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John Hollis

John Hollis, one of 306 convicts transported on the Fortune and Alexander, January 1806

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Hollis
Aliases: none
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1784
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 1826
Age: 42 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Returning from transportation
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Fortune and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1806
Arrival date: 12th July, 1806
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 308 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 376 Old Bailey on line
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

Phil Hands on 27th May, 2017 wrote:

John Hollis was tried and convicted at the Old Bailey on two seperate occasions, the first, on 26th October 1803 for stealing an handkerchief, for which he was sentenced to transportation for 7 years, on 26th March, 1804 he received a royal pardon on the condition that he join the Royal Navy and serve until being duly discharged. He was assigned to HMS ‘Roebuck’. Whilst the ship was still in port John had ‘liberty’ to go on shore, where he drank too much liquor, fearing punishment, he absconded and made his way to London where he was apprehended on 23rd of December.
At John’s 2nd trial at the Old Bailey on 9th January 1805 he was convicted of returning from transportation before the expiration of the term for which he was ordered to be transported, he was then sentenced to death, this was later commuted to his original sentence of transportation for 7 years..
Left England on 28th January 1806.
Ship:- the ‘Fortune’ sailed with 260 male convicts on board of which 4 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 12th July 1806.

Married Ann Pailes (daughter of convicts Edward Pailes, ‘Surprise’ 1790 & Mary Allen, ‘Lady Penrhyn’ 1788) in Castlereagh, they had 3 children between 1822-1825, before John died in 1826.

1st Old Bailey Trial Transcription.
Reference Number: t18031026-53

757. JOHN HOLLIS was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 19th of October , a handkerchief, value 3s. the property of Mark Broadley , privily from his person .
MARK BROADLEY sworn. - I live at No. 4, Bartlett’s-buildings, Holborn: On the 19th of October, about five o’clock in the afternoon, just at the corner of Bartlett’s-buildings , a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder, and told me I had had my pocket picked; he pointed out a man to me who was running towards Fetter-lane, and I called stop thief; he went through King’s-head-court, and was stopped in Fetter-lane; he dropped the handkerchief, but I did not see him drop it.
- BROUGHTON sworn. - On the 19th of this month, going up Holborn-hill, I saw the prisoner in the act of taking a silk handkerchief out of Mr. Broadley’s pocket; I pointed out the man to him, and he pursued him, crying out stop thief.
Prisoner’s defence. I was going to meet an acquaintance, and I ran for fear of being behind my appointment; I was stopped in Fetter-lane, and charged with stealing a handkerchief; I never did any thing of the kind.
The prisoner called one witness, who gave him a good character. GUILTY , aged 20.
Of stealing, but not privily from the person.
Transported for seven years .
London Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

2nd Old Bailey Trial Transcription.
Reference Number: t18050109-38

108. JOHN HOLLIS was indicted for returning from transportation before the expiration of the term for which he was ordered to be transported .
WILLIAM HANSON sworn. - I am servant to Mr. Newman, keeper of Newgate: On the 26th of October, 1803, the prisoner at the bar, John Hollis , was tried and convicted for stealing a handkerchief, the property of Mark Bradley .
Q. What became of him? - A. He received sentence of transportation for seven years.
Q. Are you sure he is the man? - A. I am sure he is; I put him to the bar myself at the time he was tried, and took him back again; on the 13th of March, 1804, I ironed him with others to go to Woolwich; I went with him to Blackfriars bridge, and delivered him on board the barge, in company with Mr. Kirby; I have a copy of his conviction.
Q. Whom did you receive that from? - A. From Mr. Shelton, I saw him sign it.
(The copy of conviction read in Court.)
“These are to certify, at the General Sessions of the Peace, and Jail Delivery of Newgate, held at Justice-hall, in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday, the 26th of October, in the 44th year of his present Majesty’s reign, before the Right Hon. Lord Ellenborough, Sir Alexander Thompson , Knt. &c. John Hollis was in due form of law indicted for that he, on the 19th of October, in the year aforesaid, with force and arms, in the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, one handkerchief, value 3 s. from the person of Mark Bradley , he did feloniously steal and carry away; the said John Hollis was taken, tried, and convicted, for feloniously stealing and carrying away the goods and chattels aforesaid, and was thereupon ordered to be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years, to such place pursuant to the statute made in such cases and provided.
WILLIAM CHAPMAN sworn. - I am an officer of Hatton-garden: On Sunday morning, the 23rd of December, as I was going my round with my brother officers, I met John Hollis in Field Lane, in company with a young woman that her man was transported last Sessions.
Q. He was in company with a loose woman? - A. Yes; I was certain I had seen him before; I asked him where he lived; he said he lived over the water; I asked him where he had been; he said he had been at his laundress’s, she lived in Crown-court, Liquor-pond Street; I thought it looked singular, as he had a dirty shirt on, and no bundle; I went to enquire; he gave several references over the water, where he said he worked, but all false. On Monday, when he was examined, finding all that he had said was false, we sent him down for another examination, where he remained till Thursday; and on Thursday, not giving a good account of himself, he was sent on board the Tender, and between that and Saturday I found that he had returned from transportation; I applied to Mr. Leech for an order to fetch him from on board, and they gave him up.
GEORGE READ sworn. - I am commander of the hulk at Woolwich: On the 13th of March, the prisoner, John Hollis , was delivered to me, with several other persons; he remained on board the hulk till the 26th of April; I then received his Majesty’s pardon for him and several others, on condition of their serving in the navy, and I delivered him to an officer on condition of that pardon.
Q. You do not know how long he continued in the navy? - A. No.
(His Majesty’s pardon read in Court.)
” Whereas the persons hereafter mentioned having been convicted of divers felonies, (it mentions a great number of persons, and amongst them, John Hollis , the prisoner at the bar,) we, in consideration of some favourable circumstances that appeared in their behalf, have been graciously pleased to grant them our pardon for the crimes of which they respectively stand convicted, on condition of their going into our service in our royal navy, and that if they enter themselves voluntarily they will be delivered to such officers as shall be duly authorised to receive them for that service, dated 26 March, 1804. - C. Yorke, to Richard Hawkes , commanding his Majesty’s tender, the Roebuck.”
Prisoner’s defence. My Lord, I had liberty to go on shore; I had drank rather too much liquor, and staid beyond my time; I was afraid to go on board again, for fear of punishment, and I came up to London for employ.
Court. You knew that the condition of your pardon was, that you were to continue in the service till you were discharged; his Majesty was graciously pleased to grant you a pardon, on condition of your entering into the navy until duly discharged; you have entered into the navy; it becomes you to prove that you are duly discharged.
Q.(To Mr. Read.) Where was this Roebuck? - A. Sent up to Woolwich, on purpose to receive them by the Admiralty.
GUILTY , Death , aged 21.
First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

Convict Changes History

Phil Hands on 27th May, 2017 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 376 Old Bailey on line (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 376), date of birth: 1784

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