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John Bradney

John Bradney, one of 170 convicts transported on the Neptune, December 1817

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Bradney
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1795
Occupation: Clerk
Date of Death: 18th April, 1824
Age: 29 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: Uttering forged notes
Convicted at: Warwick Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Neptune
Departure date: December, 1817
Arrival date: 5th May, 1818
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 168 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 419 (211)
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

D Wong on 6th May, 2016 wrote:

John Bradney was convicted and sentenced to death along with five others for ‘forging and uttering pound notes.

John was 22 years old, 5’ 9” tall, sandy hair, hazel eyes, fair complexion, freckled, native place: Birmingham.

Mary Ann Bradney/nee Hill was the wife of John and was one of the five convicted with John.  Mary Ann was transported on the ‘Lord Wellington’ 1820. 

20/6/1815: Married Mary Ann Hill – 1 daughter, Emily, b: 1816 in Birmingham, then Eliza Jane born in Sydney, in 1821 and John Bradney born in Parramatta 7 Jul 1822.

13/12/1822 Sydney Gazette:
There is a rumour afloat that a gold mine has lately been discovered in the vicinity of Port Macquarie, by Bradney a tinman, who was lately banished to that settlement for forging notes. If this should prove otherwise than a hoax, the discoverer will have made an advantageous exchange from paper to gold?

12/8/1824: Sydney Gazette: edited—
Saturday.—Mary Ann Bradney was indicted for feloniously, maliciously, and traitorously
poisoning her husband, John Bradney, between the 21st of March, and the 18th of April, at the Settlement of Port Macquarie.
The deceased John Bradney was well known in the town of Sydney, about two years since, as a brazier and tinman. Having unfortunately been implicated in the forgery of dollar-notes, he was sentenced to serve the remainder of his original term of transportation at our penal settlement of Port Macquarie.
At this settlement, by good conduct, he became introduced to the kind consideration of the Commandant (Captain Allman) and was put into the post of gaoler, in which office he was also enabled to employ his leisure hours in his trade.
From the testimony of Dr. Moran, M. D. Assistant Surgeon on the Colonial Establishment, doing duty at Port Macquarie, there was not a more healthy and ruddy-faced man on the settlement, up to March last, in which month he first became ill. On the 20th March, the deceased attended Dr. Moran, who observed a great alteration in his countenance; he said that he had been indisposed from pains in his bowels and loss of appetite. Medicine was then administered, and on the night of the 30th he was hastily called for, Bradney being then pronounced in a dying state. When the Doctor saw him, the deceased appeared terribly agitated, and observed that he should die before morning. His teeth had been locked, but as pulsation was then regular, the Doctor told him not to be alarmed. By next morning, the pains had yielded to the medicines that were administered the previous night; he seemed considerably restored, and the anxiety consequently was abated. 

Two witnesses stated to the Court that Bradney, during his illness, was subject to occasional fits of insanity, in two of which he attempted to destroy himself ; viz. once by threatening to stab himself with a knife; and secondly, by trying to thrust a tablespoon into his side, but had been prevented by men who happened to be at hand.

The report continued at length - - John was ok until the 5th of April, then was in agony with pain, and was put in hospital – but died on the morning of the 18th April.

Mary Ann Bradney had taken some chicken soup to the hospital and it was thought this may have had arsenic in it.  The soup was not tested as the remains had been thrown away, but she and her children and an overseer had also eaten the soup and had no symptoms.

It was stated by some of the witnesses, that arsenic was requisite for the business of a
brazier, and that this dangerous ingredient had been in the possession of the deceased,
who occasionally made use of it in endeavouring to exterminate rats from the goal, which
was greatly infested by those vermin. It was also proved, that upon one occasion the prisoner at the bar mixed up some poison with a small quantity of flour, for the purpose of killing rats; and that she then threw the residue of a powder into the fire, in the presence of two men.

The Jury could not prove that Mary Ann had poisoned John and was pronounced Not Guilty.

Elenor Chambers on 13th May, 2017 wrote:

Married Mary Ann Hill 20 June 1815 St Phillips Birmingham Warwickshire.
Died 18 Apr 1824 Port Macquarie NSW
Two children
Eliza b. 1821
John b. 1822 Shellharbour NSW

Karren Herron on 24th September, 2019 wrote:

John Bradney is buried at the Allman Hill Historical Cemetery at Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

Convict Changes History

Sue Burnside on 1st October, 2013 made the following changes:

date of birth 1795, date of death 18th April, 1824

D Wong on 6th May, 2016 made the following changes:

gender: m, occupation, crime

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