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David Bracewell

David Bracewell, one of 160 convicts transported on the Layton, 13 June 1827

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: David Bracewell
Aliases: David Bracefield, David Bracefell, Wandi
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1803
Occupation: Sailor
Date of Death: 28th March, 1844
Age: 41 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 14 years

Crime: Assault and attempted robbery
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Layton
Departure date: 13th June, 1827
Arrival date: 9th October, 1827
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 159 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 206
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

Eric Harry Daly on 22nd December, 2012 wrote:

David Bracewell:

Height: 5.5 1/2
Hair: brown
Eyes: grey
Age: 23
Trade: seaman
Sentence: 14 years
Native Place: shadwell
Remarks: M Row AC JC CC inside right arm, elizabeth inside left arm.

Transported for assault with intent to rob, in goal before.
Ship Report: “Mutinus, very bad fellow
A goal whipper at N.P shadwell

David Bracewell, absconder, was born in London. He was convicted at the Middlesex Gaol Delivery on 14 September 1826 for assault with intention to rob, and sentenced to be transported for fourteen years. In June 1827 he arrived at Hobart Town in the transport Layton and in December was sent to the penal settlement at Moreton Bay. Although his behaviour was good, he found the discipline so harsh that he absconded next May for five days. Despite a penalty of 150 lashes, he took to the bush again in 1828 and 1829. While working with a survey gang at Eagle Farm, he absconded again, this time for six years. He fell in with various Aboriginal tribes and later claimed that he had come within reach of the party searching for survivors from the Stirling Castle wrecked on a reef near Wide Bay in May 1836. However, the official record of the rescue made no mention of him, but gave the credit to John Graham. Bracewell returned to Brisbane in May 1837 and resumed work with the surveyors. Fearing that the impending closure of the penal settlement would mean his transfer to Norfolk Island, he absconded for the fifth time in July 1839. Again he lived with the Aboriginals until near Wide Bay he was accepted by the Carbaraks tribe as a long lost relation, and given the name Wandi.

In May 1842 Bracewell was found by a party led by Andrew Petrie who was exploring the coast near Wide Bay in a whale-boat. The same party also found James Davis, ‘Duramboi’. Both absconders gave themselves up when promised that they would not be punished; their reports of land and knowledge of the Aboriginals so impressed Petrie that he recommended their appointment to the Border Police. After their return to Brisbane, Bracewell was given work at Wolston near Goodna, on a property owned by the humane Stephen Simpson, crown lands commissioner, but while felling timber on 28 March 1844 he was crushed by a tree.

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 22nd December, 2012 made the following changes:

alias1, alias2, alias3, date of birth 1803, date of death 28th March, 1844, gender, occupation, crime

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