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John Taylor

John Taylor, one of 156 convicts transported on the Speke, 13 December 1820

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Taylor
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1806
Occupation: Errand boy
Date of Death: 1884
Age: 78 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Larceny
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Speke
Departure date: 13th December, 1820
Arrival date: 18th May, 1821
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 155 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 424
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

Karen Bolton on 18th March, 2013 wrote:

John Taylor born Edmonton 1806 to father James Taylor & mother Martha Darby(Martha Darby a widow married James Taylor in 1801 Edmonton, Middlesex, England). John Taylor was convicted Middlesex 7th July 1819 of larceny, sentenced 7 years transportation (stated residence London). He left England on the vessel Speke in December 1820 arriving on 18th May 1821 at Sydney Cove, Australia. In his indents it described him as “16 years old, 4’6” in height,fair complexion,with hazel eyes”. He was actually only 13 years old at the time & originally described as an “errand boy”.He first worked at Grose Farm (NSW, Australia)in 1822, & in 1825 he was working for G.S.W Smith in Bathurst (in the 1825 muster they stated his date of birth was “abt 1807”). I believe John Taylor died in 1884 in “??maine As, Victoria, Australia” as it stated on the death certificate that his parents were James & Martha and that his date of birth was 1806. John Taylor’s brother Benjamin Taylor was also transported to Australia on the Asia in 1831 arriving in 1832 (Benjamin Taylor also had hazel eyes). Also John Taylor’s half-brother Joseph Darby also transported on the Portland in 1831 arriving in Australia 1832.

Karen Bolton on 18th March, 2013 wrote:

John Taylor was held on the prison hulk ship Bellerophan at Woolwich (he arrived on the Bellerophan on the 12th August 1819) before being transported to Australia on the vessel Speke.

Karen Bolton on 11th July, 2013 wrote:

The reason why John Taylor may have turned to larceny could be because his father was ill and the Taylor family were going through a crisis. John’s father James Taylor died in 1820 (James Taylor was last living at Tile Kiln Lane, Edmonton, Middlesex).

Karen Bolton on 11th July, 2013 wrote:

John’s father James Taylor was buried on the 2nd August 1820 in Edmonton,Middlesex,England (James Taylor was only 35 years old when he died).

Karen Bolton on 11th July, 2013 wrote:

Although it states that James Taylor born “abt 1785” on burial records (in Edmonton,Middlesex) it is more likely that his real date of birth was about 1775 so he was actually about 45 years old when he died.

Karen Bolton on 11th July, 2013 wrote:

I believe that John Taylor died in 1884 in the “??maine As, Victoria” which was in all probability Castlemaine Asylum, Victoria, Australia. Was this Castlemaine Benevolent Asylum?

Karen Bolton on 13th July, 2013 wrote:

John Taylor was on the list furnished by John Maxwell of men victualled in the Government Stock Establishment in Bathurst in 1823-1825, and John Taylor was described as a “night watchman”,“well behaved” and working on “George’s Plains”.

Karen Bolton on 13th July, 2013 wrote:

It is confusing because when John Taylor worked as a “watchman” in “White Rock” area (1823-1825)he was described as “useless and a bad character”. Perhaps he did not get on with his foreman?

Karen Bolton on 13th July, 2013 wrote:

John Taylor received his Certificate of Freedom on the 13th July 1826.

Karen Bolton on 14th July, 2013 wrote:

In the 1828 Census for New South Wales on line 257 it states John Taylor is on the census as a “laborer” in “Bathurst”. His age is estimated as “25” years & down as “F.S” (does this mean Free Servant?).

Karen Bolton on 14th July, 2013 wrote:

In 1851 gold was discovered at Castlemaine and this is probably what drew John Taylor to Castlemaine (away from his work in Bathurst). In 1851 he would have been 45 years old.

Karen Bolton on 20th July, 2013 wrote:

A John Taylor is on the Victoria Assisted & Unassisted Passenger List with an estimated birth abt. 1802,39 years,departing Sydney,arrival date 6/2/1841,arrival port Port Phillip Bay,on the ship York and nationality English. Whether this was our John Taylor I am not sure, but it would explain why he was not in Bathurst (NSW) for its goldrush in 1851 (as he was already living from 1841 onwards in Victoria near Castlemaine)? He may have been already in Victoria when they had the goldrush in Castlemaine in 1851?

Karen Bolton on 21st July, 2013 wrote:

There is a John Taylor on the electoral roll (line 795) in 1856 in Castlemaine,Victoria, Australia. He is on a salary of £101 per annum working for a Mr Joshua. Whether this is our John Taylor I am not sure, but it puts him in the right area (as he died in 1884 in Castlemaine Asylum).

Convict Changes History

Karen Bolton on 18th March, 2013 made the following changes:

date of birth 1806, date of death 1884, gender, occupation, crime

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