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John Sharpe Blades

John Blades, one of 254 convicts transported on the Sarah, 29 November 1836

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Sharpe Blades
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1810
Occupation: Hotel owner
Date of Death: 1884
Age: 74 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Poaching & violence
Convicted at: Northampton Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Sarah
Departure date: 29th November, 1836
Arrival date: 29th March, 1837
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 253 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/10, Page Number 409 (207)
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

Bill Middleton on 11th October, 2016 wrote:

John Sharpe Blades 1810 - 1884
John was born in late 1810 early 1811; he was baptized on the 21st of January 1811 at
St Vigor’s in Fulbourn. He was the first of 11 children. By 1825 he was 5ft 3 ¼ inch tall clean shaven with grey eyes and light coloured hair and a fresh complexion. His occupation in 1828 was as a Country butcher/ Farm Labourer.  On the 21st of August 1830 he married Frances Sellers at St Michael’s church in Stamford. In 1831 they had their first child John Sellers blades and in 1833 a daughter Frances.
Newspaper reports up to 1835 indicate that John had many encounters with the authorities; he was fined and goaled for many offences including assault, poaching and trespass. In 1832 John was goaled for 3mths whilst poaching in Alford
In 1835 John, aged 25, was arrested along with his brothers Abel and Francis for
“wounding persons with intent to resist apprehension”. The persons were Lord
Exeter’s gamekeepers and the Blades brothers, along with two friends, when caught in
the act of poaching attacked the keepers and managed to escape. Sometime after the
  arrest a, petition organized by Abel signed by leading persons from Stamford for a
mitigation of sentence for John and his brothers At a later date a petition was also sent to
the King.
Lord Exeter also sent a letter against the petition.
On the 29th Feb 1836 John and his brothers were tried at Northampton Assizes (an
adjoining county to Lincolnshire).  Following an initial investigation held at THE GOERGE
Inn and a further examination at the House of Correction in Oundle before being
committed to trial at Northampton. Court documents show John, Abel and Francis were
sentenced to Death but commuted to ’ life and transportation’.
  The records show that the John and his brothers were incarcerated on the 15th of May
1836 aboard a hulk the Leviathan for several months in England before being transported.
The 1836 the Northampton Mercury newspaper report gives a graphic account of the
Incident and trial which led to John and his brothers being transported. This is the only
Newspaper document sighted that records a Death penalty
22 Dec 1836 John and his brothers Abel and Francis were among 254 convicts transported
aboard the convict ship Sarah which left the port at Spithead (near Portsmouth) for a
13,000 mile voyage over tempestuous seas to Hobart. John left behind a wife, son not yet
five years old and a daughter just three. The wife and children were left to fare for
themselves in such hard times.
Mutiny on board the Convict ship Sarah, John and Abel were among the ringleaders in a
failed mutiny onboard the Sarah during the voyage out from England. John and his
brother Abel were kept in irons for the rest of their journey.
Arriving in Tasmania on the 29 Mar 1837,  John was sent straight to Port Arthur on landing
  along with his brother Abel, younger brother Francis was assigned to a land owner (Mr. W
Sharland).
After sometime spent at Port Arthur John was assigned to a Mr. J Price Esq. But on the 9th
Jun 1840 he was charged with misconduct – Being absent without leave and drunk.
He was sentenced to 4 days cells on bread and water.
Government Notice Friday 19th March 1841. John had been promoted to the position of
Javelin-man at the Hobart Town Goal.
  (Javelin Man - trusted convict or prisoner-in-charge).
Newspaper article 28th Dec 1841.  John was fond to be fit and proper person to take part
in collecting the census in Parish N02 in Hobart Town.
  In 1842 John applied for the position as Upper Turnkey [Prison Warder] the position was
approved on the 1st June 1842 by The LT Gov. General.
On the 4th Mar 1845 Granted Ticket of Leave, which meant he could live as a free man but
must reside in a specified district.
On the 17 Feb 1846 He was recommended for a 2nd class Pardon.
John was still in trouble, on the 27 April 1846 he again was Absent without leave - 6 days
solitary confinement.
He Stayed in Hobart till September 1846, then he was transferred to the Launceston goal

Between the 19th Sep 1846 to 1850 he was appointed to the Launceston Goal as - Under
Gaoler to the Launceston Goals Department. In 1849 his name was on a ledger as having
Paid wages to 3 female convicts. In 1850 he was down under the prisons department,
unable to read description
On the 18th Jan 1847 John was granted a Conditional Pardon. This Pardon meant that John
could live as a free man, marry without consent of the Governor and was permitted to
relocate within Australia. But in John’s case he could never return to England as his
sentence was for life.
On the 27 Feb 1847 John married Catherine Fahey at the Wesleyan Chapel, Launceston,
Tasmania; Their Marriage Certificate states that John was a widower at the time of his
marriage to Catherine.
In May 1854 John was an overseer of a swamp gang, John took a ticket of leave holder to
the Police office where he had him charged with supplying “RUM” to a prisoner of the
Crown under his charge. The ticket holder was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment.


After his period of government employment, John was the Hotel Licensee of the Wilmot
Arms. The Licence was transferred to him in Nov 1855 from a G Summers. In Dec 1855 he
placed an advertisement in the paper informing his friends that he had taken over the
Wilmot Arms. Also in Dec 1855 another newspaper article shows his Licence was granted.
The Wilmot Arms was situated in Wellington Street, on south east corner of Brisbane
Street, the Wilmot Arms was claimed to be Launceston’s oldest Inn, originally named the
Black Swan. The Blades family lived in the dwellings at this hotel.

In Sept 1856 John was charged with Sunday trading, he was found guilty and fined
5 pounds and costs.
In July 1857 John was the foreman of a Jury in a fraudulent-insolvency case.
Early Dec 1858 John was re granted his License at the annual Licence day.
Newspaper advertisement 22nd Dec 1858 John placed an ad for a “Boxing Day Treat”
where he promoted foot racing and other events for Boxing Day.
  On the 5th of Feb 1859 George Blades, Catherine and John’s son born prior to their
Marriage, tragically died from accidental hanging in the loft at the hotel. They believe he
was trying to perform an act he saw at a circus which was in town at the time.
In July 1859 John was again charged with Sunday trading, was found guilty again and fined
2 pounds and costs of 7 shillings and six pence
April 1860 both John and his brother Abel were on a jury together for a trial of robbery by
a servant.
John Licence was up for renewal again in Dec 1860 and was granted
In April 1862 John instructed a Mr. Howe to sell the residue of the lease of the Wilmot
Arms plus the residence, 3 cottages and garden adjoining the Wilmot Arms as well as all
furnishings. As he was leaving Launceston to reside on his farm. The sale was to take place
on Thursday 17th at 12 o’clock.
  John turned his hand to farming in the West Tamar region. The Blades farm area earned
the name Blades Hill it was approximately 1km southwest of Glengarry. It is still referred
today by the locals as Blades Hill.
In June 1862 John once again found himself on a jury this time it was a burglary case.
A newspaper article in Feb 1863 indicates that the License for the Wilmot Arms was
transferred to a Mr. Charles Page.
In May of 1881after farming for many years,  John instructed a Mr. Bell to sell buy auction
the farm at Glengarry on Thursday the 5th of May at 12 o’clock. He had 125 acres of good
dairy land plus a cottage, stable, barn, cowshed and piggeries. Possession of the farm
would take place on the1st July, 1881.
John also instructed Mr. Bell to have a clearance sale on the 18th May 1882 of all the
furnishings, stock and farm equipment.
Moving from Glengarry to Beaconsfield John resigned from his position on the school
Board in Sept 1882.

The Blades moved from the farm (Wothorpe) to Beaconsfield. Here he purchased or had
purchased whilst still on the farm a large Drapery store; a two storied building was
situated at 52 Weld Street Beaconsfield.
On the 20th Aug 1884 John died at the age of 74 and was buried in the Church of England
  Section of Beaconsfield General Cemetery. His death certificate cites cancer as the cause
of death. He had been 47 years in the Colony.

  On Friday the 29th August 1884 an article was printed in the Launceston Examiner on John   Sharpe Blades death.

Unfortunately on the 11 March 1891 a fire broke out about 2.45 am which destroyed the
whole of the shop dwelling plus the adjoining dwelling both were now owned by Mrs.
Blades.
7 years after John died.

Bill Middleton on 1st November, 2016 wrote:

John Sharpe Blades 1810 - 1884
John was born in late 1810 early 1811; he was baptized on the 21st of January 1811 at
St Vigor’s in Fulbourn. He was the first of 11 children. By 1825 he was 5ft 3 ¼ inch tall clean shaven with grey eyes and light coloured hair and a fresh complexion. His occupation in 1828 was as a Country butcher/ Farm Labourer.  On the 21st of August 1830 he married Frances Sellers at St Michael’s church in Stamford. In 1831 they had their first child John Sellers blades and in 1833 a daughter Frances.
Newspaper reports up to 1835 indicate that John had many encounters with the authorities; he was fined and goaled for many offences including assault, poaching and trespass. In 1832 John was goaled for 3mths whilst poaching in Alford
In 1835 John, aged 25, was arrested along with his brothers Abel and Francis for
“wounding persons with intent to resist apprehension”. The persons were Lord
Exeter’s gamekeepers and the Blades brothers, along with two friends, when caught in
the act of poaching attacked the keepers and managed to escape. Sometime after the
  arrest a, petition organized by Abel signed by leading persons from Stamford for a
mitigation of sentence for John and his brothers At a later date a petition was also sent to
the King.
Lord Exeter also sent a letter against the petition.
On the 29th Feb 1836 John and his brothers were tried at Northampton Assizes (an
adjoining county to Lincolnshire).  Following an initial investigation held at THE GOERGE
Inn and a further examination at the House of Correction in Oundle before being
committed to trial at Northampton. Court documents show John, Abel and Francis were
sentenced to Death but commuted to ’ life and transportation’.
  The records show that the John and his brothers were incarcerated on the 15th of May
1836 aboard a hulk the Leviathan for several months in England before being transported.
The 1836 the Northampton Mercury newspaper report gives a graphic account of the
Incident and trial which led to John and his brothers being transported. This is the only
Newspaper document sighted that records a Death penalty
22 Dec 1836 John and his brothers Abel and Francis were among 254 convicts transported
aboard the convict ship Sarah which left the port at Spithead (near Portsmouth) for a
13,000 mile voyage over tempestuous seas to Hobart. John left behind a wife, son not yet
five years old and a daughter just three. The wife and children were left to fare for
themselves in such hard times.
Mutiny on board the Convict ship Sarah, John and Abel were among the ringleaders in a
failed mutiny onboard the Sarah during the voyage out from England. John and his
brother Abel were kept in irons for the rest of their journey.
Arriving in Tasmania on the 29 Mar 1837,  John was sent straight to Port Arthur on landing
  along with his brother Abel, younger brother Francis was assigned to a land owner (Mr. W
Sharland).
After sometime spent at Port Arthur John was assigned to a Mr. J Price Esq. But on the 9th
Jun 1840 he was charged with misconduct – Being absent without leave and drunk.
He was sentenced to 4 days cells on bread and water.
Government Notice Friday 19th March 1841. John had been promoted to the position of
Javelin-man at the Hobart Town Goal.
  (Javelin Man - trusted convict or prisoner-in-charge).
Newspaper article 28th Dec 1841.  John was fond to be fit and proper person to take part
in collecting the census in Parish N02 in Hobart Town.
  In 1842 John applied for the position as Upper Turnkey [Prison Warder] the position was
approved on the 1st June 1842 by The LT Gov. General.
On the 4th Mar 1845 Granted Ticket of Leave, which meant he could live as a free man but
must reside in a specified district.
On the 17 Feb 1846 He was recommended for a 2nd class Pardon.
John was still in trouble, on the 27 April 1846 he again was Absent without leave - 6 days
solitary confinement.
He Stayed in Hobart till September 1846, then he was transferred to the Launceston goal

Between the 19th Sep 1846 to 1850 he was appointed to the Launceston Goal as - Under
Gaoler to the Launceston Goals Department. In 1849 his name was on a ledger as having
Paid wages to 3 female convicts. In 1850 he was down under the prisons department,
unable to read description
On the 18th Jan 1847 John was granted a Conditional Pardon. This Pardon meant that John
could live as a free man, marry without consent of the Governor and was permitted to
relocate within Australia. But in John’s case he could never return to England as his
sentence was for life.
On the 27 Feb 1847 John married Catherine Fahey at the Wesleyan Chapel, Launceston,
Tasmania; Their Marriage Certificate states that John was a widower at the time of his
marriage to Catherine.
In May 1854 John was an overseer of a swamp gang, John took a ticket of leave holder to
the Police office where he had him charged with supplying “RUM” to a prisoner of the
Crown under his charge. The ticket holder was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment.


After his period of government employment, John was the Hotel Licensee of the Wilmot
Arms. The Licence was transferred to him in Nov 1855 from a G Summers. In Dec 1855 he
placed an advertisement in the paper informing his friends that he had taken over the
Wilmot Arms. Also in Dec 1855 another newspaper article shows his Licence was granted.
The Wilmot Arms was situated in Wellington Street, on south east corner of Brisbane
Street, the Wilmot Arms was claimed to be Launceston’s oldest Inn, originally named the
Black Swan. The Blades family lived in the dwellings at this hotel.

In Sept 1856 John was charged with Sunday trading, he was found guilty and fined
5 pounds and costs.
In July 1857 John was the foreman of a Jury in a fraudulent-insolvency case.
Early Dec 1858 John was re granted his License at the annual Licence day.
Newspaper advertisement 22nd Dec 1858 John placed an ad for a “Boxing Day Treat”
where he promoted foot racing and other events for Boxing Day.
  On the 5th of Feb 1859 George Blades, Catherine and John’s son born prior to their
Marriage, tragically died from accidental hanging in the loft at the hotel. They believe he
was trying to perform an act he saw at a circus which was in town at the time.
In July 1859 John was again charged with Sunday trading, was found guilty again and fined
2 pounds and costs of 7 shillings and six pence
April 1860 both John and his brother Abel were on a jury together for a trial of robbery by
a servant.
John Licence was up for renewal again in Dec 1860 and was granted
In April 1862 John instructed a Mr. Howe to sell the residue of the lease of the Wilmot
Arms plus the residence, 3 cottages and garden adjoining the Wilmot Arms as well as all
furnishings. As he was leaving Launceston to reside on his farm. The sale was to take place
on Thursday 17th at 12 o’clock.
  John turned his hand to farming in the West Tamar region. The Blades farm area earned
the name Blades Hill it was approximately 1km southwest of Glengarry. It is still referred
today by the locals as Blades Hill.
In June 1862 John once again found himself on a jury this time it was a burglary case.
A newspaper article in Feb 1863 indicates that the License for the Wilmot Arms was
transferred to a Mr. Charles Page.
In May of 1881after farming for many years,  John instructed a Mr. Bell to sell buy auction
the farm at Glengarry on Thursday the 5th of May at 12 o’clock. He had 125 acres of good
dairy land plus a cottage, stable, barn, cowshed and piggeries. Possession of the farm
would take place on the1st July, 1881.
John also instructed Mr. Bell to have a clearance sale on the 18th May 1882 of all the
furnishings, stock and farm equipment.
Moving from Glengarry to Beaconsfield John resigned from his position on the school
Board in Sept 1882.

The Blades moved from the farm (Wothorpe) to Beaconsfield. Here he purchased or had
purchased whilst still on the farm a large Drapery store; a two storied building was
situated at 52 Weld Street Beaconsfield.
On the 20th Aug 1884 John died at the age of 74 and was buried in the Church of England
  Section of Beaconsfield General Cemetery. His death certificate cites cancer as the cause
of death. He had been 47 years in the Colony.

  On Friday the 29th August 1884 an article was printed in the Launceston Examiner on John   Sharpe Blades death.

Unfortunately on the 11 March 1891 a fire broke out about 2.45 am which destroyed the
whole of the shop dwelling plus the adjoining dwelling both were now owned by Mrs.
Blades.
7 years after John died.

?
Family Group of
Subject: John Sharpe Blades (164)
Birth: __ ___ 1810
Baptism: 21 Jan 1811 At St Vigor’s Church of England; Same Church as parents married
Was the first of eleven children.
Descriptn: circa __ ___ 1825 He was 5’ 3 1/4” clean shaven with grey eyes light coloured hair and fresh complexion.
Occupation: circa __ ___ 1828 Country butcher - Farm labour.
Marriage: 23 Aug 1830 Frances Sellers (166) (b. circa 1815, d. 1 May 1846); St Michael’s Church of England; He was 20 years old
There were two children of this marriage in the five years they were together.
    Criminal                             1832 Goaled for 3mths for poaching in Alford 24th March – 24th June
Criminal: before __ ___ 1835 Newspaper reports tell of many incidents involving John, Able and Francis including a number of times for trespass, assault on a constable, and goaled for poaching.
Criminal: __ ___ 1835 John, aged 25, was arrested along with his brothers Abel and Francis for “wounding persons with intent to resist apprehension”. The persons were Lord Exeter’s gamekeepers and the Blades brothers, along with two friends, when caught in the act of poaching, attacked the keepers and managed to escape. On arrest the following day, a copy of a petition to the King - signed by 140 persons for a mitigation of sentence of himself of himself and his brothers - was found in John’s possession.
Criminal: 29 Feb 1836 John and his brothers were tried at Northampton Assizes (an adjoining county to Lincolnshire). Following an initial investigation held at THE GOERGE Inn and a further examination at the House of Correction in Oundle before being committed to trial. John, Abel and Francis were sentenced to ’ life and transportation’. The records show that the John and his brothers were incarcerated aboard a hulk for ten months in England before being transported.
The 1836 Northampton Mercury newspaper report gives a graphic account of the incident and trial which led to John and his brothers being transported. This is the only document sighted that records a Death penalty. The sentence was obviously later commuted to ‘life and transportation.’
Transportation: 22 Dec 1836 John and his brothers Abel and Francis were transported aboard the convict ship Sarah which left the port at Spithead (near Portsmouth) for a 13,000 mile voyage over tempestuous and largely unchartered seas to Hobart.
John left behind a wife, son not yet five years old and a daughter just three.
The wife and children were left to fare for themselves in such hard times.
Mutiny: after __ Jan 1837 Mutiny on board the Sarah
John and Abel were among the ringleaders in a mutiny on board the Sarah when on the voyage out from England.
John was ironed for his part in the mutiny
.
Criminal: 29 Mar 1837 John was sent straight to Port Arthur on landing along with his brother Abel, younger brother Francis was assigned to a land owner (Mr. W Sharland).
Criminal: 16 Jun 1840 Misconduct - Absent without leave and drunk: 4 days in cells on bread and water only.
Occupation: between 1841 and 1842 From mutineer to Gaoler in just a few years. John had been either transferred or assigned to the Hobart Town Jail where he was appointed to the position of Javelin Man on the 10th March 1841-trusted convict or prisoner-in-charge.
Census Taker             28 Dec 1841   John was fond to be fit and proper person to take part in collecting the census in Parish N02 in Hobart Town.
Event-Misc: 4 Mar 1845 Granted Ticket of Leave, which meant he could live as a free man but must reside in a specified district.


Occupation: between 1842 and 1846 In 1842 John applied for the position as Upper Turnkey [Prison Warder] the position was approved on the 1st June 1842 by The LT Gov. General. He Stayed in Hobart till 19 September 1846 where he transferred to Launceston. Also he became Under Gaoler.
Pardon: 17 Feb 1846 Recommended for a 2nd Class Pardon.
Criminal: 27 Apr 1846 Absent without leave - 6 days solitary confinement.

Occupation: 19 Sep 1846-__ ___ 1850 Application for appointment to Launceston Goal
Under Gaoler at Launceston Goals Department
In 1849 his name was on a ledger as having paid wages to 3 female convicts
In 1850 he was down under the prisons department, unable to read description.
Pardon: 18 Jan 1847 John was granted a Conditional Pardon just one month before he married his second wife. This Pardon meant that John could live as a free man, marries without consent of the Governor and was permitted to relocate within Australia. But in John’s case he could never return to England as his sentence was for life.
Marriage: 27 Feb 1847 Catherine Fahey (594) (b. 1823, d. 23 Feb 1905); Reg N0 1285 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Launceston, Tasmania; Their Marriage Certificate states that John was a widower at the time of his marriage to Catherine.
Overseer: May 1854 Swamp Gang, had a ticket of leave holder charged with supplying rum to a prisoner
Occupation: __ ___ 1855 Wilmot Arms - After his period of government employment, John was the Hotel Licensee of the Wilmot Arms. The license transferred to him in Nov 1855. Situated in Wellington Street, on south east corner of Brisbane Street, the Wilmot Arms is claimed to be Launceston’s oldest Inn, originally named the Black Swan. The Blades family lived in the dwellings at this hotel and during this time.
 
Criminal: Sept 1856 John was charged with Sunday trading, he was found guilty and fined
                                            5 pounds and costs.
Accident                     5 Feb 1859   George Blades, Catherine and John’s son born prior to their                     Marriage tragically died from accidental hanging. In the loft at the hotel. They believe he was trying to perform an act he saw at a circus which was in town at the time.
Criminal                       Jul   1859   John was again charged with Sunday trading, he was found guilty and fined
                                            2 pounds and costs of 2 shilling and 6 pence
Sale                           Apr 1862   John instructed a Mr. Howe to sell the residue of the lease of the Wilmot Arms and everything associated with the hotel. A newspaper article stated that the license was transferred to a Mr. Charles Page in Feb 1863

Occupation:                    Apr 1862   John turned his hand to farming in the West Tamar region.
The Blades farm area earned the name Blades Hill approx. 1km southwest of Glengarry.
Sale                           May 1881 John instructed a Mr. Bell to sell the farm at Glengarry
Sale                           May 1882   John instructed a Mr. Bell to have a clearance sale of all the furnishings, stock and farm equipment.
School Board                 Sept 1882 John resigned from the school board at Glengarry.

Occupation:  The Blades moved from the farm (Wothorpe) to Beaconsfield. Here he purchased or had already purchased whilst still on the farm a large Drapery store; a two storied building situated at 52 Weld Street.
Death: 20 Aug 1884 John died at the age of 74 and was buried in the Church of England Section of Beaconsfield General Cemetery. His death certificate cites cancer as the cause of death. He had been 47 years in the Colony.
Fire                       11 Mar 1891   A fire broke out about 2.45am which destroyed the Blades shop and dwelling plus the adjoining dwelling, both were now owned by Mrs. Blades.  7 years after John died

Convict Changes History

Bill Middleton on 11th October, 2016 made the following changes:

firstname: John Sharpe (prev. John), gender: m, occupation, crime

Bill Middleton on 1st November, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1810 (prev. 0000)

Bill Middleton on 2nd November, 2016 made the following changes:

date of death: 1884 (prev. 0000)

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