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James Nowland

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Nowland
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1758
Occupation: Shoemaker
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Old Bailey
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Scarborough
Departure date: 13th May, 1787
Arrival date: 26th January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 16 other convicts


Primary source: Old Bailey - online. NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Dennis Nightingale on 2nd May, 2015 wrote:

Born -  Broadie, Meath County Ireland. Single. Transferred to Norfolk Island.

Iris Dunne on 24th August, 2020 wrote:

JAMES NOWLAND, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 21st April 1784.
421. JAMES NOWLAND was indicted for feloniously assaulting George Booth on the King’s highway, on the 28th day of February last, and putting him in fear, and feloniously taking from his person, one canvas bag, value 1 d. eight guineas, value 8 l. 8 s. four half guineas, value 2 l. 2 s. two half crowns, value 5 s. and 6 s. in monies numbered, his goods and monies .


I travel to sell blankets and cloth ; I was robbed on the 28th of February, about half past five, just below the Poultry Compter ; I had a bundle on my back, and another under my arm, and a man weighed me backwards by the bundle on my back; so as to press upon me backwards to be in some danger of falling; I had my hands on my pocket, but there was a crowd, and I was obliged to take my hand from my pockets to prevent my losing the bundle, and I lost my money: I could see over my shoulder that the prisoner was the man that weighed down my bundle in that manner; and he took the money mentioned in the indictment, which was in a purse in my right-hand breeches pocket.

Court. Was it dark? - No, the prisoner was on the pavement, and I turned round and cried, stop thief! two people came up, and he was secured; he let the money drop, and another man picked it up.

Court. How do you know he let the money drop? - I heard it fall; I saw him drop it.

Who picked it up? - One of the men that is here.

Was you sober? - Yes.

Prisoner. I was eight or nine yards out of the crowd.

Prosecutor. No such thing, you pressed me yourself.


I saw the prisoner as I was going to the Royal Exchange on some business of my master’s, coming back there was a parcel of people stood, Mr. Pitt was going to dine in Grocer’s-alley, and in the space of five or six minutes, I heard a man cry out, stop thief! I am robbed, I am robbed! I turned round, and saw the prisoner stepping under the wheel of a coach, with a yellow bag in his hand, I took hold of him, and he flung it down directly.

Who had hold of it at the time? - I cannot tell, he was going under the wheel of a coach; I saw a man in a white frock gather it up; I secured the prisoner.


I was near Grocer’s-alley; I saw the man drop it.

What man? - James Nowland , the prisoner.

Did you know him before? - No, he was in the street off the pavement, between Grocer’s-alley and the Old Jewry; there was a pole of a coach just before.

Did you observe his posture at the time? - He came stooping, and clapped his hand to his knee; when he dropped it I picked it up.

What did you do with it? - I gave it to Mr. Booth.

Court to Prosecutor. When the purse was put into your hands, did you open it to see what was in it? - No.

What was done with it? - It was given to the constable.


I have the purse, it is in the same state I had it; I gave the money to the prosecutor by order of the Lord Mayor.

Prosecutor. I received the same sum back that I lost.

(The purse deposed to.)


My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury, I was coming through the city the day that Mr. Pitt was coming to dine at Grocer’s-hall, we were about two thousand in company, standing and walking, there was a great crowd of people; I saw the prosecutor running, with his bundle over his head; says he, I have lost my money; a man came and laid hold of me; I suppose they judged because I was meanly dressed I took it; I am as innocent of it as any gentleman here in Court.

What are you? - A shoe-maker ; I have been but a fortnight in England, I came from Ireland.

You are not an Irishman? - Yes.

What part of Ireland? - Broadie, in the county of Meath; I have nobody to speak for me, without it is your Lordship and the Gentlemen of the Grand Jury.

Court. You should have stood your own friend when you had it in your power.

Court to Jury. Gentlemen, the only doubt that arises in my mind upon the case is this, he is charged with having assaulted this man, and with having taken this purse by force and violence from his person; now whether it was a fact of that nature, or whether it was what I dare say the prisoner meant it should be, a picking of pockets only; I think that is the material question on this case, for there seems to be no doubt but he had a great share in the mischief, whatever it was: now if he laid hold of the man’s bundle behind, and so pressed him backwards by force, and so took the purse out of his pocket, I think the indictment is proved, and it will constitute a robbery, because it is a forcible taking from the person; on the other hand, if when the prisoner was in the crowd, the prosecutor was thrown back, and his pocket was picked, that would be stealing, but it would not be robbery, because to make it a robbery, there must be some degree of force used on the person of the man from whom the property was taken; the prosecutor says, that force was used by the prisoner, and by some person who threw him back; if he did, that is as I told you, robbing him; if it was the other way, that would not be a robbery, but stealing; therefore, you will take that single point into your consideration: if you agree with the prosecutor, and think he was sufficiently attentive to what passed, to be able to know with certainty that the prisoner was the man that actually threw him back by his bundle, then you will find him Guilty of this indictment as here charged: if you think, from the situation he describes himself to be in, and the crowd that was there, that part is not sufficiently made out to your satisfaction, you may acquit him of the robbery, and find him Guilty of stealing only.

Jury. Did not the crowd press you? - He pressed me himself, he stood at my shoulder, as this man may do now.

Jury. Was you on the pavement or the highway? - On the pavement.

Court. How near was the coach wheel to the pavement? - As close as it could get once.

Jury. Are you actually clear that the prisoner drew the weight over you purposely, or was he pressed upon you? - There was no other man standing behind him, he was as near the house as he could get.

Jury to Eames. Did not you say it was between Grocer’s-alley and the Old Jewry? - Yes.

GUILTY Of stealing, but not violently from the person .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the second London Jury, before Mr. Baron EYRE.

Convict Changes History

Dennis Nightingale on 2nd May, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: years, voyage, source: NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts. (prev. ), firstname: James, surname: Nowland, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1758, date of death: 0000, gender: m, occupation, crime

Dennis Nightingale on 2nd May, 2015 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, occupation, crime

Iris Dunne on 24th August, 2020 made the following changes:

source: Old Bailey - online. NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts. (prev. NSW Gov Records. Irish Convicts.), crime

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