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John Shakeshaft

John Shakeshaft, one of 185 convicts transported on the Countess of Harcourt, 29 April 1828

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Shakeshaft
Aliases: none
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

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

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Lancaster Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Countess of Harcourt
Departure date: 29th April, 1828
Arrival date: 8th September, 1828
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 184 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 370
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

Anonymous on 5th September, 2011 wrote:

John Shakeshaft was born 1809 in England. Committed suicide at Mangrove Creek Hawkesbury River on 2/8/1877. He is buried in the Holy Trinity Cemetery Spencer. He married Sarah Matilda Drennan (born Sydney 23/4/1835 died Petersham 23/12/1899) and they had five children:John born MacDonald River Hawkesbury 14/7/1852 died Gosford 16/3/1943, Thomas born Kent St Sydney 1/5/1854 died 10/12/1910 St Peters,Henry born 1856 died 11/11/1871 buried under the name of Evans at Wagga Wagga Monumental Cemetery, Frances Shakeshaft born 1858 Kent St Sydney died 1858 and one child stillborn. He was issued his Certificate of freedom on 17/11/1834. He had been a farm labourer at the Pittwater. From at least the 3/3/1841 until 24/11/1842 he owned and operated the coastal cutter "Endeavour" a 10 ton vessel carrying sundry goods between the Hawkesbury River and Sydney Cove. From at least 11/10/1845 until 30/1/1852 he was recorded as the master of the "Bride" a 23 ton cutter doing similar coastal work as before. On the 1/5/1851 he married Sarah Matilda Drennan daughter of William Drennan who was transported to the colony in 1822 in the Eliza (2).They were married at the Scots Church Pitt St South by Rev Dr Fullerton. The church was later demolished to make way for Central Railway Station in Sydney. On 8/12/1855 the licence for St Andrew’s tavern on the corner of King and Kent Street Sydney was transferred from William Brinkley to John Shakeshaft. He was however already residing there when his son Thomas was born in 1854. In 1859 /1860 John Shakeshaft places an advertisement stating he would not honour his wife’s debts. Sarah Shakeshaft leaves Sydney with one of her sones Henry for Wagga Wagga with William Griffith Evans a builder who operated his business from the King Street end of Sussex Street. Henry is killed aged 15 in Wagga and his step father William Evans died there in 1885 aged 51 years. They are buried together in Wagga. In 1859 /1860 John Shakeshaft returns to the Hawkesbury to farm and his two sone John & Thomas become Coastal mariners running the Hawkesbury river Sydney trade for a number of years. Son John later marries and owns an orchard growing citrus fruit and melons and other vegaetables. He is also buried at the Holy Trinity Cemetery at Spencer with his wife Mary (nee Ivory). In about 1885 Sarah Evans (nee Drennan and Shakeshaft) returns to Petersham and one of her sons Griffith Parry Evans goes to school at Sydney High School 1885-1887(see honour board for Sydney Boys High School) he then goes on to study law at Sydney University and then owns and operates a law firm in West Wyalong. He later become Legislative Assembly Member for Lachlan in NSW and dies in 1943. The Drennan family continued to operate a shipwright, ship building business through William’s son David and his grandsons David and Samuel in Clarence Street located near the Masonic Hall in the Clark’s buildings. William Drennan’s other daughter Anne married Thomas Atkins who was transported to the colony in 1822 on the "Surrey". They are both buried at St Peter’s Cemetery Mangrove Creek. Sarah Evans (nee Drennan Shakeshaft) died 23/12/1899 at Abington House Albert Street Petersham which is near All Saints Church in Petersham and she is buried in Rookwood Independent Cemetery with a daughter Catherine Evans and Henry David Evans. She had eight children with William Griffith Evans.

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