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Michael Byrne

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Michael Byrne
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 1801
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: Burglary
Convicted at: Ireland, Meath
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Atlas
Departure date: 29th November, 1801
Arrival date: 7th July, 1802
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Freemans Journal 1763-1924, Saturday, March 21, 1801
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Robin Sharkey on 29th November, 2016 wrote:

Freemans Journal 1763-1924, Saturday, March 21, 1801
Trim Assizes, Meath
Trials before Lord Chief Justice Norbury Continued
Wednesday March 18th

MICHAEL BYRNE, James Hoey, James Connolly, Francis Gilligan, Patrick Gilligan, and Patrick Shannon were “tried for different burglaries, robberies and felonies, found guilty and ordered for execution.”

“In the cases of the Gilligans, Hoey and Connolly, Lord Norbury caused the Grand Jury to be called and directed them to present a sum of l10 to each prosecutor for their gallant conduct in defending their cxxxages, and prosecuting these offenders to conviction. His Lordship at great lengths stated the advantages that must result to the country at large from such conduct in the lower orders.”

All were transported for life except for:
* Patrick Gilligan and patrick Shannon - not transported (executed?)
* Michael Byrne transported on Atlas 1 departing 28 November 1801, arriving 6 July 1802
* Francis Gilligan transported on Atlas 1
* James Connolly transported on Atlas 1
James Hoey, transported on Hercules departing 29 November 18001, arrived 26 June 1802

FROM:  Freemans Journal 1763-1924, Saturday, March 21, 1801
“Trim Assizes, Meath
Trials before Lord Chief Justice Norbury Continued
Wednesday March 18th.”

Robin Sharkey on 1st December, 2016 wrote:

Michael Byrne’s only entries in NSW Colonial records were his entry on the “Atlas”  Convict Indent, and a recording of a Conditional Pardon.

Despite the existence of the Conditional Pardon document, it is likely that he never arrived in NSW.

He is likely to have been one of the 63 male convicts who died on the passage.  Most were unnamed in the Ship’s journal (kept by Capt Richard Brooks)

(Death numbers obtained from Letter from Capt Brooks to Governor King 6 July 1802 with returns of convicts.)

Michael Byrne was given a flogging on board the journey on the “Atlas”. THe ship had been overcrowded with the Captain’s goods for sale in NSW at a profit to him.  It meant there was not enough room for the convicts’ rations, or to be able to properly air the hold where they were chained, or to let them out very often. In these conditions there was great discontent, and great fear by Brooks of insurrection by the convicts.  The ship they were travelling with, Hercules, had an attempted mutiny.

After leaving Rio on 25 Feb, any noise, disturbance etc from the convicts had Brooks on edge. So he kept a tight lid on them. Rumours abounded, they were searched, and kept chained. Information from informers was well received by Capt Brooks, thereby encouraging the informers.  On 13 March a convict (Patrick Coleman) informed of a proposed mutiny (untrue) and three other convicts also came forward. There was nothing of substance and Brooks had each of them flogged (except one) to extract confession.  Nineteen were flogged.

On 15 March one of the first three convicts who first informed - Patrick McDermott - was from Meath, and he informed again, that poison had been smuggled on board to kill the soldiers. He named as the poison culprits MICHAEL BYRNE, William Holligan (or Houlahan) and Patrick Gannon, who all happened to be from Meath.  Perhaps he had a score to settle with them from back in Meath. There was no truth in it.  He also named others as those who would take over the ship.

MICHAEL BYRNE was flogged, and according to research into the journals, he failed to survive the flogging and reach NSW.  the other two, however, did.
FROM “Journey into Hell” Chapter 11 “Beyond the Sea’ by brian Ahern (extracted on Jen Willett’s web site with permission).

Convict Changes History

Robin Sharkey on 29th November, 2016 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, source: Freemans Journal 1763-1924, Saturday, March 21, 1801 (prev. ), firstname: Michael, surname: Byrne, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 0000, date of death: 0000, gender: , occupation, crime

Robin Sharkey on 1st December, 2016 made the following changes:

date of death: 1801 (prev. 0000), gender: m

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