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William Johnson

William Johnson, one of 190 convicts transported on the Guildford, 22 March 1827

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Johnson
Aliases: Hawkes (alias)
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1806
Occupation: Groom
Date of Death: 1834
Age: 28 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Horse theft
Convicted at: London Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Guildford
Departure date: 22nd March, 1827
Arrival date: 25th July, 1827
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 192 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 115 (59)
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

Penny-Lyn Beale on 23rd December, 2020 wrote:

New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842
Guildford - 1827
Name; William Johnson alias Hawks. Age; 21 [1806]
No; 83
Read or write. Single,
Native County; Cornwall
Trade; Groom
Offence; Horse Stealing
Trial; London - 22 Sep 1826 - Life
Height; 5 ft. 4 in
Complexion; Ruddy
Hair; Dk. Brown
Eyes; Dk. Brown
Assigned; H G Douglass Esq.
Date of Certificate;
Additional Remarks; HANGED in Sydney on the 6th March 1834 for bush-ranging and robbery

Penny-Lyn Beale on 23rd December, 2020 wrote:

William Johnson – 24 March 1828 – Hanged at Sydney Gaol for the murder of Morris Morgan at Moreton Bay.

Maureen Withey on 3rd January, 2022 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 03 January 2022), September 1826, trial of WILLIAM JOHNSON, alias Hawkes (t18260914-65).
WILLIAM JOHNSON, Theft > animal theft, 14th September 1826.

1375. WILLIAM JOHNSON, alias Hawkes , was indicted for stealing, on the 7th of July , at St. Giles-without-Cripplegate , 1 bridle, value 5s.; 1 saddle, value 2l., and 1 mare, price 15l. , the property of Thomas Burrell .

THOMAS BURRELL. I am a farmer , and live at Waltham Abbey. On the 7th of July, about seven o’clock, I got to Fairlop Fair , with this bay mare - the bridle and saddle were on - I gave it into the possession of Pearson, to take care of; I was going to return about nine o’clock and the mare was then gone; I was in Smithfield, looking round to see if she came there, and between seven and eight o’clock on Friday - that day week - I met a man on her in Long-lane - she had then only a halter on; I am certain of her - I had had her four or five years - I had not observed the prisoner at the Fair.

THOMAS PEARSON . I live at Loughton, in Essex, and am a bricklayer. I was at Fairlop Fair, and saw Burrell - he gave me this mare to take care of, about seven o’clock in the evening; I had her in my possession about an hour and three-quarters before I missed her; I tied a hempen halter round her head, and tied her to another cord; she had a bridle and saddle on; I had three more in my care, standing with her; I only lost this one; I was absent only five or six minutes, and on my return this mare was gone, and the rope taken away, with her bridle and saddle also - I had not observed the prisoner. Mr. Burrell came up in a quarter of an hour, when I was inquiring about it. I saw her again on the Friday week - she had been found then. The prisoner is a stranger to me.

THOMAS CHESSNEY . I am servant at Mr. Dixon’s Repository, Barbican. On a Friday I brought this mare from Dixon’s, and was riding it in Long-lane, when Burrell claimed it; she was brought there for sale; I did not see her till that Friday, between seven and eight o’clock in the morning, and do not know who brought her; she had no bridle or saddle on. Mr. Dixon had sold her, and I was taking her home.

Cross-examined by MR. ALLEY. Q. A great deal of business is done at your place? A. Yes.

EDWARD CLAUGHTON . I am foreman to Mr. Dixon. This mare was brought into our yard on Saturday, the8th of July, by the prisoner; I think it was in the afternoon; I desired him to go into the counting-house for the clerk to book her. We only take horses in for sale. I am positive he is the person; I saw him three or four days afterwards; he called on the Tuesday, to inquire if she was sold; he sold her himself in our yard, to a man named Joseph Day, for 11l., on Friday, the 14th - it was not paid for till the following Monday - he called that day for the money; I had heard it was stolen, and gave him in charge; I told him it was stolen; he said it belonged to himself and his brother, and he had had her about six months; I am certain of that - it had no saddle or bridle.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you certain he said he had had her six months? A. Yes, I am. The transaction was public.

SAMUEL TURNER . I am a constable. I was waiting at Dixon’s for the prisoner, and apprehended him; he told me he had had the mare in his possession three months, and it was his own; it was afterwards claimed by Burrell and Pearson - I delivered it to Burrell.

THOMAS BURRELL. I have had the horse ever since, and am certain it is mine - she had been constantly at work in my custody till I took her to the fair: the prisoner is a stranger.

Prisoner’s Defence. On the Saturday, when I took her to Dixon’s, I did not see Claughton.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 19.

Recommended to Mercy by the Prosecutor on account of his youth, and having heard a good character of him.

Convict Changes History

Penny-Lyn Beale on 23rd December, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: Hawkes (alias) (prev. Hawkes (Alias)), date of birth: 1806 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1834 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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