Island and was sharing with Garce MADDOX
1793 - John was elected a member of the Norfolk Island Settlers Society - he was listed as a clerk
1796 - Employed as a General Government Overseer
1801 - He had leased an additional 18 acres of land and from 12 Oct. 1801 until early 1805 he held the position of Superintendent
1805 - John was recorded with a wife but no children
John Best opted to remain on Norfolk Island in the early years of evacuation however, in 1811 he was sent to port Jackson for medical attention - returning to the Island by Aug. 1812.
1814 - Listed as a landholder in Windsor and granted 470 acres at Evan on 24 Jan. 1817.
1828 - Aged 71 he was recorded as holding 470 acres
Buried 7 March 1839 at St Matthew’s, Windsor, NSW - He was recorded as a pauper.

Maddocks, Grace Cohabiting on Norfolk Island - 1791
1744 Chippenham, Rebecca 16 June 1817 Castlereagh, NSW
No children recorded.

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 11th January, 2013 made the following changes:

convicted at, term 7 years, voyage, source, firstname, surname, alias1, alias2, alias3, alias4, date of birth 1760, date of death 16th March, 1839, gender, occupation, crime

Joan Gray on 25th April, 2013 made the following changes:

date of birth 1757

Carol Axton-Thompson on 26th October, 2013 made the following changes:


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