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John Cocking

John Cocking, one of 240 convicts transported on the Marquis of Hastings, 16 March 1839

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Cocking
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1804
Occupation: Farm labourer
Date of Death: 22nd September, 1841
Age: 37 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 10 years

Crime: Robbery with violence
Convicted at: Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: 10 years
Ship: Marquis of Hastings
Departure date: 16th March, 1839
Arrival date: 23rd July, 1839
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 240 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 1
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

D Wong on 9th April, 2016 wrote:

ANN COCKING, JOHN COCKING, BENJAMIN BUGGEY, Violent Theft > robbery, 20th August 1838.

Reference Number: t18380820-1886
Offence: Violent Theft > robbery
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory; Guilty > no_subcategory; Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Transportation

ANN COCKING, JOHN COCKING , and BENJAMIN BUGGEY , were indicted for a robbery on Charles Pearson, on the 19th of August, putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, 1 hat, value 9s.; 1 pair of gloves, value 1s.; 2 half-crowns and 7d.; his goods and monies; and immediately before and at the time of the said robbery striking and beating him.

John Cocking was born in Bedfordshire – he was convicted with his wife Ann who arrived in NSW per ‘Planter’ 1838.
Benjamin Buggey was also on board the ‘Marquis of Hastings’.

John was 5’6” tall, dark complexion, rown hair, light hazel eyes, scar on right eyebrown, man and woman on left arm, burn on right arm.

22/9/1841: John died in Tasmania – no details given.

Robin Hatfield on 16th February, 2017 wrote:

John was 5 feet 6 inches tall, dark complexion, oval head, brown hair, light hazel eyes, visage long, forehead high, scar on right eyebrow, man and woman on left arm, burn on right arm.
John and Ann Cocking both stood trial on 20th August 1838. at the Criminal Central Court (Old Bailey) London. They both received sentences for 15 years.
John was transported to Tasmania (VDL) aboard the ” Marquis of Hastings 4” with 233 males.  Departing Portsmouth UK, 18th March 1839 arriving Tasmania 23rd July 1839. He died in Tasmania September, 22nd 1841.
Ann Cocking, John Cocking, and Benjamin Buggey, were indicted for a robbery on Charles Pearson, on the 19th August, putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, 1 hat, 1 pair of gloves, 2 half crowns and 7d, his goods and monies, and immediately before and at the time of the said robbery striking and beating him.
MR Payne conducted the Prosecution.
CHARLES PEARSON: I live at the Wellington, in Uxbridge. On Sunday the 19th of June, I was in the George Inn yard, about nine o’clock in the evening, with the female prisoner I had met her in High St- she enticed me into the field we were on the ground I had not been there two minutes before the two male prisoners, Cocking and Buggey, came there, and the man Cocking caught hold of me I jumped up and was knocked down again directly, and Cocking, the man, struck me several times Buggey assisted him, and struck at me several times, but did not hit me I warded his blows off my hat was carried away I cannot say who by, but it was found on Buggey also a pair of gloves, five shillings and seven pence at the time I was in the George yard I saw no persons but the three prisoners I did not see the police sergeant till after it happened the three prisoners ran away directly the woman ran away first, and after the men had stopped behind and struck me, they went away also- I cannot say which took my money- I only missed it - I cannot say whether any hand was thrust into my pocket - I received a blow on my face, the swelling has not gone down yet - I went immediately to Uxbridge, and stated the case to Sergeant Cooper, I went with him and met both the male prisoners, and Buggey had my hat on his head I described the marks on it before the policeman took it off he took Buggey in custody I took Cocking, and they were taken to the station house the hat was produced to me this is the hat-(looking at it)-the gloves have been found by the police sergeant these are them.
Buggey. Q. Did not we not walk across the meadows with you? A. I never saw either of them till they were on me when you took my hat away, I said I wish you would produce my hat you did not take up a walking stick and give it to me.
DAVID COOPER . I am sergeant of the police at Uxbridge. On the night of the 19th of August, I saw the prosecutor about half past nine o’clock, and in consequence of information, I accompanied him down the street, and met both the male prisoners coming up the street I and the prosecutor were passing under a lamp, I believe they saw us coming, and Buggey immediately crossed over the road at a quick pace I told the prosecutor to lay hold of Cocking I crossed and took Buggey, and took him to the Station house the prosecutor said, “That man had a cap on when he assaulted me, and he
has now a hat if it is mine it has ‘Artis, Bond-street’, in it”-I took it off and there was the name in it, and he identified it I took the prisoners to the Station house I afterwards saw the female going down Uxbridge in company with another prostitute, with a shawl over her head I could hardly see her face, but knew her before I lilted the shawl on one side, and took her I had not seen the woman with the prisoners that evening I asked Ann Cocking where her bonnet was the said she had left it at the Jolly Ostlers.
JURY. Q. Was the prosecutor sober? A. Yes, I had no reason to believe that he had been drinking he appeared irritated he described the men in such a precise manner I could not suppose he was drunk.
WILLIAM SERVANT . I am a policeman of Uxbridge. In consequence of information I went to the Jolly Ostlers’ public house and obtained a bonnet, in that I found a pair of gloves, which I produce the prosecutor described them before I found them I took the bonnet to Ann Cocking, and she said it was hers.
CHARLES PEARSON . This hat and these gloves are mine.
Ann Cocking’s Defence. I first met the prosecutor by the Three Hounds he passed me four or five times in the street and kept offering me money I would not take it at last by the George Yard he asked me merely to walk with him through the churchyard, and who should I see in the yard but my husband and the other prisoner, sitting down drinking out side the public house when I got to the meadows, the prosecutor got behind me and told me to walk on slowly I walked very gently he came up behind me, took hold of my clothes and flung them over my head, and “threw me on the ground I hallooed three times, and he put hit hand over my mouth, and my husband came up to assist me I took his gloves up as got up.
John Cocking’s Defence. The other prisoner and I were having a drop
of beer, my wife and the prosecutor passed us, and presently I heard her halloo out I ran and laid hold of his coat and said, “Hallo, what are you doing to her?”-he got up and I struck him twice, but never touched his money or any thing.
Buggey’s Defence. I had the hat given to me by two other chaps in the town the prosecutor said he would give us half a crown to find his hat, and we looked after it, but could not find it he went another way, and just as we got into the town the hat was given to me.
(Thomas West, a sawyer of Uxbridge, and Stephen West, deposed to Buggey’s good character.)
Transported for Ten Years

John Cocking died of Paralysis for 4 days on 22nd September, 1841, found this out in the Tasmanian Prisoner books in 1841.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 9th April, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1804 (prev. 0000), date of death: 22nd September, 1841 (prev. 0000), gender: f, occupation, crime

D Wong on 10th April, 2016 made the following changes:

term: 10 years (prev. 15 years)

Robin Hatfield on 16th February, 2017 made the following changes:

gender: m (prev. f)

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