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James Murphy

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Murphy
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1788
Occupation: Seaman
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Dublin City
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Guildford
Departure date: 1815
Arrival date: 8th April, 1816
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 36 other convicts


Primary source: Irish Convict Database.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Maureen Withey on 29th September, 2020 wrote:

Irish Convict Database.
James Murphy, age on arrival, Guildford (2) 1816, Tried at Dublin City, 1815, 7 years, DOB, 1788, native of Dublin, Trade: Navy marine.


Seizure of the Trial - On the night of the 12th September 1816 ten prisoners of the Guildford together with two men from the Fanny and another from the Baring made a desperate bid to escape from the Colony. They seized Simeon Lord’s brig Trial, Master William Burnett, which was at anchor near the Sow and Pigs in Watson’s Bay and sailed out of the harbour.

They headed north and by daybreak were out of sight. Passengers on the Trial may have included Sergeant and Mrs. Annandale, William Briskland, William Probert, John Suibson, William Morgan, and two Otaheitans Touboui and Dick as well another woman. None of the passengers had been allowed to return to land. Governor Macquarie was informed at midday on the 13th and that evening about 5 o’clock the armed colonial brig Rosetta with a detachment of soldiers of the 46th regiment was sent in pursuit of the fugitive prisoners. The Rosetta returned to port a fortnight later without having found them. Their descriptions were soon posted in the Sydney Gazette:

SEVERAL Prisoners having absconded from their Employment during this Week, and particularly the undermentioned, it is hereby directed that every Exertion shall be made on the Part of the Police, as well as the Settlers and Inhabitants of the Colony, to apprehend the Persons referred to, who are suspected of the Piracy of the Brig Trial, on the Night of the 12th Instant.

James Murphy, a notorious offender, formerly convicted and sent to this Colony in the name of Brown, was convicted the second time at Dublin in March 1815, for seven years, is 27 years of age, a mariner, native of Dublin, 5 feet 1 inch high, black hair, hazle eyes, dark pale complexion, and lately in the Gaol Gang, but absconded from the Town Gang. He claimed a woman of the name of Mary Scott, as his lawful wife who arrived per Alexander.
Sydney Gazette, 21 Sept 1816.


On 12th January 1817 six soldiers embarked at Newcastle on the Lady Nelson commanded by Thomas Whyte to investigate a report of a wreck fifty miles to the north of Port Stephens and ascertain the fate of the vessel. (Thomas Whyte, master mariner had arrived as a convict on the Baring in 1815). They discovered part of the wreck on 14th on the beach of a deep and extensive bay in latitude 30 20’ South. They learned from natives in the vicinity that the Trial had been wrecked and some of the men constructed a boat out of the materials of the wreck in which a large party once more went out to sea. Others had taken to the bush, among whom was a woman with a young child of whom not a single trace could be found.

The soldiers spent several days exploring the bushland in the vicinity to ascertain the fate of the passengers. They could not positively establish whether the small vessel made from the Trial sank or only disappeared from the view of the black spectators on shore. The Captain, passengers and crew, had endeavoured to make their way towards Newcastle, but no account had been further received from them. There were rumours of a woman who had stowed away on the Trial and was living with the natives in a most distressing state, however in February 1817 Richard Palmer wrote to the Sydney Gazette regarding this woman claiming that she was a relative of his and that she had not secreted herself but had a regular clearance for the Derwent where her husband was in the employ of Simeon Lord. He offered a reward of twenty pounds to any person finding her. In 1826 an anonymous correspondent to the Monitor claimed to have knowledge of the woman who escaped from the wreck of the Trial and was sojourning with a tribe of Aboriginal natives with her daughter about 12 or 13 years old. She was married to one of the tribe by whom she had two children and acted as a midwife to the matrons of the tribe. He received his information from a native of a tribe near Liverpool Plains.
Source: https://www.jenwilletts.com/convict_ship_guildford_1816.htm

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 29th September, 2020 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Irish Convict Database. (prev. ), firstname: James, surname: Murphy, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1788, date of death: 0000, gender: m, occupation, crime

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