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John Hickman

John Hickman, one of 184 convicts transported on the Woodford, 29 April 1828

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Hickman
Aliases: John Asbury
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Woodford
Departure date: 29th April, 1828
Arrival date: 25th August, 1828
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 183 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 384
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 6th March, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 05 March 2020), February 1828, trial of JOHN HICKMAN (t18280221-288).

JOHN HICKMAN, Theft > simple larceny, 21st February 1828.
766. JOHN HICKMAN was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of February, 1 coat, value 10s., the goods of James Goodale ; and that he, (the prisoner,) before the commission of the said felony, (to wit,) on the 4th day of December, in the fourth year of his Majesty’s reign, by the name of John Asbury, was convicted of felony .
JAMES GOODALE. On the night of the 4th of February, about nine o’clock, I left my horse and gig in the care of a young man, while I went to a house opposite Compton-street - in about two minutes I heard a rattle - I ran out, and saw some person with my coat, which I had left in the gig.
JAMES PROTHEROE . I saw the gig at the door of the King’s Arms; I saw the prisoner go and take the coat - I followed and took him - I saw him drop it.
WILLIAM BALLARD . I am an officer. I produce a certificate of the prisoner’s former conviction - it is signed by Mr. Shelton, I know the prisoner to be the person named therein.
Prisoner. Q. Did you not at first identify me as John Groves? A. I mistook the name; Groves was connected with him - I knew him the moment I saw him, and said"Your name is Groves;” but on referring to my book, I found his name was Asbury.
The certificate of the prisoner’s former conviction, was here put in and read.
GUILTY. Aged 24.
Transported for Life.
The following case appears to be the previous conviction of John Hickman, under the name of John Asbury.  It mentions a brother of John, called Thomas Asbury. 

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 05 March 2020), December 1823, trial of JOHN GROVES JOHN ASBURY (t18231203-171).

JOHN GROVES, JOHN ASBURY, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, 3rd December 1823.
Before Mr. Recorder.
137. JOHN GROVES was indicted for stealing, on the 20th of October , a mahogany case, value 1 s.; four watches, value 12 l.; four pair of ear-rings, value 20 s.; four purses, value 3 s.; eighteen combs, value 10 s., and a pencil-case, value 10 s. , the goods of Daniel Burgess ; and JOHN ASBURY was indicted for feloniously receiving the same, well knowing them to have been stolen .
DANIEL BURGESS . I live in Duke-street, and am a licensed hawker . On Monday, the 20th of October, I opened a stall at the Horse Grenadier, public-house, Oxford-street , and in the evening, between five and six o’clock, I packed my goods up to take them home, and went into the house to leave my board and baize - I was not there above a minute, and on coming out, my box, containing the articles stated in the indictment was stolen. I found a pencil-case, a pair of ear-rings, a steel purse and clasp, on Thursday, and a few days afterwards two tortoiseshell combs,
Prisoner ASBURY. Q. Was the box locked - A. I forget.
THOMAS ASBURY . I am the prisoner Asbury’s brother. He came to my room on Tuesday morning, the 21st of October, before nine o’clock, I was in bed - he threw a steel purse and breast pin on the bed, and said, “There is a purse and breast pin for you;” he did not say where he got them. The officer found them in my room on Thursday morning. I live in the second floor back room, in Jones’s-court, Buckeridge-street; he lived on the first floor front room, at No. 3, in the court. I get my living in Piccadilly, by holding gentlemens’ horses, and calling coaches.
ELIZABETH JENKINS . I live at No. 13, Buckeridge-street, with the last witness. Asbury came and threw a purse and pin on the bed - we were both in bed - I did not ask where he got them. I believe he got his living in the same way as his brother. The officers also found a steel clasp, a pencil case, some snaps, and a necklace in my room. Jane Bibbs had brought them to me on Wednesday night, and on Thursday morning the officers came. The two prisoners lodged at No. 3. I never saw Groves with the property
JANE BIBBS . I am servant at the same house as Jenkins. John Asbury gave me a silver pencil case on the Monday night - also two tortoiseshell combs, a steel clasp, a pair of ear-ring drops, and four snaps. I kept them in my room till Wednesday night, and then took them up to Jenkins’s room, to shew to her. My mistress called me down, and I left them there. I sleep on the first floor. The house is let to men and women. The officers came and found them next morning. Groves lodged with John Asbury .
JANE ALDRIDGE . I live on the second floor front room of this house, and go out to work. On the 20th of October, between five and six o’clock in the afternoon, Groves came into my room, with a brown box in his hand - it appeared like mahogany - he wished to leave it while he got the key of his own room - he lives at No. 3; he returned in a short time, followed by John Asbury , who took the box up and carried it down stairs. Groves followed him - I had occasion to go to their lodgings to speak to the servant (Bibbs), who I found up in their room with them. The box was on a bed - there are three beds in the room; it was open - I saw several different articles, beads, trinkets, ear-rings, all in a heap.
Q. Did it not appear strange to you that they should have such things - A. I did not strike me; I said nothing about it; but as I was going out, Groves gave me a comb. He had been in my room on the Sunday, and I washed some things for him. I suppose it was for that; a young girl, who lived in my room, felt offended at having nothing given her, and asked me to give her the comb, which John Asbury gave me on the same night. I gave her the brooch and comb. She was taken up, and said she had bought them - the brooch has been produced.
Prisoner ASBURY. Q. Were not Groves and you in the room when I came home - A. Yes.
Q. Did not you hear Groves ask me to carry the box box while he fetched the key - A. No.
BENJAMIN SCHOFIED . I am a constable. On Thursday, the 23d of October, in the morning, Ballard, Wells, and I, went to this house, No. 13, Buckeridge-street - we got there before five o’clock, and found Bibbs in her room, and a tortoiseshell comb was found in a bandbox; on the second floor back-room were Thomas Asbury and Jenkins in bed, and in their room were a steel purse and two steel clasps. I enquired for a sailor, and was directed to the next room, where we found Groves on the bed, with his clothes on, with Aldridge, and another girl, named Thompson, was in the bed. We took the whole seven into custody. I charged Groves with taking the box - he denied it. I took him to the watch-house, and in going from there to the Office, he said voluntarily that he was determined to tell the whole truth, in consequence of Asbury cheating him and selling the goods; and that he had stolen the box. Asbury was not present - he was taken that morning.
JOHN WALES . I am an officer. I went with the witnesses - knocked at Bibbs’s door; the comb was found in the bandbox; we went to the back room, second floor, and found Thomas Asbury and Jenkins, and in a small box were two pairs of ear-drops and rings, four clasps. In the next room I found Groves on the bed with Aldridge and Thompson. Groves denied his name, and denied the robbery. I think he gave the name of Jones. Bibbs gave me a ring off her finger. I took them all to the watch-house, and about eleven o’clock that morning I took Asbury in St. Martin’s-lane. He denied the charge. When we got to the Office, I told him the other prisoners were in custody, he then said he did not steal it, but knew something of the robbery.
WILLIAM BALLARD . I am an officer, and went with the witnesses. I was the first who entered Groves’s room, and asked if he was not known by the name of Sailor? He said his name was Groves. I have a brooch, a clasp, and a pair of ear-drops, given me by Thompson’s uncle. I had questioned Aldridge closely what she had done with what was given to her? She at last said she gave them to Thompson.
JANE ALDRIDGE . This is the brooch Asbury gave me. I cannot speak to the other things.
(Property produced and sworn to.)
GROVES’S Defence. I am guilty, but Asbury was not with me. I gave him the things, but he did not know where I got them.
ASBURY’S Defence. When I came home on Monday. I went into my brother’s room, which is next to mine. I saw Groves, Aldridge, and a young woman there, and the box on the bed. He said it was a box he got from his brother, and asked me to carry it up to the room for him, while he got the key. We both sleep together. I carried it up - he opened it, and gave Aldrige a comb. I asked where he got it - he said from his brother, and laughed, and gave me several things, which I gave the young women.
GROVES - GUILTY . Aged 18.
ASBURY - GUILTY . Aged 21.
Transported for Seven Years .

https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON45-1-1 pages 77.78 Marriage Permission:
June 22, : 864, John Hickman,  per Woodford and Cath. Parrott, per Eliza,, requested permission to marry,- 14 October, 1831 appd & then to the Rev. W. Bedford.

https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD36-1-2p11j2k  Marriage records.
Marriage in the parish church of Hobart Town, 16 November 1831, John Hickman (convict)  bachelor, (per Woodford 2nd) of this parish and Catherine Parrott (convict) of this parish, spinster (per Eliza). John signed his name, Catherine signed her X.

Death of John Hickman - https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD34-1-1p171j2k
John Hickman, aged 30.  Constable, of Hobart Town, buried 18 Nov 1835, in the parish of St David’s, Hobart Town.

Some of the cases Constable Hickman was involved in:

Moses Turner, assigned to Mr. Ludgater, and Thomas Roberts, a free man, were convicted of stealing a quantity of potatoes and vegetables from Mr. Ludgater’s garden ground in the suburbs, which has been repeatedly robbed, without his having been able to discover the thief. Upon this occasion, Roberts was traced from the hut, by constables Leach and Hickman, and the thieves detected. Turner was sentenced to six months imprisonment and hard labour. Roberts was fined 5s. under Mr. Peel’s Act, and committed, in default of payment, to the House of Correction for two months.
The Tasmanian, 8 Feb 1833.

John Isaacs, a well-known character or Hobart Town, was remanded on a charge of highway robbery, under most daring and aggravating circumstances. This, man would have escaped detection, bad it not been for the vigilance and activity of Constable John Hickman, to whom great praise is due.
The Tasmanian, 13 Sept 1833.

Michael Brandreth, for absconding from the King’s Lumber-yard and remaining absent until apprehended by Constable Hickman, on the 20th instant, was ordered to be imprisoned and kept to hard labor at his trade, in the King’s Yard, for six months.
The Tasmanian, 29 Nov 1833.

Hobart Town Police Report. Monday February 26th.
Two females, whose names we could not obtain, appeared at this office, both, in a great rage, one complaining of the others seducing her Lord’s affections, the other said “Oh lord, and what of that;” but having been seen with her arm round the husband’s neck, it naturally excited the complainant, and high words took place and blows followed.  Mr. Scrummy a respectable baker in Murray street, appeared as witness on behalf of one of the ladies ; but he complained of both—and swore they so disturbed his respectable neighbourhood, that if he could have found a constable, he would have had them both confined.  He said there was only something in the shape of a whisp of straw as a constable about the neighbourhood and he was of no use. It was regretted that Mr. Constable John Hickman, well known among the ladies and lush cribs as Jack Straw, had not been called, as no doubt he would have explained the whole matter as far as he knew.  The injured fair obtained a little satisfaction by causing the other to find sureties.
Morning Star, (Hobart Town), 27 Feb 1835.

Hobart Police Report.  Wed April 15.
William Hains and Mary Helps were charged with obtaining various goods of Mr. Christopher Wright, of Liverpool-street, by an organized system of fraud that Hains had practised for a long time, in ordering goods to be sent to a certain house, that he had hired for the purpose, where the woman resided upon the occasion, to receive the property, and promised payment in the old cry, “Pray call again tomorrow.” The following day, the birds were usually flown, and the cage locked up. This mode Hains had followed for some time, and constantly eluded the vigilance of the Police, although repeatedly apprehended. At last, as a companion, he picked up the other prisoner, who turned out to be a female runaway, which attracted the attention of Constable John Hickman, who lost no opportunity of tracing Mr. Hains and his lady. After three weeks anxious perseverance, he discovered and apprehended both the parties, who are committed for trial.  The detention of these parties is a real benefit to the public, and reflects great credit on the constable’s exertions. Hains was loaded with keys of different houses that he had occupied in the course of his nefarious transactions.
Colonial Times, 21 Apr 1835.

Saturday, July 11.
Francis Jones, William Barkett, Lucy Anderson, Jesse Woodwyn Smith, Henry Wright, and Thomas Wood, all these persons were brought up on suspicion of having been concerned in the burglary at the Rev. Mr. Naylor’s, at New Town, for the discovery of which a reward of £20 was offered, and a pardon to any ticket-of-leave man who might be the means of discovering the perpetrators, Wood is an old hand, served his original sentence, then a Colonial one, and has been recently free and employed himself as a whipmaker. Constable John Hickman was proved to be very active in the detection and apprehension of these people, and becomes entitled, according to the reward offered, which he richly merits for his exertions upon many occasions of this sort, to his emancipation.
The Tasmanian, 17 Jul 1835.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 6th March, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: John Asbury, gender: m, crime

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