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John Boyes, one of 224 convicts transported on the Eliza, 02 February 1831
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 55 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Southampton Special Gaol Delivery
2nd February, 1831
29th May, 1831
|Place of arrival
||Van Diemen's Land
Travelled with 223 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 6
||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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Helen Lawson on 29th September, 2012 wrote:
John Boyes and his unfortunate involvement with the “Swing Riots”
The following story was copied from mikepettigrew1 ancestry storey which was copied from “Wikipedia” on the 24th May, 2011:
In 1830, on November the 23rd, there was a riot in Owslebury. This was part of the wave of discontent among agricultural workers which had spread across southern England and expressed itself as the Swing Riots. A large mob formed and moved from farm to farm demanding money and threatening to destroy agricultural machinery. At Rosehill they assaulted Lord Northesk’s steward, Moses Stanbrook, wrecked a winnowing machine, and extorted £5. John Boyes, a local farmer, accompanied the mob demanding that farmers and landlords sign an undertaking which read “We, the undersigned, are willing to give 2s. per day to our married labourers, and 9s. per week to single men, in consideration of having our rent and tithes abated in proportion”. At Marwell Hall the lady of the house, Mrs. Alice Long, gave the mob £5 and signed John’s document. Eventually the mob retreated to Owslebury Down. Nine people had signed John Boyes’ document.
The rioters were tried in Winchester at the end of the year and several were executed. There was a good deal of sympathy for John Boyes and he was twice acquitted before eventually being found guilty and sentenced to be transported to Van Diemen’s Land for seven years. The trials were reported in The Times in December 1830 and January 1831. John Boyes did not complete his sentence. In 1835 the Home Secretary, Lord Melbourne, pardoned him and he returned home to his wife, Faith, and their children, in June of that year to continue farming in Owslebury. He died in Hensting in 1856.
A folk song called “The Owslebury Lads”, collected in the early 20th century, recalls these events. It can be heard sung by Stev Jordan on the CD “Folk Songs of Hampshire”.
End of the “Wikipedia” extract.
See the following “Wikipedia” web page for more information about Owslebury in Hampshire, England, including additional links to sites with further “swing riot” details:
Information concerning John Boyes’ arrival on the island now known as Tasmania can be viewed on-line via the Tasmanian Archives Online database, see:
The details about John Boyes are recorded on the bottom half of page 112 of a large leather bound volume of plain paper pages in which information about all newly arrived, transported convicts was recorded. This particular page currently has the following web page address:
Recorded details include the information that John Boyes arrived in Tasmania on the 28th May, 1831, having been “transported” from England on a ship called the, “Eliza”.
His wife was named as Faith Boyes and it was recorded that they had 10 children.
It was also noted, subsequently, that John Boyes would, “receive a free pardon at the expiration of 4 years from the period of his conviction provided his conduct shall have been good”.
The “Wikipedia” entry, as copied above, reports that John Boyes actually returned home in June 1835. I haven’t seen a primary record to confirm that fact, but the 1841 and 1851 census records, followed by his 1856 death certificate, issued by the Winchester (England) Registration District, confirm that John Boyes had certainly returned to Owslebury, and his family, by 1841.
Convict Changes History
Helen Lawson on 29th September, 2012 made the following changes: