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John Evenden

John Evenden, one of 209 convicts transported on the Hindostan, 05 October 1840

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Evenden
Aliases: John Edwin Everden
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1819
Occupation: Brewer
Date of Death: 30th May, 1890
Age: 71 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Stealing letters
Convicted at: Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Hindostan
Departure date: 5th October, 1840
Arrival date: 19th January, 1841
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 208 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 227 (115)
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

Eric Harry Daly on 25th December, 2012 wrote:

John Edwin Everden

His trial was at the Old Bailey on 2 counts of letter stealing and was originally given a life sentence.


Tried: C.C.C 11 May 1840
Embarked: 28 Sep 1840
Arrived: 19 Jan 1841
Protestant can read and write
Transported For: letter stealing
Goal Report: not known
Hulk Report: orderly
Stated This Offence, stealing post office letters containing £2.10.4 in money. single
Surgeons Report: no offences, How Employed: general conduct

Trade: brewer and clerk
Height: 5.5 1/4
Age: 21
Complexion: fair
Head: round
Hair: light brown
Whiskers: dark brown
Visage: oval
Forehead: broad
Eyebrows: dark brown
Eyes: blue
Nose: medium
Mouth: small
Chin: large
Native Place: hastings surrey
Remarks: large mark under left eye
Period of Probation: 2 years
Station or Gang: P.P. 31 Jul 1843
Class: P.P.H 5 class
Remarks: 5/42 usefull schoolmaster. 6/42 usefull schoolmaster. 8/42 schoolmaster.
Ticket of Leave: 2 Feb 1847
Conditional Pardon: 30 Jan 1849
Tried Hobart Town 12 Sep 1871- Larceny of money- eighteen months imprisonment.

John Edwin Evenden convict, constable and caretaker, was born at St Leonards, Sussex, England, son of a builder. While employed as a brewer and clerk in London, John was sentenced to fourteen years transportation for stealing letters containing £2 10s. 4d. He arrived in Hobart Town in the Hindostan on 19 January 1841 and was sent to Port Arthur, where his exemplary conduct soon brought rewards.

Employed as a schoolmaster during his period of probation, Evenden became a constable and, according to his own account, gave invaluable service to the authorities. The bushranger Martin Cash supported his claims of efficiency: ‘my own case affording a melancholy proof’. In 1870 Marcus Clarke was told of ‘the acuteness of Mr John Evenden’. On 2 March 1851 at Tasman Peninsula he had married Margaret Louisa Flora MacDonald. They were to have nine children. When the constabulary was reduced in 1861, Evenden leased the former government farm at Saltwater River but, just over a year later, suffered financially when the property was resumed.

An appointment as policeman at New Norfolk in 1863 was timely but ultimately unfortunate. Evenden’s wife had long suffered from mental illness and was often a patient at the New Norfolk Asylum. With a large family and sick wife, in 1871 Evenden was charged with misappropriating £140 in road trust monies and sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment, the presiding judge noting the similarity to his original offence.

Freed after fifteen months, Evenden remained at Port Arthur and, as he had done some thirty years earlier, became a constable. He also acted as wharfinger, coxswain, semaphore repairer, and telegraph operator. With the closure of the settlement looming, he was appointed caretaker at five shillings per day and also acted as guide to the tourists who came to the previously restricted area. He remained on the payroll until 1881, when his duties were taken over by the police constable. Given a half pension, but refused a full pension or a position with light duties, he remained on Tasman Peninsula, where he owned a small amount of land. In 1884 he wrote his memoirs so that they could be used as an authoritative account of the settlement. Enlivened by personal experience but marred by inaccuracy, his account was nevertheless used by Port Arthur guides until at least 1954.

Evenden died at the General Hospital, Hobart, on 30 May 1890, survived by his wife, five daughters and two sons. He was buried in Cornelian Bay cemetery and his death noted on his convict record.

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 25th December, 2012 made the following changes:

alias1, date of birth 1819, date of death 30th May, 1890, occupation, crime

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