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James Cotton

James Cotton, one of 180 convicts transported on the Ocean, August 1817

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Cotton
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

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

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Burglary
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Ocean
Departure date: August, 1817
Arrival date: 1st January, 1818
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 180 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 376
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 28th October, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 28 October 2020), February 1817, trial of DANIEL FERGUSON JAMES COTTON (t18170219-3).
DANIEL FERGUSON, JAMES COTTON, Theft > burglary, 19th February 1817.

365. DANIEL FERGUSON and JAMES COTTON , were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Taverner , about twelve in the night of the 25th of January , with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing therein, one fixture, (i.e.), one copper, value 20s., his property, and fixed to his dwelling-house, the prisoners having no title or claim to it; one pair of stockings, value 1s.; one pair of scissars, value 2d.; one bottle, value 1d.; three pints of gin, value 3s., and one loaf of bread, value 1s., his property .

JOSEPH STEPHENS. I am a patrol of St. Paul, Shadwell; I was on duty, the 24th of January, near Miss Jacks’s house, about one hundred and fifty yards from it; as I was calling the hour of three, she called out of her window to me - I went to see what was the matter; I then went to the place where I thought the persons must have got in, I placed myself there, and called to William Blake to come to my assistance - He came, and I placed him at the other corner; he called to me, and said, there was a man who would assist us; I went up to him, and saw the prisoner, Ferguson, just by Blake, I told him to secure him, and he did. Before he was taken away I searched him on the spot, and took a pair of scissars from his jacket pocket, I delivered them to Morris on the Monday following, I kept them safe untill I gave them to him. We went to look at the premises, and searched Miss Jacks’s house, and found the tiles taken off, and the laths cut away, leaving room for a man to get in. We found a hole leading to the privy of the adjoining house, I went down the hole and found the prisoner, Cotton, in the adjoining house-it was not Taverner’s house. I endeavoured to take him to the watch-house, but on the road he slipped his arms out of his jacket, and ran away, leaving his jacket in my hands, I called out stop thief! Tuck found him and brought him to the watch-house; I searched his jacket, and found a tinder-box and steel, a candle, some halfpence and farthings. I found nothing more in his other clothes. The place where I first saw Cotton was about sixty yards from Taverner’s, there are several houses between, we traced them from Jacks’s premises to Taverner’s house. We found a stocking, and another pair of scissars, in the place where we found Cotton, in the shed, which is above the hole that leads into the privy; and in another part of the shed where we found him, there was a shirt and a stockings, which appeared to be the fellow stocking to that which I had found. We went to look at Taverner’s premises the next day, he was with me at the back part of his premises; the tiling was broken through large enough for a man to get through, it leads into a room adjoining his bar. I delivered the scissars, stockings, and shirt to Morris. No person claimed the last pair of scissars. I found copper upon both of them.

JAMES TAVERNER . I live at Shadwell , and keep a public-house . I went to bed about half-past twelve o’clock on the 26th of January, and got up at half-past six, came down and found the stone bottle removed, and the cork taken out-it was empty, it was not empty the overnight. There were three pints of gin in a green bottle gone; I missed a pair of scissars out of the kitchen, which I had seen safe the overnight; I also missed a pair of worsted stockings off the horse by the kitchen fire, and a quartern loaf off the table in the kitchen, it was there the night before I am sure, I missed it about ten minutes after I came down; six tiles were removed from the washhouse roof, over the water butt, there appeared room enough for a man to get through, the laths were cut at one end and broken at the other, I am sure it was safe the overnight. The wash-house joins my dwelling-house, the tap-room door comes into it; there is a street behind the wash-house, a person could get to the top of the washhouse from the back street, the roof is about seven feet from the ground. Stephens looked at it with me afterwards. I saw my things on the Monday after the Saturday that I was robbed. I saw a pair of stockings and a pair of scissars, they are my property. I knew the scissars as well as the stockings. I found my green bottle under the water butt, the gin was in it; I am sure it was in my bar when I went to bed. I also lost a candle and some farthings, which were in a till in the bar, which I keep on purpose for them.

MICHAEL MORRIS. I am an officer; I produce the things which I received from Stephens.

JOSEPH STEPHENS. I only found the pair of scissars on Ferguson, Mr. Taverner claimed them. (Producing them).

JAMES TAVERNER re-examined. The scissars are mine. I saw them in the window the overnight; the points are broken, I have had them four or five years; the stockings are also mine. Jacks lives fifty or sixty yards from me, her house is upon the same road at the back as mine. The copper was fixed to my premises the overnight, I found it had been pulled down, and moved about three-quarters of a yard from where it was fixed.

FERGUSON’S Defence. I was not near the premises, the watchman took me in the street. I was in liquor, he pressed me to go home.

COTTON’S Defence. I had been bottling porter on board a ship; I had the candle on board the ship. I was with Ferguson, I knocked at Jacks’s house for a night’s lodging, and Ferguson put me over the wall to get in, and they took me.


COTTON - GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 22.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Burrough.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 28th October, 2020 made the following changes:

gender: m, crime

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