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John Brown

John Brown, one of 306 convicts transported on the Fortune and Alexander, January 1806

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Brown
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

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

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 58 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Fortune and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1806
Arrival date: 12th July, 1806
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 307 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 375 (187)
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

Maureen Withey on 24th February, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 February 2020), October 1805, trial of JOHN BROWN (t18051030-7).
JOHN BROWN, Theft > grand larceny, 30th October 1805.

663. JOHN BROWN was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 2d of September , ten stone seals, set in gold, value 20 s. and a pair of scissars , the property of his Grace the Duke of Portland .

Second Count. For like offence, only laying it to be the property of Lady Mary Bentinck .

(The case was stated by Mr. Gurney.)

WILLIAM LANE sworn. - Q. I believe you are groom of the chamber to his Grace the Duke of Portland, at his house at Bulstrode ? - A. Yes.

Q. On the morning of the 3d of September last, did you ascertain that his house had been robbed? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you, amongst other things on the morning of the 3d of September, miss ten stone seals, set in gold? - A. I did.

Q. Did you also miss a pair of scissars? - A. A pair of scissars and a gold thimble, I missed on the evening of the same day.

Q. Had you seen these seals the night before you missed them? - A. It was my duty to see that the things were safe, I put the things in their place; the seals were on the ink stand on the night of the2d of September, and the scissars were in a work-box of Lady Mary Bentinck , with the gold thimble.

Q. Did you see that yourself? - A. No.

Court. Confine yourself to the seals.

Mr. Gurney. Q. On the morning of the third, did you find any appearance of any person having been in the house? - A. Nothing further, than I found some oil had been spilt in the gallery of the drawing room, in three different places.

Q. Could you ascertain by what means, whoever had been there, by what means they gained admission into the house? - A. No.

Q. You have, I believe, since seen these seals? - A. I have, they have been shewn to me.

Court. Q. You say you had seen the ten seals, on the evening of the 2d of September? - A. Yes, I had, they were on the ink-stand in the drawing-room at Bulstrode.

Mr. Gurney. Q. Do you know whose property these seals were? - A. This bunch of seals were the property of Lady Mary Bentinck .

JOHN GEORGE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney.

Q. Are you a servant of the Duke of Portland? - A. I am.

Q. Do you remember any person coming to the house to ask charity the day before or the day but one before these seals were lost? - A. I do. It was either the day preceding the robbery, or the day before, I cannot tell which.

Mr. Gurney. I only prove the prisoner to be in that neighbourhood.

Q. Look at the prisoner at the bar, and tell me whether he was that person? - A. I cannot swear to him, there were two men came to the door on the 1st or 2d of September last.

Q. Whether you believe the prisoner to be one of these men? - A. I cannot say.

THOMAS FRENCH sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Are you a pawnbroker? - A. I am, I live in Whitechapel. On the 9th of September, I received of the prisoner, four gold seals; he said his name was John Brown, and lived at No. 18; Bird-street, Wapping; he pawned them for 3 s. they are very small seals; I received a hand bill from Bow-street; in consequence of which, I went to Bow-street; I produce them.

BENJAMIN MATTHEWS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Are you a pawnbroker. - A. I am apprentice to Mr. Burton, No. 83, Whitechapel; I produce two seals; the prisoner at the bar pawned them with me on the 13th of September, for 2 s. in the name of John Brown, Bird-street, Wapping.

Q. Did he tell you how he came by them? - A. No.

Court. Q. Did you ask him? - A. I did not; they are small trinket seals.

THOMAS VOKES sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a servant of Mr. Barker, pawnbroker, in Houndsditch; I took in a seal on the 4th of of September.

Q. Can you say that the prisoner at the bar was the man that pawned it? - A. I cannot; I produce the seal, and the counterpart of the duplicate; I lent 2 s. 6 d. on it.

JOHN KILLINGWORTH sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. What are you? - A. I am servant to Mr. Matthews, pawnbroker, in the Minories; I received two seals in pawn, on the 11th of September of a young man; I cannot say the prisoner is the man; I lent upon them 3 s. I produce them.

JOHN GRIFFITHS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You are a police officer of Lambeth-street? - A. I am, I apprehended the prisoner at the bar, on Friday the 4th of October; I searched him, and I found on him a stone seal. I produce it.

Q. This is a stone seal without any setting, and the gold has been taken off from it? - A. Yes, and I found some duplicates on him; I produce them; the duplicate of the seal pawned for 2 s. 6 d. corresponds with the gold seal pawned at Barker’s, dated September the 4th, in the name of John Brown; I found on him a pair of scissars; I found on him more duplicates and a dirty piece of paper, with the direction upon it, D. of Portland, Bulstrode; after I had searched him I asked him who he was and where he came from; he told me that he came from America, that he was a sailor, and arrived at Liverpool; he came from Liverpool through Birmingham and through Buckinghamshire on the 3d of September, and about seven miles on the Oxford road, from London, he had these seals of a man who gave him a guinea and a half and these seals for his watch, and the 3d of September he arrived in London.

Q. (To Lane.) Look at the stone seals which Griffiths took from his person without a setting - that seal has his Grace’s arms upon it? - A. Yes.

Q. When it was stolen was it in its present state, or set in gold? - A. It was set in gold.

Q. Is that seal the property of the Duke of Portland? - A. It is.

Q. Look at all the other seals one by one-do you know them? - A. All the little seals are the Lady Mary Bentinck ‘s, and that with the Duke’s arms is his Grace’s; they were all on a ring on the ink-stand in the drawing-room.

Court. Q. What made you take so much notice? - A. It is my duty to take notice and put every thing to rights in the drawing-room; these gold seals laid on the ink-stand (shewing them); I will not say whether there might not be three or four of them on a ribbon; the Duke’s seal was on his desk in his writing-room adjoining the drawing-room; I am sure they were there on the 2d of September.

Q. Had you taken notice enough of the devices of these seals? - A. Some months before I took an impression of them myself; some of them are defaced a little (the impressions of the seals shewn to the Court and the Jury with the seals, and on comparing them they corresponded.)

Prisoner’s defence. On the last day of August I came from Liverpool; I got to Oxford on the 2d of September, and coming on the road from Oxford on the 3d, within seven or eight miles from London, I fell in with a person; I asked him to buy my watch; I asked him two guineas for it; he told me he could not give me two guineas, he would give me a guinea and a half and those ten seals; I parted with my watch for them, then I came to town and pledged them.

GUILTY aged 25.

Transported for seven years .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson .

Colonial Secretary Index.

BROWN, John. Per “Fortune”, 1806

1818 Apr 18 - On list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle per “Lady Nelson” (Reel 6006; 4/3498 p.161)
1821 Sep 1 - Commutation warrant (Reel 6070; 4/7020 No.77)
1821 Sep 1 - Warrant commuting capital sentence (Reel 6070; 4/2129.1 pp.5, 16)
1821 Sep 5 - Tried in Sydney; sentence commuted (Reel 6070; 4/1265 p.5)
1821 Sep 10 - Re commutation of sentence passed by the Court of Criminal Judicature (Reel 6008; 4/3504 pp.359-60)
1821 Oct 10 - On lists of prisoners transported to Port Macquarie per “Snapper” (Reel 6008, 4/3504 p.415; Reel 6019, 4/3864 pp.342-3)
1823 Mar 20 - Prisoner to be sent to Hobart per “Deveron” (Reel 6010; 4/3507 pp.489-90)
1823 Mar 21 - Prisoner to be embarked on “Deveron” for Hobart (Reel 6057; 4/1767 p.109)
1823 Mar 21 - Runaway from Port Macquarie. On list of convicts embarked on the “Deveron” for Hobart (Reel 6010; 4/3508 p.13)

Criminal Court. Monday. John Brown was indicted for wilfully and feloniously cutting and maiming, with intent to kill and murder, Isaac Elliott, superintendent of convicts at Newcastle, on the 30th., ultimo. the evidence in support of the prosecution was clear and conclusive; and what the prisoner had to urge in his defence only rendered his guilt more indubitable. the sentence of guilty being recorded, the prisoner was remanded.
Sydney Gazette, 11 Aug 1821.


SATURDAY.-  William Williams, Gilbert Brown, John M’Guire, John Whalan, John Read, William Geary, Thomas Smith, Charles Young, William Whiteman, John Cochrane, John Mills, William Kennedy, Francis Pasco, Pasco Haddycott, George Grover, Robert Maggs, Thomas Fitzsimmons, John Squires, Peter Burns, John Brown, Edward Farrell, John Ryan, and Miles Jordan, severally received Sentence of Death.
Sydney Gazette, 18 Aug 1821.
His Excellency the Governor in Chief has been graciously pleased to extend the Royal Clemency to the following prisoners condemned to suffer death at the late Criminal Sessions, upon their becoming transports for life: —John Read; John Brown, John Whalan, George Grover, John Squires, Peter Burnes, and Joseph Legg.
Sydney Gazette, 8 Sept 1821.

16. George Brown, per Fortune (2); Newcastle.
Sydney Gazette. 20 Feb 1823.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 24th February, 2020 made the following changes:

gender: m

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