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Maurice Margarot

Maurice Margarot, one of 94 convicts transported on the Surprize, February 1794

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Maurice Margarot
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1745
Occupation: Gentleman
Date of Death: 11th November, 1815
Age: 70 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: High treason
Convicted at: Edinburgh Court of Justiciary
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Surprize
Departure date: February, 1794
Arrival date: 17th October, 1794
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 94 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 199 (100)
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

Eric Harry Daly on 1st January, 2013 wrote:

Maurice Margarot is most notable for being one of the founding members of the London Corresponding Society, a radical society demanding parliamentary reform in the late eighteenth century.
In December 1793, Margarot was arrested and charged with involvement in seditious practices. At his trial, Margarot defended himself with a speech described by the judge, Lord Braxfield, as itself being “sedition”. He was found guilty, and along with four other radicals (later known as the “Scottish Martyrs to Liberty”) was transported to Australia in May 1794.
Margarot was joined by his wife, but almost immediately a controversial and still mysterious set of events overtook the prisoners. Late in the voyage, Captain Patrick Campbell of the Surprize transport ship claimed to have been informed of a plan for mutiny and locked up several of the prisoners he was carrying, including Thomas Fyshe Palmer and William Skirving. Margarot was not locked up, and in his Narrative of the Sufferings of T.F. Palmer and William Skirving (1794) Palmer claimed that Margarot was in league with Campbell. No hearings were held, however, when the Surprize reached Australia later in the year.Margarot fell into further trouble with authorities in New South Wales, for example, claiming at several points to have been appointed by the British government to report on the misgovernance of the young penal colony. His most notable run-in was in 1804, when he was suspected of involvement in the Castle Hill Rebellion. Shortly after this, he was briefly sent to hard labor at the Newcastle, New South Wales settlement. From 1804 to his return to England in 1811, his movements in Australia are unknown. Following he and his wife’s return to England, Margarot served as a witness in Parliamentary hearings concerning misgovernance and corruption in New South Wales (such as that which led to the Rum Rebellion), but died on 11 Nov 1815 in extreme poverty, and under continued government suspicion as a pro-French radical. By that time, many domestic British radicals also held Margarot in suspicion, primarily because of Palmer’s accusations concerning the mutiny.

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 1st January, 2013 made the following changes:

date of birth 1745, date of death 11th November, 1815, gender, occupation, crime

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