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Stephen Brennan

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Stephen Brennan
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1810
Occupation: Stable boy
Date of Death: 9th November, 1842
Age: 32 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: Stealing trousers
Convicted at: Ireland, Dublin
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Regalia
Departure date: 14th March, 1826
Arrival date: 5th August, 1826
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 127 other convicts


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Community Contributions

Keith South on 23rd February, 2015 wrote:

native of Drogheda Meath County, aged 16, single

D Wong on 25th February, 2015 wrote:

National Archives Ireland:
Surname: BRENNAN; First name: STEPHEN; Sex: M; Age: 15; Place of imprisonment: On board’Regalia’; Description of crime: Possessing stolen trousers; Sentence: Transportation 7 years; Name of ship: REGALIA; Name of petitioner: M O’Neill,P Brennan; Relationship of petitioner: Sister and Father; Record reference code: PPC 2735; Comments: Convict’s father resides at No. 16 Fade Street, Dublin. States he served in the army 15 years. Convict is one of nine children. Petitions received in l826.

Stephen was 16 years old on arrival and was 5’0 ¾” tall, ruddy pockpitted complexion, large broad scar over left ear, brown hair, hazel eyes, ‘idle’.

16/9/1831: Maitland – Admitted to Newcastle gaol 16th Sept – sentenced to 2 years transportation for absconding and theft – forwarded to Sydney 27th Sept., then sent to Moreton Bay – he was now 5’3 ½” tall.

10/11/1834: COF

16/2/1836: Lost COF

5/1/1836: Sydney Gazette:

A free man named Stephen Brennan,in the employ of Dr. Fattorini, at the Macleay Riiver by tbe William the 4th steamer, charged with the murder of an aboriginal native in that district.

It appears that a tribe of blacks took up their camp near to where the prisoner and his parly of sawyers were at work :ne of whom ” Tommy” accosted the prisoner asking him for tobacco. The prisoner declined giving him any,  when Tommy proceeded to put his hands into the others pockets. The prisoner in resenting this, shook the black off;  and in doing so, struck him.  The latter then picked up a couple of boomerangs and either threw them, or essayed to do so, when the prisoner gave him a severe blow on the temple,  from the effects of which, three days after,  he expired.  We are told that the instant the second blow was given it having felled the black to the ground;  the whole paraphrnalia of aboriginal warfare was upraised and in mo-tion; each native intent on revenge upon every white man in the district. The sawyer precipitately left the ground and hastened to Mr. Ralph, the Government surveyor who happened fortunately to be conveniently by, and through his means pacified the blacks-whose good will could not safely be reckoned on until assured of their own knowledge, that the offender had been sent a prisoner in handcuffs to Port Macquarie.

29/5/1839 Sydney Monitor:
Stephen Brennan, per Regalia, having escaped from the Lock-up at Hartley, his description is given.

15/11/1839 Sydney Monitor:
Supreme Court.  FRIDAY.  (Before Mr. Justice Willis.) Stephen Brennan, was indicted for shooting at Levi Bardsley with a loaded pistol, at the Green Swamp on the Bathurst Road, on the 23rd August last, with intent to murder &c. The prosecutor (Bardsley) is driver of the Bathurst Mail, and on the day laid in the indictment, he stopped at the “Green Swamp Inn” to change horses for the last stage. He saw the prisoner there drinking with two soldiers, and shortly after that Bardsley had gone into the house, the prisoner quitted it under strong suspicion of having stolen a candlestick. Bardsley went outwith a view of enticing him back to the Inn, so that his person might be searched - saw him at a little distance from the house lying under a tree with two pistols.
Upon Bardsley asking the prisoner to go back to the Inn with him, and “have a glass,” the prisoner started up,  merely observing in reply,  “I’ll glass you one of these days,” stepped back a few paces, and fired each of his pistols in succession at the prosecutor, without, however, doing him any injury.  He then made off, and Bardsley followed him with a gun which he hastily obtained from the Inn, and coming up with him about a mile distant from the place, snapped it at the prisoner, as he would would not stop. The piece however did not go off, and the prosecutor therefore returned to the Inn, and proceeded on his journey. Prisoner was apprehended about a month afterwards by Serjeant Sneyd of the Mounted Police, in company with two armed bushrangers named Lambert and Clark, and was identified by the prosecutor.
Bardsley swore, that the bark of a tree behind him was knocked off by one of the shots fired at him, and the learned Judge told the Jury, in putting the case to them, that the Judges in England had held in a case where a person was convicted of firing at a woman with only gunpowder and necessary wadding, near enough to injure her, that the offence came within the Statute “to do some grievous bodily harm.” The Jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the Court sentenced the prisoner to be transported for life.

Stephen was then sent to Norfolk Island.

10/10/1842 Sydney Morning Herald:
THE Criminal Sessions of the Supreme Court commences its sittings this day.
2. Stephen Brennan, murder, from Norfolk Island.

22/10/1842 Sydney Morning Herald:
Stephen Brennan, a prisoner of the Crown from Norfolk Island, was indicted for the wilful murder of Patrick Lynch, at Norfolk Island, on the 18th April last, by stabbing him with a knife on the left side of the chest, and inflicting a mortal wound whereof the deceased immediately died.
Mr. Callaghan and Mr. Gore appeared for
the defence.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL presented the case to the Jury as one of the most atrocious, cold-blooded murders that ever a Jury had to consider. The prisoner now before them was a prisoner of the Crown, the deceased was also in the same position.
The evening before the murder, the deceased and the prisoner had a quarrel, it appeared that the deceased had struck the prisoner, but nothing further ensued on that night; the prisoner, however, brooded over the injury; he was deter-mined to he revenged, and on following morning instead of going to the place where he ought, to follow his usual avocations, he waylaid the deceased, and after coming behind him and striking him with a hammer on the head, and rendering him wholly or partially insensible, he threw himself upon him and stabbed him to the heart with a knife. 

The Attorney-General then went through the facts of the case, as detailed in the evidence, calling their particular attention to that of the boy Chapman, in contrast with that of the set of witnesses who would be produced for the defence.

George Chapman deposed as follows; I am between ten and eleven years of age; my father is overseer of the hospital at Norfolk Island ; I live in a house close to the hospital, and I know the prisoner; his name is Stephen Brennan; I knew Patrick Lynch; I saw them together on Monday; 18th April; it was near eight o’clock in the morning;  I saw them on the road, in the middle of the road -  I was going for my father’s butter to the dairy, near Government House; they were walking in different directions; the prisoner was coming towards the settlement, Lynch was going towards the barracks; Lynch was first; he had one arm in a sling; Lynch was walking down the road, and Brennan was coming down after him; Brennan struck Lynch two or three times with a shoemaker’s hammer,on the head.  Brennan is a shoemaker by trade.

The Jury, without, leaving the box, returned a verdict of guilty.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL prayed the sentence of the Court upon the prisoner.

The prisoner then addressed the court at considerable length. He cared not, he said, for the point of a bayonet or the end of a rope, and if the evidence of the boy was to be believed before that of the men who had been heard in his defence that day it was time for a man to be hanged, and he only hoped that his Honor would order him to be hanged the next morning. He said that he and Lynch had met, and fought with knives; Lynch was notoriously a colonial woman, and they had quarrelled over and over again, and they had met to settle it;  he was the means of Lynch’s death and he lamented it, but he did not stab him. 
He had made up his mind to die. And the sooner the better.

The CHIEF JUSTICE addressed the prisoner in the most ward and affecting manner, but the address appeared to be utterly lost upon him;  and after the last sentence of the law, “that he be hanged,”  was passed upon him, he repeated his hope that it would be as speedily as possible.

4/11/1842: Ordered for execution.

10/11/1842 Sydney Morning Herald:

STEPHEN BRENNAN, who was found guilty of murder during the last session of the Supreme Court, was executed in the gaol yard yesterday morning in the presence of from eighty to one hundred persons (exclusive of the military and police), who were all admitted by tickets from the sheriff, governor of the gaol, or visiting magistrate.

The bell began to toll at nine o’clock, but owing, we believe, to the non-arrival of the sheriff, the execution was delayed until half past nine; at that time, however, the unhappy culprit advanced to the scaffold, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Brennan,  Captain Innes, Mr.Keek, and the executioners; his walk was firm and erect, and, although rather pale, he appeared to be perfectly cool and collected; he held a book of devotion in one hand and a rosary in the other, and prayed audibly as he advanced, but although he manifested these evidences of a repenting spirit, he still refused to have any communication with the clergy-man, as he continued obstinately to do ever since his condemnation.

On reaching the foot of the scaffold, Brennan knelt upon the blanket, which had been spread upon the ground for that purpose, and looking around him with a firm and determined glance, exclaimed ” Iwas sentenced to be publicly hanged, but I am going to be privately hanged, the clergy-man told me this morning that the inhabitants of Sydney would not be admitted, but it’s no matter.” He then resumed his devotions, and after praying for a few moments longer, again looked up and said, ” My lads, I have something to say to you; I have been now transported above seventeen years, and in that time I have rambled up hill and down dale, but have never had anything of this sort happen to me.  I am just going to die, and I declare that there was not a word of truth in all that was said by the boy Chapman. If he had spoken any truth at all, I should have imputed the rest to his youth ; but there was not a single word of truth in all his evidence. Many of you here I dare say have known me a long time, and you know I’m not the man to come behind a man and murder him.  “At this time he was motioned to ascend the scaffold, which he did with great firmness, running quickly up,  and stamping firmly upon the platform when he arrived at the top.  The executioner then adjusted the rope round his neck, and left him to himself for a moment, when he exclaimed, ” Do I look like a murderer now, with the rope round my neck ?”  He then began to repeat an act of faith from the book which he held in his hand, but was interrupted several times by the executioners before he could get through with it, in consequence of the Under-Sheriff having repeatedly motioned them to proceed with the execution.  After concluding the prayer he threw down his rosary and book to Mr.Keck, entreating him to give the former to Whalan, who had prayed with him, and to place the latter in his coffin, both of which that gentleman promised to do. The cap was then drawn over his eyes, after some ineffectual opposition on his part, and he continued repeating the words “Lord have mercy upon me,” until the fatal bolt was withdrawn, and he was launched into eternity.
He died very easily; for life appeared to he entirely extinct within less than a minute after he was turned off.

The unhappy man was in the thirty-third year of his age, and had generally manifested a spirit of extreme violence and insubordination. As before stated, he obstinately refused to see a clergyman, although he appeared to have become penitent in a great degree, and applied himself closely to devotional exercises.

Some time before his execution, he was attended in his cell by Whalan, one of the pardoned criminals convicted of piracy and attempt at murder, committed on board the Governor Phillip, at Norfolk Island; as the time drew nigh, Whalan became deeply affected, and began to shed tears, when Brennan, who never lost one particle of his hardihood, reproved him, by saying, that it was ” time to pray, and not time to cry.”

Convict Changes History

Keith South on 23rd February, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: years, voyage, source: http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/cgi-bin/irish/irish.cgi?requestType=Search&ship=Regalia+(1826) (prev. ), firstname: Stephen, surname: Brennan, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 0000, date

Keith South on 23rd February, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, date of birth: 1810 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime

D Wong on 25th February, 2015 made the following changes:

date of death: 9th November, 1842 (prev. 0000)

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