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William John Speed

William John Speed, one of 200 convicts transported on the Ann, August 1809

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William John Speed
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1760
Occupation: Soldier
Date of Death: 1838
Age: 78 years

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: Bigamy
Convicted at: Surrey Assizes
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)
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

D Wong on 31st May, 2017 wrote:

25/3/1809 Morning Post London, England:
HOME CIRCUIT. SURREY ASSIZES, March 23 — William John Speed, a Lieut.-Colonel in the Army, I was indicted for Bigamy, in marrying Ann Thorn, his former wife being still living.

30/3/1809 Derby Mercury Derbyshire, England:
Sunday and Tuesday’s Posts
Colonel William John Speed, convicted of bigamy at the Surrey assizes, is sentenced to seven years transportation.

14/9/1785: Married Sarah Nelson - they had 6 children - 3 died.
1792: Separated from Sarah.

11/11/1799: Married Ann Thorn - had 1 child.

C1800: Married Elizabeth Russell - had 7 children.

Long list on the Colonial Secretary Papers: http://colsec.records.nsw.gov.au/s/F53c_so-sti-05.htm#P1947_84358

12/3/1832 (he was 72) Married Elizabeth Azire.
13/3/1832 Sydney Gazette:
Yesterday, at St James Church, by the Rev. Richard Hill, William John Speed, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the late St Vincent Rangers, and late an Officer in the Commissariat at Van Diemen’s Land, widower to Mrs. Elizabeth Raine, widow.

1838: William John Speed died in NSW.

Fred Grigg on 28th September, 2017 wrote:

The Sydney Gazette, on the 03 May 1838, reported,“A person named Speed, formerly a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army, died in the Benevolent Asylum, on the 26th utimo, a painful example of the inutability of all human prospects.” The date of death would have been 26 May 1838. The writer believes, from other records sighted, that Speed was murdered!

Fred Grigg on 28th September, 2017 wrote:

In the Hobart newspaper in Tasmania, on Friday February 1827, Page 3, it was reported that,“Among the different country Gaolers inserted in the Colonial Almanack, Mr Speed. at the Coal River, and Mr Laing, at Pittwater,are omitted by mistake.”

Fred Grigg on 28th September, 2017 wrote:

William John Speed was granted, “A Conditional Pardon No 232 dated 31 January 1813 now surrendered & cancelled. The Pardon also lists his description:
Trade - Formerly an officer in the Army
Age - 54 years
Height - 5ft 1/2 inches
Complexion: fair ruddy
Hair - silvery gray
Eyes - blue

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 31st May, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1760 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1838 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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