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John Phillips

John Phillips, one of 300 convicts transported on the Rodney, 19 September 1851

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Phillips
Aliases: William Gray
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1828
Occupation: Blacksmith
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Pocket picking
Convicted at: Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Rodney
Departure date: 19th September, 1851
Arrival date: 20th December, 1851
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 300 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/17, Page Number 198
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

chrissy on 17th December, 2018 wrote:

John Phillips was my great great Grandfather
He married Alice Newton daughter of Thomas Newtown and Mary Pears. Thomas was a Candlemaker in England.  The family immigrated aboard the John Craig with his famiky Alice was only 2,years old she was birn in Petersborough London in,1828. Alice married in c1846 in St Johns Church Tamar Street to John Phillips. thy had four daughter.  While John lay dying Alice was carrying the first if her children to Walter Wade a convict from Coggeshall Essex.  In all from hwr two.marriages she hD fidteen children. John died in c1859. Alice married Walter in 1860.  Walter died in 1888.

D Wong on 17th December, 2018 wrote:

***The John Phillips listed by “Chrissy” - arrived per ‘Susan 1842’ - He married Alice Newton.

Old Bailey:
Theft: pocketpicking.
16th August 1847
Verdict Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown
Sentence Imprisonment; Transportation

JOHN POLISHER and JOHN PHILLIPS were indicted for stealing 1 handkerchief, value 2s.; the goods of John Bond Haydon, form his person; Phillips having been before convicted of felony.

MR. WILDE conducted the Prosecution.

JOSEPH DALTON (City policeman 366.) On the 6th of Aug. I was in Cheapside in plain clothes—I saw the prisoners, and, knowing them, I followed them to Holborn-hill—they stopped near Chancery-lane, where there was a crowd—I saw the prosecutor—the prisoners went near him, and I saw Polisher put his hand into his pocket, and take out this handkerchief—the prisoners then walked away—I told the prosecutor his pocket was picked—I took the prisoners to the station, and took this handkerchief out of Polisher’s pocket.

COURT. Q. How long had you seen the prisoners together? A. I followed them from Cheapside to Holborn-hill—they had not tried any other pockets—Phillips stood as close to Polisher as he could, while Polisher took the handkerchief, to hide anyone from seeing him.

JOHN BOND HAYDON. I am a solicitor, and live in Field-court, Gray’s-inn. On the 6th of Aug. I was at a shop-window near Chancery-lane—I had a handkerchief in my pocket shortly before, and I lost it—this is it.

Philips’s Defence. I was coming through Cheapside when Polisher spoke to me; we were going on together, and were overtaken by the officer, who charged us with this; I know nothing about it; I never saw the handkerchief till I was taken.

JOSEPH DALTON re-examined. I produce a certificate of Phillips’s former conviction at this Court—(read—Convicted on the 14th of Dec., 1846, by the name of William Gray, and confined six months)—he is the person.

POLISHER— GUILTY. Aged 19.— Confined Three Months.

PHILLIPS— GUILTY Aged 19.— Transported for Seven Years.

Old Bailey: This is his conviction on 14/12/1846, under William Gray.
Theft: pocketpicking.
14th December 1846
Verdict Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown; Guilty > unknown
Sentence Imprisonment
GEORGE SMITH, JOHN WILLIAMSON, and WILLIAM GRAY, were indicted for stealing 1 purse, value 1s.; and 2 sixpences; the property of Robert Jennings, from the person of Sarah Jennings.

SARAH JENNINGS. I am the wife of Robert Jennings, of No. 62 Cheap-side. On Monday, the 30th of Nov., about one o’clock, I had been with my daughter to Mr. Todd’s, a cheesemonger, in St. Paul’s Churchyard—I had a purse with two sixpences—I put them into my pocket in the shop, and went down Cheapside, home—a man spoke to me—I put my band into my pocket, and found my purse and sixpences were gone—the purse has not been found, but the sixpences have—one of them was very much worn and uneven—this it JOSEPH DALTON (City police-constable, No, 366.) I was in St. Paul’s Churchyard that day—I saw the three prisoners there—I saw Smith try a lady’s pocket at the corner of a pastry-cook’s shop, and the other two were covering him—he then went in and bought a penny bun—they then went to Todd’s—Smith looked in—the two ladies came out—Smith put his right hand into Mrs. Jennings’s left-hand pocket, and they walked in that, way till they came to Friday-street—Gray was in front of the two ladies, and Williamson covered Smith—just as they came to the corner of Friday-street they all three left the ladies—I tapped Mrs. Jennings on the shoulder, and said, “Have you lost anything?”—she said, “Yes, my purse”—we followed the prisoners into Friday-street—I saw Smith give something to Williamson—I took Williamson, and found in his band these two sixpences—I do not know what became of the purse—I suppose it went down the grating.

JAMES BEST (City police-constable, No, 439.) I saw Smith walking on the left side of the lady, with his right hand in her pocket—he left her, and Williamson joined him—they went down Friday-street.

Gray. Q. Did you see me? A. I did not notice you, till you were all three in Friday-street.

Gray’s Defence, I had nothing to do with it; I was walking down Friday-street; the two boys came and pushed against me.



GRAY— GUILTY. Aged 18.

Confined Six Months.

John Phillips was 24 years old on arrival, he was 5’6” tall, fair complexion, light brown hair, blue eyes, can read and write a little.

Occupation: A Smith.

6/2/1854: John Phillips “Rodney” Permission to marry Mary Ann Upton (free).

13/3/1854: John Phillips, aged 23, a shepherd, bachelor - married Mary Ann Upton, 18, at St Thomas’ Church, Avoca.

5/4/1853: TOL
12/4/1853: Recommended or a CP
4/4/1854: CP approved.

Convict Changes History

chrissy on 17th December, 2018 made the following changes:

date of death: 1855 (prev. 0000), occupation

D Wong on 17th December, 2018 made the following changes:

alias1: William Gray, date of birth: 1828 (prev. 0000), date of death: 0000 (prev. 1855), gender: m, crime

D Wong on 17th December, 2018 made the following changes:


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