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Dennis Napper, one of 238 convicts transported on the Lord Auckland, 13 July 1844
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 61 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 10 years
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/14, Page Number 131 (67). Tasmanian Archives, Conduct Record (CON33-1-61, image 163)
||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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Iris Dunne on 12th January, 2019 wrote:
Conduct Record: Tried 28 December 1842, Protestant, can read a little, Transported for Larceny, Single, Trade: Sweep, aged 15, Free Certificate 28 December 1852
tonycocks1 on 12th January, 2019 wrote:
Dennis Napper was born c1829 probably in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
Nothing is known of his early life history until he was summoned to appear at the Bath Boro’ Quarter Sessions on 28/12/1842 accused of “Larceny and previous conviction of felony”, found guilty and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. The Court recorded he was then aged 13 and had been employed as a Labourer. He was initially received at Bath City Gaol as part of the standard holding arrangements and then, on 25/01/1843, transferred to Parkhurst Prison. His Gaoler’s Report commented that his character and disposition were “Bad”, that he was single and could read and write. He was discharged from Parkhurst Prison on 12/06/1844 and sent to Millbank Prison, presumably categorised as “incorrigible” and ineligible for transportation as an “Apprentice” to Western Australia. It is highly probable that he was one of the 79 prisoners removed to Millbank Prison during 1844 who the Parkhurst Prison Governor, George Hall, described as “ill-disposed and discontented boys……..who manifested no desire to avail themselves beneficially of the course of training and instruction pursued at Parkhurst, but mischievously employed themselves in unsettling and perverting others.”
He sailed from London on 20/07/1844 aboard the “Lord Auckland”, disembarking at Hobart on 15/11/1844. The Surgeon during the voyage, John J. Lancaster, reported that Dennis Napper’s behaviour was “Good”. His Conduct Record confirms that initially his Period of Gang Probation to be eighteen months and the Station of Gang, Point Puer, where his behaviour was diarised as follows:
22/02/1849: Transferred to the Cascades (Hobart).
17/10/1849: Cascades: Misconduct in talking and laughing in the separate cells: 14
02/11/1849: Cascades: Misconduct in talking and singing in the cells: Reprimand.
04/12/1849: Cascades: Absent without leave: 36 lashes on the breech.
21/12/1849: Cascades: Absent without leave: Recommended to undergo two
months strict separate treatment.
04/05/1850: Cascades: Absent without leave: Nine months imprisonment and hard
17/09/1850: Cascades: Absent without leave: 36 stripes on the breech.
20/10/1850: Pass Holder.
15/12/1851: Hobart: Absconded and reprimanded.
24/12/1851: Hobart: Absent without leave: Six months hard
labour: Approved Cascades.
28/12/1852: Free Certificate.
Nine months later there is a possibility that he sailed from Launceston to Sydney on 09/08/1853 as a crew member of the “Affiance”. Whether or not he “jumped ship” at this point, or purely left the ship’s crew legitimately of his own accord, it is almost certain that he sailed from Sydney to England within a comparatively short period of time as the following extract from “The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser” published on Saturday 13/01/1855 attests:
MURDER AT TROWBRIDGE – A man has been killed at Trowbridge
by his wife and son. The name of the man was Daniel Napper, and on the
Wednesday, his son, James Napper, quarrelled with another brother who
had lately returned from transportation. The father interfered to separate
them, and incurred the displeasure of his son James by striking him. On the
following (Thursday) evening they were all drinking together at the Bear Inn,
when a second altercation took place. James Napper struck his father, knocked
him down, and kicked him severely. The wife then fell upon her husband, taking
hold of him by the hair and repeatedly striking his head on the ground, swearing
she would murder him. They all three then left the Bear Inn and went towards
home. On the way home a quarrel again occurred, and the father was again
knocked down by his son, who then knelt upon him and struck him several times;
he then kicked him severely in the ribs and side, the wife standing by at the time
and assisting him. The son next took his father by the shoulders, raised him up
to a sitting posture, and then dashed him violently to the ground, his head coming
in contact with the hard road. The deceased was then quite insensible. The son
threatened to thrash anyone who took his father’s part, after ill-using the deceased.
The wife and son left, but, after they had gone a short distance, turned round and
said, if the deceased came home that night they would “finish him off”. The
deceased, however, was shortly taken to his house, where he soon died. When
remonstrated with the son said, “It served the old—————right,” and that if he
was not dead already he would not care about subjecting him to similar treatment
again. These circumstances having come before the coroner, he made a preliminary
inquiry, which has resulted in his committing the son and the wife of the deceased
to Devizes Gaol. The history of the Napper family is very remarkable. The deceased
was transported when a youth for theft; and in the year 1839 was tried for the murder
of a common pedlar, named William Bishop. He escaped conviction owing to an
informality in the indictment. Dennis Napper, another son, has just returned from
NB: Similar articles also appeared in the “Derby Mercury” published
on 13/09/1854, “Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle”
09/09/1854, ”Belfast News-Letter” 11/09/1854, “Daily News”
13/09/1854, “Newcastle Courant” 15/09/1854 and “The Preston
No other details for Dennis Napper have been retrieved.
Convict Changes History
Sha on 11th January, 2019 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1829 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime
Iris Dunne on 12th January, 2019 made the following changes:
source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/14, Page Number 131 (67). Tasmanian Archives, Conduct Record (CON33-1-61, image 163) (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Numbe