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James Underwood

James Underwood, one of 106 convicts transported on the Active, Albermarle, Atlantic, Barrington, Britannia, Mary Ann, Matilda, Salamander and William and Mary, January 1791

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Underwood
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 4th September, 1771
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 10th February, 1844
Age: 72 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: -
Convicted at: Surrey Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Active, Albermarle, Atlantic, Barrington, Britannia, Mary Ann, Matilda, Salamander and William and Ann
Departure date: January, 1791
Arrival date: 9th July, 1791
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 994 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 139 (71)
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

Denis Pember on 1st December, 2016 wrote:

In the colony, James learned the trade of boatbuilder, probably briefly under Stephen Todd, formerly a carpenter in the Barwell, who was engaged to build a 34-ton sloop for the Hawkesbury River trade in 1797; he built the Diana in 1798-99 which later became the property of Underwood and his partner Henry Kable.
With Kable and Simeon Lord, as partners, he was involved in the sealing trade, especially regarding the making of the boats.
Underwood played a considerable part in the early New South Wales sealing industry. In the 1803-04 season the partners had more than sixty men employed in the trade and gathered not less than 30,000 skins. After 1805 the volume greatly increased as, through Lord, the partners had a secure market in London. Between 1806 and 1809 their London agents sold 127,040 skins, sent in four consignments, for more than £27,000; these were by no means all the skins they exported in this period and they sold a considerable quantity of oil as well. In 1807 Underwood owned a third of the Sydney Cove which the partners chartered to the government for a voyage to Sydney with convicts. Underwood sailed for England in her in October, buying out Lord’s share on his arrival in London in May 1808. He returned in April 1809 on the ship’s second voyage with a very valuable investment, and soon afterwards severed his connexion with Kable.
James’ brother Joseph travelled from England on the “Sydney Cove” as a free settler and joined his older brother in the colony.

Denis Pember on 1st December, 2016 wrote:

James conquests, realtionships and marriages for quite a list.
He married Mary Kendall (Convict, 1792, “Royal Admiral” in 1793. There seem to be no family located and Mary died in 1816.
In 1801 he appears to be living with Philadelphia Pounds (Convict, 1800, “Earl Cornwallis”). The couple had three children between 1803 and 1807. No marriage record located.
The in 1812, James married Mar Ann Powell at St Phillips, Sydney. Mary Ann was born in the colony of free parents. The couple had 6 children between 1813 and 1824.  Mary Ann died in 1825.
In November 1825, James married Elizabeth Shurwell.  Elizabeth Shurwell a spinster of Sydney was married to James Underwood a widower of Sydney at Parramatta on 26 Nov 1825 by Rev. Samuel Marsden, a licence having been obtained 24 Nov 1825.  There appears no record of family.

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 29th November, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 4th September, 1771 (prev. 0000), date of death: 10th February, 1844 (prev. 0000), gender: m

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