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John Carter

John Carter, one of 290 convicts transported on the Earl Grey, 27 July 1838

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Carter
Aliases: John Rolt Carter
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1813
Occupation: Gardener
Date of Death: 31st December, 1897
Age: 84 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 15 years

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Hertford Quarter Session
Sentence term: 15 years
Ship: Earl Grey
Departure date: 27th July, 1838
Arrival date: 21st November, 1838
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 289 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/11, Page Number 312
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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Toni Flux on 19th April, 2015 wrote:

The Trial
Translation of the John ‘Rolt’ Carter Trial
Thomas Walls, shoemaker, Aston, and John Carter, Gardner, Watton, were indicted for unlawfully breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Frances Jeffrey, at Watton, (no person being therein) and stealing there-from twenty pieces of print, a shawl, and some money, her property.
Mr SAMUEL GROVE PRICE stated the case for the prosecution. MR RYLAND appeared for the prisoner Carter, the other prisoner was undefended.
Frances Jeffrey, the prosecutor, stated that she was the mistress of the Watton infant school; on Wednesday 6th., she left the school-room at half past twelve in the day, leaving no one in the house, and returned a little after ten at night with Miss Burnett, who resided with her; witness on leaving home left all the doors and windows shut but the school-room window, although shut, was unfastened; when she returned she found this window open and all the doors also except the front one, of which she had the key with her; witness found the prints gone, her writing desk broken open and 3s taken out, and also some silver from a work-box. On the following Sunday, witness found that the thieves had also taken away her shawl, and she saw it on the following day in the possession of the horse patrol, Joseph Higgs; she saw the prints again on the following Wednesday; witness had patterns of the prints, which escaped observation; identified the prints immediately; they were shown to her by the officer, and produced the patterns and compared them.
Joseph Higgs, horse patrol, of the Metropolitan Police Force, deposed that on Friday, the 8th December last, he was acting as horse patrol, and saw the prisoners between Whetstone and Barnet, about half past twelve in the day; witness observed they looked very bulky, and they carried bundles, and his suspicion became excited; the trowsers of the prisoner Walls were tied round with a string, as they would not meet. William Davis, another horse patrol, was with witness; asked the prisoners what they had got in the bundles; they said clothes, but did not know of what description; witness and Davis took the prisoners to a beer shop; witness searched Walls, and Davis searched Carter; witness found nine pieces of print in the bundle, carried by Walls, two more pieces were wrapped round his body, and one piece round his neck; the nine prints were tied up in the shawl; Walls had also some skeleton keys, some powder and shot, two balls, and a screwdriver, which witness produced; witness afterwards compared the marks on Miss Jeffrey’s writing desk with the screwdriver, and found they corresponded.
Walls stated that he had got the goods off a coach in Codicote, one of the long stages, he believed they came from Chelmsford, from his friends. Higgs produced the desk in court, and the screwdriver was compared with the marks made in forcing it open, and were found to correspond.
William Davis corroborated the evidence of the last witness as to the meeting with the prisoners; witness told the prisoner Carter that he seemed loaded that morning, and asked him what he had got; he said he did not know; the things belonged to Walls; witness took Carter’s bundle away, and said he must be satisfied, and Carter must go along with him, and have it looked over. When they got about 50 yards, Carter ran away across the fields, witness pursued and overtook him, and brought him back into the road, handcuffed him, and took him back to the beer-shop; Carter’s bundle contained six pieces of print; it was tied up in a piece of one of the prints, which had been torn off for the purpose; witness searched him, and found three pieces wrapped round his body under his clothes, and also a piece of rope, a knife, and a penny in his pocket.
The prosecutrix was recalled by Mr. PRICE, and she fully identified the whole of the prints produced, and the jury compared them with the patterns produced by her.
Mr. RYLAND addressed the jury for the prisoner Carter, and contended there was no evidence whatever to convict the prisoners upon the first count of the indictment for breaking into and entering the dwelling-house; at the upmost, the evidence could only go to support the second count for a simple Larceny.
His Lordship recapitulated the evidence, and remarked that he never, in the whole course of his experience, heard a case where the evidence had been clearer and more direct than in the present case.
The jury, without hesitation, found the prisoners Guilty. Transportation for fifteen years.

Toni Flux on 20th April, 2015 wrote:

Birth 1813 in Watton at Stone Hertfordshire England to George Carter and Sarah Rolt.

Death 31 December 1897 in Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia

Heather Stevens on 20th November, 2019 wrote:

Baptism 18 Jul 1813 Watton at Stone, Hertfordshire, England: John Rolt Carter Father: Geo. Carter Mother: Sarah. [image on findmypast] ‘Rolt’ is the surname of his mother.

Marriage 03 Jul 1836 Watton At Stone, Hertford, England: John Carter bachelor of this parish and Mary Ann Brown spinster of the parish of Stotfold (both signed) by banns. Witnesses were Henry Pratt and Ann Carter (both marked)

Baptism of daughter Ann 22 Jan 1837 Watton at Stone, Hertfordshire: Ann, parents John and Mary Ann Carter of Watton, gardener. Her date of birth is possibly 10 Dec 1836 (from his Tattoo ‘birthday 10 Dec 1836’)

Hulk: Date Received from Hertford: 18 Jan 1838 Ship: Fortitude Place Moored: Chatham. “connections decent. Never in prison before”. ‘Disposed of’ to NSW per Earl Grey 23 July 1838

Arrival Sydney NSW: 22 Nov 1838, convict on Earl Grey(2)

His convict indent: John Carter 25 gardener, can read and write, Protestant, married with a child (girl), native of Hertfordshire, convicted at Hertford (St Albans) Quarter Sessions for housebreaking on 1 Jan 1838, 15 years transportation, no previous convictions, 5 ft 5.5in, dark sallow complexion, brown hair, chestnut eyes, lost two upper front teeth, nose a little inclining to the right side, ‘IRC MA CA.C born 10 December, 1836’ on lower left arm, nail of little finger of left hand split.

Ticket of Leave 13 Feb 1845 [45/362 AO NSW convict index]: CARTER John Earl Grey 1838 45/362 Ticket of Leave [4/4197; Reel 955] District: Port Macquarie; Tried: Herts. Notation: ‘Cancelled for absence from district 6th November 1850…Ticket reissued Absence explained’ 9 Sep 1851 51/223 ‘allowed to remain in the McLeay river District’

By 1854 living with Elizabeth Stanford and they had the following children • Agnes 1854-1864 • Frederick John abt 1856

Marriage: After Elizabeth’s husband William Stanford died in 1868, Elizabeth Stanford married John Rolt Carter on 11 Oct 1871.

His wife Elizabeth Carter died 8 Jan 1892 at Kempsey NSW. ‘Fred Carter’ was the informant of Elizabeth’s death certificate which has children of Elizabeth and John: Fred 35 living, 1 girl deceased.

Death: 31 Dec 1897 Death Certificate: ‘John Robert (sic) Carter’ gardener, age 85 yrs 7 months, Cause of death Senile decay, Heart disease. Informant: ‘Frederick Stanford’, householder, Kempsey: ‘No children of marriage’, however compare to Elizabeth’s death certificate above which has 2 children of the marriage

On New Year’s Eve, Mr. John Carter, one of the oldest inhabitants of this district both in point of age and residence, passed away to his eternal rest. The deceased, who was 86 years of age, was a native of England, and came to the Macleay about 60 years ago. He was probably the oldest living inhabitant, and had watched the growth of this district from its primal stage of wild scrub and bush, and had seen its develop ment into one of the most fertile regions in Australia. Mr, Carter was an enthusiastic lover of plants and flowers, and his garden at the back of Smith-street was one of the sights of Kempsey. In spite of his advanced age and many infirmities he attended to it till the last, and in fact was at work there on the morning of his death. The mortal remains of the deceased were interred in the West Kempsey Cemetery on New Year’s Day, the Rev. R. H. D. Kelly, officiating at the grave-side. [Macleay Argus Saturday 8 January 1898, page 9]

Convict Changes History

Toni Flux on 19th April, 2015 made the following changes:

alias1: John Rolt Carter, occupation, crime

Toni Flux on 20th April, 2015 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1813 (prev. 0000), date of death: 31st December, 1897 (prev. 0000), gender: m

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