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Denis Hourahan

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Denis Hourahan
Aliases: Houlihan, Howard
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1797
Occupation: Carpenter
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Burglary
Convicted at: Cork City
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Chapman
Departure date: 25th March, 1817
Arrival date: 26th July, 1817
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 86 other convicts


Primary source: Irish Convict Database by Peter Mayberry. Colonial Secretary Index.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Maureen Withey on 7th April, 2021 wrote:

Irish Convict Database by Peter Mayberry.
Denis Hourahan, alias Houlihan, age on arrival, 20, per Chapman (1) 1817. tried at Cork Co. 1816, Life, DOB, 1797, native of Bantry Bay Cork Co., trade, Carpenter labourer.

Thursday evening Mr. Justice pronounced sentence of death upon the following fifteen persons convicted in the City of Cork, Cornelius and Denis Hourahan, for burglary in the house of the Rev. Daniel Crowley, the ? October,...
Dublin Evening Post, 12 Sept 1816.


Cornelius Hourahan arrived on the same ship.


Colonial Secretary Index.

HOURAHAN, Denis. Per “Chapman”, 1817.

1817 Feb 9
On list of persons put on board “Chapman” (Reel 6046; 4/1738 p.3)
Prisoner in Sydney Gaol; convicted of robbery and sentenced to death. Listed as Howard (Fiche 3229; 4/1868 p.44)
1822 Sep 23-Oct 21
Sentenced to death; commuted to transportation to Port Macquarie. In reports of prisoners tried at Court of Criminal Jurisdiction; listed as Howard (Reel 6023; X820 p.67)
1822 Nov 5
Tried in Sydney. Sentence commuted to transportation; listed as Howard (Reel 6070; 4/1265 p.9)
1822 Nov 19
On lists of prisoners transported to Port Macquarie per “Lady Nelson” (Reel 6019; 4/3864 pp.18, 376-7)

Maureen Withey on 7th April, 2021 wrote:

(Denis Hourahan was charged as Dennis Howard)

SATURDAY.—- Dennis Howard, John Wilkinson, James Davis, and John Northorn, were indicted for the following robberies and burglary, committed in the district of Airds, upon the night of the 28th of August last ; viz. 1. For feloniously entering the dwelling- house of William Eggleton, and stealing sundry articles therefrom. 2. For entering the dwelling-house of Patrick Macquinnity, and stealing various articles of property therefrom. 3. For entering the dwelling- house of James Blackburn. And 4. For burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Thomas Acres, and taking therefrom various articles : - to this four-fold indictment the prisoners pleaded Not Guilty.
William Eggleton deposed, that his house was entered upon a Sunday night, or Monday morning, by four men. Having been alarmed by the barking of the dogs, he arose, and upon opening the bed-room door, he saw four men standing in the outer room, to which there was no door ; the unwelcome intruders enquired for a man named Simpson ; and before he could answer a second question, his watch was demanded.  He was then placed in an opposite corner of the front room, one of the robbers standing sentinel over him, at the same time cocking his piece. Two of them procured a light and went into the bed-room, in which his wife was lying, to search for spoil ; and the fourth remained on duty at the door. It being moon-light, he was enabled to see the countenance of the man at the door, which he positively swore to be that of the prisoner, Dennis Howard. The other fellows tried to intimidate his wife by threats in order to force her to give them some money, but finding such fruitless, they drank some spirits which was found in a box ; and, having supplied themselves with about 2lbs. of soap, made off.-Sophia Eggleton corroborated her husband’s testimony, and also identified the prisoner Howard ; adding, that she was afraid of looking at the men in the bed-room, as, had her eyes met theirs, in all probability she would have become sacrificed for her temerity ; but the prisoner Howard being at a distance, afforded an opportunity of taking an occasional glance, and the moon exposing the features of his face, she was enabled to swear to him positively.
In support of the second count, William King deposed, that he was crown servant to Patrick Macquinnity; that about four o’clock he was alarmed by the dogs, and arose in consequence ; that upon opening the door he saw five men approaching, at this time the moon had gone down; three of them entered, two kept on the outside; two out of those that entered were armed with muskets; they insisted upon having tea, sugar, tobacco, and rum ; Macquinnity said he had none; they then searched the dwelling, and the witness being in the act of rising, the prisoner, James Davis, desired him to sit down; and that in a few minutes after they went away, taking nothing with them.  He swore to the prisoner Davis.-Charles Chamberlain deposed that he saw a man, from an adjoining hut, standing at Macquinnity’s door, who threatened to blow his entrails out, if he did not keep in-doors. He saw five men at the house, and Dennis Howard was one of the number.
Third count.—- James Blackburn deposed, that his house was also entered about the middle of the night ; that owing to the alarm given by the dogs he arose, and the front door was immediately forced, when two men, armed with muskets rushed in, commanding silence ; one stood over him as a guard, another remained at the door, and two went into the bed-room; that, finding some gin in a box they drank heartily, and then took such articles as were convenient, or most valuable; and, that after stopping about a quarter of an hour, they went off. This witness had been in Sydney a few days before, and took home £75 in cash, which however he had fortunately paid away in the interior between that and the midnight visit; this exact sum was enquired after, and this was the booty they were in quest of, and to obtain which they threatened to blow out the witness’ brains. Mr. Blackburn swore positively to the prisoner Howard.—- Mrs. Blackburn confirmed the foregoing, adding further, the prisoner Wilkinson, while standing over her in bed, desired Howard to blow her husband’s brains out, if he refused to hand over the money. She also swore to the prisoner Davis as well as to Howard and Wilkinson. Mrs. Blackburn further testified, that the latter prisoner, at the court-house at Airds, upon giving her evidence before the Magistrate, declared that he had not long to live, and that he would therefore be revenged. This assertion was brought home more fully to the prisoner, by Sophia Eggleton.
Fourth and last count.—- John Pollard, crown servant to Thomas Acres, settler at Airds, deposed, that on the night already named, his master’s house was entered by five men ; some of them were armed with muskets ; that there was a sufficiency of light in the room from the fire to discover the countenance of one of the prisoners, John Northorn, who had a musket, and desired the witness to lie down, and then he was covered with a blanket, being told if he dared to move, his brains would be blown out ; that one of them sat across him, with his finger on the trigger, while the others examined and ransacked the dwelling, of which the witness was then the only occupant, his master being absent from home. After getting together what they could, the witness was asked who he was ; he told them that he was a prisoner ; thereupon he was directed to mention what belonged to himself, and it would be left ; accordingly several articles were enumerated, and they
went off, ordering the witness not to stir. In about ten minutes after, two of the robbers returned to see what had become of the witness, and, finding him in the same spot, they told him to remain so till day-light,  and then made off. This witness only identified Northorn. The prosecution here ended.
In perusing this trial, the Reader will perceive that there is a fifth robber talked of, of whom however nothing came out before the Court, nor has any clue been obtained of the villain, but justice will shortly put an end to his determined career of systematic depravity.  An alibi was endeavoured to be proved by the prisoners ; but, although no properly was found, nor the persons of all the prisoners identified at any one house, still it was satisfactory to say, that the prisoner Howard had been sworn to, to be present at three of the scenes, of plunder ; Davis was recognised at two ; Wilkinson at one; and Northorn at the last ;—so that the association of the four prisoners, upon the night of those multiplied plunders, even with an unknown fifth, was clearly established. Guilty. Remanded.
Sydney Gazette, 11 Oct 1822.

MONDAY.—This day, at one o’clock, the Court reassembled: and the various prisoners, who had been found Guilty during the sessions, but upon whom sentence had not been passed, were now brought up to receive judgment.
… Dennis Howard, John Wilkinson, James Davis, John Northall, …  severally received SENTENCE of DEATH !
Sydney Gazette, 25 Oct 1822.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 7th April, 2021 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, source: Irish Convict Database by Peter Mayberry. Colonial Secretary Index. (prev. ), firstname: Denis, surname: Hourahan, alias1: Houlihan, alias2: Howard, alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1797, date of death: 000

Maureen Withey on 7th April, 2021 made the following changes:


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