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John Lindsay Crawford

John Lindsay Crawford, one of 200 convicts transported on the Earl Spencer, May 1813

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Lindsay Crawford
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: Farmer
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 14 years

Crime: Forgery
Convicted at: Edinburgh Court of Justiciary
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Earl Spencer
Departure date: May, 1813
Arrival date: 9th October, 1813
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 102
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

John McGowan on 25th October, 2013 wrote:

On 9 January 1812, the subject John Lindsay Crawford along with James Bradley appeared at Edinburgh High Court on a libel for forging deeds (no detail). Due to the absence of witnesses the case was deferred until 3 February. Subsequently found guilty and both transported for 14 years. See Scots Magazine (1812)Vol.74 p 73 and McGowan, John (2013) A New Civic Order: The contribution of the City of Edinburgh Police, 1805-1812, p 269 and p 314.

Maureen Withey on 26th August, 2020 wrote:

Irish Convict Database, by Peter Mayberry.
John Lindsay Crawford, alias Lindsay, age 30,  per Earl Spencer (1813), Tried 1812 at Edinburgh, Scotland,  14 years. DOB, 1783, native place, Londonderry, Derry Co. Farmer.  Description, 5ft 7 ¾ ins, dark pale complexion, black hair, hazel eyes.
‘Imposter John Lindsay Crawfurd’ appeared after the 1808 death of the 22nd Earl of Crawfurd and 6th Earl of Lindsay, claiming that he was the legitimate heir with precedence over the late Earl’s sister Lady Mary Crawfurd. The pretender and accomplices forged documents to substantiate his claims; unfortunately a falling out saw members of the gang cash in by revealing the truth to Lady Mary. John Lindsay Crawfurd and James Bradley were sentenced to fourteen years transportation, arriving at Botany Bay in 1813. He obtained release in 1820.
His co-defendant sent the following letter to the Governor:

18th March 1819.
To His Excellency Lachlan Macquarie Esq.
Captain General Governor & Commander in Chief in and over His Majesties Territory of N.S.W.
The Petition of James Bradley.
Humbly showeth,
That Your Excellency petitioner was tried in Edinburgh 1812 sentenced 14 years. Transported and arrived by the ship Fortune 1813.
That petitioner is tutor to Mr. Hassells family and has filled other important situations of trust for nearly 6 years which he trusts will be considered by Your Excellency as a proof of his upright conduct.
That petitioner’s family are very anxious to join him in the colony if he could procure for them comfortable support which he has no doubt of obtaining if indulged to share in your Excellencies wonted clemency.
May it therefore please your Excellency to take petitioner’s case into your Excellencies humane consideration and grant petitioner a conditional pardon or such other indulgences your Excellency may deem fit.
To His Excellency Lachlan Macquarie Esq.
Captain General Governor & Commander in Chief His Majesties Territory of N.S.W.
The Memorial of James Bradley.
Humbly –
That Your Excellencies Memorialist was tried in Edinburgh February 1812. sentenced 14 years transportation and arrived by the 2nd Fortune 1813.
That he filled a situation of trust for several years under the late Mr. R. Hassell, at whose recommendation your Excellency was graciously pleased to give him a Ticket of Leave and a promise of Emancipation by which kind indulgence he has procured a comfortable support by teaching a school in Parramatta where his talents and labours in that important work have obtained celebrity.
That preparatory to his request he begs stating the Your Excellency that he was sent to this colony for aiding and assisting John Crawford to prove by forged documents his pretended propinquity to the Honourable House of Crawford in Scotland and consequently obtain the Titles and Estates attached to that Peerage.
That the said John Crawford, tho` the principal actor was transported for the same period, received his Pardon and returned home 18 months ago to his wife and family
That Memorialist, also has a wife and child in Ireland and having failed in repeated attempts to prevail upon her to join him in this colony which she refuses to do, and being wearied with anxiety and disappointment, he now solicits leave to return to them hoping they will accompany him back again to the colony where he intends settling for life.
That Memorialist would not have intruded at the unreasonable time but the present period is, perhaps the most eligible and auspicious for the long hoped accomplishment of his wishes: as a kind friend has generously offered him a free passage by the Duchess of York, with a promise of bringing him back again when he returns to the colony.
That Memorialist being flattered by such a favourable opportunity and emboldened by Your Excellencies wonted humanity in restoring the unfortunate to liberty, to friends and happiness, he hopes to obtain a portion of that clemency, which has been so active in letting the oppressed go free and in breaking every yoke: and begs Your Excellency to consider that he has served nearly 10 years out of 14, that his accomplice under the same sentence obtained a pardon: that his prosecutrix is dead, his character in this colony unblameable and that such an opportunity may not again offer, to get his family out to this colony.
May it therefore please Your Excellency to take Memorialist’s case into Your Excellencies human consideration and extend to him an Absolute Pardon in time to embrace a free passage by the Duchess of York and Your Excellencies Memorialist as is duty bound will ever pray.

Convict Changes History

John McGowan on 25th October, 2013 made the following changes:

gender, crime

Maureen Withey on 26th August, 2020 made the following changes:


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