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James Crawford, one of 160 convicts transported on the Prince Regent, 17 September 1819
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 58 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 14 years
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 233 (118)
||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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Maureen Withey on 18th February, 2020 wrote:
Tasmanian Conduct Record.
258. James Crawford.
Many punishments listed.
Executed 9 Sept 1824.
We also are enabled to state, that on Friday last, after our Paper had gone to press, intelligence reached town, that fourteen prisoners had escaped in a boat from our penal Settlement at Macquarie Harbour, and had since committed various depredations on the other side of the Derwent.—Early on Monday morning they burglariously entered the country residence of W. H. Mason, Esq.; and, after beating him severely, stole many valuable articles, belonging to him and two other Gentlemen, visitors, with which they decamped.—On the preceding night, they had also robbed a Mr. Brodie, on the highway, of his watch, and the servant of Lieut. Gunn of some fire-arms. Luckily, however, five of them were soon after taken, thro’ the intrepidity of Lieut. Gunn, who on hearing of his loss, immediately left town in pursuit of them; and yesterday, as we have reported in the third page of our Gazette, they, with another, who had since surrendered, were tried, found guilty, and sentenced.—Whilst speaking on this subject, we feel compelled to acknowledge the promptness with which Government sent off a party of soldiers and constables, in chase of these wanderers from offended justice.
Besides the military, whom we have stated to be in quest of the absentees above mentioned, we are proud, and happy to record, as a proof of very creditable public spirit, that a considerable number of Gentlemen have volunteered their services on the occasion. It therefore may be confidently hoped, that their united exertions will prove effectual, and teach the vicious that this Colony is at length too well inhabited for any banditti to long escape apprehension.
By a Public Notice from the Police Office, we learn that £10 will be paid as a reward for apprehending each of the eight runaways yet at large.
We also are enabled to state, that James Crawford, the leader of this lawless gang, is a fellow who had long been decidedly infamous before his banishment to Macquarie Harbour, where however he for a short time behaved remarkably well, but merely, as now is evident, to obtain that opportunity which at length has been realized so fatally.
Hobart Town Gazette, 25 Jun 1824.
With considerable satisfaction, we announce the apprehension of two more of the fourteen bush-rangers, who it may be remembered escaped some few weeks ago from Macquarie Harbour ; and with increased pleasure we are enabled to state, that one of the two is James Crawford, their notorious leader.
-.The following particulars of this important occurrence we derive from unquestionable authority:-About nightfall on Thursday se’nnight, the remaining seven of this lawless gang, after robbing widow Smith, at the Macquarie River, and loading three of her servants with their booty, peremptorily ordered them to walk before on the road to Mr. Taylor’s residence, at the Pennyroyal creek., On their way there, they fell in with one of Mr. Taylor’s sons, who was grazing sheep, and whom, after loading him with their baggage, they compelled to precede them to his father’s.
In the interim, their movements having been observed by that Gentleman, he very prudently armed his family and domestics, to act on the defensive. When his son saw what he did, from a fear of not being recognized, and therefore of being shot, he cried out, “Father, don’t fire !”-so that from Mr. Taylor’s anxiety to avoid injuring his son, the ruffians were allowed to go close to the house, when one of the domestics fired, the son disengaged himself, and joined his father’s party, other firing took place, and a general conflict followed. Soon after this, one of the villains, levelled his piece at Mr. Taylor’s head, but was prevented from effecting his murderous design by the son, who grappled him by the throat, and threw him ; when one of the servants shot him in the breast, but without inflicting a dangerous wound, as his clothing was remarkably thick. This fallen brigand was the leader, to whose assistance another of the gang immediately came up ; a servant also came in aid of his young master, but in attempting to shoot his opponents, by some intervention of lamentable fate, he missed his aim, and mortally pierced the beloved object of his zeal ! Shortly after this dreadful accident, a second bush-ranger was secured, after being twice knocked, down by a musket; a third had an eye shot out, but escaped with four of his companions-leaving behind them all their ammunition, stores, &c., and, though last not least, the murdered body of Mr. Taylor’s carpenter, whom one of them had run through with a bayonet, which instantly caused death !
When our informant, who was an eye witness of these horrible transactions, left the Macquarie, Mr. Taylor’s son was not dead, but we regret with exceeding sorrow that not even the faintest hope was entertained of his recovery.-Thus the abode of comfort has been changed into a house of mourning, through the hardened depravity of wretches, who are neither to be melted by lenience, admonished by Law, nor intimidated by the brandished rigours of retribution.-Thus have two human lives been sacrificed entirely through the wanton aggressions of beings, who only know their God—to blaspheme Him ! and their fellow creatures- to ravage and assassinate them !—who are still as resolved as ever to commit crime, though the tree of ignominy was but yesterday oppressed with the convulsed forms of their expiring comrades!- and whose speedy apprehension is no less devoutly to be wished, as a public benefit, than as the, only way by which their souls can possibly be rescued from still deeper perdition.
It is but justice to the much afflicted Mr. Taylor, and his servants, to say, that they are entitled to the warmest thanks of all the Inhabitants of the Colony, for their bold and spirited conduct on this occasion ; and as a proof of the high sense which is already entertained of it by several respectable householders of Hobart Town, we beg to refer our Readers to an Advertisement inserted in our front page, announcing that a Subscription, as a tribute of respect to the meritorious household, is opened at the Bank.—We now hope to be soon enabled to announce the speedy apprehension of the other four murderers, who are without arms or ammunition, and who we trust will remain so until they are taken.
Hobart Town Gazette, 24 July 1824.
James Crawford and John Bimms, murder of John Low. The Jury returned a special verdict, on which no judgment has been given.
James Crawford and John Bimms, stealing in a dwelling-house, and putting persons therein in fear. Guilty. Death. Executed.
Hobart Town Gazette, 24 Sept 1824.
Convict Changes History
Maureen Withey on 18th February, 2020 made the following changes: