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John Negus

John Negus, one of 304 convicts transported on the Sea Park, 30 December 1853

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Negus
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1829
Occupation: Farm labourer
Date of Death: 28th February, 1877
Age: 48 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 15 years

Crime: Arson
Convicted at: Hertfordshire. Hertford Assizes
Sentence term: 15 years
Ship: Sea Park
Departure date: 30th December, 1853
Arrival date: 5th April, 1854
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 304 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 44
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

chris allan on 27th September, 2016 wrote:

Newspaper articles about his crime and sentencing.

The Hertford Mercury
BARLEY - INCENDIARY FIRE.  On the night of Saturday last, about twelve o’clock, a fire broke out in the stackyard of Mr. John Burgess, at Barley, which soon communicated to the whole of the stacks, to the barns, and finally, to the whole farm premises on that side of the road, including three large barns, five bullock and other sheds, stabling, granary, and other buildings; two cottages were also fired, and soon, after the appearance of the first conflagration, scarcely a vestige of the stacks and buildings, standing on upwards, of two acres of ground, was to be seen.
  Police-constable Lawford, who happened to be near the spot where the fire broke out, alarmed Mr. Burgess, and others, and with their assistance, cleared the yard of the stock, consisting of a number of fat bullocks, fat pigs, several horses, and cows and calves, which otherwise must have been sacrificed to the flames.  A poor woman, the wife of a labourer, laid in a dying state in one of the cottages destroyed by the fire.  She was hastily removed from her bed and taken to a neighbour’s house, where she died the same night.
  Inspector Wright and other police constables immediately instituted an inquiry, and a result was the apprehension of a young labourer named John Negus, who had been working for Mr. Burgess, but was discharged on Saturday night.  He was taken to the Royston station early on the Sunday morning, and on the evening of the same day expressed some anxiety to see Mr. Burgess immediately.  Inspector Wright accordingly sent for that gentleman and on his arrival the prisoner made a full confession of his guilt.  On Tuesday evening the prisoner was taken before J.G.Fordham, Esq., and fully committed to take trial at the next assizes.  Fortunately, but little corn was destroyed, but the damage done is notwithstanding considerable, being no less than 1800l.  The farm belongs to C.J.Dimsdale, Esq., and is insured inthe Sun Fire Office, Mr Burgess is insured in The Phoenix.

Essex Herald - TUESDAY 16TH JULY 1850
  TRIAL - John Negus pleaded guilty to a charge of having, on the night of the 18th of May, at the parish of Barley, unlawfully, maliciously, and feloniously, set fire to a stack of straw, whereby the said stack and divers farm buildings, the property of John Burgess, were destroyed.  Mr Justice Erle, in passing sentence, said there were some circumstances in the case one deserving of considerable mitigation; and therefore, the sentence on him would not be as severe as in other cases of the same description.  Still as the crime was one of great magnitude, the sentence must be a heavy one. - SENTENCED TO BE TRANSPORTED FOR 15 YEARS.

D Wong on 30th July, 2017 wrote:

John Negus was 24 years old on arrival in WA.  He was transported for ‘Arson of a stack of straw’.

John was 5’4 1/4” tall, dark hair, hazel eyes, fresh complexion, stout build, mole on neck.

5/4/1854: TOL
9/8/1856: CP

24/5/1861: Married Catherine Finn -
Elizabeth 1863-died at 5 weeks old.
John 1866 at York-died at 6 weeks old.
Joseph 1869,
John 1871.

John Snr. was a farmer at York, he employed 10 TOL men on occasions through 1864-72.

28/2/1877: John died and his wife Catherine carried on the farm.  Catherine died in 1907 at York.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 30th July, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1829 (prev. 0000), date of death: 28th February, 1877 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au