Hi Guest!
Contribute to this record

Patrick Gannon

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Patrick Gannon
Aliases: Gammon, Cannon
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1779
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 23rd March, 1803
Age: 24 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: Political prisoner
Convicted at: Ireland, Meath
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Atlas
Departure date: 29th November, 1801
Arrival date: 7th July, 1802
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: http://www.nationalarchives.ie Convict Ship Indents for "Atlas I"" Sydney gazettes - 5 March 1803, page 3; 19 March, 1803 p 2 ; 26 March 1803 pages 1 and 4 St Phillips Church Burial Registers
Source description:

Did you find the person you were looking for?

If Patrick Gannon was the person you were looking for, you may be able to discover more about them by looking at our resources page.

If you have more hunting to do, try a new search or browse the convict records.

Know more about Patrick Gannon?

Contribute to this record

Community Contributions

Eric Harry Daly on 27th December, 2012 wrote:

From the writings of Laurence Butler, 1798 Irish Rebel, Convict and Cabinet Maker:

In 1803, fifteen Irish convicts broke out of the Government Farm at Castle Hill, and broke into several nearby farms looking for arms and food etc. Two of them, Patrick Gannon and Francis Simpson, broke into the farms belonging to the Bean and Bradley families at nearby Toongabbie. They proceeded to shoot one of their servants in the face with one of their captured guns, grossly disfiguring him for life, and then committed the outrage of pack raping the 18 year old daughter of James Bean, named Rose, in front of her horrified mother. When captured, the fifteen all faced harsh punishments, and these two in particular would be executed- hanged near the spot where this outrage was committed, outside the Bean Farm, supposedly so the Bean family could see justice carried out. Simpson had been transported on the ‘Atlas 2’, while Gannon arrived on the ‘Atlas 1’.
The ‘Sydney Gazette’ Saturday 5 March 1803 page 3 described:
They proceeded to the farm houses of Bradley and Bean at Balkham Hills. In Mrs Bean’s house they gave aloose to sensuality, equally brutal and unmanly. Resistance was to no avail, for their rapacity was unbridled.
Rose Bean would marry the convict Thomas Dunn within a few months of the rape and it has been suggested that she gave birth to a daughter, a result of the rape. One of their younger daughters, Margaret Dunn, would marry Laurence Butler’s son Walter, ancestors of author’s Butler family. The Bean and Bradley families were free settlers who arrived in 1799 on the ‘Buffalo’. Rose Bean’s father James Bean, a carpenter by trade, was contracted in 1811 to build the Rum Hospital, now comprising the NSW House of Parliament building and the old Mint Museum.

Robin Sharkey on 1st December, 2016 wrote:

Patrick Gannon was tried at Meath, and transported for life on the “Atlas 1” arriving in July 1801.  He was aged 22 years on boarding the ship at Meath in 1801.

Patrick Gannon, aged about 22 yrs, was given a flogging on board the journey on the “Atlas”. The ship had been overcrowded with the Captain’s goods for sale in NSW at a profit to him.  It meant there was not enough room for the convicts’ rations, or to be able to properly air the hold where they were chained, or to let them out very often. In these conditions there was great discontent, and great fear by Brooks of insurrection by the convicts.  The other convict ship they were travelling with, Hercules, had already an attempted convict mutiny on board.

After leaving Rio on 25 Feb, any noise, disturbance etc from the convicts had Brooks on edge. So he kept a tight lid on them. Rumours abounded, they were kept chained, searched. Information from informers was well received by Capt Brooks, thereby encouraging the informers.  On 13 March a convict (Patrick Coleman) informed of a proposed mutiny (untrue) and three other convicts also came forward with stories.

There was nothing of substance and Brooks eventually had each of them flogged (except one, Patrick McDermott) and all those they informed on, to attempt to extract confession.  Nineteen were flogged.

On 15 March one of the group of three convicts who first informed - Patrick McDermott - who was from Meath, informed again: that poison had been smuggled on board to poison the soldiers. He named, as the poison culprits, Patrick Gannon, William Holligan (or Houlahan) and Michael Byrne, who all happened to be from Meath.  Perhaps he had a score to settle with them from back in Meath. There was no truth in his stories.  He also named other convicts as those who would take over the ship.

The three named poison smugglers were flogged. According to research into the journals, one of these, Michael Byrne, failed to survive the flogging and reach NSW.  The other two, however, did.
FROM “Journey into Hell” Chapter 11 -Beyond the Sea by Brian Ahern (extracted by Jen Willett’s with permission on her website).  Patrick Gannon was to go on to an even grimmer punishment.

Robin Sharkey on 1st December, 2016 wrote:


Patrick Gannon was one of twelve men who escaped from Castle Hill on the 15th February in a plan to head west of Sydney. They went to Colonel Verincourt De Clambe’s house at Castle Hill. His convict housekeeper and mistress was Mary Turley off “Hercules”, Irish pickpocket well known in Dublin.

When Mary Turley saw the men loitering outside her house, she locked the door. However the convict servant Patrick McDermott, who was in cahoot s with them persuaded her from the outside to open it by knocking and telling her that he there was a constable with a letter from the master.  Then a group of eight of the men charged in, took firearms and ammunition, silver spoons, buckles, a telescope and clothing. They left with McDermott joining them, and went and raided another farm. This Patrick McDermott was the same person who had informed on Patrick Gannon on board “Atlas” as having smuggled poison on board and caused him to be flogged with two others!

At the trial Mary Turley very positively identified Simpson, because he had compelled her to fill two glasses of wine for him. Sydney Gazette, 19 March 1803, p.2

Patrick Gannon and Francis Simpson (tried Galway, arrived per Atlas II)  appear to have separated themselves from the main party the next day, because they were seen together at Lapstone Hill Here they stole bread from Joseph Willoughby (“Willerby’).

It did not come out in the court evidence at trial that Gannon and Simpson had gone to other farm houses, shot a servant in the face or raped 18 year old Rose Bean in front of her mother, on their farm.  (See writings of Laurence butler referred to above, but not specifically sourced).

However it was reported in the Sydney Gazette of 5 March 1803 p 3 that the “labouring men” who had escaped from Castle Hill on 15 February, after describing the ransacking of Mr DeClambs’ house, had:

“ …  next proceeded to the farm houses of Bradley and Bean, at Balkham Hills. Mrs. Bradley’s servant man they wantonly and inhumanly discharged a pistol at, the contents of which have so shattered his face as to render him a ghastly spectacle, in all probability, during the remainder of his life. In Mrs. Bean’s house they gave a loose to sensuality, equally brutal and unmanly. Resistance was of no avail, for their rapacity was unbridled. Numerous other delinquencies were perpetrated by this licentious banditti, whose ravages, however, could not long escape the certain tread of Justice.”

It was then reported that “Two of the depredators were taken into custody upon the second day after their flight near the Hawkesbury road, by Mr. JAMIESON, junior, assisted by A. Thomson, Chief Constable at Hawesbury, and a party of the Military, who had been dispatched in pursuit
of them.”

They may have been treated more harshly than the others because they had perpetrated this assault and rape. Gannon and Simpson were tried on 11th march and hanged on 8 days later on 23rd March, as was Patrick Macdermott.


The three were taken from Sydney Gaol early on a Monday morning,  taken to the provost Martial, and then up to Parramatta from the wharf by boat under a guard of constables. There they were put in the watch-house overnight.

Next morning they were taken out the eight miles to Castle Hill where they arrived at half-past-ten in the morning with Rev Marsden. (From Sydney Gazette, 26 March 1803 page 4)

“The fatal tree, which had been purposely erected near to the spot on which they had committed the offence for which they were about to atone, was half-surrounded, by the Parramatta Detachment, formed semi-circularly. At a proper distance stood a concourse of spectators, composed chiefly of the prisoners employed at Castle-Hill and places adjacent, orderly assembled,
with their overseers. Mr. Marsden, with his usual fervor, emphatically administered the only consolation the unfortunate men were capable of receiving …”

“At 11 the criminals ascended a temporary scaffold that had been erected on the end of the cart ; and, when the executioner was about to drive away the vehicle, Macdermot was reprieved. (!!!)
As soon as he descended, Gannan and Simpson were launched into eternity. “

The newspaper first incorrectly reported Simpson as behaving penitently, however corrected this on Page 1 to say “ Patrick Gannan it was who behaved himself with a penitence becoming his situation, but Francis Simpson died truly impenitent and hardened.”

Therefore the following description is of the last hours of Patrick Gannon:

“ The latter man behaved penitently during the whole of his confinement ; but the former, as if insensitive of the terrors of his situation, had conducted himself with unbecoming levity and the near approach of death, when he listened with much attention to the exhortation of the Minister, and we feel the highest satisfaction in adding, also died a penitent.”  Sydney Gazette - 26 March 1803 Page 4

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 27th December, 2012 made the following changes:

convicted at, term 99 years, voyage, source, firstname, surname, alias1, alias2, alias3, alias4, date of birth 0000, date of death 1803, gender, occupation, crime

Robin Sharkey on 1st December, 2016 made the following changes:

source: http://www.nationalarchives.ie Convict Ship Indents for "Atlas I"" St Phillips Church Burial Registers (prev. http://www.nationalarchives.ie), alias1: Gammon, alias2: Cannon, date of birth: 1779 (prev. 0000), date of death: 23rd March, 1803 (prev.

Robin Sharkey on 1st December, 2016 made the following changes:

source: http://www.nationalarchives.ie Convict Ship Indents for "Atlas I"" Sydney gazettes - 5 March 1803, page 3; 19 March, 1803 p 2 ; 26 March 1803 pages 1 and 4 St Phillips Church Burial Registers (prev. http://www.nationalarchives.ie Convict Ship Inde

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