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John Hancock

John Hancock, one of 250 convicts transported on the General Stewart, 19 July 1818

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Hancock
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1795
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 10th June, 1864
Age: 69 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: Burglary
Convicted at: Wiltshire Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: General Stewart
Departure date: 19th July, 1818
Arrival date: 31st December, 1818
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 249 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 76
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

Anonymous on 17th August, 2011 wrote:

John Hancock married Mary Bryan. Had 4 chn Charles Joseph born 1836 Campbelltown NSW. Daughter name unknown born 1838,
Francis Born 1840 Berrima NSW,
Richard born 1841 Berrima.
Mary died 28 Dec 1842 Buried at Berrima Cemetery. John remarried Sarah Skildin 23 Oct 1843 All Saints Church Sutton Forest NSW, no chn.
John died 10 june 1864 Glenrock near Marulan NSW.

Anonymous on 4th February, 2012 wrote:

1818 Whilst in the company of George and Thomas Biggs, burgled the house of a Mr. Sainsbury in Corsham Wiltshire.  They stole 2 silver jugs along with some other silver pieces.  Sentenced to Death.
Sentence commuted to Life and arrived per the General Stewart 31/12/1818 and put in the Hyde Park Barracks.
Aug 9th 1822 Applied for permission to marry, (Elizabeth Wingfield who arrived on the Lord Wellington in 1820, she however, married fellow convict Edward Clouder in 1823, so I feel permission was denied).
1823 AWOL from barracks and sentenced to 25 lashes.
1823 Assigned to Robert Cooper, himself a convict who was now free and had started a gin distillery in Sydney.
8/11/1824 Committed for trial for forgery. He had presented himself to a company called Aspinall & Co., Tobacco Merchants witha note for 2 baskets of tobacco to be delivered to Mr. Cooper, however the note was so badly written they immediately became suspicious and held John there and called for Mr Cooper to attend the shop, which he did and promptly denied having written or knowing anything about it.
13/1/25 Trial commenced.

Anonymous on 4th February, 2012 wrote:

25/1/1825 AWOL from barracks.
13/2/1825 Still missing
10/2/1825 Still missing
John is described as being 5ft 3 1/2 inches tall, black hair, hazel eyes and a fair/ruddy complexion.
31/3/1825 Sentenced to be removed to Port Macquarie for 3 years, however is instead transported to Moreton Bay which was just being established as a secondary penal settlement mostly for secondary offenders.
1826 From the Superintendents’ Report of Moreton Bay John is listed as working as a bricklayer, building buildings and chimneys etc.
April 1828 John is transported back to Pt Jackson and back in the Hyde Park Barracks.
10/12/1828 AWOL

Anonymous on 4th February, 2012 wrote:

10/12/1828 AWOL from Hyde Park Barracks again.
21/6/1832 Absconded from the employ of Mr William Lawson of Prospect (he was one of the explorers who found the way out to Bathurst)employment listed as a stonemason.
1841 Census, listed as at Mereworth in the district of Berrima has 2 sons and 1 daughter and a wife and is working on the land.
1852 In the Syd. Morning Herald there is a notice which says:-  Whereas my son Frank Hancock, left my house, without my knowledge or consent, about October last:  This is to give notice, that I will prosecute, with the utmost rigour of the law, any person empoloying or harbouring him after this date.  He is thirteen years of age, light complexion, short, and thin. Dated at Sutton Forest, this 27th April, 1852. Signed John Hancock.
His son Charles Joseph married Catherine Leary in Berrima, they had 8 childred and made their way to Casino where they are both buried, along with some of their children.
Francis obviously came home at some point because he married Sarah Dare in Berrima.  They had children in Goulburn and then a couple more in Albury, I have checked all the bmd’s in Australia and cannot find them however, there is a Farncis and Sarah Hancock buried in NZ, the dates match so it could be them.
The daughter I cannot track, it could be Mary Anne Hancock but I can’t be sure.  Any further held would be greatly appreciated.
Richard married Jane Oslington and is fully detailed under John Oslington in the Monaro Pioneers website.

John Lane on 16th June, 2012 wrote:

Francis appears to have run off and "married" Johanna/Josephine M. Garland, at Junee, abt 1880. He was still married to Sarah at the time.

Johanna and Francis had one son, George Francis Hancock, born late 1882 at Walgett (Reg.No. 26061/1883). His mothers name is listed as Josephine M. on the Certificate. She died at Walgett in 1885, possibly in childbirth (Reg No.12645).

It seems Francis and George returned to the Murrumbidgee area around 1890.

George was aged 17, living at Tumut at the time of his fathers death there in 1899. He was the informant on his fathers death certificate. George was wounded badly during WW1, but survived.

Sarah remarried in 1902.

Maureen Withey on 5th May, 2019 wrote:

Nineteen convicts were on Thursday removed from Fisherton gaol, and put on board the Laurel hulk at Gosport, Salisbury Journal, 25 May 1818

HO 9-9-1 Records of Laurel, Hardy and York Hulks, in Portsmouth Harbour, 1805-1831, page 43.
Received from Wiltshire May 1818, (19 prisoners)
John Hancock, age 23, convicted at Wilts Assizes of a felony, 7 March 1818, sentenced to transportation for life. Discharged (to ship) 3 June 1818.

Maureen Withey on 31st July, 2019 wrote:

No 96, John Hancock, Gen Stuart, Salisbury, 7 Mar 1818, life, quarryman.  Colonial sentence, Bench Sydney, 24 Mar 1825, 3 years. To Sydney 1 May 1828

Police Report, March 24
John Hancock, prisoner of the crown, was also brought up charged with having uttered, knowing to be forged, a certain order for the delivery of two baskets of tobacco, in the name of R. Cooper, on Messrs. Browne and Aspinall, (the depositions of which had been returned by the Attorney General, in like manner as the preceeding, and on which the prisoner had been committed for trial on the 13th of November last), and sentenced to be removed to Port Macquarie for 3 years.
Sydney Gazette, 31 Mar 1825

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 27th October, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1795, date of death 10th June, 1864, gender

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