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James Coleman

James Coleman, one of 192 convicts transported on the York, 30 April 1829

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Coleman
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

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

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 Life

Crime: Uttering forged notes
Convicted at: Monmouth Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: York
Departure date: 30th April, 1829
Arrival date: 28th August, 1829
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 191 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/7, Page Number 53 (29)
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

Maureen Withey on 7th April, 2021 wrote:

National Archives. Criminal Petitions.

HO 17/82/7

Prisoner name: James Coleman, aged 24, and John Thomas, aged 16.

Court and date of trial: Coleman convicted at Monmouth Summer Assizes 1827.

Thomas convicted at Somerset Summer Assizes Bridgewater 1827.

Crime: Coleman: Uttering forged notes.

Thomas: Housebreaking.

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

Gaoler’s report: Coleman: Orderly during confinement.

Thomas: None.

Annotated (Outcome): Coleman: Refused.

Thomas: Refused.

Petitioner(s): James Coleman, the prisoner, supported by former employers who found him honest and trustworthy.

John Thomas, the prisoner supported by eight other signatories, by his father, George Thomas, and in a petition from his mother, Mary Thomas, supported by eight other signatories.

Grounds for clemency (Petition Details): Following a period of distressing unemployment, the prisoner Coleman went to Newport seeking employment. While there, he was twice asked by a woman named May Floyd with whom he had been drinking to the point of intoxication to give her change for some notes. These were the notes which gave rise to the charges against Coleman. When he was detained for examination, May Floyd was detained with him, but she was discharged for want of evidence.

John Thomas was innocent of the charges brought against him. He was elsewhere from where the housebreaking occurred. There was also confusion in the evidence brought, and another, unconnected, man named John Thomas faced charges at the same Assizes.

Other papers: Letter from R Hart Davis MP forwarding petitions.
Date:  1828-1829

Maureen Withey on 7th April, 2021 wrote:

SUMMER ASSIZES. MONMOUTH. James Coleman, aged 24, stood indicted for uttering, on the 30th of April, a forged note for £l, purporting to be the Bank of England he well knowing the same to be forged. Mrs. Jane Hillier examined.—ls the wife R. Hillier, of Newport, baker. the evening of the 30th April, the prisoner came to her shop, and asked for change a 1l, note from the Bank of England. She gave him change, and placed the note the till. She had no other note of the same kind. In consequence of what they heard, her husband took the note to the Bank the following morning. Thomas Vaughan, Constable-—Searched the prisoner, and found 6s. in silver on his person. Mr. Thomas Phillips produced a statement on paper of the voluntary confession made by the prisoner, when before the Mayor of Newport. The prisoner therein declares, that he received both the notes at the Coach and Horses, of woman named Mary Floyd, who had plenty more in a bundle. He was to have had 10s. for each he got changed. He gave the woman 10s. out of the note he got changed at Mrs Ewing’s.  There were two men in company with Mary Floyd. Mr. J. W. Dean, an Inspector of Bank Notes, deposed, that both notes were forgeries; and, with the exception of the line containing the date and number, were from the same plate. The prisoner said, he had witnesses to character; and also a witness who saw the note given him at the public-house. Wm. Gillard said, he was a hair-dresser at Bristol, and had known the prisoner 19 years; he always bore an excellent character. Was present at the public-house at Newport when a woman gave the prisoner a 1l note. Cross-examined—He happened to be there by accident. He had an independence, and had gone that day to Newport to take his pleasure.  Besides being a hair-dresser, he is ginger-beer-manufacturer, and liquor-merchant. He did not attend Warwick Spring Assize to give Floyd a character. He swears so. There are several of his name in this part of the country, and might be one and might be one of them. They are almost all a black breed like himself. Thomas Corry, of Bristol, accountant,  also gave the prisoner a good character. The Jury, without hesitation, found him Guilty. Mr. Justice Littledale told him his life would probably be spared.

Public Ledger, 31 Aug 1827.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 7th April, 2021 made the following changes:

gender: m, crime

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