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John Head, one of 172 convicts transported on the Countess of Harcourt, 08 April 1821
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||31st January, 1833
life span was 60 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/4, Page Number 22
||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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Anonymous on 6th May, 2012 wrote:
Married to Francis Vernon
Robert on 18th August, 2012 wrote:
Father: John Head,
Mother: Lois Lines
Marriage: 29 July 1793, St Andrew Enfield, London, England, Parish Register Marriages Banns, page 29.
Born Abt 1794: John Head.
23 Feb 1794 Baptism:
John Head was Baptism at St Andrew’s church Enfield, London England, on 23 Feb 1794.
John Head married Frances Abigail Verdon in1815, at Chingford, Essex, England
Children born to John & Frances at Enfield, England:
Isaac James (Hade)
St Andrew’s, Enfield, England
St Andrew’s, Enfield, England
Bet Bet Creek, Vic.
25 Nov 1820 House Breaking:
John Head aged 26 along with William Lawrence aged 27, broke into the house of William Bate, stealing three guineas in gold, about three Â£5, four or five Â£1, notes, and a quantity of silver. With the proceeds John Purchased a pair of breeches which he wore away from the shop and later at another shop he purchased a pair of stockings.
27th Nov 1820 Arrest:
John Head, and later in the day William Lawrence were arrested Const. Joseph Gibson in connection with the Break and Enter at the Bate’s residence. William Clayton was also arrested on 1 Dec 1820 and charged with the same offence.
6 Dec 1820 Conviction and Sentencing:
John Head, and William Lawrence were both found Guilty of Theft and Housebreaking, Punishment; DEATH,
John’s sentence was later commuted to Transportation to Van Dieman’s land for the term of LIFE
William Clayton was found Not Guilty.
A copy of the court transcript follows:
JOHN HEAD, WILLIAM LAWRENCE, WILLIAM CLAYTON, Theft > housebreaking, 6th December 1820.
Reference Number: t18201206-19
Offence: Theft > housebreaking.
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation; Guilty > with recommendation; Not Guilty.
Punishment: Death; Death
19. JOHN HEAD , WILLIAM LAWRENCE , and WILLIAM CLAYTON were indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of William Bate, at Enfield, about three o’clock in the afternoon of the 25th of November (no person being therein) and stealing there in, 6 l., in monies numbered, one 5 l. and five 1 l. Bank notes, his property .
WILLIAM BATE . I am in the employ of the trustees of the river Lea , and live at Enfield parish, near Ponders-end Mills . The trustees find me the house, I and my family have the sole use of it. On the 25th of November, I left home with my wife a little before two o’clock, and returned about four o’clock - my wife returned before me. When we went out the door was locked, and she put the key in her pocket. On my return I found the house had been entered, and missed the property stated in the indictment. I knew all the prisoners before - they are labourers. I had left the property part in a small round box, and part in a flat box - the boxes were in two drawers, which were not locked. I lost three guineas in gold, about three 5 l., four or five 1 l. notes, and a quantity of silver.
WILLIAM KING . I live in Silver-street, Edmonton, about two miles from Bate. On Saturday the 25th of November, about four o’clock in the afternoon, Head and Lawrence came to my shop together, and bought each a pair of breeches, Lawrence gave me a 5 l. note for them, which I gave Gibson the constable. I asked where they worked? they said they had been working at a tan-yard in Enfield, and had this note for their week’s wages between them. I saw them in custody on the Tuesday with the breeches on, they had worn them away.
NATHANIEL SHEAF . I keep a shop at Edmonton. On the 25th of November, about a quarter-past four o’clock; the prisoners, Head and Lawrence came, and bought two pair of stockings, which came to 4 s. 6 d., they each gave me a 1 l. note. I gave them each change, and put the notes in the till. I afterwards gave them to Gibson - I am sure I gave him the same, as I took the numbers of them. Head gave me the name of John Haydon, Winchmore-hill. and Lawrence gave me the name of John Webb , Winchmore-hill. I saw them in custody on the following Tuesday, and I am positive of them.
JOSEPH GIBSON . I am a constable of Edmonton. On Monday, the 27th of November, I was coming to town with a man in custody on another charge. Lawrence came into a public-house where we were waiting for the commitment, with a woman, and drank with my prisoner, and directly after Clayton came in I left the public-house, took a coach, and brought my prisoner to town. Lawrence and Clayton came away from Edmonton with me. We passed Head on the road, and my prisoner beckoned to them. In consequence of what he said I returned at five o’clock, got information, apprehended Head, and afterwards Lawrence. I searched them - on Head I found two guineas, two 1 l. Bank notes, two sixpences, and fivepence three-farthings. I then went to the King’s Head, public-house, at Edmonton, and found Lawrence and Clayton there. I secured Lawrence, and found one guinea, a 1 l. Bank note 25 s. 6 d. in silver, and a new casting net, which he said he bought for 36 s. on him. I took him before the Magistrate next morning, what he said was taken down, and he was sworn to it; after he left the Magistrate he said he would save himself. On Wednesday night I got a warrant to apprehend Clayton, waited a long time at his house, and at last got admittance; on Saturday I found him at Rickford, he said he knew nothing of the robbery, but was afraid he was taken for stealing Mr. Nash’s pigs two years ago. I produce what I found on Head and Lawrence, also a 5 l. Bank note, No. 3475, given me by King, and two 1 l. Bank notes, Nos. 36436, and 47159, which I received from Sheaf.
Prisoner HEAD. Q. Was I not admitted a witness for the Crown - A. The magistrate said the Court would shew him mercy.
WILLIAM KING re-examined. The note No. 3475, is that Lawrence paid me. I did not mark it, but passed it to my next-door neighbour. I am positive it is the note - I particularly noticed it, it being a new one, and I seldom take a 5 l note from such kind of people. I am sure it is the note.
NATAANIEL SHEAF re-examined. The note No. 36,436, is that I took of Lawrence; I have endorsed it
"Webb, Winchmore-hill;" and No. 47, 159, I received from Head, and marked it
" John Haydon , Winchmore-hill."
THOMAS IVES . I am the grandson of Mr. Bate. About five months ago I paid him the note 47,159. It is marked Fox, whom I took it from.
WILLIAM BATE . I gave Ives change for that note, and endorsed it at the time, it has my writing on it, and is what I lost on the 25th of November. No. 36436, I know by its being marked Gregg. I believe the 5 l. note to be mine, by the signing clerk’s name; I do not recollect the name, but I mean by the hand-writing.
Prisoner HEAD. I beg for mercy.
MARIA CRANE . On the 25th of November, Clayton was with me at my husband’s father’s premises. He was thatching in the yard all the afternoon, until five o’clock.
SUSAN BRINKLE. I live at Ponder’s End. I saw Clayton at his mother’s, between two and three o’clock, thatching a shed, on the 25th of November. He was there until near five o’clock.
HEAD - GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 26.
LAWRENCE - GUILTY . DEATH . Aged 27.
CLAYTON - NOT GUILTY .
Recommended to Mercy by the Prosecutrix.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Garrow .
1820 Criminal Register;
Head John / 26 / Housebreaking 7 Stealing / Middlesex / Death.
1820 Convict Transportation Register;
John Head / Middlesex Gaol Delivery / 6th December 1820 / Life.
18 Apr 1821 Transportation;
On the18 Apr 1821 John along with 171 other convicts boarded the ship â€œCountess of Harcourtâ€ at Portsmouth which sailed the following day 19 Apr 1821. Ships Master George Bunn, Ships Surgeon, Morgan Price.
27 Jul 1821 Arrived Van Dieman’s Land;
On the 27 Jul 1821, after a trip of 99 days John Head arrived in the port of Hobart after processing was assigned the convict number 333.
Under the convict registration scheme of the time convicts were allocated a number which comprised of sequential numbering under the first letter of their surname, for John he was the 333rd convict who’s surname started with â€œHâ€.
27 Jul 1821 Convict Conduct Register H 333;
John Heads, Transported for housebreaking & stealing Â£10 and upwards. Hulk report, behaved orderly in gaol and the same here. Stated wife and four children Ponder’s End South Street Middlesex, Charwomen.
There was a policy of the British Government at this time that allowed prisoners with a record of good behaviour to make a request for their spouse to join them in their place of transportation. In many instances after gaining the Governments approval the spouse refused to follow. There were many reasons for this some had already started a new life with another partner and others were just glad to be rid of there spouse, but this was not the case with Frances.
1822 Convict Muster:
Head John / Convict / Countess of Harcourt / (Masters name) Bunn / Life / Middlesex / 1820 / Public Works.
1823 Convict Muster;
333 Head John / Countess of Harcourt 1821 / Middlesex / Dec 1820 / Life / Married,3 sons 1 daughter - Public Works.
10 Feb 1823 Immigration;
Frances Head along with her 4 children arrived in Van Dieman’s Land aboard the ship â€œLord Sidmouthâ€ to join her Husband.
Children born to John & Frances at Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
9 Dec 1823 Birth;
Ann Head, born 9 Dec 1823 at Hobart is the first of John and Frances’ children born in Australia.
1824 Land Application;
Frances makes an application for a Land Grant.
6 May 1825 Birth;
Sarah Eliza Head, was born on the 6 May 1825 at Hobart, death 11/11/1892 in Stawell, Vic.
2 Jun 1825 Convict Conduct Register,Offence;
John Head: June 2 1825. PW / charged with stealing â€œshinglesâ€from the property of Owen Hade. â€œDis’ no Pros’â€, (AWHH). (I believe he may have been acquitted as no punishment is recorded ).
1826 Convict Muster;
333 / Head John / Countess of Harcourt / Assigned to Mrs Head.
3 Aug 1826 Birth;
Frances Elizabeth Head, was born on the 3 Aug 1826 at Hobart,
25 May 1828 Baptisms;
Both Sarah Eliza, born 6 May 1825, and Frances Elizabeth, born 3 August 1826, are Baptised on 25 May 1828 at Hobart Town. (Parents), John and Frances Head / (Abode), Hobart Town / (Quality or Profession), Labourer.
28 Oct 1828 Convict Conduct Register,Offence;
John Head: 28 Oct 1828 Assigned to his wife / out after hours last night - Admon’ (J Spode)
22 Mar 1829 Birth;
Rosina Head, was born on the 22 Mar 1829 at Hobart.
1830 Convict Muster;
333 / Head John / Countess of Harcourt / Assigned to his Wife.
30 Sep 1831 Birth;
Mary Emily Head, was born on the 30 Sep 1831 at Hobart.
4 Feb 1833 Death of John Head;
John Head died 4 Feb 1833 aged 39 in Hobart and was buried at St Davids, Hobart.
29 Jul 1833 Birth;
John George Head, was born on the 29 Jul 1833 at Hobart.
24 Mar 1835 Death;
John George Head, died on the 24 Mar 1835 at Hobart aged 1year 7 months and 24 days.
Robert on 18th September, 2012 wrote:
I had Death recorded as 4/2/1833, but I just came across a List of Convicts, 1833, image HO 10/49 which has; 333, John Head, Countess of Harcourt, died 31 January 33.
Convict Changes History
Robert on 18th September, 2012 made the following changes:
date of death 1833-01-31 (prev. 1833-02-04)
Robert on 18th August, 2012 made the following changes:
date of death 1833-02-04 (prev. 1835-03-24)
Robert on 18th August, 2012 made the following changes:
date of birth 1794-00-00 (prev. 1794-02-23), date of death 1835-03-24 (prev. 1833-02-04)
Anonymous on 6th May, 2012 made the following changes:
date of birth 1794-02-23, date of death 1833-02-04, gender m