Contribute to this record
John Harris, one of 160 convicts transported on the Prince Regent, 17 September 1819
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 59 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 235(119)
||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.
Did you find the person you were looking for?
If John Harris 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.
Maureen Withey on 22nd January, 2020 wrote:
Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 January 2020), April 1819, trial of JOHN HARRIS CHARLES ELLIOTT (t18190421-25).
JOHN HARRIS, CHARLES ELLIOTT, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 21st April 1819.
525. JOHN HARRIS and CHARLES ELLIOTT were indicted for feloniously assaulting Robert Rowland Willan , on the King’s highway, on the 4th of April , at St. Mary, Islington , putting him in fear, and taking from hisperson, and against his will, one watch, value 5 l.; one seal, value 16 s., and one watch-key, value 4 s. his property .
ROBERT ROWLAND WILLAN . I am a mason , and live in Pierpoint-lane, Islington. On Sunday evening, the 4th of April, I was at the Nag’s Head, Islington, with George Hill - we had a glass of gin each, and left the house ten minutes before ten o’clock - we had not staid in the house above two minutes. Immediately we came out of the house, Hill was knocked down by a gang of about a dozen men, who were coming along as we came out. I went to pick him up - they came up, and asked me what I had to do with it? One of them knocked me down, and I immediately missed my watch out of my fob. I took one of them into custody, and gave him in charge to the watchman - it was Elliott - they took him to the watch-house. They knocked me down first. The watchman came up, and assisted me in securing him. The rest of the gang ran off, and did not attempt to rescue him. I did not see the prisoner, Harris, among them. The gang all assisted each other, and were of the same party. They attacked me on the pavement, hustled me about, and knocked me down. My watch was safe just before. It had a key and seal to it.
GEORGE HILL . I am a bricklayer. I was in company with Willan. We called at the Nag’s Head, had a glass of gin each, and came out directly. When we got about three steps from the door, we were met by a gang of ten or a dozen men - they pushed against my left shoulder. I made way for them to pass, and said,
“Halloo, my lads, what is that for?” Immediately as I said the words, I was knocked down. Willan came to my assistance, picked up my hat, put it on my head, and helped me up. The prisoner, Harris, came up to Willan, and shoved him back - I saw him draw his hand off. Willan immediately said,
“George, I have lost my watch!” I know Harris to be the man by his dress and his hair. He had a light drab great-coat on, and a small-brimmed hat. Next morning I sent Willan to Lack to give information and to describe him. He was apprehended with two others that morning. I went to the Nag’s Head and saw him in custody of Lack, and pointed him out from two other immediately. I said,
“This is the man who had the watch” - he said,
“So help me G - d, you are wrong!” I am sure he is the man - I took particular notice of him. He said he was elsewhere that night.
Cross-examined by MR. BOLLAND. I had been with Willan all day - we only drank a glass of gin. We had a pot of half-and-half at another house in the afternoon, Harris drove the prosecutor back, face to face, several paces.
Q. Then he had a better opportunity of observing him than you had - A. They were close together. I saw no watch in his hand, but the moment I saw Harris draw his hand up Willan said he had lost his watch. He was apprehended next day at the very spot where the robbery was committed, and said he was in Drury-lane at the time.
Prisoner. Q. Did you not say at the office that you was drunk - A. No.
SAMUEL LACK . I am a constable of Bow-street. I received information, and went in search of the prisoner, Harris. On Monday, the 5th of April, between nine and ten o’clock in the morning, I saw him about two hundred yards from the watch-house, in company with another man, they were leaning against some railing, talking together. I watched them till they got near the watch-house - they then joined a third man. Harris left them, and sat himself down on the railing of the watch-house, close to the door. I sent for Willan and Hill. All three were then coming down together from the watch-house. I followed them into the Nag’s Head - I then told them that I took them into custody, and put them into the tap-room. The landlord, the man-servant, and another person were there. Willan and Hill came; I told them to go into the room, and see if there was anybody there they knew - I followed them in. Hill instantly said,
“This is the man who robbed Willan of his watch” - pointing to the prisoner, Harris. They both said they did not know the other men, and they went away - I kept Harris. I had told him he was suspected of robbing a man of his watch the night before. He asked me what time? I said I did not know. He said he was at home and in bed at ten o’clock, in Drury-lane; and if he had been guilty of the robbery, he would have seen me b - d before I should have taken him.
Cross-examined. Q. Did he say he was at home going to bed, or that he was in bed - A. I do not know.
HARRIS’S Defence. I can prove I was not near the place.
ELLIOTT’S Defence. I was returning home, and saw the mob - the prosecutor laid hold of me, struck me, and gave me in charge. He was very much intoxicated.
WILLIAM OWENS . I live in Dudley-court, Silver-street, Falcon-square, and am writing-clerk to a surveyor. I know Harris by sight. On Sunday, the 4th of April, I went to Mr. Branden’s, who lodges at No. 8, Charles-street, Drury-lane, for some money which he owed me - I saw Harris there, sitting in a chair by the fireside - it was about quarter of an hour or twenty minutes before ten o’clock when I got there - I was there about five minutes, I went straight home, and got there about twenty minutes after ten. I have no doubt of his being the man who was there. I went to Clerkenwell prison on Tuesday morning to see him, and am sure he is the man.
JAMES WHITE . I am servant to Mr. Foster, who keeps the Coach and Horses, public-house, in Drury-lane. I know Harris by sight - he lodges in that neighbourhood. I serve beer at his lodgings, No. 8, Charles-street. On Sunday, the 4th of April, about ten o’clock at night, I took some beer to that house - it was Palm Sunday. I saw Harris sitting reading a book by the fireside - it was within a minute or two of ten o’clock.
COURT. Q. What reason have you for knowing that it was that night - A. It being Palm Sunday. I have seen him on other nights.
HARRIS - GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 21.
ELLIOTT - GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 22.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Wood .
Convict Changes History
Maureen Withey on 22nd January, 2020 made the following changes: