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John Irvine

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Irvine
Aliases: John Irvin, Irving
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1720
Occupation: Doctor
Date of Death: 3rd September, 1795
Age: 75 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Theft
Convicted at: Lincoln
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 293 other convicts


Primary source: adb.anu.edu.au http://www.medicalpioneers.com Craig James Smee 'First Fleet Families Of Australia 1788' Craig James Smee 'Born In The English Colony Of New South Wales' Craig James Smee 'Births and Baptisms Marriages and Defacto Relationships Deaths and Burials New South Wales 1788-1830' Craig James Smee 'The 1788-1820 Associations Pioneer Registry' James Donohoe 'First Fleet Families' Barbara Hall 'Of Infamous Character-Convicts Of The Boddington-Ireland To Botany Bay 1793' Michael Flynn 'Secon
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Eric Harry Daly on 9th January, 2013 wrote:

John Irving, a convict ‘bred to surgery’, was found guilty of larceny at Lincoln, England, on 6 March 1784 and sentenced to transportation for seven years. While in the hulks on the Thames his surgical training was mentioned to Superintendent Duncan Campbell by one of the visiting surgeons, Dr Erskine. Campbell commended Irving to Under-Secretary Nepean who seems to have directed that he be employed professionally on the transports. He embarked in the Scarborough, but was transferred to the Lady Penrhyn on 20 March 1787 as surgeon’s mate and apparently acted in this capacity until 27 April when Surgeon Altree returned from sick leave.

There is no conclusive evidence that he assisted the surgeons on the voyage, but on landing at Sydney Cove he was employed immediately as an assistant at the hospital. During the next two years the surgeons found him such ‘a very useful man’ that on 28 February 1790 Governor Arthur Phillip emancipated him in recognition of his ‘unremitting good Conduct and meritorious Behaviour’, and directed him to proceed to Norfolk Island in H.M.S. Sirius as assistant to Surgeon Dennis Considen. Lieutenant Ralph Clark rejoiced in the knowledge that Irving was on board because he was ‘the best Surgeon amongst them’. Watkin Tench, who reacted against the view that the convict settlement was bound to be a sink of infamy, accepted Irving’s emancipation, the first granted at Sydney Cove, as a pleasing proof ‘that universal depravity did not prevail’.

On his return to Sydney towards the end of 1791 Irving was posted to Parramatta to assist Surgeon Thomas Arndell. He was granted thirty acres (12 ha) of land on 22 February 1792 on the north side of the creek leading to Parramatta, between the grants made to Philip Schaffer and Robert Webb, and by 16 October he had nine acres (3.6 ha) under maize and two ready for planting.

Of his professional work, which became increasingly heavy, a few specific records have been preserved. His deposition on the post-mortem of Simon Burn and his evidence at the trial of John Hill for Burn’s murder showed his skill in stating matters simply, clearly and convincingly. Irving died at Parramatta on 3 September 1795 and was buried in St John’s cemetery. No stone marks his grave but one of Parramatta’s streets bears his name. When Collins said that his death ‘was much regretted’ and that ‘his loss would be severely felt’ he expressed the popular estimate of Irving’s worth.

iain Frazier on 2nd November, 2019 wrote:

John (Irving) was born about 1760.  He has aliases of (Irwin/Irvine) also (Aderson/Anderson/Law).
He was tried at Lincoln for theft of silver cup & was sentenced to death commuted to 7years transportation at Lincoln from where he was received on hulk CERES, sent to Portsmouth to SCARBOROUGH then LADY PENRHYN on which he served as assistant surgeon on his journey to NSW in 1788; he was appointed by Governor Phillip as assistant surgeon to Norfolk Island in 1790 where he went on SIRIUS, where he was highly regarded as assistant surgeon & earned his Absolute Pardon (first given in the colony), returning on SUPPLY in 1792.
Here he met Ann (Marsh/Mash) goods & passenger packet boat operator, & lived with her on a 30acre property granted to him until he died in 1795 (buried at St Johns Parramatta).  The property passed to Ann & was sold in 1798 as ‘Irvings Farm’ Parramatta to Richard (Fitzgerald).
Soon after John’s death Ann gave birth to John (Irving/Irvine)/John Hamilton (Irving) in 1796 baptised at St Johns Parramatta.  Young John trained as boat builder at government dockyard Sydney in 1809.  He is recorded as witness to wedding (Richard Porter/Mary Hutchinson) at Sydney in 1811.  It may have been he (the record shows John (Ewin)) who married Mary (Clarke convict from CANADA in 1810) at St Phillips Sydney in 1812-also a child Lucy Catherine (Irving) (of his namesake a seaman) was born in 1814 & baptised in 1815 at St Phillips Sydney, in the same year Mary (Clarke) convict from CANADA died age35 buried at St Phillips Sydney.
Mary (Clark) was born about 1879, had been tried for stealing cloth at Lancashire Liverpool Quarter Sessions in 1809, transferred to Middlesex Gaol Delivery and arrived in NSW on CANADA in 1810.  She died in 1815 age35 buried St Phillips Sydney.
In about 1818 he married Ann Partridge (Ball)/Ann (Partridge)/Mary Ann (Partridge).
John & Ann’s son Clarence (Irvin) was born in 1818.
A child was born to a John (Irving) in 1819.
Their daughter Emilia (Irvin) was born in 1820.
Their daughter Eliza (Irvin) was born in 1822.
In 1823 he was a boat builder at Newcastle & master to George (Chapman son of William/Ann (Marsh) of Sydney.  In the 1820s he was financed by Mr (Raine) in whaling venture from Twofold Bay.  He moved to whaling grounds in New Zealand, became owner & skipper in whaling trade & became boat builder Bay of Islands.
John (Irving) died in 1883 age83.

Curiously, Mr Smee also records that John (Irving) a seaman and his wife Mary (Clarke convict from CANADA Free by Servitude in 1821) had 3children in 1814-1821:-
Lucy Catherine (Irving/Irwin) born 1814 baptised 1815 St Phillips Sydney.
Mary (Irving) born 1819.
James (Irving) born in 1821;
& that Mary (Clarke) died in 1829 age40.

William (Chapman) has an entry on this Website.
Ann (Marsh) has an entry on this website.
Mary (Clarke) has an entry on this Website.

iain Frazier on 17th December, 2019 wrote:

John’s child (John Hamilton (Irving)) with Ann (Mash/Marsh) was first child living Parramatta.
A street in Parramatta is named for John (Irving).

iain Frazier on 19th December, 2019 wrote:

The 1822 muster mentions John (Irvin) & wife Ann, Clarence (Irving), John (Irving) & Emily (Irving).

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 9th January, 2013 made the following changes:

convicted at, term 7 years, voyage, source, firstname, surname, alias1, alias2, alias3, alias4, date of birth 1720, date of death 3rd September, 1795, gender, occupation, crime

iain Frazier on 2nd November, 2019 made the following changes:

source: adb.anu.edu.au http://www.medicalpioneers.com Craig James Smee 'First Fleet Families Of Australia 1788' Craig James Smee 'Born In The English Colony Of New South Wales' Craig James Smee 'Births and Baptisms Marriages and Defacto Relationships Deat

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