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James Lush

James Lush, one of 112 convicts transported on the Proteus, 12 April 1831

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Lush
Aliases: John Lush
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1789
Occupation: 'ploman' & farm labourer
Date of Death: 1854
Age: 65 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: -
Convicted at: Wilts. Special Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Proteus
Departure date: 12th April, 1831
Arrival date: 3rd August, 1831
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 111 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 86
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

Maureen Withey on 14th November, 2019 wrote:

National Archives - Medical Journal by Thomas Logan, Surgeon of Convict Ship Proteus, 6 April - 8 Aug 1831.
ADM 101/62/2/3
John Lush, aged 42; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list, 27 June 1831. Discharged 30 June 1831 cured.

Larina Harper on 23rd February, 2021 wrote:

James Lush (not known by any other names) direct ancestor of author, arrived in Van Diemens Land. Sentence commuted from Death to life through an intervention by Lord Marlborough (recorded in Old Bailey Transcripts, as well as “Black Sheep” book written by Jill Chambers (PHD expert on Swing Riots). James was subjected to many lashings and beatings, along with solitary confinement (Records on Tasmania Library Archives). James married (albeit potentially common-law), Elizabeth Nelson in Tasmania and eventually they moved to Victoria. He is survived by a large family of descendants. While he was charged iwth a number of differet crimes to start with, the only crime he owned up to was attending a riot and throwing a half eaten apple at his landlord which landed on his face. James played a pivotal role in the changes of local law, and where many innocent people such as James were convicted and transported. In essence, the laws of the time made it that those people that admitted to crimes and who were tried earlier were treated more leniently, if they reneged and went witness to testify the innocence of other parities later (such as in James case) they ran the risk of execution and/or transportation. It is for these reasons that Lord Malborough intervened and defended James and another during their trial. There is a plaque honouring the memory of James Lush at Salisbury in Wiltshire and others) for the part they played in the Swing Riots. The other contributor may ahve become confused (as many family members did) becuase there are a number of different people by the name Lush (James and John Lush), where they all hail from the same parts of Wiltshire. Traditionally the plough men worked on the farms for generations and iwth the introduction of farm machinery, the men and their families were left homeless, jobless and starving, subsisting on less than those imprisoned in the Tower of London, (see book by Jill Chalmers) for the full story. James had few children survive from his first marriage (transported at a senior age, he left behind his entire family). His son James Lush travelled to Australia as a young adult and reconnected with him before James snr died, but James Jnr did not have any children. While James Lush snr fathered about 8 children,  he had about 20 grandchildren between two family members. To see full information explore the sourced family information on Wikitree.

Maureen Withey on 23rd February, 2021 wrote:

Wilts Special Commission, Salisbury, Wednesday
James Lush and George Toomer were again charged with having robbed Bartlett Pinniger, of two sovereigns, his property.  Mr Bartlett Pinniger is a farmer, living at Coombe Bissett.  On the 23rd Nov. he was told that a mob had collected, and were coming down to Coombe; he I consequence went home, armed himself with a brace of pistols, and about 20 or 30 men whom he had collected together with sticks, ready to meet them.  They waited till ten o’clock, when he closed the gates.  A neighbour of his, of the name of Fleetwood, then came up to him with a lanthorn, and while they were talking the mob came up; he took the lanthorn out of Mr Fleetwood’s hand, and leant over the wall, saying, that he would not give them any money, but that they might go and break the machine; he did this because his wife was very ill, and he was afraid she would be alarmed. They said they should not have money, and that he would shoot them.  They said, “Oh, you can shoot but one of us.”  One of the men having effected an entrance into the yard, he called out “Come on.”  The mob then presses witness and Mr Fleetwood so hard that he called to his men to come and assist.  He again held up the lanthorn, and held out the pistol, which flashed in the pan when he pulled the trigger.  The mob kept on striking the lanthorn with sticks until the light was struck out.  He received a severe blow on the arm, and many of his men had broken heads.  A scuffle then ensued, and finding (from the nature of their numbers and weapons) that they could do nothing with them, he called out that he would give them the two sovereigns.  One of the men, who had a sledge-hammer, was knocking down the walls at this time.  The generality of the mob had very large sticks. He asked who took the money, and immediately one of them took it; several of them called out, as if in doubt of it having been given; they then called out for the machine, and he having told them where it was, they went and broke it.  This stick was taken from one of the mob; it was the branch of a tree, and was used by sawyers as a lever to move timber.  He could not identify either of the prisoners.
David Hillier, a man who was in the employ of the last witness, proved having seen the two prisoners in the yard on the 23rd November; he also spoke to the fact of the scuffle; he received a blow in it, which made him feel a “little senseless,” but he recovered just as the money was given; the prisoners either had sticks or iron bars in their hands.
William Baker, another servant of the prosecutor’s, also identified the prisoners.
The prisoner Lush: My Lord, I should like to know whether there is any punishment for that witness who swears a false oath?
Mr Justice Alderson: Certainly there is.
Lush: Then, milord, that’s the man.
Witness said: I have spoken the truth, James, you know.
Lush (grasping the bar in front of the Dock): My Lord, I wish my hands may never come up if he has not sworn falsely against me. Oh!  William, you be a false man. You’re a scandalous fellow to destroy a poor man’s life in this manner.
The prisoners, in their defence, protested their innocence.  Mr Justice Alderson having summed up, the Jury found the prisoners both Guilty.
Morning Chronicle, 7 Jan 1831


Tasmanian Convict Conduct Record.  https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON31-1-28$init=CON31-1-28p54

597. James Lush, Proteus, Aug 4 1831. Tried,: Wilts, 27 Dec 1830, Life.
Transported for Robbery, Gaol Report unknown; Hulk report, Good. Married six children. Stated this offence, Robbery, demanding money att he riots, once for stealing turnips, 2 months. Married 6 children. Wife Sarah in Bishopstone near Salisbury.

Many disciplinary acts and punishments are recorded on this record.


Larina Harper on 5th May, 2021 wrote:

James Lush did not have an alias of John Lush and if the contributor that maintains this can present the evidence we will take this inot consideration. James was transported and ended up marrying again, and having a heap of children and settled into farm life before he died.  He had a brother John Lush. He had one criminal charge before the swing riots where he was sentenced for poaching/stealing, and jailed for two months. The other author is providing information out of context without including the facts that whatever was reported (and sentencing) that it was acknowledged as a miscarriage of justice and the case of Withers and Lush, resulted in legislative changes at Salisbury. There is an author Jill Chambers - a PHD and speaker of the Swing Riots, who wrote a book on the subject (and refers to Lush and Withers) because the judiciary had decided to use these two men as examples to the public of why they shouldn’t riot. The swing riots resulted in some 2000 men and women being arrested over a weekend, and the government wanted to make sure it never happened again so they ‘needed to execute someone’ Lord Melbourne intervened and had their death sentences communted.The person that is adding information here is not including the thirty or so years of combined research by family members gathering documents. we have copies of the old Bailey transcripts, we also have copies of the chapters on the book “black sheep”. there is a memorial to James Lush at Salisbury because of his ultimate sacrifice, (and about twelve other men). We are fully aware of the content that the other author is putting up here .. however, it is without the context of the other information and in fact, is a genuine case of trumped up charges. James maintained the only violence he did was throw an apple that hit the landlord, but he took a few pound compensation at a time when (as evidenced by Dr Jill Chambers) when he and his children and all the other rioters were subsisting on less than the people incarcerated in the tower of London. They had also been pushed off their land, and were homeless as a consequence of the landlords removing them so that they could plant more crops. Lush was not alone in this experience - hence 2000 rising up on the one weekend, that smashed the ploughs. Mind you we could add to this that while he was in Australia his five children and wife died within a few short years of him being transported. His sixteen year old son travelled to Australia (the sole surviving family member) to reconnect with his father.I’m not sure i want this information put up there, but i definitely don’t like the idea of someone that only reads an article or two, forms an opininon and posts one article up. I also have a newspaper article (british) held by the British Library, where it is graphically reported the position of the judiciary and where his defence is cautioned that if they testify they will be transported because it will mean that they lied in their own trial and defence. In fact.. there is a heap of information up on Ancestry about him (copies of documents) and i’m loading onto wikitree as well. the previous comments sound like an ongoing persecution of a man who cannot defend himself, nearly two hundred years after he died, and he should not need to.. the research already conducted speaks to his victimisation by the justice system.

Larina Harper on 5th May, 2021 wrote:

Here is a link to a local thesis/study on the Swing Rioters and the character of them. james lush is mentioned in it. I know when I have been analysing the nature of his ‘refusal to work’ and so forth it has actually tied in with the death or birth of his children (which is interesting). Naturally we cant’ prove if this was the ‘rebellious streak’ but we do know that he was put in solitary for non attending work at a time when one of his new born babies would have died. https://eprints.utas.edu.au/19178/7/Brown_whole _thesis_missing_pages_added.pdf

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 14th November, 2019 made the following changes:

alias1: John Lush, date of birth: 1789 (prev. 0000)

Larina Harper on 23rd February, 2021 made the following changes:

date of death: 1854 (prev. 0000), occupation

Iris Dunne on 23rd February, 2021 made the following changes:

gender: m

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