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Luke Dillon

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Luke Dillon
Aliases: Dillion
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1807
Occupation: Soldier
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Rape
Convicted at: Ireland, Dublin
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Bussorah Merchant
Departure date: 16th August, 1831
Arrival date: 14th December, 1831
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 81 other convicts


Primary source: NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Dennis Nightingale on 23rd June, 2015 wrote:

Born - Ennis, Clare County Ireland. Single -  Soldier ensign Gentleman?

Dennis Nightingale on 23rd June, 2015 wrote:

163393 Dillon Luke - Bussorah Merchant 1831.
  1831 Commission Court of Dublin on
      Thursday the 13th of April 1831.
  The witness was cross-examined at great length by Mr. Serjeant O’Loughlen, in the course of which she admitted having written a letter, of which the following is a copy, the day after the atrocities described in her evidence in chief : — ” My dearest Dillon — Our car came in to-day. Fortunately papa did not come with it. I was wishing to see you, so I went to Home’s, but you were out. I cannot tell you what torture I have been in since I parted with you. You may imagine I am nothing better ; you may guess the rest. If you value my life — my honour ; everything depends upon you. I have thought of something that will, I think, do. I will see you to-morrow. When I see you I will . I was obliged to tell Maria (Mrs. O’Reardon) we were married. She is exceedingly ill. The Doctor thinks I was at a lady’s in Gardiner-street, a Mrs. Dwyer’s. He went to Mrs. Callaghan’s himself, so I could not say I was there. For God’s sake, meet me to-morrow, about twelve o’clock, at the end of the street, in Dawson-street, and I will, at least, be a little happier, for I am miserable now. Buy me a ring, and, for Heaven’s sake, arrange everything. Recollect that you had (these words were scratched out) I am not to be trifled with. I am sure -papa would blow my brains out were he to know it. I, therefore, rely on your solemn promise last night ; and, once more, be punctual to the hour to-morrow. Really, I am almost dead with grief. Indeed, my dearest Dillon, on you depends my future happiness for life. Yours, ” Saturday night. ” Anna.” ” Luke Dillon, Esq., Home’s Hotel, Usher’s-island.” In her further cross-examination, she affirmed she wrote to him in these affectionate terms because Mrs. O’Reardon told her, that if she called him a villain or a wretch, he would never come back to her ; and that she wrote the letter for the purpose of bringing him back. After she had been under examination and cross-examination upwards of five hours, her mother, Mrs. Frizell, and Mrs. O’Reardon, were examined, and they corroborated her testimony as far as they had any knowledge of the facts. For the defence, several persons from the hotel or house where the affair took place stated that the lady was a consenting party, and that no outrage had been committed. — In their cross-examination, how ever, they prevaricated a good deal, and acknowledged visiting the prisoner in Newgate. Judge Torrens charged the jury in a luminous speech, who, after one hour and three quarters’ deliberation, returned a verdict of Guilty, but strongly recommended the prisoner to mercy on account of his youth. On the next day he was brought up for judgment, when, in answer why sentence of death should not be passed on him, he replied, in a low, but rather firm voice, that standing in the awful situation in which he did, it was not for him to arraign the verdict of twelve men on their oaths, and he should, therefore, bow with submission to the sentence of the court.

166978 Dillon Luke - Bussorah Merchant 1831 18 May 1831 England The Derby Mercury
  The mercy of the crown has been extended to this culprit, and the sentence of death commuted to that of transportation for life. The decision of government was communicated to him on Wednesday, when his irons were struck off, and he was yesterday conveyed, handcuffed to a common felon, who was also sentenced to undergo the mitigated penalty of the law, from Newgate to the Essex hulk at Kingstown. His head was shaved, and he was dressed in the slop clothing provided by government for convicts under rule of transportation.

129912 Dillon Luke - Bussorah Merchant 1831.
  1839 19 October - SG.
  The notorious Luke Dillon whose person might have been known to everybody in Sydney, is understood to have made his escape from the colony.

163392 Dillon Luke Bussorah Merchant 1831 20 July 1889 -  Bathurst Free Press
  ‘Luke Dillon ‘was an Irish gentleman of good family. He had been sentenced to death in a case of assault (capital) on a lady in his own rank of life. This sentence was afterwards commuted to transportation for life At the time of his trial in Dublin, like the late Yelverton case it was quite a sensation one. I was induced to go onboard the convict ship that conveyed him to New South Wales in consequence of receiving-through him a letter from a friend at the Irish bar, Mr. Richard Farrell Chief Commissioner of the Insolvent Court in Ireland, who was a stranger to Dillon personally, but happened to be present at his trial. Mr. Farrell was induced to write solely from some serious doubts he entertained on the propriety of the conviction. That Dillon’s case was morally bad and base in (the highest. degree there can, be no doubt; yet there was great imprudence on the part of the lady on whose account he was sentenced to death, that might, on calm judicial consideration, have reduced the offence from the character of a capital crime to one of seduction under aggravated circumstances. Mr. Farrell drew my particular attention to the remarkable feature in the case, that Dillon and this lady were refused admittance early in the afternoon at a respectable (hotel in Dublin, as they brought no luggage with them, and thereupon they walked together across the street, and were received at a public house, where the imputed offence was committed. Ordinary discretion should have prevented a lady so rejected from entering such a place. The authorities at home, on a subsequent review of the case, formed a less unfavourable opinion of Dillon’s conduct than prevailed in Dublin during the sensation trial. A conditional pardon soon followed him to the colony, which set him at liberty within the limits of New South Wales. Had he remained a year or two longer he would have obtained an absolute one; but impatient of the restriction to remain in the colony, he escaped, and hence made his way to Dieppe in France never afterwards revisited any place within the realm of England. He was unobtrusive and well-conducted in the colony, and received much kindness from persons who had known his family in Ireland. I lately heard at Paris of his subsequent career. He assumed a fictitious name and married, at Dieppe, the daughter of one of the principal innkeepers of the town, After a residence of a few years there, his career became known to the innkeeper, who took his daughter and their children from him, and dismissed him from the house. Soon after wards Dillon became insane, was confined in a French Lunatic Asylum, arid-there died sometime ago in the prime of life.’

Dennis Nightingale on 23rd June, 2015 wrote:

29913 Dillon Luke - Bussorah Merchant 1831.
  1834 22 November Port Macquarie SG.
  MR. LUKE DILLON. We feel infinite pleasure in copying the following paragraph from Stewart’s Despatch. When the gratifying intelligence reached this country, the joy of the people for many miles around was un-bounded. Bonfires were lighted in every village, and the entire neighbourhood from Westmeath to Carnedoe was in a blaze.- Roscommon Journal, June 27th : - PARDON OF LUKE DILLON.- Many Unfounded rumours have been at various times spread respecting Mr. Luke Dillon since his banishment from this country. Applications for his pardon have been for some time under the consideration of Government, the result of which has been at length communicated by Lord Melbourne, in a letter just received at Dublin Castle. His Lordship’s letter states, that on the fullest consideration of the documents laid before him, he has advised his Majesty to grant a pardon to Mr. Dillon, subject, however to the re- striction that he shall not be permitted to reside out of his Majesty’s Australian dominions.-Stewart’s Despatch Mr. Dillon, is now, we believe, at Port Macquarie.
Quote from James Mudies’ ‘Felonry of New South Wales’ - An Irishman whose crime drew down on him the execration of all and who is now a regular frequenter of the billiard rooms, the theatre and other places of amusement.

Convict Changes History

Dennis Nightingale on 23rd June, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: years, voyage, source: NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts. (prev. ), firstname: Luke, surname: Dillion, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1807, date of death: 0000, gender: m, occupation, crime

Dennis Nightingale on 23rd June, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, occupation, crime

Dennis Nightingale on 23rd June, 2015 made the following changes:

surname: Dillon (prev. Dillion), alias1: Dillion

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