Hi Guest!
Contribute to this record

John William Butcher

John William Butcher, one of 200 convicts transported on the England, 31 March 1832

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John William Butcher
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1809
Occupation: Porter
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: England
Departure date: 31st March, 1832
Arrival date: 18th July, 1832
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 294
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.

Did you find the person you were looking for?

If John William Butcher was the person you were looking for, you may be able to discover more about them by looking at our resources page.

If you have more hunting to do, try a new search or browse the convict records.

Know more about John William Butcher?

Contribute to this record

Community Contributions

Dianne Jones on 20th May, 2021 wrote:

1831, 1 December: John William Butcher was tried at the Old Bailey:

“First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Vaughan.

#11. JOHN WILLIAM BUTCHER was indicted for stealing, on the 21st of October, at St. John the Evangelist, Westminster, 1 tin box, value 1s.; 380 sovereigns, 40 half sovereigns, and one 40l. Bank note, the property of Stephen Fitzgerald, in his dwelling-house.

MR. BALL conducted the prosecution.

STEPHEN FITZGERALD. I am an oil and colourman, and live at No.43, Millbank-street, Westminster - the prisoner was in my service, as a kind of porter and general servant; he lodged in the house - the shop is part of the dwelling-house. On Friday, the 21st of October, he told me the mare’s legs were swollen, and he thought a little exercise was necessary; I said, as the day was fine. and my daughter poorly, I would take her out - I went out between two and three o’clock, returned about half-past six, and the prisoner was not there then; I went to my desk about half-past nine, and found it locked as usual - it is in the shop; I took the money which had been taken in the day out of my till, and was going to put it into the box in the desk; I opened the desk with the key, as usual. and missed my tin cash-box, with its contents - it contained between 300l. and 400l. in gold, nearly 400l., also a 40l., a 10l., and a 5l. Bank note, a 20l. cheque on Curtis and Co., drawn by William Freeman, of Millbank-street, and an 8l. bill.

Cross-examined by MR. LEE. Q.Is your shop part of the dwelling-house? A. Yes, and in the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Westminster; he had been in my service between three and four years - I had a good character with him, and never suspected his honesty; he lodged and boarded in my house.

COURT. Q. Did the lock appear to have had any violence used to it? A. The cash-box was open, but locked in the desk; no violence had been used to the desk - I left it locked, and found it so.

JAMES MIDDLETON. I am a pencil-maker. I received information from Mr. Fitzgerald, and went down to Bristol on Tuesday, the 25th of October, in search of the prisoner; I went on board the James Cropper, bound for America, laying in the Bristol channel, and saw the prisoner, who I had known some time - I said, “I want you;” he said.“Oh, Mr. Middleton, I am glad to see you, for it is the happiest moment I have had since I left home;” I took Smith, an officer, down with me - we did not hold out either threat or promise to him; we took him down to the cabin, and handcuffed him - he was a cabin passenger; he begged me to intercede that he should not be handcuffed. but I said he was in custody; he was searched, and a gold watch and chain found in his possession - I believe a bag of gold was found on him, and a musical snuff-box; in the course of the search we found two bags of gold - I observed to the prisoner that I thought the weight of the gold was not so much as he had; he said, “By G - d, Middleton, that is all I have got;” I requested him to give an account how he had spent the money, as I understood there was 455l. in gold missing; he said he would do the best he could to account for it, which he did - I have a paper in my own writing, taken at the time from his account - (reads) “We found in the two bags of gold about 312l. 10s. - he said he had paid for his passage 20l., musical snuff-boxes about 5l., a silver snuff-box 2l. 15s., travelling from London to Bristol, and contingent expences about 5l., a gold watch sixteen guineas, a gold chain 3l., the price of which was 10l, but he gave an old watch and 3l. for it, tailor’s bill 5l. 13s. 6d., shaving-case 1l. books 1l., linen 2l. 7s., and portmanteau 2l.” - that is all the account he gave.

Cross-examined. Q. I believe he said at once he did not wish to disguise any thing, and would restore all the money he had? A. Yes, he made all the restoration he could.

JOHN SMITH. I am an officer of Bristol. I took the prisoner in charge; I told him he was charged with robbing his master - he said he was overcome in an evil hour, and had robbed one of the best of masters’; on his way to London he said he had left the bills and the box somewhere about his master’s house.

JOHN SMITH. I was in the employ of Mr. Fitzgerald. I found the tin box in the cellar, in an empty candle-box, on the 26th of October, and gave information to Nainby.

FREDERICK NAINBY. Smith called me, and I saw the tin box in the cellar; I found in it a 40l., a 10l., and a 5l. Bank note, a 20l. cheque, and an 8l. bill.

Prisoner. I was overcome in an evil hour; I leave it entirely to the mercy of the Court.

Three witnesses gave the prisoner a good character.

(Dec.5.) GUILTY - DEATH. Aged 22.

Recommended to mercy by the Jury and Prosecutor, on account of his good character.” (see https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/).


Dianne Jones on 20th May, 2021 wrote:

1832, 16 January: John William Butcher petitioned for clemency…

Following is a summary record from the National Archives:

“HO 17/64/22 ...Prisoner name: John William Butcher.

Prisoner age: 22.

Court and date of trial: Old Bailey December Sessions 1831.

Crime: Stealing in a dwelling house of Stephen Fitzgerald, employer.

Initial sentence: [Death] sentence commuted to transportation for life.

Annotated (Outcome): Considered at Report in Council 6 February 1832.

Petitioner(s): The prisoner undersigned by prosecutor and seven other people.

Grounds for clemency (Petition Details): Widowed mother dependent on him for support; employer has found him trustworthy until this offence; previous good character.

Other papers: Character reference from Matthew Snow. Character reference from Thomas Byworth. Letter from prisoner’s mother E Dungy supporting petition.

Date: 1832 Jan 16.”


1832, 6 February: His death sentence was commuted to transportation for life.

Dianne Jones on 20th May, 2021 wrote:

1832: On arrival in VDL, he was listed as 23 years old, single and a “steam engineer” (see https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON18-1-6$init=CON18-1-6p117).

1845, 26 May: Granted a Ticket of Leave.

1850, 15 October: His Conditional Pardon was approved (see https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON34-1-3$init=CON34-1-3P527).

Dianne Jones on 20th May, 2021 wrote:


1834, 6 October: John William Butcher, per England, and Mary Ashman, per Eliza, were granted permission to marry (see https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON52-1-1p009j2k).

1834, 8 December: The couple was married in Hobart Town. The chaplain was Thomas Beazly Naylor (see https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD36-1-2p127j2k).

Convict Changes History

Dianne Jones on 20th May, 2021 made the following changes:

gender: m

Dianne Jones on 20th May, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1809 (prev. 0000)

Dianne Jones on 20th May, 2021 made the following changes:

occupation, crime

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