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James Maher

James Maher, one of 192 convicts transported on the Burrell, 22 July 1830

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Maher
Aliases: Davison, William (alias)
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1798
Occupation: Cabinetmaker
Date of Death: -
Age: -

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: Returning from transportation
Convicted at: Devon Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Burrell
Departure date: 22nd July, 1830
Arrival date: 31st December, 1830
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 191 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/7, Page Number 445 (225)
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

D Wong on 17th May, 2015 wrote:

Bristol Mirror Bristol, England
12 Apr 1823
Death, James Maher (25 ), John Johnson (29), and George Watkins(l7), were indicted for burglariously entering and robbing the dwelling house of Mr. James Allies, in Fritchard-street, at about eight o’clock.
John Johnson also on board, George Watkins not located.

So James arrived on the ‘Guildford’ 1824 – he was 26 single and a ‘cabinet maker’.

He then made his was back to England and was tried at the Devon Assizes in 1830 and sentenced to life for ‘Returning from transportation’
He was now 30 and married – an ‘Indoor Servant/Cabinet maker’.

He arrived back in NSW per “Burrell” 1830.

15/12/1835 Sydney Gazette:
Before Messrs, Foster and Barker,
{Summary Jurisdiction.)
James Maher alias William Davidson, per ship Burrell, under sentence of transportation for life, was charged with attempting to escape from the colony.

Mr. Ryan, clerk in the Superintendent of Convict’s Office, produced an extract from the Indent and deposed that the prisoner at the bar, was therein described by the names by which he was charged in the indictment; he had been forwarded to Port Macquarie as a special, on his arrival in the colony in 1830;  and that in February last, he was reported as a runaway from that place. 

Captain John Harrison, late master and owner of the Friendship, wrecked at Norfolk Island, deposed that the prisoner engaged himself as seaman on board the Friendship in the latter end of March last, and signed articles to proceed from Sydney to Norfolk Island, from thence to New Zealand, and back to Sydney.
Prisoner slated that he was a seaman and could do Carpenters work, and that he had sailed last in the Queen Charlotte; he was employed on board the schooner during the time she remained in Sydney Cove, sleeping on shore every night, and witness formed a very high opinion of him which occasioned his permanent engagement;  the Friendship was wrecked at Norfolk Island, and prisoner was recognized, apprehended and forwarded to Sydney.

The prisoner put in a written defence which he desired to be read publicly and which,  from what fell from the Chairman,  appeared to be grounded on informations given by the prisoner which might endanger his life;  Mr. Foster said that he could not be benefited that time by such a line of defence, and that if found guilty,  he (Mr. Foster) had no discretion but to pass the sentence.

Mr. Sheehy for the prisoner contended that the intention to escape from the colony,  had not been made out. Prisoner was bound by his articles to return to the colony.
Mr. Garling. Yes but he was bound by his previous at tides not to leave the colony,
The Bench decided that the case was clearly made out, and sentenced the prisoner to 14 ears transportation to such a place as His Excellency might appoint.

There are no records of him related to the Burrell – however there is a TOL in 1843 at Braidwood and a CP on 10/7/1848 listed under his name on the Guildford.

Could not pinpoint him, too many James Mahers’.  There was one at Braidwood who married Bridget Dwyer, he was the son of James Maher, was born Ireland C1813 and died 31/5/1895 at Braidwood.

There was also a James Maher, a cabinet maker and later an undertaker at Bathurst – he made his appearance C1850’s in ‘Trove’ and he died 31/8/1876 at Bathurst.

There were of course many others – If you have any further information on any James Maher, please make a contribution.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 17th May, 2015 made the following changes:

alias1: Davison, William (alias) (prev. Davison, William (Alias)), date of birth: 1798 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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