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John Cooke

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Cooke
Aliases: Cook
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1796
Occupation: Drapers boy
Date of Death: 14th January, 1831
Age: 35 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Ireland, Waterford
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Governor Ready
Departure date: 21st September, 1828
Arrival date: 17th January, 1829
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 196 other convicts


Primary source: Australia Convict Indentures (hand written; The Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser Tuesday 18 January 1831 and Thursday 20 January 1831.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Wendy Smith on 3rd March, 2020 wrote:

The Convict Indentures state that John Cooke was 33 years old.  He could read and write; religion Protestant: status single and a native of Wiltshire.  He was a draper (there is no code in Occupation for draper).  He was convicted of stealing ... at Waterford on 19 March 1828 and sentenced to 7 years.  He had no prior convictions.  Physical attributes - height: 5 feet 4 1/2 inches; complexion ruddy; hair dark brown and eyes hazel.  Transport number 143.
Assigned to Woolloomooloo Road Party.  Added comment that he drowned whilst bathing in the quarry in the Domain 14 January 1831.

Wendy Smith on 3rd March, 2020 wrote:

Sydney Gazette Tuesday 18 January 1831 states ‘On Friday afternoon, as Mr Shaughnessy, the undertaker, was walking in the Government Domain, he discovered the clothes of a man at the water’s edge, and on the point of being floated in the tide.  It would appear that the individual to whom they belonged had into the water for the purpose of bathing, and wither from cramp, the receding tide, or some other cause, been carried out of his depth and was drowned.  He conveyed the clothes to No. 5 Watch-house, where they were left while proper enquiries were made to discover the unfortunate owner.  For this purpose every endeavour was used by Thornton and the wardsman, and others, the constables who first found him; and on the following morning they succeeded in ascertaining beyond a doubt, the individual who has thus unhappily experienced a premature death, to be a prisoner of the crown named Cooke, acting as a clerk in the Treasurer’s Office.  The body was found on Sunday morning, near the same spot.’
Sydney Gazette Thursday 20 January 1831 states that ‘On Sunday last, an inquest was held at the Fox and Hound, Castlereagh Street (Sydney), on the body of the crown, named John Cook.  The deceased had been employed as an extra-messenger at the Treasury, and was in the habit of bathing, after quitting that office between 4 and 5 o’clock in the afternoon.  It is supposed, that on Friday he went into the water as usual, in the Domain; was seized with cramp; and as there were no marks of violence, it was the opinion of the jury that he had been accidentally drowned, and they returned a verdict to the that effect.

Convict Changes History

Wendy Smith on 3rd March, 2020 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Australia Convict Indentures (hand written) (prev. ), firstname: John, surname: Cooke, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1796, date of death: 14th January, 1831, gender: m, occupation, crim

Wendy Smith on 3rd March, 2020 made the following changes:

source: Australia Convict Indentures (hand written; The Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser Tuesday 18 January 1831 and Thursday 20 January 1831. (prev. Australia Convict Indentures (hand written)), alias1: Cook

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