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William Maxwell

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Maxwell
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1811
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 15th September, 1852
Age: 41 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Felony
Convicted at: Ireland, Down
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Neptune
Departure date: 27th August, 1837
Arrival date: 2nd January, 1838
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 46 other convicts


Primary source: Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924; Dublin, Kilmainham 1815-1910
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

CRIME: Stealing yarn

1837, 17 August: William MAXWELL was admitted to Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, from Down (prisoner #702). He had been tried on 26 June 1837, convicted and sentenced to 7 years by Thomas Jones Esq for a felony (stealing yarn, according to Convict Indents). He was described as 26 (born 1811), 5’9¾” tall with grey eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion.

1837, 19 August: Discharged from Kilmainham to be “embarked on board Neptune” (see Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924; Dublin, Kilmainham 1815-1910).

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

1838: On arrival in NSW, William MAXWELL, a Presbyterian, was 25, single, and a labourer. He could read but not write. His native place was County Down. He had no previous convictions. He was described as 5’9¼”, with a sallow complexion, brown hair and grey eyes (see New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842; Non-Annotated Printed Indentures 1838).

1842, 11 May: William MAXWELL per Neptune 4 was granted a Ticket of Leave No.42/1302 for the District of Melbourne (see New South Wales, Australia, Tickets of Leave, 1810-1869; Ticket of leave butts (NRS 12202); Ticket of leave butts, Apr 1842-Jul 1842).

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

1844, 2 April: William MAXWELL, 31, per Neptune 4, 7 years, Ticket of Leave, and Mary HAHN, 23, per Earl Durham, free, applied for and were given permission to marry on 13 April 1844; clergyman Daniel McEvey, Melbourne (see New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Convicts’ Applications to Marry, 1826-1851).
Note: Mary HAIR (also known as HAHN/HEHER/HEGHER) arrived in NSW on 18 June 1842, aged 19. She was an assisted immigrant, a housemaid, Roman Catholic, single, and her native place was County Clare. She could not read or write.
Mary HAIR was one of 190 immigrants brought into the colony via Port Phillip and Sydney “at the instance of Henry Dendy Esq per the ship Earl Durham under the regulations of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners”. Also on board were cabin and intermediate passengers.
Of the 190 passengers in steerage, 114 adults and children attracted a bounty of £1558. The barque sailed from London on 10 February 1842, and arrived at Port Phillip on 18 June 1842 where Mary HAIR disembarked (see New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896; 1842 June Earl Durham).

Footnote: Henry Dendy Esq was a “gentleman” and high profile land developer in the Port Phillip and Botany Districts of Victoria. He was importing immigrant labourers and selling land to immigrants in the 1840s but appears to have hit troubled waters by late 1843. On 3 January 1844, this ad appeared in the Port Phillip Gazette, p1:

“I, HENRY DENDY, of the parish of Morabbin, in the county of Bourke and district of Port Phillip, gentleman, request a meeting of my creditors at the office of Mr Richard O’Cock, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne… when a verified statement of my assets and liabilities will be produced for the purpose of obtaining time for the payment of my debts… dated this 30th day of December, A.D. 1843. HENRY DENDY.”

Dendy was also pursued in the courts for money owed to the Union Bank. He successfully applied in July 1846 to the Chief Commissioner of the Insolvent Court for the release from sequestration of his insolvent estate (see Port Phillip Patriot and Morning Advertiser, 27 Jul 1846, p2).

In 1855, Dendy’s 57,000 acre Upper Moira Station on the Murray River was up for “immediate sale” along with its more the 2000 sheep and 200 head of cattle, “in consequence of the proprietor… being about to leave the colony” (see The Argus, 12 Mar 1855, p8). Just over 6 months later, Dendy, his wife and son were cabin passengers aboard the Donald McKay, bound for Liverpool (see The Argus, 1 Oct 1855, p4).

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

1844, 17 December: Granted a Certificate of Freedom No.44/1845; age 31 (see New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867; (NRS 12210) Butts of Certificates of Freedom 1844 December All Records).

1845, 28 February: From the Melbourne Weekly Courier, p4: “The undermentioned Certificates of Freedom are lying at this Office for delivery: — … William Maxwell, Neptune (4) … W. R. BELCHER, Clerk to Bench, Police Office, Melbourne, 21st February, 1845.”

1847, 12 March: From the Geelong Advertiser, March 9:
“Cattle Stealing - On Wednesday a man named William Maxwell who has some cattle running on Mr Minton’s station at Western Port, was fully committed to take his trial for stealing and branding a heifer the property of Mr. McKee of Dandenong.”

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

1848 and 1849: The birth of Martha MAXWELL (born 8 May 1846), daughter of William MAXWELL and Mary HEHER, was twice registered at Western Port, Victoria (Victoria BDM,No.3605/1848 and No.42468/1849; family tree).

1848 and 1849: The birth of John MAXWELL (born 10 November 1847), son of William MAXWELL and Mary HEHER, was twice registered at Western Port, Victoria (Victoria BDM, No.3606/1848 and No.42469/1849; family tree).

1849: The birth of Catherine MAXWELL, daughter of William MAXWELL and Mary HEAHER, was registered at Western Port, Victoria (Victoria BDM, No.42969/1849).

** 1850: The MARRIAGE of William MAXWELL and Mary HEGHER at Western Port was registered in Victoria (see Victoria, Australia, Marriage Index, 1837-1950; No.40805).

1851: The birth of Sarah Jane MAXWELL, daughter of William MAXWELL and Mary HEHER, was registered at Western Port, Victoria (Victoria BDM, No.43912/1851).

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

1851: Mary MAXWELL (nee HEHER), born “about 1823, aged 28”, died at Western Point, Victoria; reg. no.44811 (see Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985; Victoria, Australia, Death Index, 1836-1988).
1852: William MAXWELL married his second wife Ann GIBSON in the Presbyterian Church, Melbourne; reg no.2992/1852 (see Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria).

1852, 15 September: William MAXWELL died. According to the Argus, 17 September 1852, p3, he died by his own hand:

“SUICIDE.— An inquest was held yesterday, at the Manchester Inn, Queen-street, on the body of William Maxwell, the owner of a station at Westernport, who was found lying near the house on Wednesday morning, with his throat cut, and a razor lying by his side. He had brought his wife from Melbourne a short time before, and had been in a very desponding state ever since. Verdict—Suicide committed during temporary insanity.”

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

William MAXWELL died intestate, with the following results…

1852, 25 September:  From the Argus, p5:

“In the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION,

“In the goods of William Maxwell, late of Green Mount, Western Port, in the Colony of Victoria, farmer, deceased.

“NOTICE is hereby given, that after the expiration of fourteen days from the date of the publication of this notice, application will be made to the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria in its Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, that letters of administration of all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits, which were of or belonging to William Maxwell, late of Green Mount, Western Port, in the Colony of Victoria, farmer, deceased, and who died intestate, may be committed to Ann Maxwell, of Green Mount aforesaid, the widow of the said William Maxwell, deceased.

“Dated the twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two.

“ALBERT READ, Proctor for the said Ann Maxwell.”


1852, 29 October: From the Argus, p4:


“This was a motion to make absolute a rule conditional obtained on a former day, calling on the widow of the late Wm Maxwell, of Western Port, to show cause why a guardian should not be appointed for the infant complainant, &c. In the interval, from the granting of the rule nisi to the hearing of the case, an injunction had been granted restraining the widow (respondent) from obtaining letters of administration in the estate. The rule had been obtained on the affidavit of Mr A Pattison, Gipps Land, which stated that the deceased had committed suicide within three weeks after his marriage, and that the widow was from her character altogether unfit to act as protector of the children, whom she had neglected and left with strangers.

“Mr Smyth now appeared in support of the rule.

“Mr Forbes showed cause on behalf of the widow, and contended that the affidavit of Mr Pattison was most unjustifiable—was an exparte statement containing general vague accusations to pass as substantiated evidence on a question of such delicacy. He wondered Mr Pattison would come into Court with such groundless charges. Counsel continued at considerable length, and showed that Mrs Maxwell in every step she took was quite justified. She came to Melbourne by the advice of Pattison and having completed her business had even gone several miles on the journey homewards when the rudeness and incivility of her carrier obliged her again to return to Melbourne, where her legal advisers recommended her staying till letters of administration were obtained. Counsel again insisted that the rule obtained should be discharged and injunction set aside.

“Mr Smyth being heard in reply, the Court discharged the rule, and at the same time constituted Mr Pattison and Mr Luckey [sic] superintendents of the station of the deceased, for benefit of the children.”


On 5 November 1852, a notice in the Argus (p5) advised that after the expiration of 14 days William Lackey [sic] of Western Port, Victoria, would be applying to the Supreme Court of Victoria for administration of the goods and chattels of William Maxwell.

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 wrote:

1852, 19 November: From the Argus, p4…
“RE WILLIAM MAXWELL, DECEASED. Mr Smyth applied for administration to the above named, should be granted to Mr James Lackay [sic]. Granted.”


1853, 28 February: From the Argus, p11…
“In the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria. In Equity, by Rule Nisi.
“PURSUANT to a decree of this honorable Court made in the case of Maxwell against Maxwell all persons claiming to be next of kin of William Maxwell, late of Green Mount, Western Port in the said colony, deceased who died on or about the fifteenth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, are to come in and prove their claims before me, Frederick Wilkinson, Esquire, Master in Equity of the said Supreme Court, at my office, Supreme Court House, LaTrobe street, in the city of Melbourne on or before Wednesday, the sixteenth day of March now next evening, or in default thereof they will be permanently excluded the benefit of the said decree.

“Signed before me at Melbourne, this twenty-second day of February, A.D. 1853.
“FRED. WILKINSON, Master in Equity.”

Elizabeth Gray on 14th July, 2021 wrote:

1864 daughter Martha Maxwell married John Charles Turner at Dandenong with consent of Alexander Patterson and James Leckey.
From their marriage certificate.

Convict Changes History

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924; Dublin, Kilmainham 1815-1910 (prev. ), firstname: William, surname: Maxwell, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1811, date of death: 0000, gender: m, oc

Dianne Jones on 28th January, 2021 made the following changes:

date of death: 15th September, 1852 (prev. 0000)

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