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James Summers

James Summers, one of 170 convicts transported on the Glory, May 1818

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Summers
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1800
Occupation: Coachman
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Glory
Departure date: May, 1818
Arrival date: 14th September, 1818
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 169 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 36
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

Jeanette Hoy on 19th May, 2014 wrote:

Married Margaret Sullivan in 1828 at St. John’s, Parramatta.no children. Margaret died 1845 buried in old St. John’s cemetery, Parramatta.
Married Jane Cullen in 1845 at St. John’s Parramatta. 1 son James Summers born 1846, Parramatta.Married Esther Rolfe in Inverell, N.S.W. in1872.They had 8 children. Died 1919 in Glen Innes, N.S.W.

Beth Kebblewhite on 22nd September, 2019 wrote:

James Summers (c1800-?) reached Sydney on the ship Glory on 14 Sept 1818. He had been tried at Middlesex GD on 3 Dec 1817 [see trial record below] & received a life term.  Described as a native of London, aged 18, a coachman, 5’5” tall, fair complexion, dark hair & hazel eyes. TL - 29/927. CP - 48/2255. Conditional Pardon granted 15/11/1848, native place London, tried Middlesex 1817, life term, Trade: Coachsmith, year of birth: 1800, 5’5½” tall, fair ruddy complexion, light brown hair & hazel eyes.(Source: SRNSW Convict Pardons, #48/2255, Reel 790, 4/4463, pp125-6)

1817 - JAMES SUMMERS, JOHN KNIGHT, Theft > burglary, 3rd December 1817.
19. JAMES SUMMERS and JOHN KNIGHT, were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of George Phillips, about twelve o’clock in the night of the 9th of November , in the parish of St. George, Bloomsbury, with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing therein, one umbrella, value 5s., his property; six coats, value 10l.; three waistcoats, value 1l.; three pair of pantaloons, value 2l.; three pair of boots, value 2l.; one silver mug, value 2l.; 10 silver spoons, value 5l.; two punch ladles, value 10s.; and one tea caddy, value 10s. , the goods of Frederick Cox , Esq .
MR. GEORGE PHILLIPS. I am a brass-founder, and rent the house No. 7, Charlotte-street, Bloomsbury. On the 8th of November last Henry Dunn was my servant, he had lived ten weeks with me; I discharged him that night. Next morning, between seven and eight o’clock, I found my house broken open and robbed. I examined my premises, and found a covered cart, which was usually placed in the mews (which was at the back of my finishing shop), drawn up immediately under the door; above the door there were marks of the footsteps of one person; the windows of the finishing shop(which is immediately opposite the mews door looking into the back-yard), were open, which led me to suppose they had got over the roof of the finishing shop-the lock of the mews door was forced inside, and the bolts drawn. On a bench in the finishing shop, I found some bags of copper. I think they must have got in by getting over the roof of the finishing shop. By getting on the cart a person may lay hold of the water-pipe, and so get on the roof, then over two roofs, and drop down to a window, which looks into the finishing shop. I found this window open-it had been painted the day before. There were the footsteps of one person coming in; they would then be in the finishing shop. When he got in he must have forced the locks, drawn the bolts, and let the others in. I found three bags and a pile of copper on the bench, which had been left in the store-room the night before-the bags were not mine, the copper was. The store-room, where it was taken from, is part of my dwelling-house; the only way to the finishing shop is through my own yard. The store-room door was locked as usual. There were marks about, which shewed me the way they had gone. They must have dropped from the finishing shop into the yard, and got into the house by the sky-light, which has no fastening. On a sand-heap, under that skylight, there was the impression of two knees of a person who had worn corduroy breeches. Immediately opposite the sand-heap is the door of the time-keeper’s room, where some things had been disturbed-the keys of the store-keeper’s room bung there; they could be got at, and the doors opened. The lock of the time-keeper’s room, which is part of the dwelling-house, had been forced open and shut again. I missed my umbrella and several things of Mr. Cox’s, who lodge with me. I apprehended Dunn, and he made some discoveries to me.
FREDERICK COX, ESQ. I occupy the first-floor in Mr. Phillips’s house. I was not at home at the time of the robbery - I came home the next day, and missed all my clothes; five coats, one great coat, three pair of boots, and several silver spoons, a silver mug, a teacaddy, and several other things.
MARY SHEPPARD. I am servant to Mr. Phillips. I got up at half-past seven o’clock, found the house broken open, and alarmed Mr. Phillips.
HENRY DUNN. I lived ten weeks with Mr. Phillips. I left him on Saturday evening, and went under the Piazzas in Covent-garden, to
Bellshaw’s public-house, expecting to meet the prisoners. They were not there. I came out, and waited under the Piazzas a minute or two, and saw them come from New-street. Summers said he had been looking for me, and asked, is all right? I said, I believe it is. He asked if I had any money - I said I had. He said he had been nippered three times, at Chelsea, that day. I went into Bellshaw’s, and gave them a pint of beer-it was about half-past seven. We then went to Summers’s house, in Charles-street, Drury-lane. They asked me to lend them some money. I went down to the parlour, which is a cook-shop, and got 3s. worth of victuals, and took it to them. We left there about ten o’clock, and returned to Bellshaw’s, where we met a man named Shannon; he asked me what screws (which means a skeleton key) would do, and shewed me one; I said I thought it was too small; he said, never mind, he would try it; it was to open the door with. We had been talking about entering the prosecutor’s house on the Thursday before; it was about eleven o’clock in the day. I was with Summers at Shannon’s, in Vine-street, Chandos-street, and we staid there from half-past nine in the morning till nine at
night; and the next day I was with Summers from eleven to one o’clock, in Drury-lane.
Q. How long did you stay at Bellshaw’s on the Saturday evening? - A. I and Summers went to a person in Vine-street, at an old ironshop, to get a bag to put the property in; we got six sacks and a dark lanthorn there; the largest sack would hold about a bushel and a half; we hid them in Covent-garden, and went to Bellshaw’s again; it was about half-past ten; we staid there drinking till about a quarter after twelve. Shannon said, it is a quarter after twelve, will you go? we all went. Summers and Knight walked together, and I and Shannon; we went to the back part of Mr. Phillips’s house, up the mews. Shannon asked me which was the way to get in; I directed him to get up the spout; he climbed up the stable door, but could not get up; we got a cart from the mews, and lifted him up; he got on the roof, and came through and opened the door leading from the finishing room; he forced the lock back; we all three went in. Shannon took the dark lanthorn, and Summers looked round, and saw some ornaments; I told him there was some copper below; he asked how we were to get out; he got down into the yard by the water-butt, and let us out of the door into the yard; we walked along; he asked how we were to get down; he got down by the sky-light in the yard into the foundery; I followed him down; I directed him into the window of the time-keeper’s room, and followed him; he got in, and forced a lock back; we then got into the passage of the kitchen; I shewed him the metal-room; he tried his skeleton key, it would not open the door; he returned into the time-keeper’s room to look for something to force it; on looking round, he saw the keys hanging up, and said, here is a screw; he tried it; it was the key of the door; we went in, and let Summers and Knight in through the kitchen, out of the yard; we left Summers in possession of the door to whistle if any body came; we three went into the store-room, and filled four sacks with each ten pieces of copper; Knight tied them up; they carried these sacks into the finishing shop; while we were filling them, Shannon asked me what was up stairs; I told him I did not know; he asked if any body lodged there besides my master, and if he was worth property; he said he would go and try; he and Summers went up, and brought down an umbrella, a tea caddy, and a pair of pantaloons; he ran across the yard to me; I said I should be off, that the gentleman must be in his bed-room; he asked for a sack - We emptied the largest, and gave it to him; he and Knight went up, and came down with it full - I did not know what was in it till it was emptied at Mr. Woolf’s, in Bell-yard-there was six or seven coats, about eight pair of pantaloons, eight waistcoats, a great coat, stockings and drawers, a tea-caddy, and an umbrella. Shannon and Knight fetched a coach; we took the clothes away, and left the copper. The coach passed by three doors; Shannon came and said, bring it out – I said I would not carry any thing; Shannon saw the watchman speaking to the coachman; Knight took the sack, and threw it into the coach with the umbrella and things. I got on the coach-box in Drury-lane - We drove to Phillips’s, in Wych-street, and then took it to Woolf’s, in Bell-yard, Templebar; we got there about two o’clock-he was up ready to receive us; we got 6l. for the clothes. I had known Summers six months, and Knight about four days.
JOSEPH BURTON. I am a smith. I was at the Green Man, in the Coal-yard, in Drury-lane, at half-past eight o’clock that evening; Dunn came in with a man - I knew him. They had half a pint of gin; he took 1s. out of his pocket-book; neither of the prisoners were with him.
JAMES BIRDSEYE. I am pot-boy at Mr. Bellshaw’s, corner of James-street, Covent-garden. I saw Dunn there on Saturday night, November 8th, and three or four people with him, about ten o’clock; they kept going out and coming in; I saw nothing in their possession; the first time they came in they had a pot of beer to drink; it was about ten o’clock - They left about a quarter after twelve. I had seen Dunn and the others at our house several nights before; I remember Knight being with him that night; I can hardly recollect whether the other prisoner was there or not - I am sure Knight was there, in company with Dunn; they went away together; the last time I saw them was about twelve o’clock. Dunn and the prisoners were apprehended at our house on the Saturday night following; the prisoners were in company with him when he was taken.
Court. Q. Have you at any other time seen the prisoners in company with Dunn? - A. I have seen them in company before; Shannon was with them.
WILLIAM SALMON. I am an officer of Bow-street; I apprehended the prisoners, and Dunn, on the Tuesday evening after the robbery, at Bellshaw’s, in consequence of information which Dunn gave me.
WILLIAM GODFREY. I assisted in apprehending them; Dunn told us where we could find them; they were in company together. I found the bags loaded with copper in Phillips’s finishing-room.
Mr. PHILLIPS re-examined. The kitchen is on the second floor; I do not think they went further than Mr. Cox’s room.
Q. Does the account which Dunn had given appear to be true as to the manner in which the robbery was committed? - A. Perfectly so; it corresponds with the observations which I made.
SUMMERS’S Defence. Dunn came to my father’s on Thursday morning, and asked me to rob his master’s house; I said I did not like to do any thing of the kind; he said he would bring the copper out, and I should take it away; I refused; he asked me again on Friday – I refused; I met him and Knight at Bellshaw’s on Saturday night; he asked me again - I refused to have any thing to do in it, and left there about a quarter before ten; he said he could get others to go; I did not see him again till Tuesday evening, when we were taken.
KNIGHT’S Defence. I was coming through the Piazzas; I went to drink with him; he asked me to rob his master - I refused, and left him; on Tuesday night I met him again.
Recommended to Mercy.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Bailey.
(Source: Old Bailey on-line http://www.oldbaileyonline.org )

1819-20 - James Summers was on lists of convicts maintained by William Cox free of expense to the Crown; in 1819 and 1820 (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Reel 6050, 4/1746 p.141; Reel 6058, 4/1769 p.86a) [Notes re Cox family: “Winbourne is associated with the family of William Cox, who supervised the Irish convicts who built the road over the Blue Mountains, in 1815. William was rewarded with land grants in the Mulgoa Valley and three of his sons built houses in the valley. Henry Cox built Glenmore (the present golf club), Edward built Fernhill (now largely restored) and George built Winbourne, starting in 1824 or so. William himself lived at ‘The Cottage’, near the present site of St Thomas’ Church, until he moved to Clarendon at Richmond.” Source: http://www.winbourne.org/pagesW/IndigenousHistory.html )
1822 Muster:
James SUMMERS, con, Glory, life, govt servant to Nowland, Windsor (A20425) [Note: James Nowland was a GS for William Cox at Windsor.
1823 to 1825 Muster:
James SUMMERS, con, Glory 1818, life, govt servant to Mr William Cox, Windsor (42152)
1825, 30 Dec. – Margaret Sullivan asked permission to wed James Summers, convict per Prince of Orange (?), at St Johns Parramatta. (SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Letters Received, Reel 6064; 4/1789 p73)
1826, 6 Jan. – James Summers per ship Glory, life term, now bond, aged 26, applied to marry Margaret Sullivan per ship Broxbornebury, 7 year term, now bond, aged 35. Rev Cross of Windsor made the application. (Source: SRNSW Convicts Application to Marry, Fiche 780, 4/4508)
1828, 25 Jan. – James Summers per ship Glory, life term, now bond, aged 27, applied to marry Mary Sullivan per ship Broxbornebury, now free, aged 38. Rev Marsden of Parramatta made the application. (Source: SRNSW Convicts Application to Marry, Fiche 780, 4/4508)
1828, 21 April - Margaret Sullivan wed James Summers on 21 April 1828 at St Johns Parramatta. (James Summers, aged 28, Bond, arrived per Glory 1, Abode: Windsor, Signed; & Margaret Sullivan, aged 29, Free, Abode: Windsor, Signed X; married 21 Apr 1828, registered St Johns Church of England Parramatta by Banns, with consent of Governor by Samuel Marsden; Witness: Jesse Hudson, of Parramatta, Signed X; Witness: Esther Parks, of Parramatta, Signed X. Source: St John’s Church of England, Parramatta NSW: Church Register - Marriages; ML ref: Reel SAG 55-56 & V1828-4282-3B) (No record of any children born to the couple)
1828 Census:
Margaret (?) SUMMERS or SULLIVAN, aged 28 (?), FBS, Broxbornebury, cath, wife to James Summers; Householder: George Cox; Residence: Winbourn, Mulgoa; Household Return district: Evan (S2903) wife to - James SUMMERS, aged 28, GS, Glory 1818, life, cath, blacksmith to Geo. Cox [George Cox, CF 1800, landholder, 7,650 acres, 2,000 sheep, 621 cattle & 34 horses], Winbourne, Mulgoa, Evan (S2988)
1831, Dec. – James Summers per ship Glory had his TOL cancelled for “stolen property in his possession.” (Source: Sydney Gazette, 20/12/1831, p1)
1837 Convict Muster –
James Sumney (sic), Age: 35; Arrived per Glory 1818; Occupation/Residence &c, Parramatta, [Assigned to] John McManis #24872
1839, May – Mary Sullivan alias Summers per ship Broxbornebury, was admitted into Sydney Gaol on 22/05/1839, from Moreton Bay on the ship Sophia Jane. Also admitted was Sarah West or Denton, also arr per Broxbornebury. Mary was transferred to the FF & Sarah transferred to Hyde Park Barracks on 23 May. (Source: http://www.ancestry.com.au SRNSW Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930; Series: 2514; Item: 4/6438 Roll: 853 & Series: 2515; Item: X843; Roll: 1864)
1845 - Margaret Summers, aged 44, blacksmith’s wife of Parramatta, died on 30 August 1845 & was buried on 1 Sept., service at St John’s Parramatta. (V1845-498-30B)
1848 - Conditional Pardon to James Summers was granted 15/11/1848, native place London, tried Middlesex 1817, life term, Trade: Coachsmith, year of birth: 1800, 5’5½” tall, fair ruddy complexion, light brown hair & hazel eyes.(Source: SRNSW Convict Pardons, #48/2255, Reel 790, 4/4463, pp125-6)
1849 – James Summers per ship Glory had received a CP on 15/11/1848. (Source: SMH, 10/01/1849, p2)
No record of death found for James Summers.

From the book “Journey to a New Life…” the story of the ships Emu & Broxbornebury by Elizabeth Hook (3rd ed. 2014). I am the author & can be contacted on hookey5609@yahoo.com.au for further info

Convict Changes History

Jeanette Hoy on 19th May, 2014 made the following changes:

gender: m, occupation, crime

Beth Kebblewhite on 22nd September, 2019 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1800 (prev. 0000), occupation

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