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John Reed

John Reed, one of 142 convicts transported on the John Barry, 30 April 1819

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Reed
Aliases: John Read, John Reid
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

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

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: St Heliers Court Martial
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: John Barry
Departure date: 30th April, 1819
Arrival date: 26th September, 1819
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 146 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 151 (77)
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

Maureen Withey on 23rd February, 2020 wrote:

Colonial Secretary Index.

READ, John. Per “John Barry”, 1819

1821 Jan 5 - On list of prisoners transported to Newcastle per “Lady Nelson”; listed as Reid (Reel 6007; 4/3503 p.15)
1821 Jun 11 - On list of prisoners transported to Newcastle per “Governor Bligh” (Reel 6008; 4/3504 p.38)
1821 Jul 7 - Re escape of from Sydney Gaol and reward for the apprehension of (Reel 6051, 4/1748 pp.356-9; Reel 6016, 4/5781 pp.138-9)
1821 Aug 4 - Re reward offered for his apprehension (Reel 6008; 4/3504 p.197)
1821 Aug 23 - Re division of rewards for his apprehension (Reel 6008; 4/3504 pp.264-5)
1821 Aug 20 - Re distribution of reward for capture of among captors (Reel 6051; 4/1750 pp.55-6)
1821 Sep 1 - Warrant commuting capital sentence (Reel 6070; 4/2129.1 pp.5, 20)
1821 Sep 1 - Commutation warrant (Reel 6070; 4/7020 No.80)
1821 Sep 5 - Tried in Sydney; sentence commuted (Reel 6070; 4/1265 p.4)
1821 Sep 10 - Re commutation of sentence passed by the Court of Criminal Judicature (Reel 6008; 4/3504 pp.359-60)
1821 Oct 10 - On lists of prisoners transported to Port Macquarie per “Snapper”; listed as Reid (Reel 6008, 4/3504 p.415; Reel 6019, 4/3864 pp.342-3)

This morning the desperado Geary, with three-others viz. John Read, Thomas Smith, and William Swift, all for trial, broke out of prison, and made their escape. The constable that was on duty opened the cell which contained Geary and Smith, and he was immediately secured by being locked up in the cell. They then liberated from the adjoining cell Read and Swift, who had also freed themselves of their irons; and the whole decamped. Fortunately, from the hue and cry that was set up, two of them were shortly retaken ; viz. Swift and Smith. Geary and Read are still at large. Sydney Gazette, 7 July 1821.


The liberal reward that was offered on Saturday last by Government, for the re-apprehension of Geary and Read, has been partly successful—Read being now safely immured in the county-gaol. He was taken on Sunday last at Brush-farm, the seat of Gregory Blaxland, Esq. in the district of Kissing-point, by a labouring man that casually encountered him, whom he vainly endeavoured to cajole with a feigned story; but who, notwithstanding, succeeded in securing him.  Respecting the other delinquent, Geary, no satisfactory information has reached us, but there can be but little doubt of his speedy apprehension. From report, we understand he is without associates, and wholly destitute of support, unless what proceeds from immediate robbery; and as every one, particularly the distant settler, should now be on the alert, we have hopes, ere very long, of promulging the tidings of his re-capture.
Sydney Gazette, 14 July 1821.

John Read was indicted for feloniously cutting and maiming, with intent to kill and murder, one John Ducey. The circumstances of this case are known to have but recently occurred in the county gaol:— The prisoner Read was on the eve of his departure for Newcastle to undergo the penalty of a lately adjudged sentence, and encountering Ducey on his way through the prison, asked him for the payment of a few shillings, which Ducey refused; whereupon the prisoner Read immediately drew a knife and stabbed him. He was found guilty, and loudly warned to prepare for that awful sentence which awaited him.
Sydney Gazette, 4 Aug 1821.


SATURDAY.-This morning an awful portraiture of the determined depravity of man was exhibited to a crowded auditory-a circumstance unprecedented in our colonial jurisprudence-that of no less than 23 fellow creatures placed, by reiterated crimes, at the bar of justice, to be visited with its heaviest penalty-DEATH William Williams, Gilbert Brown, John M’Guire, John Whalan, John Read, William Geary, Thomas Smith, Charles Young, William Whiteman, John Cochrane, John Mills, William Kennedy, Francis Pasco, Pasco Haddycott, George Grover, Robert Maggs, Thomas Fitzsimmons, John Squires, Peter Burns, John Brown, Edward Farrell, John Ryan, and Miles Jordan, severally received Sentence of Death.
Sydney Gazette, 18 Aug 1821.

His Excellency the Governor in Chief has been graciously pleased to extend the Royal Clemency to the following prisoners condemned to suffer death at the late Criminal Sessions, upon their becoming transports for life: —John Read; John Brown, John Whalan, George Grover, John Squires, Peter Burnes, and Joseph Legg.
Sydney Gazette, 8 Sept 1821.

Peter Hinds on 14th December, 2020 wrote:

The John Barry had arrived at Portsmouth on 16 April 1819 and on 20 April, 60 male convicts were embarked from the hulk Laurel and 80 from the hulk Leviathan in Portsmouth harbour. On 23 April 1819 two more convicts were sent on board the John Barry from the Leviathan. One of the passengers on board the John Barry was John Thomas Bigge, New South Wales’ first Royal Commissioner. The John Barry finally arrived at Port Jackson on Sunday 26 September 1819 (See The Campbelltown Convicts).

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 23rd February, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: John Read, alias2: John Reid, gender: m

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