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John Anthony Dobbs

John Anthony Dobbs, one of 200 convicts transported on the John, 26 January 1832

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Anthony Dobbs
Aliases: Anthony Dobbs
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1809
Occupation: Ploughman/shearer/reaper/milkman/sower
Date of Death: 1843
Age: 34 years

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: Horse theft
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: John
Departure date: 26th January, 1832
Arrival date: 8th June, 1832
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 260
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

D Wong on 10th March, 2013 wrote:

John Anthony Dobbs was more commonly known and Anthony Dobbs. 

29/8/1832: Assigned to Andrew Lang, Hunter River.
1837: Assigned to Andrew Lang.
5/8/1840: TOL Maitland

18/1/1841: Aged 32, application to marry Mary Grace, 19, per Isabella 1840.
They had 1 child, Susan, born 1843.

1843: John Anthony Dobbs was struck and killed by lightening.

Tony Beale on 31st December, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey online

Fourth Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Sergeant Arabin.

1001. JOHN ANTHONY DOBBS was indicted for stealing, on the 30th of April , at St. John, Hackney, 1 gelding, price 20l. , the property of George Kersey Blofield .

JOHN TANN . I live in Suffolk, and am bailiff to Mr. George Kersey Blofield . This gelding was lost from a farm of his at Newton flocks, Norfolk - I saw it safe in the stable on the night of the 27th of April, and missed it at half-past four o’clock the next morning; I traced it about a mile towards London, till we came to four cross-ways, and we could not trace it any further - I saw it again last Tuesday week, at the Fountain inn, Lower Clapton; I knew it to be my master’s - he had bred it; I had had it about for two years and a half - I had brought it up; I know the prisoner - I believe he went down to see his friends in Norfolk; I do not recollect that I saw him in the month of April, but I had known him from a child - I never knew the prisoner claim this gelding as his; the stable was not broken open - the horse went in and out; this horse had not been sold by my master, to my knowledge - it was taken out of the stable or the yard.

Cross-examined by MR. BALL. Q. Is your master here? A. No; he is well enough to come to town; he lives in Suffolk- I knew the colt well; my master sometimes buys and sells horses - I do not know a man named Johnson; I have heard of him, and heard he deals in horses; I cannot say whether he might have taken this horse on sale from my master; I am quite certain I knew the horse again - the place I missed it from was about seven miles from Norwich.

HENRY CARTER . I remember this colt being brought to the Fountain inn, Lower Clapton, by the prisoner, on the last day of April - he was on the back of it when he came to me and asked if I had any stabling - I said Yes, and he put it into the stables; I asked how long he was going to stop - he said he might stop, perhaps, till Monday, and said he suspected it was going to Dixon’s; he did not offer it for sale, or any thing of that kind - he might say he was going to take it to Dixon’s, and he said he expected there were two or three coming up besides; I did not see any one else - I am not able to say whether he said he himself was going to take it to Dixon’s, but he said it was to go to Dixon’s; I did make my mark to my deposition before the Magistrate, and what I stated before Mr. Alderman Kelly was true, to the best of my knowledge - the prisoner took out the colt to exercise it; he did not seem to keep it concealed in any way - he took it out with a halter to walk it about in the main road; he had no opportunity to take the horse to the repository- he did say he was to take it to the repository on the Monday, but it was swollen under the girths, on Monday and he said he should not take it till such time as the swelling went down.
Cross-examined. Q. Was not the horse rather unwell? A. He broke out with heat bumps, and the prisoner led him about; he said he was going to Dixon’s repository, and he expected two or three more to come up, but he did not say that horse was going with others - he said he expected two or three more were coming up, but whether he expected them to come there or not, I do not know; the Fountain is opposite Clapton-green, near the reservoir- the prisoner never crossed the horse from the time he brought him into the yard; he walked it to and for in the main road; he never offered it for sale, to my knowledge- I never heard him say a word about Mr. Johnson; he said he expected a person there - he said the horse came from towards Norwich.

COURT. Q. Is not Glapton the high Norfolk road? A. am not able to say whether that, or the Romford road, is- the mail does not go through there, but the Telegraph and the Magnet do; I do not know how many miles it is from there.

JOHN BUNCE . I am an officer of the City. On Monday, the 5th of May, the prisoner was given into my custody.

Prisoner’s Defence. (written) I knew nothing of the horse being stolen; it was placed with me to bring to town from Norwich, by a horse-dealer, whom I had seen for several years at the Norwich market, and whom I knew; I knew him by the name of Johnson - in case I had had the least idea that the horse had been stolen from the prosecutor’s farm, I would immediately have delivered it to the owner, or Tann, who has known me ever since my childhood, and he well knows that there never was at any time the least charge against my character; I lived at Dunston, in Norfolk, till within the last two years, when I left there and obtained a situation with Mr. Edenborough, of Milk-street, with whom I remained one year - I then went to Mr. Sampson’s, and remained with him till I went into the country, and was entrapped into my present unfortunate situation: on the 13th of April I left London to see my relatives, at Wilbarton, in Norfolk - I remained with them till the 27th of April, when I went to Norwich for the purpose of taking the coach to London; I went to a public-house, in St. Stephen’s, Norwich - I there saw Johnson, and told him I was going to London; after some conversation, he said he was going to Dixon’s repository in London, and I might ride one horse there for him; I slept there that night, and the next morning he placed the horse in question saddled and bridled, in my hands, and said he should catch me on the road before I got to London, this was on the 28th of April - I took the horse and proceeded to London very slowly, expecting Johnson to overtake me; he did not, and I arrived at Lower Clapton, on Saturday, the 30th, at eight o’clock, by day-light; I asked the other to accommodate me till Monday - I told him I brought the horse from Norwich, and how long I was going to stop; he has told you I was not at all private - I led the horse about publicly, and did not secrete myself for one moment; the horse was unwell, and I led him about several days, waiting for Johnson; he did not come, and I took the saddle, went to Dixon’s, and inquired for him - I could not hear any thing of him; I then went to Mr. Duffield in the morning; I left the saddle there, called again in the evening, and was given in charge of a constable - had I have been guilty I should not have gone a second time; these are the facts of the case - I did not steal it, it was placed with me by Johnson; I am innocent of the charge, and look with confidence to your verdict for my acquittal - this is the first charge against me.

JURY to JOHN TANN . Q. Had you traced the gelding by the foot-marks? A. Yes, for a mile from the place it was stolen from - there may be persons of the name of Johnson, who frequent the Norwich market.

JURY to HENRY CARTER . Q. Was the colt shod when it arrived at the Fountain? A. Yes; it is still there.

JOHN TANN re-examined. Q. Was it shod when you tracked it? A. No - I had done some little work with it; I had never had it shod - I made inquiry, and found Elder at the Fountain last Monday week.

JOHN DUFFIELD . I am a saddler and harness-maker. The prisoner came to me on the 5th of May to dispose of a saddle; I stated to him a suspicion about the saddle and horse - he referred me to Dixon’s; I asked where he came from - he said from the Fountain inn, Clapton; that he had a horse there, which he brought from a man named Johnson, near Norwich - I gave information; he came again in the evening, and I detained him. (See Fifth Day, New Court.)

Two witnesses gave the prisoner a good character.

[May 17.] GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 22.

Recommended to Mercy by the Jury, believing it to be his first offence.

Old bailey Online

First London Jury, before Mr. Sergeant Arabin.

1189. JOHN ANTHONY DOBBS was indicted for stealing, on the 5th of May , 1 saddle , the goods of Robert Churcher Long .

JOHN DUFFIELD. I am a saddler, and live in Long-lane, Aldersgate-street. The prisoner, who was a perfect stranger, came to my shop, on the 5th of May, to barter a saddle for some web halters, as he told me; I asked him if any one knew him, and he said they would know him at Dixon’s repository - I offered to go there with him; he seemed to acquiesce in that - I sent for my hat, and accompanied him about half the way, when he stopped short, and said it would be useless to go there, as he feared they would not recognize him; I asked him his name, and where he resided - he said his name was John Brown, and he was staying at the Fountain inn, Clapton; I asked who he was staying there with, or what he had, and he told me he had brought a horse from Norwich, or from the neighbourhood of Norwich; I told him it looked very suspicious, on account of his saying he was known at Dixon’s, and then refusing to go, and I did not feel myself justified in giving up the saddle, but I would go to Clapton, and, if it was all right, I would give him the web headed halters and the sovereign, which I had agreed to do for the saddle; before I had time to go he called again, and said I had not been; I said I had not had time- I then asked if he was known to any one else; he said Yes, he was known to the person who kept the Albemarle’s Head, in St. John’s-square; I said, “That is a neighbour of mine, we can soon go there;” he then said he would not go there, as they had had a fall out about a pint of beer - I said I would pay for that, and give him something for going there; he still refused to go, and I then questioned him as to how he had been possessed of the horse - he said he had brought it to town for a man of the name of Johnson, who resided at Norwich; he asked me for the money, and I said I did not feel satisfied at all about paying him the money - I then asked him what he meant to do with the halters; he said, “I thought if I came and asked you to purchase the saddle out and out, you would feel some suspicion in doing so;” I then asked him his name again, and he said John Dobbs -“Why, (said I) you told me in the morning your name was Brown, and now you have a wakened my suspicions so much, that I conceive you have come by this saddle improperly, and I shall call in an officer and give you in charge,” which I did.

Cross-examined by MR. BALL. Q.Did he not say he was called Dobbs very frequently, and Brown, by his friends in Norfolk? A. No - he said he left the horse at Clapton, and I found that to be correct; I sent there to stop the horse - I have ascertained that he came from Norfolk; when he brought the saddle, he looked out six web-headed halters, and asked what I would give him to boot, for the saddle - he told me in the evening that a person of the name of Johnson had given him the horse and saddle to bring to London - I had expressed my doubts the first time he came, when I found he prevaricated, and would not go to Dixon’s - I told him in the evening I did not like the appearance of it; I had appointed to meet him at Clapton, but he came before I had gone out - I went to the landlord of the Albermarle’s Head; I asked him first if he knew a person of the name of Brown - he did not give me a direct answer; I then asked him for the name of Dobbs, and he said he had known him twelve months.

JOHN BUNCE. I am an officer. I took the prisoner, and have had the saddle ever since - this is it.

REV. ROBERT CHURCHER LONG . I live at Dunston, in Norfolk, about four miles from Norwich . This saddle is mine, and was taken from my premises - I missed it about a fortnight ago, as I usually ride with it; my servants could not give me any account of it, till I heard a horse had been stolen in my neighbourhood - the prisoner had been in my service as a boy; he served under his uncle, who worked for me as a bricklayer; he left me about two years ago - the person who lost the horse lives about two miles from me.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you know a person named Johnson? A. No; I am not much accustomed to be at Norwich-market - the prisoner lived with me four or five years; I always thought him honest, quiet, and a civil young man - he was with my wife in Devonshire, and from thence came to London; his uncle is named Brown, and he was brought up with him; this is a common saddle, but the edge of it is plush velvet - I say positively it is mine.

The prisoner put in a written defence, stating that Johnson, a horse dealer, had given him the saddle and horse to bring to town to sell.

GUILTY . Aged 22. - (See page 509.)

Tony Beale on 31st December, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey online

Fourth Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Sergeant Arabin.

1001. JOHN ANTHONY DOBBS was indicted for stealing, on the 30th of April , at St. John, Hackney, 1 gelding, price 20l. , the property of George Kersey Blofield .

JOHN TANN . I live in Suffolk, and am bailiff to Mr. George Kersey Blofield . This gelding was lost from a farm of his at Newton flocks, Norfolk - I saw it safe in the stable on the night of the 27th of April, and missed it at half-past four o’clock the next morning; I traced it about a mile towards London, till we came to four cross-ways, and we could not trace it any further - I saw it again last Tuesday week, at the Fountain inn, Lower Clapton; I knew it to be my master’s - he had bred it; I had had it about for two years and a half - I had brought it up; I know the prisoner - I believe he went down to see his friends in Norfolk; I do not recollect that I saw him in the month of April, but I had known him from a child - I never knew the prisoner claim this gelding as his; the stable was not broken open - the horse went in and out; this horse had not been sold by my master, to my knowledge - it was taken out of the stable or the yard.

Cross-examined by MR. BALL. Q. Is your master here? A. No; he is well enough to come to town; he lives in Suffolk- I knew the colt well; my master sometimes buys and sells horses - I do not know a man named Johnson; I have heard of him, and heard he deals in horses; I cannot say whether he might have taken this horse on sale from my master; I am quite certain I knew the horse again - the place I missed it from was about seven miles from Norwich.

HENRY CARTER . I remember this colt being brought to the Fountain inn, Lower Clapton, by the prisoner, on the last day of April - he was on the back of it when he came to me and asked if I had any stabling - I said Yes, and he put it into the stables; I asked how long he was going to stop - he said he might stop, perhaps, till Monday, and said he suspected it was going to Dixon’s; he did not offer it for sale, or any thing of that kind - he might say he was going to take it to Dixon’s, and he said he expected there were two or three coming up besides; I did not see any one else - I am not able to say whether he said he himself was going to take it to Dixon’s, but he said it was to go to Dixon’s; I did make my mark to my deposition before the Magistrate, and what I stated before Mr. Alderman Kelly was true, to the best of my knowledge - the prisoner took out the colt to exercise it; he did not seem to keep it concealed in any way - he took it out with a halter to walk it about in the main road; he had no opportunity to take the horse to the repository- he did say he was to take it to the repository on the Monday, but it was swollen under the girths, on Monday and he said he should not take it till such time as the swelling went down.
Cross-examined. Q. Was not the horse rather unwell? A. He broke out with heat bumps, and the prisoner led him about; he said he was going to Dixon’s repository, and he expected two or three more to come up, but he did not say that horse was going with others - he said he expected two or three more were coming up, but whether he expected them to come there or not, I do not know; the Fountain is opposite Clapton-green, near the reservoir- the prisoner never crossed the horse from the time he brought him into the yard; he walked it to and for in the main road; he never offered it for sale, to my knowledge- I never heard him say a word about Mr. Johnson; he said he expected a person there - he said the horse came from towards Norwich.

COURT. Q. Is not Glapton the high Norfolk road? A. am not able to say whether that, or the Romford road, is- the mail does not go through there, but the Telegraph and the Magnet do; I do not know how many miles it is from there.

JOHN BUNCE . I am an officer of the City. On Monday, the 5th of May, the prisoner was given into my custody.

Prisoner’s Defence. (written) I knew nothing of the horse being stolen; it was placed with me to bring to town from Norwich, by a horse-dealer, whom I had seen for several years at the Norwich market, and whom I knew; I knew him by the name of Johnson - in case I had had the least idea that the horse had been stolen from the prosecutor’s farm, I would immediately have delivered it to the owner, or Tann, who has known me ever since my childhood, and he well knows that there never was at any time the least charge against my character; I lived at Dunston, in Norfolk, till within the last two years, when I left there and obtained a situation with Mr. Edenborough, of Milk-street, with whom I remained one year - I then went to Mr. Sampson’s, and remained with him till I went into the country, and was entrapped into my present unfortunate situation: on the 13th of April I left London to see my relatives, at Wilbarton, in Norfolk - I remained with them till the 27th of April, when I went to Norwich for the purpose of taking the coach to London; I went to a public-house, in St. Stephen’s, Norwich - I there saw Johnson, and told him I was going to London; after some conversation, he said he was going to Dixon’s repository in London, and I might ride one horse there for him; I slept there that night, and the next morning he placed the horse in question saddled and bridled, in my hands, and said he should catch me on the road before I got to London, this was on the 28th of April - I took the horse and proceeded to London very slowly, expecting Johnson to overtake me; he did not, and I arrived at Lower Clapton, on Saturday, the 30th, at eight o’clock, by day-light; I asked the other to accommodate me till Monday - I told him I brought the horse from Norwich, and how long I was going to stop; he has told you I was not at all private - I led the horse about publicly, and did not secrete myself for one moment; the horse was unwell, and I led him about several days, waiting for Johnson; he did not come, and I took the saddle, went to Dixon’s, and inquired for him - I could not hear any thing of him; I then went to Mr. Duffield in the morning; I left the saddle there, called again in the evening, and was given in charge of a constable - had I have been guilty I should not have gone a second time; these are the facts of the case - I did not steal it, it was placed with me by Johnson; I am innocent of the charge, and look with confidence to your verdict for my acquittal - this is the first charge against me.

JURY to JOHN TANN . Q. Had you traced the gelding by the foot-marks? A. Yes, for a mile from the place it was stolen from - there may be persons of the name of Johnson, who frequent the Norwich market.

JURY to HENRY CARTER . Q. Was the colt shod when it arrived at the Fountain? A. Yes; it is still there.

JOHN TANN re-examined. Q. Was it shod when you tracked it? A. No - I had done some little work with it; I had never had it shod - I made inquiry, and found Elder at the Fountain last Monday week.

JOHN DUFFIELD . I am a saddler and harness-maker. The prisoner came to me on the 5th of May to dispose of a saddle; I stated to him a suspicion about the saddle and horse - he referred me to Dixon’s; I asked where he came from - he said from the Fountain inn, Clapton; that he had a horse there, which he brought from a man named Johnson, near Norwich - I gave information; he came again in the evening, and I detained him. (See Fifth Day, New Court.)

Two witnesses gave the prisoner a good character.

[May 17.] GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 22.

Recommended to Mercy by the Jury, believing it to be his first offence.

Old bailey Online

First London Jury, before Mr. Sergeant Arabin.

1189. JOHN ANTHONY DOBBS was indicted for stealing, on the 5th of May , 1 saddle , the goods of Robert Churcher Long .

JOHN DUFFIELD. I am a saddler, and live in Long-lane, Aldersgate-street. The prisoner, who was a perfect stranger, came to my shop, on the 5th of May, to barter a saddle for some web halters, as he told me; I asked him if any one knew him, and he said they would know him at Dixon’s repository - I offered to go there with him; he seemed to acquiesce in that - I sent for my hat, and accompanied him about half the way, when he stopped short, and said it would be useless to go there, as he feared they would not recognize him; I asked him his name, and where he resided - he said his name was John Brown, and he was staying at the Fountain inn, Clapton; I asked who he was staying there with, or what he had, and he told me he had brought a horse from Norwich, or from the neighbourhood of Norwich; I told him it looked very suspicious, on account of his saying he was known at Dixon’s, and then refusing to go, and I did not feel myself justified in giving up the saddle, but I would go to Clapton, and, if it was all right, I would give him the web headed halters and the sovereign, which I had agreed to do for the saddle; before I had time to go he called again, and said I had not been; I said I had not had time- I then asked if he was known to any one else; he said Yes, he was known to the person who kept the Albemarle’s Head, in St. John’s-square; I said, “That is a neighbour of mine, we can soon go there;” he then said he would not go there, as they had had a fall out about a pint of beer - I said I would pay for that, and give him something for going there; he still refused to go, and I then questioned him as to how he had been possessed of the horse - he said he had brought it to town for a man of the name of Johnson, who resided at Norwich; he asked me for the money, and I said I did not feel satisfied at all about paying him the money - I then asked him what he meant to do with the halters; he said, “I thought if I came and asked you to purchase the saddle out and out, you would feel some suspicion in doing so;” I then asked him his name again, and he said John Dobbs -“Why, (said I) you told me in the morning your name was Brown, and now you have a wakened my suspicions so much, that I conceive you have come by this saddle improperly, and I shall call in an officer and give you in charge,” which I did.

Cross-examined by MR. BALL. Q.Did he not say he was called Dobbs very frequently, and Brown, by his friends in Norfolk? A. No - he said he left the horse at Clapton, and I found that to be correct; I sent there to stop the horse - I have ascertained that he came from Norfolk; when he brought the saddle, he looked out six web-headed halters, and asked what I would give him to boot, for the saddle - he told me in the evening that a person of the name of Johnson had given him the horse and saddle to bring to London - I had expressed my doubts the first time he came, when I found he prevaricated, and would not go to Dixon’s - I told him in the evening I did not like the appearance of it; I had appointed to meet him at Clapton, but he came before I had gone out - I went to the landlord of the Albermarle’s Head; I asked him first if he knew a person of the name of Brown - he did not give me a direct answer; I then asked him for the name of Dobbs, and he said he had known him twelve months.

JOHN BUNCE. I am an officer. I took the prisoner, and have had the saddle ever since - this is it.

REV. ROBERT CHURCHER LONG . I live at Dunston, in Norfolk, about four miles from Norwich . This saddle is mine, and was taken from my premises - I missed it about a fortnight ago, as I usually ride with it; my servants could not give me any account of it, till I heard a horse had been stolen in my neighbourhood - the prisoner had been in my service as a boy; he served under his uncle, who worked for me as a bricklayer; he left me about two years ago - the person who lost the horse lives about two miles from me.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you know a person named Johnson? A. No; I am not much accustomed to be at Norwich-market - the prisoner lived with me four or five years; I always thought him honest, quiet, and a civil young man - he was with my wife in Devonshire, and from thence came to London; his uncle is named Brown, and he was brought up with him; this is a common saddle, but the edge of it is plush velvet - I say positively it is mine.

The prisoner put in a written defence, stating that Johnson, a horse dealer, had given him the saddle and horse to bring to town to sell.

GUILTY . Aged 22. - (See page 509.)

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 10th March, 2013 made the following changes:

alias1, date of birth 1808, date of death 1843, gender, occupation, crime

Anthony on 4th December, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 0000 (prev. 1808)

Tony Beale on 31st December, 2020 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1809 (prev. 0000)

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