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John Holmes

John Holmes, one of 300 convicts transported on the Baring, April 1815

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Holmes
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1799
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 1841
Age: 42 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
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Baring
Departure date: April, 1815
Arrival date: 7th September, 1815
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 300 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 205 (104)
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

Denis Pember on 30th December, 2016 wrote:

Old Bailey Trial; 15th February 1815:
(http://www.oldbaileyonline.org) t18150215-26 (aged 14)!!!
HUGH FARRELL , JOHN HOLMES , and STEPHEN WEBB were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 1st of February , a watch, value 3 l. 3 s. and a pair of shoes, value 4 s, the property of George Spencer . in his dwelling house .
MARY SPENCER. My husbands name is George Spencer , we live in Brownlow street. On the 1st of February, a little boy came into the house, I came out of the parlour into the shop, to serve the least prisoner with a pair of shoes, the other two prisoners staid at the door; one of them said to the other, go in, he is gone in, Farrell was the boy, that came in first, about three o’clock, in the afternoon. Farrell came into the shop, and asked me to fit him with a pair of shoes, the other two stood still at the door; one said to the other he is gone in, go in. They came in, the three prisoner’s are the three boys that came in. Stephen Webb set in the chair, then Hugh Farrell said you are fitting; Webb said yes, fit me with a pair, I got up on the steps, I missed Holmes, I looked and saw him in my parlour. I then looked up by the fire place and I missed my watch; I then got hold of him by the collar, I said you villian you have got my watch; I called Mrs. Chapman my lodger down; Holmes struck me, to get away, in the scuffle the watch was dropped in the parlour close to the door; Holmes got away from me, I ran to the door after him and called stop thief; my lodger afterwards found the watch on the floor, she delivered it to me, the prisoner was stopped by a gentleman coming by, I thought the prisoner had run out with the watch.
This is the watch, it is my husbands watch. The other two boys sat still, they never moved once, a pair of shoes was thrown in the kennel, I cannot tell how they came there. I was so frightened, when I cried out stop thief. Mr. Godfrey was at hand he ran after him; I detained the other boys immediately, after I found Holmes had gone out.
MRS. CHAPMAN. I lodge in Mrs. Spencer’s house, I came down stairs, and saw the shop full of people, I saw something lay between two chairs. I took it up, it was Mr. Spencers watch, I said Mrs. Spencer, here is your watch. The prisoner Holmes had gone away.
WILLIAM WESTCOAT. I was at Bow-street-office, I was fetched to Mrs. Spencers, in Browlow street; I searched Webb and Farrell. Webb had eleven shilling and nine pence and Farrell had nine shillings and six-pence; Godfrey brought Holmes in.
WILLIAM GODFREY. I heard the cry of stop thief, I found Holmes concealed in a privy in a yard in Shorts gardens; I took Holmes to Mrs. Spencer’s, she indentified him as the boy that had struck her.
Holme’s Defence. I was playing with the dog in the parlour, I went in to buy a pair of shoes, the other boys went in with me.
Q. to prosecutrix. What is the value of the watch - A. I cannot say.
Of stealing, to the value of thirty nine shillings only .
Transported for Seven Years.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Heath.

Denis Pember on 30th December, 2016 wrote:

In the colony, John married Eleanor (Ellen) Cooney the daughter of Bartholemew Cooney and Johanna Cooney. Bartholemew had been a member of the 73rd Foot Regiment and had arrived with his family in 1810, aboard the “Anne”.
John and Ellen had 8 children between 1821 and 1837. They both died within a short period Ellen in 1840 and John in 1841. The family were then looked after by members of her family.

Denis Pember on 30th December, 2016 wrote:

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
Page 195…
[Ref H2136] Holmes, John, 29, free by servitude, Baring, 1814, 7 years, Protestant, shoemaker, Pitt Street Sydney.
[Ref H2137] Holmes, Eleanor, 25, came free, Anne, 1810, Protestant.
[Ref H2138] Holmes, John, 7, born in the colony.
[Ref H2139] Holmes, Charles, 5, born in the colony.
[Ref H2140] Holmes, James, 2, born in the colony.
[Ref H2141] Holmes, Eliza, 1, born in the colony.

Donna on 20th April, 2020 wrote:

According to the New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convicts Lists of 1787 – 1834 John Holmes arrived in Australia in September 1815 as a fourteen year old convict. On the 16th of February 1815 John was placed on trial in Middlesex London England for larceny. He was sentenced with “Transportation” and was subsequently sent to Australian soil on board the vessel “Baring”. Thereafter he appears several times in The NSW Australia Settler and Convict Lists between the years of 1787 – 1834 as well as the NSW and Tasmania Convict Musters between the years 1806 – 1849.

Within the pages of the NSW Australia Colonial Secretary’s papers from 1788 – 1825 there exists an application to marry at St Johns Church Parramatta dated the 1st of December 1817 received from John Holmes and Eleanor or “Ellen” Cooney. They were finally married on the 3rd of April 1820. John and Ellen Holmes went on to have eight children. These children were John Frederick (1821 – 1855), Charles (1823 – 1867), James (1826 – 1907), Eliza (1828 – 1884), Richard (1831 – 1879), Johanna (1832 – 1856), my direct ancestor Edward James (1835 – 1907) and Emma (1837 - 1903). Edward James was my Great, Great, maternal Grandfather.
Ellen died in 1840 in Windsor NSW. John Holmes followed her a year later at the age of forty two years, on the 16th of September 1841, also in Windsor.

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 30th December, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1799 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1841 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

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