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John Webster

John Webster, one of 310 convicts transported on the Mangles, 18 March 1837

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: John Webster
Aliases: John Nehemiah Webster
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 9th April, 1798
Occupation: Carver/
Date of Death: 1842
Age: 43 years

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 14 years

Crime: Forgery
Convicted at: Norfolk Assizes
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Mangles
Departure date: 18th March, 1837
Arrival date: 10th July, 1837
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 308 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/11, Page Number 17 (10)
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

Beth Kebblewhite on 25th September, 2019 wrote:

John Nehemiah Webster (1798-1842)
1796, 24 September - Caroline WEBSTER was born in England to Joseph & Ann WEBSTER.
1798, 9 April - John Nehemiah WEBSTER was born in England to Joseph & Ann WEBSTER.
1800, 6 July - John Nehemiah & Caroline are baptised at St Clement Danes, London, Eng. (Source: IGI & Parish Register)
1819 - Trial #1 - JOHN WEBSTER (and others) Royal Offences > coining offences, 27th October 1819.
To which indictment they severally and separately pleaded GUILTY.
Transported for Fourteen Years.
Before Mr. Baron Wood and Mr. Justice Park.
BENJAMIN JOHNSON, WILLIAM JACKSON, JOHN BAILEY, and MARY ANN CROFT were again indicted for disposing of and putting away forged Bank notes, knowing them to be forged .
MR. SERGEANT BOSANQUET, on behalf of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, declined offering any evidence.
First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Park.
(Source: Old Bailey on-line http://www.oldbaileyonline.org)
1820, 11 March – Indent of convict ship “Mangles” (1) arrived in Sydney from England 11 March 1820. John WEBSTER, convicted 27 Oct 1819, Middlesex Gaol Delivery, 14 years, Native of London, Occupation carver & gilder, aged 22, Height 5’3½”, fair ruddy complexion, brown hair, hazel eyes.
1821 – “(To) His Excellency Lachlan Macquarie Esquire, Captain General, Governor and Commissioner of the Forces in New South Wales. The humble Memorial of John WEBSTER, respectfully states, That Memorialist was convicted at the Old Bailey in October 1819 for 14 years - and arrived here in the Mangles - Cogill, Master in August 1820. That Memorialist has ever since been employed as a Carver at Government House, and has studied to conduct himself with strict Propriety. Under these Circumstances Memorialist humbly implores Your Excellency will kindly indulge him with a Conditional Pardon, before Your Excellency leaves the Colony. And Memorialist as in Duty bound and in Gratitude will ever pray. John WEBSTER.” (Source: SRNSW NSW Colonial Secretary Papers, Petition - Fiche 3211 (1821) p97)
1821, 28 November – John Webster received a Conditional Pardon on 28/11/1821. Described as arr per ship Mangles 1820, native of London, occupation carver & gilder, tried Middlesex Gaol Delivery 07/07/1819, 14 year term, height 5’3”, fair pale complexion, brown hair, grey eyes. (Source: SRNSW Convict Absolute Pardons, Reel 774, 4/4430, p179) 1821-1822 – Alphabetical list of persons to whom convict mechanics have been assigned under the Gov. and General order of 22-12-1821 and the respective sums from each on 31/12/1822. John WEBSTER, York Street, No. assessed - 1 (2 pounds, 5 shillings & sixpence) (No Reference numbers)
1822 Muster:
John Webster, CP, “Mangles”, Lodges at C. Booth, Sydney. [Charles Booth, CP, “Fortune”, 14 years, Sawyer, Sydney] (Source: 1822 Muster of NSW)
1822, 20 December – John WEBSTER, Free, per ship “Mangles”, Tried by Judge Advocate, C.C. (remarks – Criminal Court?), Perjury (crime), on 1 Jan. 1823, Acquitted (Source: SRNSW (from Ancestry) Gaol Admission & Description Books for Sydney Gaol, NRS 2514, 4/6428, Reel 850)
1823 to 1825 Muster:
John WEBSTER, CP, “Mangles” 1820, 14 years, Tailor, Sydney (#44735) (Source: General Muster List of NSW 1823-25)
13 March 1824 – John WEBSTER, Free, “See Sailors Booth (?), Sullivan & other matters (?)” (Source: SRNSW (from Ancestry) Gaol Admission & Description Books for Sydney Gaol, NRS 2514, 4/6428, Reel 850) [Not certain what this related to]
1827 – “CARVING, GILDING, LOOKING GLASS, AND PICTURE FRAME MANUFACTORY. J. WEBSTER. most respectfully and sincerely thank his Friends, and the Public in General, for the liberal encouragement he has hitherto met with, and begs to inform them that he has removed to No. 91 Castlereagh Street,. where he carries on the above Branches of Business, in the most elegant and fashionable style. N.B. Regilding and Bronzing.” (Source: Sydney Monitor, 3 December 1827, p2)
1828 Census:
John WEBSTER, 30, CP, “Mangles” 1820, 14 years, Prot, Carver & gilder, Castlereagh St, Sydney. (Source:1828 Census of NSW #W0810) [also wife Jane & son Joseph aged 2 & Jane’s children Jane STILWELL, aged 8, BC, William STILWELL, aged 6, BC]
1828, 7 August – “To…...Ralph Darling…..Governor…......The Respectful Memorial of – John Webster (Free), Humbley (sic) Sheweth, That your Excellency’s Memorialist is a free subject, and has been some years in this Country, is by trade a Carver and Gilder, is married and has five children, resides and carries on his business in Castlereagh Street Sydney, and has always supported a good character. That Memorialist finding his business very much increased, is greatly in need of assistance, and understanding that a prisoner of the Crown has lately arrived per ship Phoenix “a Carver and Gilder” named John Ford, (at present employed in the Carpenters Gang in the H.M. Lumber Yard) much wishes to obtain him. That Memorialist begs to state the man is not exactly master of his business, still he would be a great acquisition, to Memorialist if it should please your Excellency to sanction his being Assigned to him. That Memorialist supposing the individual “Ford” can be but of little use to the Government as a Carpenter, humbly hopes your Excellency will be pleased (to) take into consideration his having a young family dependent on him for support and his inability to obtain a free person in the Colony capable of assisting him in his business. Memorialist therefore humbly hopes your Excellency will (be) pleased to Approve of the man being either Assigned or lent to him and for such (a) mark of your Excellency’s goodness Memorialist as in duty bound will ever pray. (Signed) John Webster.” (John Webster has resided in my Neighbourhood and been known to me for the last seven months, during which period I have had every reason to consider him a peaceable and industrious man. Castlereagh Street, 8th August 1828, James Laidley). (NOTES – John Ford per Phoenix, Nothing Recorded….Aug 26/28….”Webster is an industrious young man, but I am apprehensive that the Carver he applied for cannot be spared…..Inform him that he cannot be spared”.....30 August 1828 W Hely informed to communicate accordingly). (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers 1826-1831, Letter 28/6888, Shelf 4/1991)
1830, 18 August – Letter to Editor from Webster titled “Mechanics of Sydney” – John wrote “Being a tradesman myself, and one who has to work at four distinct trades to support a family…” (Source: Sydney Monitor, 18 August 1830, p4)
1830, 9 October – “TO THE EDITOR OF THE SYDNEY MONITOR SIR,- Understanding that my letter to you respecting my trader as a carver and guilder, and picture frame maker, attracted attention, and that you have been informed, that the reason that I do not get employment, is owing to my charges exceeding those of London, I beg to say; that any person finding the materials of my trade, I will undertake to do my work twenty per cent lower than the London prices. The materials of my trade here are a hundred per cent higher than in London. I have paid three hundred per cent more for gold-leaf than the London prices. Of ourse I must charge the prime-cost of my materials ; this circumstance, coupled with a total ignorance in my customers as to what the London prices are, have occasioned the etroneous reports which I understand have been circulated against me. The fact is Sir, that the whole work of the Colony, in its present depressed state, will not support a gilder who has got a family. What settler, at the low prices of grain, meat, &c. can afford to employ me? Why then, Sir, deceive British artists and tradesmen of fancy trades, like mine, by advertising in the Sydney Gazette that they are wanted here, when I can scarcely get a living? I have a wife and three children, and I can afford to drink nothing but water to my dinner. Nobody has ever seen me enjoying the porter and beer I used to do at home. Tea is the only beverage I can afford to drink. If provisions were not so very cheap, I should never be able to pay my rent, nor keep a bit of furniture in the house, nor dress as an English artist does at home-clean and decent-my wife and children being clothed the same. I send you your frame for your map. It is about two and a half feet square, and has a straining frame, as well as an outside one. For varnishing the map and the frames, japan black and gold complete, I charge you thirty shillings; and I defy any one to say it could be done cheaper in London, reckoning the price of the materials I am, Sir, Your humble servant, J. N. WEBSTER. 61, George-street.” (Source: Sydney Monitor, 9 October 1830, p3)
1832 – Marriage of Jane STILWELL & John WEBSTER - I certify that John WEBSTER of Sydney, bachelor, aged 33, & Jane JONES/STILWELL, also of Sydney, widow, aged 37, were married in this town by banns with consent of those concerned. 30 March 1832, by John Dunmore Lang, Pres. Chaplain. [Signed John Webster & mark of Jane] - in the presence of W.H. Alway & Isaac Dole. (Source: NSW Parish Church Records V1832-232-Vol 23A)
1834, 20 February - “Memorials Nos. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44. 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51. Register, No. 1. The Commissioners for hearing and determining upon Claims to Grants of Land within the Colony of New South Wales, under the Act of the Governor and Council, 4th Wm. IV. No. 9, do hereby give Notice that the following Claims have been filed with their Secretary ; To wit
44.-By John Webster, resident in Market-street West, in the township of Sydney, parish of St. Andrew, and county of Cumberland, in said colony, dealer,-to an allotment of land, described as follows : situate in Kent-street, in the township of Sydney, and parish of St. Andrew, bounded on the north by the premises of Capper Pass 132 feet, on the east by Kent street 60 feet, on the south by the premises of William Harper 132 feet, and on the west by the premises of J. H. Potts 60 feet.
45.-By John Webster, resident in Market-street West, the township of Sydney, parish of St. Andrew, and county of Cumberland in said colony, dealer, to an allotment of land, described as follows : situate on the east side of Clarence-street in the, township of Sydney, and the parish of St. Phillip, bounded on the south by premises formerly in the possession of Mrs. Tomigan, and subsequently of one Butler, on the west by premises belonging to Henry Lyndon, on the north by other premises of the said Henry Lyndon, and on the east by Clarence street.
46.-By John Webster, resident in Market-street in the township of Sydney, parish of St. Andrew, and county of Cumberland, in said colony, dealer- to an allotment of land, described as follows: situate on the west side of Sussex-street, in the township of Sydney, and parish of St. Phillip, known as No. 8 in said street, bounded on the east by Sussex-street, on the west by a new street, on the north by the premises of Ireland, and on the south by the premises of Gregory Board.” (Source: SMH 20 February 1834, p3, also SRNSW Court of Claims Records re Land, Reel 1420; Case #44-46; X13) [Note: Is this correct John Webster?]
1834, 9 July – Kissing Point - List of Householders in the District of Kissing Point – John Riley Constable - John WEBSTER, tenant, Emancipist.  Receipt of 9th July, 1834 received from Mr John Webster for 16/- the amount of Quit Rent due to the Crown on an allotment of ground in the town of Sydney from 1st July 1833 to 30th June 1834. One year at one shilling per perch on 16 perches. Allotment situate on the north side of Goulburn Street between Castlereagh and Pitt Street, the deed in favour of Geo. Silks dated 19th Oct. 1831. William McPherson, collector of Internal Revenue. (No Reference numbers)
1835, 4 July – Colonial Secretary’s Office to the Police Magistrate Goulburn - Sir, John Nehemiah Webster having stated his inability to compete for the purchase of the Ten acres at Goulburn advertised for sale with notice on 4th May as Lot 33 at his earliest solicitation in consideration of his being resident thereon and requested to be permitted to occupy under sufferance the adjoining two or three acres of land. I am directed by his Excellency the Gov. to inform you that his request cannot be complied with and that he must immediately remove from the spot he occupies which I am to desire you will have the good self to see done. I have the honour to be sir, your most obedient servant. (Source: No.‘s 35/333 - A664 - CY871)
1837, 20 March - John WEBSTER & His wife Jane were witnesses at the wedding of William ROBSON (Robinson) and Jane Margaret STILWELL (16 year-old daughter of Jane) at the Court House, Goulburn, NSW. John signed his name & his wife Jane X her mark. (Source: NSW BDM Church Records V1837-1791-21)
1839 - J.N. WEBSTER, Butcher, Goulburn. (Source: NSW Directory for NSW 1839, p168)
1841 Census –
County Argyle, District Goulburn - Return No. 18 - WEBSTER, John at Jerrara - 2 males, 2 single, 2 other free persons, 2 C of E, 2 gardeners, stockmen & persons employed in agriculture. (Source: SRNSW 1841 Census #A946, page 145)
1841, 21 August – “[Jn. Webster from Goulburn - Road through his land] I humbly beg leave to inform you in hope that you will be kind enough to communicate the same to His Excellency the Governor, that about 2 years ago I purchased from Isaac Moses, 20 acres of land, a suburban allotment near Goulburn #20 for the sum of 100 pounds, which I had great difficulty to pay for as I have a large family to provide for and have met with various misfortunes that the Sydney Road is running through it which will take off 2 acres as it runs the full length way 80 rod and will naturally put it out of form as it is on the angle. I have felled and stumped part of it and as there must be 2 extra fences 80 rod each I make no doubt but His Excellency of his clemency ... will make me compensation satisfactory. I have been 20 years a free subject of this Colony, have 3 boys and 2 girls at home to provide for, and 4 boys and girls useful to society in other parts of the Colony. I have taken liberty of making early application as there is at present Government land attached to it on the east and which I should prefer to money although it is barren land and likely studded with useless timber. With respect to character, I can confidently refer your Honor to Mr W Bradley JP, or Mr McArthur JP who have both known me these ... years that I have been in this part of the Colony and Mr G Stewart(?) ... for the time he has been. I have the honor to subscribe myself Your Honor’s Most Obedient Humble Servant - John Nehemiah Webster [Compensation refused - to be fenced only]” (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Letters Re Land - Reel 1196; 2/8002) 1841, 1 December – “[To - Surveyor General]
[Survey of Webster’s allotment near Town of Goulburn]
I do myself the honor to inform you in reply to your letter No. 41/3071 that I have surveyed a part of the New line of road between Goulburn and Marulan - and on the accompanying Plan showing the section allotments, through which it passes near the former Township - I have edged with red, the allotment of twenty acres purchased by J.N. Webster of Isaac Moses - Webster has since disposed of ten acres to Reid - through the remaining ten acres of his allotment the new line of road passes, and included about 3 ½ acres.
Previous to the timber on the new road being felled, Webster had cut down and stumped about an acre of it - he has also made a well, erected a slab hut, and enclosed a portion of land sufficient for a small garden, which the new road will not, I apprehend, interfere with. I have also shewn in the enclosed map, the land Webster wishes to select as compensation adjoining his allotment, colored blue.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
Ja. Larmer.”
(Source: SRNSW Col Sec Letters Re Land - 4/7718)
1842, 21 January - “Honored Sir,
With all I’ve [submitted] to his Excellency the Governor and yourself, I have to request you will inform his Excellency that I have been long inured to losses misfortunes and disappointments in so much that I have been confined to my bed these 4 months by an affection[infection?] of the heart but I must confess that the perusal of your letter of the 13(?) instant had near made my heart quit it’s place at once or burst for to think that of 10 acres which is all I have in possession I should be compelled to give up 3 acres and are ... against my will for I never should with unless I got satisfactory compensation but should consider it an ... piece of ... for I do not value the road one pound for I am bounded on the west by a road which leads to the township and that is as much as I want as for the main road it will put me to 40 pound expense for fencing which I have no need for but for the roadway 10 miles off than I would have my 10 acres reduced to 6 and a half. I never heard of such an act of Council being passed nor should I have thought there was such a law extant in any part of the world however barbarous though I have heard of wealthy persons getting ample compensation, and I cannot conceive how the Governor would refuse it to a poor man with a large family. I have the honor to be Your Most Obedient servant - JN Webster”
[Still no compensation but the reply says the fencing will be done] (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Letters Re Land - Reel 1196; 2/8002)
1842 ? - Burial Record of John WEBSTER -
Name - John N. WEBSTER, Abode – Goulburn, Date of Burial - 28 Feb, Age – 44, Ship’s Name – Mangles, Occupation – Butcher, Minister -Rev. J. Walters (Source: NSW Burials V1842 - 792 Vol 103) [Burial record for David Hay, listed above John, says David, aged 44, Storekeeper of Goulburn buried 7 Dec, but Index says V1842 - 791 Vol 103. This must be wrong, as David would have died the previous year!) [John’s burial listed in Index as Campbellfield, Melbourne, Victoria, but believed to be in fact Goulburn]

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

Beth Kebblewhite on 25th September, 2019 made the following changes:

term: 14 years (prev. 7 years), alias1: John Nehemiah Webster, date of birth: 9th April, 1798 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1842 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime

Beth Kebblewhite on 25th September, 2019 made the following changes:

gender: m

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