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John Hanisell

John Hanisell, one of 130 convicts transported on the Sir Charles Forbes, 23 November 1824

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Hanisell
Aliases: Hansell
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1806
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 18th July, 1844
Age: 38 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 58 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Theft
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Sir Charles Forbes
Departure date: 23rd November, 1824
Arrival date: 18th April, 1825
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 129 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 231 (117)
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

Maureen Withey on 9th June, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 June 2020), September 1823, trial of JOHN HANISEL JACOB LEVY (t18230910-285).
JOHN HANISEL, JACOB LEVY, Theft > theft from a specified place, Theft > receiving, 10th September 1823.

Before Mr. Recorder.

1254. JOHN HANISEL was indicted for stealing, on the 10th of September , a watch, value 3 l. 10 s., the goods of John James Harris , in his dwelling-house ; and JACOB LEVY was indicted for feloniously receiving the same, well knowing it to be stolen.

JOHN JAMES HARRIS. I rent a house in Upper Nightingale-lane, Bishopsgate without , and am a watchmaker . On the 10th of September, my shopman came to inform me that a watch was stolen - I examined, and missed a customer’s watch off my shop board. I gave information the afternoon after it was stolen. Hanisel was brought to my house, about two o’clock - I immediately went in pursuit of Levy; I met him in East Smithfield, collared him, and told him there was a valuable watch stolen from my shop, by Hanisel, his lodger, and he had received it from him, and given him 8 s. for it - he protested solemnly that he never saw it. He was brought before Hanisel, at my house, and said,

“Oh! you wicked youth, for charging me with the robbery, you know I know nothing of it, I have received no watch from you at all, and did not know you had one.” Hanisel answered,

“Oh! Levy, you know you waited at the window, while I took the watch out, and you gave me 8 s. for it when I brought it out, and said it was an old watch, and worth no more;” he still denied all knowledge of it. The servant came in, and said she saw Levy at the window - he at last said,

“I wish you would let me speak to Brant;” he went into the kitchen with him; then came out, and said,

“I have got the watch from the prisoner, but I gave him 30 s. for it;” 3 l. 10 s. is a very low value for it - I should sell it to a dealer for that. I went with Levy and Brant, and he gave me up the watch.

Prisoner LEVY. Q. It was not me that gave you the watch - A. He sent a Jew to fetch it, and when he brought it, told him to give it to me.

HENRY BRANT . On the 11th of September, Harris sent for me, and asked if I knew anything of Hanisel - I went down to Blackwall, and then I came up again. I foundHanisel in Levy’s house, in Ratcliff-highway, and told him he was suspected of stealing Harris’s watch; I took him with me - Harris said,

“Where is my watch?” he said,

“You may overhaul me if you like, I have not got it.” I searched him. He then said he had sold the watch to Levy - I went and took Levy, who denied the charge; he was brought to the shop; Hanisel said,

“I sold it to you for 8 s.” Levy afterwards told me to go to a public-house, in Ratcliff-highway.

HANNAH REDGRAVE . I am servant to the prosecutor. On the 10th of September I saw Hanisel come into the shop and go out again; I did not see him take anything. I saw Levy looking in at the window at the time - I am sure of him. Hanisel wentout, and pointed to somebeads in the window - Levy met him at the window when he went out; Hanisel then came into the shop again. Levy then went away; I cannot say where he went to. Hanisel went out again in about half a minute, and the watch was missed. I saw both the prisoners at my master’s next day, and told Levy I saw him standing at the window when Hanisel was in the shop the first time - he denied it.

Prisoner LEVY. Q. What time was it - A. Between twenty minutes and a quarter past four o’clock.

THOMAS HARRISON . I am shopman to Mr. Harris. About a quarter past four o’clock, Hanisel came in, and asked to look at some beads - I shewed him one row, which did not suit; he went out, and pointed to a particular row in the window, then came in, and I shewed them to him - he said he thought they would do, and he would go and fetch his woman; he did not ask about any watch. I saw nobody at the window. He went away, and in about a minute I missed the watch. I went out, but he was gone; he was brought to the shop next day, about two o’clock - I am certain of his person. Levy was charged with receiving it, and denied it at first; the girl said he was outside the window - he said it was false. Hanisel afterwards shewed me how he took it; he said he put his handkerchief over it, and took it up in it, and took it outside to Levy, who said at last, that he had bought it of him for 30 s.

THOMAS HARRISON . I am a constable, and took Hanisel - he said Levy only gave him 8 s. for it.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

HANISEL’S Defence. (Through an Intrepreter.) I lodge at Levy’s. Brant tied my hands together, and beat me, and I confessed that I took it - distress and hunger drove me to it. He beat me, and made me say I sold it to Levy.

HENRY BRANT . I did not beat him; he kicked me, and I gave him a smack in the face.

LEVY’S Defence. The prisoner came to me on Tuesday night, in new clothes, and said he had sold his watch for 28 s., in Rosemary-lane. When the officer came, I said I knew the person who bought it of him, and took them to the man, who delivered it up.


Sentence of Death recorded, but not passed .

LEVY - GUILTY . Aged 55.

Transported for Fourteen Years.

National Archives. HO 17/9/17

Report of Newman Knowlys on George Harvey from London, convicted at the ‘last’ September Sessions at the Old Bailey in 1823, for stealing 1 ewe sheep, value 30/-, in the City of London, property of Samuel Matthews. Knowlys states that the prisoner was free of any circumstances of aggravation and thinks him entitled to recommendation for clemency under the provisions of the statute passed in the last sessions of parliament. Knowlys ordered judgement of death to be recorded against the prisoner and no formal sentence of death was pronounced against him. Judge convinced the prisoner cannot be at large in this country and would therefore recommend him to clemency on conditions of transportation for life.

Report of Newman Knowlys on John Hanisel from London, convicted at the ‘last’ September Sessions at the Old Bailey in 1823, for stealing a watch, value £3:10:0 in the city of London, property of James Harris. Knowlys states that judgement of death was recorded against the prisoner similarly to the case of George Harvey. Judge recommends this prisoner to clemency upon the same condition, transportation for life or such other as the king decides.

Report of Thomas Denman on James Pearson, convicted in the September Sessions of the Old Bailey and upon whom a judgement of death was recorded. Denman has looked back at the circumstances and found that it was his intention to transport him for 7 years and this was intimated to the prisoner in court.

There is also a note stating ‘prepare conditional pardon for: Harvey and Hanisel - life and Pearson - 7 years’. AK 17.
Date: Dec 1823.

D Wong on 10th June, 2020 wrote:

Listed as John Hansell on Tas. records.

1830 Muster: Transported to Maria Island.

1832 Muster: Assigned to Mr. W. Foord.

28/6/1833 The Hobart Town Courier:
John Hansel was sentenced to three year’s hard labour for stealing a bag of salt from Mr. Stokell.

1835 Muster: In Hospital.

2/3/1838: (Newspaper date) TOL

9/11/1838 The Hobart Town Courier:
John Hansell, and John Pemberton, were remanded on a charge of stealing a waistcoat and piece of silk handkerchief out of the shop window of Mr. Strachan, into whose shop they went under pretence of ordering a suit of clothes each.
Discharged by the Attorney General - TOL suspended, 6 months probation.
26/7/1839: TOL restored.

13/8/1839 Coolonial Times, Hobart:
John Hansell, holding a ticket-of-leave, was charged with the following act of shop-lifting:-Mr. Pullen, of Elizabeth-street, stated, that on the 9th instant, about 11 o’clock in the day, prisoner came
to his shop, saying that he was a shop-keeper, up the country, and that if he would charge him as reasonable as any other shop in town, he would deal with him. He then selected out a variety of small articles to the value of £2, and saying, if Mr. Pullen would make out a bill he would call in a quarter of an hour and pay him.
Prisoner was taken into custody in consequence of information given to the Police by Mr. Solomon, of Victoria House, where he had paid a visit, and walked off with some ribbon.
Upon being searched amongst other things, were found upon his person, a case of razors, four tortoiseshell side combs, an eye-glass, a German silver neck chain, and a pocket. The whole of these things
were identified by Mr. Pullen, as having been in his shop when the prisoner called ; he had not sold them, and was positive that the prisoner was the only person who could have stolen them. For this offence his ticket-of-leave was ordered to be cancelled, and he was to be worked upon the roads, in chains, for two years. He was then remanded for some further cases.

3/2/1844 Launceston Examiner:
First Class Probation holder.

18/7/1844: John Hansell died at Port Arthur.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 9th June, 2020 made the following changes:

gender: m

D Wong on 10th June, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: Hansell, date of birth: 1806 (prev. 0000), date of death: 18th July, 1844 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime

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