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William Holley

William Holby, one of 190 convicts transported on the Phoenix, 04 March 1828

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Holley
Aliases: William Holby
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1814
Occupation: Waiter and footman
Date of Death: 26th May, 1890
Age: 76 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 7 years

Crime: Stealing clothes
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Phoenix
Departure date: 4th March, 1828
Arrival date: 14th July, 1828
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 190 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 322. State Archives NSW, Convict Indents (Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4013]; Microfiche: 669). Australian Death Index.
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

Christine Adele Thomson on 7th August, 2018 wrote:

He married Catherine Ann Arthur in Armidale Nsw Aust in 1847 and they settled in Tenterfield Nsw Aust and had 14 children.

Iris Dunne on 7th August, 2018 wrote:

Trial Date: 31 May 1827

Iris Dunne on 7th August, 2018 wrote:

Convict Indents No.59: Age 21, Native Place: London, Trade: Waiter, Offence: Stealing Clothes, Named: William Holley

Father’s Name: Jacob, Mother’s Name: Charlotte, Registration Year: 1890, Registration Place: Tenterfield NSW,
Registration Number: 12576

D Wong on 7th August, 2018 wrote:

Old Bailey:
Theft: grand larceny.
31st May 1827
Verdict Guilty
Sentence Transportation

WILLIAM HOLLEY was indicted for stealing, on the 23d of May 1 waistcoat, value 3s., the goods of William Sharp.

WILLIAM RAY. I am an apprentice to William Sharp, a tailor and draper of Worship-street. On the 23d of May, about ten o’clock in the morning, I saw the prisoner and another standing outside the shop; the prisoner went up to a suit of clothes, which hung outside the door; he unpinned a waistcoat, and put it under his coat - he crossed over to the other, and they went down an alley - I followed and saw the prisoner going in at a pawnbroker’s side door - I laid hold of him with the waistcoat - the other got away.

THOMAS EAGLES. I am an officer. I received him in charge, and found the waistcoat on him, and 2s. 6d.

GUILTY. Aged 21.
Transported for Seven Years.

1872: Grevill’s Post Office Directory: Was a carrier.  Listed as Holly.

9/12/1879 Maitland Mercury:
A casualty of a very serious character, and entailing heavy loss, occurred last Wednesday week to Mr. William Holly, carrier, of the Four-Mile, near Tenterfield. It appears that Mr. Holly was engaged by Mr. C. A. Lee, storekeeper, to take a load of general store goods for one of his constituents in the Western district, with which he left here with a team of sixteen bullocks. On arriving at the Sovereign River, near Mongoola, it was found to be in a very swollen condition, in consequence of the recent rains. Holly, however, attempted to cross (although at the most favourable time it is not a good crossing), when the force of the current carried the bullocks off their legs, and twelve of the animals were drowned before the pole could be cut and the team released. The dray was, we understand, pulled out of the river with, great difficulty by some teams who were behind, but some of the goods were a good deal damaged. Mr. Holly’s loss is a very heavy one, and much sympathy ís felt for him under the circumstances.”

26/5/1890: William Holley died at Tenterfield, NSW., he was buried at the Tenterfield Cemetery., his headstone inscription lists him as 76 years old.

Barbara Parker on 24th July, 2019 wrote:

Query: This William HOLLEY was said to be aged 21 at time of conviction in 1827, so a birth year of about 1806. The William HOLLEY that died in 1890, was said to be aged 78, at time of death, so born c1812.
What evidence is there, please, that these two men, were one and the same?

Barbara Parker on 15th October, 2019 wrote:

The convict, William HOLLEY, isn’t the same person as the William HOLLEY who died in 1890, at Tenterfield, NSW. Unfortunately, I do not know, when the convict died.
DNA has verified, that the man that died in Tenterfield, was in fact, William OLLEY, born in Cockfield, Suffolk, England and his parents were Jacob OLLEY and Charlotte (nee BUTCHER).
To date though, I haven’t found when William OLLEY arrived in Australia. Obviously before his marriage in 1847. He isn’t in 1841 UK census records, so seems to be prior to that year.

Carole on 28th April, 2021 wrote:

I am researching William Holley (son of Joseph & Elizabeth Holley born c 1807 in England, died 22nd July 1892 at Boorhaman, Victoria)
The time frame for my William Holley fits this profile so will investigate & update as I find/prove any new information

Convict Changes History

Christine Adele Thomson on 7th August, 2018 made the following changes:

surname: Holley (prev. Holby), date of birth: 1812 (prev. 0000), gender: m

Iris Dunne on 7th August, 2018 made the following changes:

alias1: William Holby

Iris Dunne on 7th August, 2018 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 322. State Archives NSW, Convict Indents (Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4013]; Microfiche: 669). Australian Death Index. (prev. Australian Joint Copying

D Wong on 7th August, 2018 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1814 (prev. 1812), occupation

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