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William Bright

William Bright, one of 200 convicts transported on the Albion, 17 May 1823

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Bright
Aliases: Michael O'brien
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1804
Occupation: Miller
Date of Death: -
Age: -

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: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Albion
Departure date: 17th May, 1823
Arrival date: 21st October, 1823
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 53 (28)
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 20th June, 2014 wrote:

11/9/1822: Old Bailey:
JAMES GARDNER , WILLIAM BRIGHT , and GEORGE VIGINTON were indicted for feloniously assaulting John Harper , in a field and open place near the King’s highway, on the 8th of August , at Edgware, putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, one pair of shoes, value 1 s.; five sovereigns, and eighteen shillings , his property.
Recommended to Mercy, by the Jury, as they did not appear bad characters.

William was 18 years old on arrival, dark grey eyes, light brown hair, 5’7” tall, single.

8/7/1830: CP

3/1/1838: Launceston Quarter Sessions – Colonial sentence – life (2 forged £5 notes)

7/4/1846: TOL
22/5/1847: TOL

26/8/1848: CP

23/8/1856: Launceston Examiner:
Returning to Bondage.. – William Bright was charged with misconduct in returning to this colony, having received a pardon in 1848, conditionally upon not being found or, remaining therein: Sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with hard labor.

23/2/1857: Free Pardon

18/9/1858: Committed to trial – Michael O’Brien, alias William Bright for housebreaking at Waterhouse, on the North East Coast, in July last.

12/1/1859: The Courier, Hobart:
William Bright, alias O’Brien, was charged with robbing John Yarwood, on the 5th July, at. Cape Portland, of £1 10s., 2 shirts, 2 pairs stockings, 1 handkerchief, a coat, pair of trowsers, and one pair of boots. The robbery was committed under arms. The jury returned a verdict of guilty, but recommended the prisoner to mercy,  in consequence of his having used no violence.
Upon this recommendation, His Honor, who under other circumstances said he should have
passed sentence of death on the prisoner, ordered that to be recorded.

29/2/1872: Launceston Examiner:
Last week a man named William Bright was arrested at New Norfolk on a charge of horse-stealing in the Hamilton municipality, and upon him were found several of the articles stolen from the Macquarie Hotel.  He managed to escape, however, from the custody of Constable Clemons near Hamilton, and he is now ‘wanted,’  He is a man of about sixty years of age, thin featured, grey, and minus whiskers, a miller by trade.
He is supposed to have been recently discharged from Port Arthur.  There are other charges against him, we believe.

16/7/1872: Launceston Examiner:
William Bright, breaking into the dwelling houses of John Stringer and John Phillips respectively, and stealing therefrom.  Eight years imprisonment. 

4/12/1874: The Mercury, Hobart:
William Bright, who pleaded guilty to breaking into and robbing a house was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.
The prisoner was an absconder from Port Arthur, and on hearing his sentence, requested that it be converted into one of death, as the latter would be preferable to life at Port Arthur.

5/8/1876: The Mercury, Hobart:
Three more convicts imprisoned in the Campbell street gaol, effected their escape on July 19th. Their names are William Bright, under sentence of nine years imprisonment for housebreaking;  Joseph Wamsley, eight years for a similar offence; and James Mullens, three years, also for housebreaking.
While at work in the stone-shed Bright evaded the overseer, opened one of the doors with a skeleton key, and ran off, followed by the other two. Several minutes elapsed before their absence was discovered.  The district police scoured the bush in the neighbourhood of the city, and a few days afterwards Wamsley was arrested at Sorell Creek, and Bright near New Norfolk. Mullens is still at large, but his ultimate escape is improbable. 

No date of death found.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 20th June, 2014 made the following changes:

alias1: Michael O'brien, date of birth: 1804 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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