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Henry Pullan

Henry Pullan, one of 200 convicts transported on the Ann, August 1809

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Henry Pullan
Aliases: Pulleyn, Pullein
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1772
Occupation: Turner and filer
Date of Death: 1856
Age: 84 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Petty larceny
Convicted at: York, Leeds Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Ann or Anne
Departure date: August, 1809
Arrival date: 27th February, 1810
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 431 (215). Petition HO 47/40/34 including letter Sept 1808 from Edwd Markland to Lord Hawkesbury; Leeds Mercury, Saturday 2 July 1808 p.3 ; Leeds Mercury Saturday, 23 July 1808 "Leeds Borough Sessions" p.3
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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Robin Sharkey on 3rd April, 2018 wrote:

Henry Pulleyn was the correct surname, but he was recorded in the English criminal system as Henry ‘Pullan”.

It was the same Henry Pulleyn/Pullan transported on “Anne” arriving Sydney in 1811, transported again on ‘Indefatigable’ arriving Sydney 1815, and then living in Tasmania from 1818 until his death in 1856.

Henry Pulleyn had some outward respectability as a “toyman” i.e a person who sold toys. (per Hull Packet, Tuesday 2d August 1808 “Henry Pulleyn etc”p. 3 – report of his trial). He was also described in 1808 as a wood turner, so he might have carved wooden toys or items for his business. However he operated as a fairly hardened criminal doing break-ins and burglaries.

Pulleyn reported as his native place being Leeds (see ‘Captivity” Hulk report 1808.  Possibly he lived in York at the time of his trial, but went over to Leeds for his break-ins and thefts (Hull Packet 2nd August 1808 p3, reported him as a “Toyman of York” and letter of Edwd Markland to Lord Castlereagh implied he came into the neighburhood of Leeds from elsewhere to commit his crimes.

Pulleyn was first transported for stealing linens in June 1808 after breaking into the unoccupied premises of a Leeds linen draper’s, while two accomplices kept watch.

He petitioned for clemency against his 7 year transportation sentence and in September 1808 the Secretary of State, Lord Hawkesbury, sought advice on the petition from Edward Markland Esq, Leeds Mayor, who had sat on Leeds Borough Sessions. (REF: Markland to Lord Hawkesbury, HO 47/40/34).

Much more information came to light about Pulleyn from these documents. Markland advised that, despite nearly clearing the premises out of stock, the crime was only a “petty larceny” carrying a lesser penalty of 7 years transportation because the place was unoccupied.

For at least a year before Pulleyn’s linen drapery theft, there’d been many break-ins and thefts around Leeds where locks were expertly picked or false keys were used. The linen drapery break-in appears to have led to the arrest of at least eight people involved in this crime and in two 1807 warehouse break-in/thefts.

Pulleyn was in fact additionally charged with breaking into a warehouse in Leeds, on the same charge as one John Richmond who had also been tried at the July 18th Sessions.  Lord Hawkesbury was advised that “upon searching Richmond’s house a very large quantity of picklocks, skeleton keys, and pocket pistols were found belonging to the Gang which from what I can learn amounted to about Tens [i.e the gang number was ‘about tens’], of whom Pulleyn seemed to be a leader.”  (REF: Markland to Lord Hawkesbury, HO 47/40/34).

Additionally, he appeared to be a gang leader because “whenever he appeared in this neighbourhood, a shop or warehouse was constantly broken into.”

Markland reported that the judge at the Leeds Borough Sessions of 18 July 1808 held the view that Pulleyn was the leader and that “it appeared upon the trial that Pulleyn was connected with … John Richmond”. However for the charge on the Warehouse break-in, “Pulleyn was not put upon his trial on this indictment, the jury being tired out …”  … “(REF: Markland to Lord Hawkesbury, HO 47/40/34).

On Pulleyn’s character, Markland advised Lord Hawkesbury that, although Pulleyn had not before been tried for a felony (as Pulleyn’s petition had claimed), he had previously “been convicted as a rogue and a vagabond for having picklocks in his possession.” Markland also said that Pulleyn had attempted “to prove an alibi by a downright subornation of perjury” and that this had really affected his character at trial.
. After all that, Markland stated he could not recommend mercy. Accordingly, neither did Lord Hawkesbury and Henry Pulleyn was sent to NSW for his 7 years. But he did not stay – escaping back to England sometime between arriving in NSW in 1810 and being tried again in July 1814.

The identified members and supporters of Henry’s gang in Leeds are listed below.  Of them all, only Henry Pulleyn ended up actually being transported.

* Henry Pulleyn – 7 years transportation. Received on board “Captivity” hulk on 6th September 1808, remained there for a year until sent on board the “Ann” on 16 August 1809 for transportation to NSW, arrived NSW 1810. Escaped back to England.
* John Richmond – given 7 years transportation. Received on board “Captivity” hulk on 6th September 1808, never transported and died on 26 May 1811 after almost three years on the “Captivity” hulk. His wife, who gave evidence, was not charged.
* Thomas Grunwell (criminal records as “Groundwell”) – given 7 years transportation. Received on board “Captivity” hulk on 6th September 1808, never transported, given Free Pardon on 18th July 1814 after six years on “Captivity” hulk, and only one year short of his full sentence.
* Thomas Cambell (sic) – eluded capture, not charged (Hartland to Lord Castlereagh HO 47/40/34).
* William Lockwood – turned Crown evidence and therefore discharged from trial.
* James Stephenson – turned Crown evidence and therefore discharged from trial.
* Isabella Fish for receiving the goods stolen from the wool warehouse. Discharged.
* Ann Lescoe of Ebenezer Street Leeds, stored the property stolen from the linen draper’s, not charged.
Possibly the other men listed in the Leeds Mercury report of 2 July 1808 were also gang members, but this conection was not clearly shown from the newspaper report of trial nor Edward Markland’s letter – James Tetley, John Kirteven and Daniel Fallas.


Lancaster Gazetter, June 25th 1808 p. 4
“Early on Wednesday morning the 15th instant [June], some villains broke into the shop of Miss Watson, milliner, under the Moot-hall, Leeds, and stole thereout millinery goods etc to the amount of 100l.”

Leeds Mercury, Saturday 2 July 1808 p.3
“Since our last have been committed to Wakefield House of Correction – Henry Stephenson, Thomas Grunwell, and John Richmond for stealing a quantity of woollen cloth the property of Messrs Bischoff of Leeds; Isabella Fish for receiving the same knowing it to have been stolen; James Tetley for stealing a piece of cloth the property of J & W Whiteley of Leeds; John Lockwood and Henry PULLEIN for stealing a quantity of linen and other goods in the shop of Miss Frances Watson of Leeds, John Kirteven for stealing a pair of silver-plated tea tongs, and Daniel Fallas for stealing a piece of Irish linen cloth and one pair of hose.”

Leeds Mercury Saturday, 23 July 1808 p.3
“Leeds Borough Sessions
“Monday July 18, 1808
“E. Markland Esq, Mayor and John Hardy Esq, Recorder.

“The calendar was unusually large and a great interest was excited by the dangerous gang of villains who have for a considerable time past committed the most alarming depradations upon the property of individuals, apparently secured by locks and bolts, and that with a degree of secrecy and systematic address which has long eluded detection and baffled all the vigilance of the police. The daring attack on the shop of Miss Watson in the night of 14th June last, fortunately led to the breaking up of this nest of depredators. The following is a sketch of the trial of one of the most active members of this confederation.”

Hull Packet, Tuesday 2d August 1808 p. 3
Trial of Henry Pulleyn etc
“Henry Pulleyn of York, Toyman, was charged with breaking into the shop of Miss Frances Watson, milliner, of Leeds, and stealing therefrom a quantity of linen-drapery goods to a considerable amount. The most material evidence on the part of the prosecution was that of William Lockwood, an accomplice in the robbery.

“The witness stated that on Monday 14th June, the prisoner [Pulleyn], Thomas Cambell [sic] and himself [Lockwood] met at the Buck public-house in Leeds where it was proposed by the prisoner to ‘do Miss Watson’s shop’. From this public-house they adjourned to the Black Lion, at the bank, where the proposal of Pulleyn was taken into consideration, and finally adopted; about eleven o’clock the same evening they met by agreement at [Lockwood’s] house near the New Burying Ground, to which rendezvous Pulleyn brought a quantity of picklocks, skeleton keys, and a brace of pistols. About one o’clock they proceeded to the scene of action, taking with them the apparatus which Pulleyn had provided, a piece of iron to act as a lever, and a bag to contain the spoil.

“[Lockwood] placed himself at the moot-hall steps which immediately ajoin Miss Watson’s shop to guard against a surprise; Thomas Cambell was stationed on the other side of the street for the same purpose, and the post of danger was reserved for the prisoner Pulleyn, who commenced his operations by pocking one of the locks, which he soon accomplished, but the other (a parent padlock) defied his utmost skill and he was obliged to wrench out the staple. This operation occupied him near an hour and a half. As soon as he had effected a practicable breach eh entered the premises and in the course of five or six minutes brought a bag to the door filled with goods which was taken by Pulleyn, Cambell and Lockwood to a house in Ebenezer Street occupied by Ann Lescoe, this was about three o’clock in the morning.

“Lockwood stated that the prisoner had a handkerchief tied over his face. The bag remained at this house some time and was afterward taken by Lockwood to his own house, but his wife objecting to its being deposited there, he lodged it in an unoccupied house adjoining, where it remained until the following Sunday when this virtuous triumverate assembled to share the booty.

“John Richmond and his wife, who were admitted to the honours of this sitting, though not in the present instance to a share in the spoil, seemed to be of a number of the initiated and to be very worthy of the honours conferred upon them.

“Mrs Lockwood, the wife of the last witness, corroborated all that part of her husband’s evidence that took part at the Lockwood’s house, and also further stated that one of the handkerchiefs, which fell to her husband’s lot [ie. In sharing out the loot], was taken by her to a person of the name of Sarah Sunderland. This handkerchief, being produced in court, was identified by Miss Watson as part of the goods taken from her shop and was also proved by the officers of the police to have been found in the possession of Sarah Sunderland who herself deposed to the fact of having received the handkerchief from the wife of Lockwood.  Ann Lescoe also confirmed Lockwood’s testimony as to the goods being brought to her house by three men, one of whom had a handkerchief tied over his face.

“These were all the material facts on the part of the prosecution. The prisoner in ihsi defence attempted to prove an alibi, but entirely failed. The evidence on both sides being gone through, the Recorder [i.e. the particular judge] recapitulated with precision and impartiality the whole of he evidence and the Jury, after deliberating a few minutes, found the prisoner Guilty.

“The Court immediately sentenced him to be transported for the term of seven years. AS the prisoner was leaving the bar, he struck the witness, Lockwood, a violent blow over the face with his fist. For this gross contempt of court he was ordered to be very strongly ironed.”

Robin Sharkey on 4th April, 2018 wrote:


Henry Pulleyn submitted a petition for clemency. It appears to have been written by a professional writer, but signed in a different, shakier hand by Henry, who signed his surname as “PULLEYN” and his first name as “Henery”.

His petition was counter-signed by five men. Each was highly respectable and from Leeds or the area between Leeds and York.  Someone in Pulleyn’s family would have gone around the countryside gathering these signatures. Each one would have either known Henry or probably his father since they signed that he “had come from honest and respectable parentage”. They were:

(1) H. CANDLER -  Henry Candler was a solicitor and attorney at Tadcaster, with extensive business interests (he was eldest son of Capt William Candler of Acomb, Co York. 1815 meoril in Tadcaster church.
(2) WM RHODES - the extended Rhodes family in Leeds had been wool dyers, then wool merchants from 1782. William Rhodes was recorded in the 1798 Leeds Directory as a dealer of Hunslet Lane.
(3) ROBERT BOWNAS -  Vicar of Bramham. In 1808 he had been Bramham’s vicar for 15 years and had built Bramham House in 1806. He died aged 60 in 1820 still in the same job. Bramham village is midway between Leeds and York, 3.9 miles from Tadcaster where signatory Henry Candler was located.
(4) JONAS (?) or James or Tomas SHELBOURNE, or HILBOURN ?
(5) SIR MARK MASTERMAN SYKES. Sir Mark was of the Leeds gentry.  He had inherited the vast Sledmere estate near Leeds from his father, Sir Christopher, in 1801.

Henry’s petition said he was “Henry Pulleyn, late of the city of York, woodturner” but now confined in H.M. Gaol, the Castle of York. He claimed that previous to the crime he “was an industrious hard-working man and supported himself, his wife and two children in a respectable manner”.

He wanted anything but transportation – he stated that he “ … possesses good health and bodily activity and would be glad to enter into H.M’s service at sea on board any of the ships of Your Majesty’s Royal Navy where he thinks he could become useful …” Based on Mr Markland’s view, this was not going to happen.

Sir Mark Masterman Sykes wrote a separate letter that he “ .. present[s] the inclosed petition to Lord Hawkesbury and if possible get Fulleyn sent either into the army or navy. I believe this is his first offence.”

However, Pulleyn was not the innocent he presented to his superiors. Markland Esq pointed out (see above) that he had been tried for a vagabond & rogue, having picklocks in his possession, and appeared to have been involved in many gang break-ins round Leeds and had been indicted for a warehouse break-in but only fortuitously through the tiredness of the jury this charge wasn’t proceeded with.

Perhaps the worthy petition signatories would not have supported the petition if they had known the truth.

Convict Changes History

Robin Sharkey on 3rd April, 2018 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 431 (215). Petition HO 47/40/34 including letter Sept 1808 from Edwd Markland to Lord Hawkesbury; Leeds Mercury, Saturday 2 July 1808 p.3 ; Leeds Mercu

Robin Sharkey on 3rd April, 2018 made the following changes:

surname: Pullan (prev. Pulleyn), alias1: Pulleyn (prev. Pullan)

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