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John Lynch

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Lynch
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1801
Occupation: Shop boy
Date of Death: 18th June, 1827
Age: 26 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 58 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Ireland. Dublin
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Dorothy
Departure date: 5th May, 1820
Arrival date: 29th September, 1820
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 192 other convicts


Primary source: 1. NSW Convict Ship Muster Rolls… 1790-1849 2. NSW Convict Indents, 1788-1842, Bound Indentures 1820-1821 3. Convict Records, 1810-1891, Phoenix Hulk: Entrance Books, 1825-1831 4. Journal of Robert Espie, Dorothy’s Surgeon Superintendent, 1820 5. NSW Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856, p293 6. NSW Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856, Special Bundles, 1794-1825 7. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 24 Feb, p4 8. NSW Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856, p15 9. Colonial Se
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Dianne Jones on 30th May, 2020 wrote:

DATE OF BIRTH: 1799 (see NSW Convict Indents), OR 1801 (see Convict Ship Muster Rolls).

NATIVE OF: County Kildare, Ireland (see NSW Convict Indents, 1788-1842, Bound Indentures 1820-1821).

RELIGION: Catholic (see Convict Records, 1810-1891, Phoenix Hulk: Entrance Books, 1825-1831).

CONVICTED: Dublin County Court, October 1819 (see NSW Convict Ship Muster Rolls… 1790-1849). [Note: County not City Court trial.]

DESCRIPTION: He is 5’2½”, fair complexion, flaxen hair, blue eyes (see NSW Convict Indents, 1788-1842, Bound Indentures 1820-1821). 

DURING THE VOYAGE: Received 50 lashes on 14 June as an alleged member of a gang of nine in a foiled mutiny aboard the “Dorothy” (see Journal of Robert Espie, Dorothy’s Surgeon Superintendent, 1820).

1820, 29 September: On a list of 81 convicts disembarked from the “Dorothy” and forwarded to Emu Plains for distribution (see NSW Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856, p293).

1821-24: Employed in the service of Rev Henry Fulton, Chaplain in District of Evan, Magistrate, and supplier (by tender) of beef to Government Stores (see entry 1825).

1824, 20 September: John Lynch, bonded, of Mr Marsden’s Clearing gang was sentenced by the Bench of Magistrates at Parramatta to 51 lashes for being absent without leave, had his remissions suspended, and was returned to the gang (see NSW Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856, Special Bundles, 1794-1825).

1825, 24 February: John Lynch, “Dorothy”, 24, Emu Plains, is on a list from the Principal Superintendent’s Office of convicts who “absented” themselves from their government employment (see The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 24 Feb, p4).

1825, 17 September: Tried by the Criminal Court Sydney and sentenced to death for burglary (see NSW Convict Records, 1810-1891, Phoenix Hulk: Entrance Books, 1825-1831).

1825, 24 September: On list of prisoners tried and sentenced by the Supreme Court, convicted of burglary; sentence of death commuted to banishment to Norfolk Island for life (see NSW Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856, p15).

1825, 31 October: John Lynch per “Dorothy” on list of Government servants employed in the service of Reverend Henry Fulton, 1821-24 (see Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856, Main Series of Letters Received, 1788-1826, p79a).

1825, 3 November: Admitted to Sydney Gaol, John Lynch, per “Dorothy” (see NSW and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849, NSW General muster A-L 1825)

1825: On list of prisoners tried or sentenced by the Supreme Court on 5 November. Convicted of burglary; sentenced to death (see Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856, p21).

1826, 9 February: John Lynch is listed on the Phoenix Hulk’s entrance book. He is a basket weaver, from Cork, and listed for shipment to Norfolk Island on 9 December (see NSW Convict Records, 1810-1891, Phoenix Hulk: Entrance Books, 1825-1831).

1826, December: Aboard the “Wellington” for shipment to Norfolk Island.

1827, 9 February: On a list of men, received on board the Hulk Phoenix, who — while in transit to Norfolk Island on the brig Wellington — took possession of the vessel, before being recaptured. John Lynch, “Dorothy”, religion Catholic (see Convict Records, 1810-1891, Phoenix Hulk: Entrance Books, 1825-1831).

1827, 10 February, “The Sydney Gazette” reported the following, on page 2: “[On 21 December 1826]... the brig ‘Wellington’, belonging to Mr. Joseph Underwood, which was carrying prisoners to Norfolk Island, with the notorious Anthony Best, and other criminals on board, when within two days sail of her destination, was piratically captured by the convicts — the captain, crew, and troops made prisoners — and Mr. Buchanan, the engineer, had his head laid open with a musket. As soon as the vessel was in their possession, the pirates made for New Zealand, where it providentially happened that the ‘Sisters’ was lying at anchor off the Bay of Islands. We hear that an action commenced between the pirates and the whaler, which lasted for six hours, in which two of the former were killed. Captain Duke then went on board with a flag of truce, and declared if they did not surrender, he would bear down upon them, assisted with 200 or 300 natives, and put every man to death. This had the effect, and the pirates surrendered. Some of them, however, made their escape on shore, but by means of the extraordinary exertions of Captain Duke, assisted by the natives, the whole were soon retaken. The following is a list of the gang which have been brought back to Sydney, on the ‘Sisters’— the remainder being on board the ‘Wellington’, which was off the heads yesterday evening late, having Anthony Best on board:—

John Walton, ex-captain of the pirates; Charles Clay Todhunter, James O’Neal, Henry Drummond, Charles Daley, William Leddington, William Ryan, William Holt, John Jennings, JOHN LYNCH [my emphasis], William Webb, Patrick Flannigan, Cornelius Callaghan, John Stewart, Thomas Quin, Richard Johnson, Thomas Edwards, Edward McGuiness, John Swan, Richard Carter, Thomas Carvell, William Brown, Patrick Geary, James Bennet, John Smith, Thomas Bayley, Edward Colethurst, William Bateman, John McGuinness, Abraham Davis, William Walker, John Boyde.”

1827, 19 February: John Lynch is one of five prisoners who escaped from the Hulk Phoenix, between 2am and 4.15am on the day they were to be transferred to Sydney Gaol, preparatory to their trial for “piratically seizing” the brig Wellington (see Convict Records, 1810-1891, Phoenix Hulk: Discharge Book, 1825-1830).

1827, 21 February, “The Sydney Gazette” reported the following, on page 3: “Tuesday, 20 February - John Walton, William Douglas, John Edwards, Charles Clay alias Todhunter, John Smith, Richard Hicks, William Browne, JOHN LYNCH [my emphasis], Edward Colthurst, Charles Daley, James O’Neil, and William Ryan were indicted for piratically seizing the brig Wellington, the property of Mr. Joseph Underwood, of Sydney, together with a quantity of clothing and arms, the property of the Crown, on the high seas, about 40 leagues distant from Norfolk Inland, on the 21st of December last… the jury found all the prisoners Guilty. Remanded.”

1827, 21 February, “The Australian”, p1, published the following Notice from the Colonial Secretary’s Office: ONE HUNDRED POUNDS REWARD; WHEREAS THE FIVE CONVICTED FELONS, whose Names are undermentioned, effected their Escape from the Phoenix Hulk, at an early Hour in the Morning of Monday last; NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that a REWARD of TWENTY POUNDS will be paid for the Apprehension of each of the said Felons, who shall be safely lodged in one of His Majesty’s Gaols: … JOHN LYNCH, per Dorothy, 1820, Labourer, a Native of the County of Kildare; 27 years of age; 5 feet 2 inches and a half high; with fair ruddy complexion, flaxen hair, and blue eyes.”

1827, 4 May: John Lynch admitted to Sydney Gaol (see Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930, Entrance Book Sydney 1825-1832).

1827, 31 May: John Lynch, Patrick Geary, and Thomas Quin ([aka Quinn], were capitally convicted of a house robbery [Lynch in the home of Thomas Parnell at Richmond on 23 April] (see The Australian, 1 Jun 1827, p3).

1827, 6 June: John Lynch appeared before Henry Fulton Esq, Penrith Criminal Court, on charge of “Runaway, Pirate and Robbery”. Guilty (see Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930, Entrance Book Sydney 1825-1832).

1827, 8 June, “The Monitor”, p8, reported: “Domestic Intelligence: Supreme Court Sessions: Friday June 1… Patrick Geary and Thomas Quinn, two of the pirates who escaped from the hulk, having been on the previous day, found guilty of the robbery in the house of Timothy Beard, were put to the bar. His Honor the Judge addressed them in a most impressive manner, adverting to their having within a few short months previously, become the objects of the executive clemency, which had produced no reforming effect upon them. Now, there was no hope left them but their God; to whom he recommended them to devote the short period which was left them. “The sentence of the Court is that you be taken from hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution, and there be hanged by the neck till your bodies be dead; and may God in his infinite goodness have mercy upon your souls.” The prisoners left the dock praying for “a long day,” i.e. time for repentance!

JOHN LYNCH [my emphasis], the last of the pirates, also convicted of a robbery in the house of Thomas Parnell, on the 23rd of April, at Richmond, was the last prisoner sentenced. Mr. Justice Stephen lamented to see him again at that bar, where he had before performed the painful duty of passing the awful sentence of death upon him, for an offence similar to that for which he was now convicted. The same sentence, namely, Death, was then passed on him. The prisoner then spoke nearly as follows; ‘I have no hope that His Excellency will extend any mercy to me, so I hope your Honor will allow me
time to make my peace with God, and give me “a long day.” The Governor may think it a beneficial plan to offer a reward of 20 pounds for our apprehension, but it only drives men to extremities. We understood when we were at large, that the Governor meant to sacrifice all of us.’” 

1827, 18 June: JOHN LYNCH was one of four men hanged on this day.

This excerpt is from “The Australian’s” long, detailed account of the executions: “Lynch pulled out a paper, and read from it the following:- Fellow-men and Brethren, the awful spectacle which is now going to take place before you, will, I sincerely hope make such an impression on all those present, that it may be the means of deterring them from the unlawful pursuits which have been the cause of bringing me to this ignominious and premature end: for, being always of an impetuous disposition of mind, I could not brook the restrictions under which I was placed in this country, and therefore, was determined to exonerate myself from bondage the first favourable crisis that offered.

I own that I was one of those who bore an active part in capturing the brig Wellington at sea, but I solemnly protest, that there was never any proposition made of using any violence towards the military, besides keeping them in security, and ensuring our own safety. On the contrary, we behaved like Christians and Britons; our liberty was our sole view; and only being deceived in the capacity of the person who took the command, we should have managed things in a different manner from what they were. We should have been in a free country long before this. But we are well aware that he did not know much of the theory or practical part of navigation. May the Lord forgive him, for I am of opinion, that if he had said he was inadequate to the undertaking, that she would not have been recaptured. Before we came to Sydney we were of opinion that the most rigorous examples would be made of all those who had any hand in it, this was the stimulus which made us escape from the hulk; and the government subsequently offering a reward of twenty pounds for the apprehension of our persons, made us conclude that they meant to sacrifice us whenever we were taken. These severe proceedings often drive men to extremities and make them commit crimes which very probably if milder means were tried, they would desist from. I hope that the Supreme Creator of the universe will now forgive me my many offences, through the all atoning blood of a crucified Redeemer. I hope you will all pray to the Almighty to receive our poor souls into his celestial kingdom.

I have received every kindness from the officers of the gaol, more particularly Mr. Wilson and Mr. Deegan; and at the time when I was confined here before, I experienced every kindness from Mr. Steel, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Toole; and we allow the present Inspecting Surgeon to be a gentleman of the most humane disposition. I hope that all those who are present will take a timely warning by the unhappy scene before them; and may the Lord in his infinite mercy forgive me and my unhappy companions who are going to face an awful eternity. JOHN LYNCH.” (see The Australian, 20 Jun 1827, p3: Execution)

Dianne Jones on 27th June, 2020 wrote:

1819, 24 August: Admitted to Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin; charged with “highway robbery”.

1819, 31 October: Tried before Judges Fletcher and Moore; guilty; sentenced to Death; respited.

1820, 15 April: From Kilmainham jail he was “sent on board the convict ship” for transportation (see Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924; Dublin Kilmainham 1815-1910).

Convict Changes History

Dianne Jones on 30th May, 2020 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, source: 1. NSW Convict Ship Muster Rolls… 1790-1849 2. NSW Convict Indents, 1788-1842, Bound Indentures 1820-1821 3. Convict Records, 1810-1891, Phoenix Hulk: Entrance Books, 1825-1831 4. Journal of Robert Espie, Doro

Iris Dunne on 30th May, 2020 made the following changes:

convicted at, date of birth: 1801 (prev. 0000)

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