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John Morris

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Morris
Aliases: Smith
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
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: Irish rebel
Convicted at: Ireland, Wexford
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Atlas
Departure date: 30th May, 1802
Arrival date: 30th October, 1802
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 189 other convicts


Primary source: Irish Convict Database by Peter Mayberry.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Maureen Withey on 12th September, 2021 wrote:

Irish Convict Database by Peter Mayberry.
John Morris, Atlas II 1802, Tried at Wexford,  Life.
Not Found in 1811 muster.


Colonial Secretary Index.

MORRIS, John alias SMITH. Per “Atlas”, Oct 1802
1818 Jun 9
On list of prisoners sent to Newcastle per “Lady Nelson” (Reel 6006; 4/3498 p.275)

Maureen Withey on 12th September, 2021 wrote:

In her book “Unfinished Revolution: United Irishmen in New South Wales, 1800-1810”,  Anne-Maree Whitaker mentions William Morris several times:

Page 210 William Morris (Atlas II) Shown on the ship’s indent as Morrison, he was tried in Wexford in 1800. He was convicted at the Dwyer trial in 1807, and was sent to Norfolk Island where he remained until at least 1811.

During the Dwyer trial, Denis Stacey gave evidence against McCann, based on a conversation:
Page 156.
“Later Stacey met William Morris at his employer’s farm. Morris, recognising him as one of the Castle Hill constables, talked about coming over to take the constables’ arms and urged Stacey to hand them over without a struggle. Ten days or a fortnight later, after the arrisets in March, Morris came to Stacey and said “now is the time to get the arms before those persons who are now in jail are sent out of the colony or otherwise disposed of.” In reply to McCann, the witness said they were alone when their conversation took place and it was before the arrest of the five state prisoners. Stacey admitted he didn’t report their conversation until after Morris’s second approach about the arms. The discrepancy in the dates of the alleged conversations was not pressed home.  Morris did not ask any questions. This ended the second day of the trial. (13th May)

Page 159
“He was followed by William Morris’s employer of three years, Michael Hancy, who described Morris as “always honest, sober and quiet”.

The Sydney Gazette, of 7 Jun 1807, reported the trial:

On Monday the 11th ultimo a Court of Criminal Jurisdiction assembled in Sydney for the trial of offenders; and sat for several days.  ...
Michael O’Dwyre, Hugh Byrne, Martin Burke, John Mernar, Thomas McCann, William Morris, Arthur Develyn and Walter Clare, were put to the bar and indicted for conniving and intending to disturb the peace of this colony, by undergoing many persons to revolt from their allegiance, and to rise in open rebellion, which meant to overthrow His Majesty’s Government therein, as well upon the 27th day of August last as at other subsequent periods, prior to the prisoners being taken into custody.
The evidence on the part of the Crown was clear and connected. It appeared upon the most respectable testimony, that the conduct of many of that defendants or prisoners who had been exiled for treasonable and seditious practices, had been untoward and highly disrespectful to their masters, at and about the above stated period; and that from this sudden change of conduct, in addition to the various informations that were communicated by persons whose veracity was to be depended on, no other inference was deducible than that the projected insurrection was upon the very point of bursting forth, and that the devoted victims to delusion and artifice were confident of a successful issue.
The prisoners were allowed every assistance requisite to their defence; which after some exculpatory argument, concluded generally with a point blank denial of the charge.
The Court was then cleared; and after a minute revision of the evidence, re-opened; when Thomas McCann and William Morris were found guilty, and the others acquitted.—The prisoners were taken from the bar, and ordered to be brought up to receive their sentences the following day;

Thomas McCann and William Morris were again brought forward, and addressed by the Judge Advocate; who remarked to them, that notwithstanding the malignity of the crime they were convicted of upon, testimony clear and incontrovertible, yet the penalty incurred thereby did not extend to the lives of the delinquents ; but the security of society from such foul, sanguinary, and abominable devices, rendered necessary the most exemplary punishment : ” The Court did therefore adjudge and sentence them to receive one thousand lashes each; the Court recommending further, that as delinquents of the most dangerous principles and character, be removed by the most speedy conveyance to some remote place, where the baneful influence of their detestible principles might not be disseminated among other ignorant & credulous persons.
In pursuance of their sentence, the prisoners having received a part of their corporal punishment, have been sent away to different settlements, where the remainder will be inflicted.
May this example have a due impression upon the unwary mind, and guard it against the evil counsel of the villain, whose schemes are impotent, & whose presumption can alone be equalled by the rain which must inevitably fall upon himself and his coadjutors.  The odious project which has thus happily been laid open, had been in agitation for upwards of a twelvemonth; the secret informations received by Government rendered vigilance necessary, and every precaution that had been adopted was immediately succeeded by a change of measures among the principal agents in the work of intended massacre —and had their plots succeeded to their wish, dreadful indeed had been the fate of all, whom reason, loyalty, and humanity must inspire with sentiments of abhorrence and disgust at their intended plan of operations.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 12th September, 2021 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, source: Irish Convict Database by Peter Mayberry. (prev. ), firstname: John, surname: Morris, alias1: Smith, alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 0000, date of death: 0000, gender: m, occupation, crime

Maureen Withey on 12th September, 2021 made the following changes:


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