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John Darby Cooper

John Darby Cooper, one of 156 convicts transported on the Atlas, 05 June 1819

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Darby Cooper
Aliases: Harrison, Samuel (alias)
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 7 years

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Nottingham Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Atlas
Departure date: 5th June, 1819
Arrival date*: 5th February, 1820
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 166 other convicts
* Arrival date is estimated


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 172
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 8th November, 2020 wrote:

THE undermentioned Persons have obtained Certificates during- the last Week ....
Atlas (4) - -  - John Darby Cooper, alias Samuel Harrison ;
Sydney Gazette, 4 Aug 1825.

Maureen Withey on 25th May, 2021 wrote:

On Tuesday morning the Court opened at eight o’clock, and the first man placed the bar, was John Derby Cooper, alias Saml. Harrison, charged with having, the 13th of July, feloniously broken open and entered the dwelling house William Clarke, in the parish Edwinstowe, in the day time, no person being therein and feloniously stealing thereout six silver tea-spoons, two pair of stockings, one shirt, two silk handkerchiefs and one cotton handkerchief. This indictment he pleaded not guilty, but declared would be tried by his king and his country, instead of the usual form of expression, God and country. Ann Clarke was examined by Mr. Darns. She lives in Plumtree in the parish of Edwinstowe, and on Monday last left her house at eight o’clock in the morning, no person being therein. She locked the door, and took the key with her.  At half past six o’clock she came home, and in about half hour went into the parlour, for some money to purchase a loaf, and missed it, from out of drawer, where she usually put it. She searched further, and missed six silver tea spoons marked A. H. the initials of her maiden name, and fine shirt, marked W. S. Her husband had lived with Mr. Stubbing and had gone by the name of William Stubbing till he was married, when he took his right name of Clarke. There were also misting two pair of cotton stockings marked A. H., two silk handkerchiefs and a cotton one. The door the house had not been unlocked, but entrance had been effected bursting window belonging to the pantry. Thomas Ebert, who lives near Clarke’s, saw the prisoner very near the house about about four o’clock on Monday afternoon.  Wm. Gresham lives with with his father, pawnbroker, at Mansfield. On 15th, the prisoner came to the shop, and pledged six silver teaspoons two silk handkerchiefs, a cotton one, and a pair of stockings, for 17s.  These articles witness afterwards delivered to Plaits, the constable.  Plaits produced the property, and Mrs. Clarke distinctly identified it.  The prisoner in his defence said, he bought the different articles of two men, near Worksop and paid 30s. for them. The Jury said he was guilty, and the penally of the law, sentence of death, was passed on him but he was afterwards reprieved.
Nottingham Review, 24 July 1818.


CRIMINAL COURT, WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8.- John Cooper Briggs, of Parramatta, free labourer, stood indicted for stealing a mare, value £70. the property of Daniel McMahon, Shoemaker, of York Street, Sydney, from the Dog-Trap Farm, on the 13th of May last. The prosecutor, who had been possessed of the animal for a considerable time, depastured her on Sir John Jamison’s Farm, near Parramatta. He went on a certain day to see the mare, and found her missing; she was recognized by his wife some time after, in Sydney, in possession of John Wood, who publicly purchased her. The evidence of Wood, corroborated by Isaac Howarth, set forth, that being at the house of the latter; he asked Mrs. Howarth if she knew where he could buy a horse, when she asked the prisoner, who was in the house, if he had not one to dispose of? he replied in the affirmitive, and took Wood to Pye’s house, on the Windsor Road, where the mare was. A bargain was made, but subsequently the purchaser became apprehensive that there was something wrong, and made many enquiries as to the respectability of the prisoner. He brought the mare to Sydney, where she was claimed. The prisoner had represented himself as just come from Liverpool Plains. The prisoner complained, that he had had witnesses who could have proved the honest purchase of the horse, by him, but that his trial had been put off from the preceding Thursday and that they had gone up the country again - Guilty. ”
The Monitor, Sydney, 13 Aug 1827.


Our notice was attracted by a circumstance that took place in the Criminal Court on Monday, last, which calls for amendment. We allude to the plan observed in subpoenaing witnesses. It appears to be the practice in this Colony, when prisoners have not the means of paying for their, attendance, for the Crown to beat that expense. This is as it should be; as it could not for a moment be expected, that prisoners, who are generally of the poorer class, could afford to bring down a host of witnesses from Bathurst, or such distant settlements. But if the Crown undertake to do this, it should be careful not to hold out hopes to a poor wretch on trial for his life, only to end in disappointment. We make these: observations, as we before observed, in consequence of what took place on Monday in the Criminal Court, when John Cooper Briggs was arraigned at the bar, charged with a capital felony, (horse: stealing, we believe). Mr. Williams appeared as Counsel for the Prisoner, and stated the nature of his defence; viz, a written receipt for £70 sterling, paid for the identical horse, the prisoner was accused of stealing. It was the duty of the Crown to produce the man who witnessed the receipt, but when Mr. Williams called him, he was not forthcoming. The learned gentleman expressed some vexation at the disappointment.  We well know, that if blame attaches any where, it is with the subordinates who are entrusted with the duty of serving the subpoenas. But still, let us reflect for a moment what that man’s feelings must be, when conscious of his innocence, finds himself through such neglect of the subs of office, about to die a shameful aid ignominious death, or be transported to Norfolk Island for life? We must confess we entirely agree with the sentiments of the Chief Justice in a former trial, (Davidson’s). “Better for it that ten guilty men should escape, than one innocent man should suffer.” We hope these observations may meet the eye of the proper authorities; and if the statement we understood to be made by Mr. Williams, should prove correct, we would suggest, there never was a case that more called for the humane interference of his Excellency, General Darling.
The Monitor, 8 Nov 1827.


SATURDAY, DEC. 1 - The following prisoners, convicted during the Criminal Sessions, were brought up, and received sentence:-
John Cooper Brigs, for stealing a mare, the property of Daniel McMahon, Death recorded.
Sydney Gazette, 3 Dec 1827.


Moreton Bay Convict Register.
John Darby Cooper, alias Saml. Harrison, convicted in this colony in the name of John Cooper Briggs, per Atlas 4. Tried at Nottingham Ass. 16 Jul 1818, 7 years. Labourer. Colonial Conviction: Crim. Court, Sydney, 1 Dec 1827, Horse stealing,  14 years hard labor in chains. Run.
Description: Jno. Darby Cooper. native of Castle Donington, age 33, 5 ft 5 ½. Dark comp.  brown hair, grey eyes, E religion.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 8th November, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: Harrison, Samuel (alias) (prev. Harrison, Samuel (Alias)), gender: m

Maureen Withey on 25th May, 2021 made the following changes:


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