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Hugh [vesty] Byrne

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Hugh [vesty] Byrne
Aliases: Vesty
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1770
Occupation: Farm labourer
Date of Death: 1842
Age: 72 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 unknown

Crime: Political prisoner
Convicted at: Ireland, Wicklow
Sentence term: unknown
Ship: Tellicherry
Departure date: 31st August, 1805
Arrival date: 15th February, 1806
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 94 other convicts


Primary source: NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts. Freemans Journal, 26 &31 July 1799, and 13 & 16 Dec 1799, all page 1. Freemans Journal, 13 Decemebr 1805 page 2
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Dennis Nightingale on 8th May, 2015 wrote:

Born - Kirikee, Glanmalure, Wicklow County Ireland. State Prisoner from Ireland never tried in Ireland. Died - 1842 Campbelltown.

Dennis Nightingale on 8th May, 2015 wrote:

Hugh Vesty Byrne, son of Sylvester and Rose Byrne,  used the name “Vesty” in honour of a forebear who fought for Irish independence in the 17th century.

Married -  Sarah Dwyer before the outbreak of the 1798 Irish revolt. 3 children were born to them during the years of conflict, Philip, Michael & Rose.

Byrne was imprisoned briefly in Kilmainhan jail in 1799 charged with burning yeomen’s houses in Wicklow, and robbing them of arms. He was court-martialled & sentenced to death, but with another prisoner (Burke) managed to escape & rejoin Michael O’Dwyer in the mountains. The charges against Byrne & Burke were dropped when they agreed to surrender terms with the government.

After negotiations with William Hume it was decided the 5 men, Byrne, Dwyer, Burke, Devlin & Menargh known as the ‘Wicklow Martyrs’, would go to Botany Bay as exiles, rather than convicts.

The 5 men (Byrne, Dwyer, Burke, Devlin & Menargh) were placed on land along Cabramatta Creek. Hugh later sold the land & acquired more fertile land at Airds. In 1835 he had another 100 acres granted him.

Dennis Nightingale on 8th May, 2015 wrote:

Hugh Vesty Byrne died on the 21st April 1842 and is buried in St John’s Cemetery in Campbelltown next to his wife Sarah Nee Dwyer. The couple had at total of 17 Children, fourteen born in the colony.

Denis Pember on 6th February, 2016 wrote:

Please be aware that there are two Hugh Byrnes transported on the Tellicherry and some information has been wrongly entered.

Denis Pember on 6th February, 2016 wrote:

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census:
November 1828
[Ref B3724 page 76] Byrne, Hugh, 50, conditonal pardon, Tellicherry, 1806, Catholic, settler at Airds, 210 acres, 163 acres cleared, 66 acres cultivated, 6 horses, 236 horned cattle.
[Ref B3725] Byrne, Sarah, 50, conditonal pardon, Tellicherry, 1806, Catholic.
[Ref B3726] Byrne, Charles 19 born in the colony.
[Ref B3727] Byrne, Bridget 17 born in the colony.
[Ref B3728] Byrne, Mary 15 born in the colony
Byrne, James 10 born in the colony.
[Ref B3729] Byrne, Silvester 8 born in the colony.
[Ref B3730] Byrne, Winifred 5 born in the colony.
[Ref B3731] Byrne, Elizabeth 4 born in the colony.
[Ref B3732] Byrne, Rose 2 born in the colony.

Denis Pember on 6th February, 2016 wrote:

Also located in the various Musters from 1806:

1806: [Ref A0258] Byrne, Hugh, Tellicherry, SP (Special Pardon). Grant and lease 200 acres.
{Ref B0604] Hugh Burne, 200 acres total, 14 acres wheat, 10 acres maize, 1 acre potatoe, 73 acres pasture. Sheep 10, Hogs 24. Land held by Grant and Lease.
On stores, wife on stores, 3 children on stores.

Robin Sharkey on 30th March, 2016 wrote:


This description of Hugh Byrne, in the July listing immediately preceding his fellow Wicklow Fiver, Martin Burke’s,  is one of a list of about 45 wanted men - rebels - who the government had published in Irish newspapers on 26th & 31st July 1799 and on 13th & 16th December 1799. Number 1 on the list was Michael Dwyer. Nine names had a price published for taking these men, but Hugh Byrne’s did not.

“The following ROBBERS, MURDERERS and DESERTERS are now wandering about, and are occasionally concealed by disaffected persons in the Counties of Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Kildare, Dublin &tc and Rewards will be paid for securing such of them as are first mentioned agreeably to a Proclamation dated the 8th day of June last:
” HUGH BYRNE, about five feet eight inches high, freckled, fair face, light or sandy hair, well-made, shot through the thigh, twenty-four years old.”

After the long years hiding in the Wicklow mountains, and in gaol in Kilmainham after Dwyer gave himself up on terms, this small item appeared, showing that the Wicklow Five were leaving Ireland forever:

Freemans Journal, Tuesday 13 December 1805 page 2:
“Thursday evening, Michael Dwyer, Martin Burke, Arthur Develin, Hugh Byrne and John Mernagh [sic], were conveyed from Kilmainham prison, by the Circular-road in carriages, and put on board an armed cutter in the river, which is to carry them to Cove, where a transport destined for Botany Bay, is ready to receive them.”

Convict Changes History

Dennis Nightingale on 8th May, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: years, voyage, source: NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts. (prev. ), firstname: Hugh, surname: Byrne, alias1: Vesty, alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1770, date of death: 1842, gender: m, occupation, crime

Robin Sharkey on 30th March, 2016 made the following changes:

source: NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts. Freemans Journal, 26 &31 July 1799, and 13 & 16 Dec 1799, all page 1. Freemans Journal, 13 Decemebr 1805 page 2 (prev. NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts.), firstname: Hugh [vesty] (prev. Hugh), crime

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