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John Finch

John Finch, one of 200 convicts transported on the Indian, July 1810

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Finch
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1782
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 21st January, 1840
Age: 58 years

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 Life

Crime: -
Convicted at: Surrey Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Indian
Departure date: July, 1810
Arrival date: 16th December, 1810
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 200 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 20
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

Tony Beale on 25th July, 2021 wrote:

New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856 petitioned the Governor Lachlan Macquarie for land following his conditional pardon dated 4/5/1820

New South Wales, Census and Population Books, Castlereagh and Evan 1811-1825 for John Finch 1820 Listed a having a C.P. and a labourer

New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930 for John Finch
18/4/1836 At Parramatta Gaol tried at Windsor
21/5/1836 Convicted and sent to life at Norfolk Island 28/7/1836. Stated born 1782

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Thu 12 May 1836
John Williams and John Finch, stood indicted for killing a, cow, value 1 pound, with intent to steal the carcase, on the 7lh of April last, the property of Mr John Dunsdon, of Wilberforce
John Cobcroft,- I am constable at Wilbertoren I went to the prisoner’s house at the Curryjong on 7th April last I went there with a search warrant in consequence of some information previously received;  I asked what meat it
was, and they “said a bullock; I replied it must be a cow, from the fineness of the grain; Williams then said it was a cow; I asked him where he got the cow, and he said he had bred it; they said I might go and look for the hide, and that the dogs had eat the head and horns; on the following morning I found the hide in some water near to prisoner’s house; it was a black hide with a white belly; the brand was cut out; when in custody Finch offered to show me where the hide was if I would release him ; this I refused ; Finch then said that if I had been a little later the hide would have been cut up into ropes ; there was a killing place for cattle on the premises, but the cow was not killed there ; I found a bullock and a cow belonging to Mr. Turnbull in the herd of prisoner’s ; they are both free men ; they live together and have cattle of their own ; this is the hide we found.
James McNálly, á, corporal in the mounted police, corroborated the above statement.
James Bligh Johnston.-In consequence of having lost pome cattle I was induced to go to the Kurrajong, about the 7th of April ; amongst prisoner’s cattle I saw a cow belonging to John Dunsdon ; I knew it well from a calf ; it was branded J D; the hide produced is the hide of
that cow ; I waited near the paddock for some time, when I saw Finch between the hours of two and three o’clock drive the black row of Dunsdon’s, with several others, into another paddock nearer the house; I afterwards went to Windsor, and having given the information to Mr.
North, he issued a warrant against the prisoners, and sent Cobcroft, together with some of the mounted police, to apprehend the prisoners; they lived about 8 miles from my place.
John Dunsdon-I had a black cow running on Wilberforce Common; missed it about the 1st April ; I believe the hide produced to be that of my cow.
Thomas Thomas-I am a labourer, and live within three miles of the prisoners; early in Apt I was employed by Finch to kill a cow ; when 1 went for that purpose, Finch drove the cow into the
yard, and whilst I stood to one side, Finch shot it; it was a black and white cow, branded JD; I skinned the beasts, and left the hide with them ; they gave me the head, and a piece of the liver for my trouble ; I will swear that is the hide which I took off.
Cross-examined-We all took a part in skinning the beast; Finch only employed me ; when he shot the beast, he called Williams to come and help us; he came and helped to pull it down ; the beast was not dead then; have killed for Finch before in the same stock yard.
His Honor having carefully gone through the whole of the evidence, commenting upon each particular point, the Jury, after having retired for about half an hour, returned and said they agreed as to one, but differed with respect to the other. Part of the Jury considered that
Williams was not a principal, but merely an accessary after the fact.
His Honor stated in reply, that if they
believed the evidence that the cow was alive when Williams came up, then he was equally guilty with the “other prisoner. The Jury then again consulted for a short time, when they found both prisoners Guilty, Remanded.
Ther were both sentenced to a Penal Settlement for life

New South Wales, Australia, Convict Death Register, 1826-1879 Died age 58 on 21/1/1840 at Norfolk Island Civil Hospital

Convict Changes History

Tony Beale on 25th July, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1782 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation

Tony Beale on 25th July, 2021 made the following changes:

date of death: 21st January, 1840 (prev. 0000)

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