Archiver > AUS-PT-JACKSON-CONVICTS > 2002-07 > 1026920142

Subject: [PJ] Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 01:40:11 +1000

Convict Indent
76 Name: John Dobson,
Age: 36,
Crime: Stealing 3 Lambs,
Where and when Tried: Old Bailey, September 15 1808,
Sentence: Death,
How disposed of: Pardoned to be Transported for Life, 16 November 1808.
Removed to the Captivity Hulk ("Laurel") at Portsmouth, 26 May 1809
I found this information on the AJCP rolls at the Latrobe Library in

The following is a transcript from John DOBSON's OLD BAILEY trial which
I found on AJCP rolls at the Latrobe Library in Melbourne

The Whole Proceedings On the KING's Commission of the PEACE
Held at Justice Hall, in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday the 14th of
September, 1808, and following days.

625. JOHN DOBSON was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 4th of
September, three lambs, value 4/- the property of William Small.

William Small. Q. What are you - A. I am a farmer at Holloway.

Q. When had you seen these lambs - A. I had lost lambs frequently; the
last time I watched them was with my man on the night of the 3rd of
September. On the 4th of September, I went out about 10 o'clock as
usual, I took a round to the fields, I had sheep in three or four
fields, I went round to see that they were all safe; as I was coming
round Maiden lane that leads from Highgate to Holloway, I looked over
the stile, I observed the sheep seemed frightened, and I saw a man rise
up. I had my gun in my hand, we got over the stile to see what the man
was at; and before we reached him he went down upon his knees and caught
a lamb in his arms; we went up to him before he observed us; his back
was towards us, he was not above thirty yards off when we first saw him;
my man went up to him on the left hand and I on the right; I asked him
what he was going to do with the lamb; he immediately let the lamb down;
he said he had been to Highgate to see his brother; he was in liquor and
wanted to lie down; which was not the case; I told him he must go with
us; he swore he would not; I desired my man to lay hold of him; they had
a scuffle; he got from the man; I took to my fowling piece.

Q. Did you take him at last - A. I did.

Cross- examined by Mr. Walford. Is this field in the high road to
London - A. No, it is up by Maiden lane, that leads from Highgate to
Holloway; there is a footpath in the field.

Q. How far was he from that footpath - A. About thirty yards; he had the
lamb up in his arms ready to take away; he had two more tied, ready to
take away from the very place where I first saw him rise from.

Q. Do you mean to say that he had the lamb completely in his arms - A.
Yes, I am quite certain of it.

John Skinner. I went up to the prisoner, he was among the sheep; as he
rose up from among the sheep he was looking about himself, he went up to
where the lamb laid asleep, he stooped and catched up the lamb, and when
we came up to him he stood upright with the lamb in his arms; we came up
close to him before he saw us. I catched hold of his collar, he said he
would not go with us; he got away from me; my master came up with his
piece, he said if he would not go with us he would shoot him; we then
secured him. In going down the field we saw two lambs tied.

Mr Walford. Were all four of the lambs legs tied - A. Yes.

Q. Did you search this man - A. I did not.

The prisoner left his defence to his counsel, and called two witnesses,
who gave him a good character.

GUILTY - DEATH. aged 36.

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr justice Heath.

On Transportation Register for "Indian" 1810
Names: John Dobson,
Where convicted: Middlesex Gaol delivery,
When: 14 Sep 1808,
Term: Life
This info came from the PRO in the UK because I hadn't discovered this
PJ forum and was new to researching family history late last year.

INDIAN - 1810
(Red Book - Shipowners)
Master: Captain Barkley
Rigging: Ship; 2 decks; sheathed in copper in 1810
Tonnage: 522 tons
Construction: 1810 in Shields
Owners: Munnings
Draught under load: 16 feet
Port of survey: London
Voyage: sailed for Botany Bay

(Green Book - Underwriters)
Master: Captain Barclay
Rigging: Ship; 2 decks; sheathed in copper in 1809; fastened with copper
Tonnage: 522 tons
Construction: Whitby; vessel 2 years old; 12 12-pounds caronnade
Owners: Mannings
Draught under load: 19 feet
Port of survey: London
Voyage: sailed for Botany Bay
This information was given to me by the helpful people on The Ships List

The arrival of the Indian, Providence, Admiral Gambier & Friends
HRA October 1818 – letter from Governor Macquarie to the Earl of
"The ship Indian, Mr Andrew Barclay, Commander arrived from England on
16th of December having on board a Subaltern Office and 30 soldiers of
73rd Regiment as a Guard, and 192 Male convicts. Seven convicts died of
disease and one was accidentally drowned on the passage, the total number
embarked having been 200 convicts."
This info supplied to the PJ list by LU

Granted Conditional Pardon 1814
No and Date of Pardon: 31 January 1814,
Name: Dobson John,
Ship and Year: Indian 1810,
Native Place: London,
Trade or Calling: Turner,
Place and Date of Trial: Middlesex GD (Gaol Delivery) 14 Sept 1808,
Sentance: Life,
Height: 5 feet 8.5 inches,
Complexion: Ruddy,
Colour of Hair: Sandy,
Eyes: hazel
I found this information (after reading Reg Wrights book, see below) in
the Latrobe Library AJCP rolls.

In the 1814 Muster he is listed as being Free, Off Stores and working as
a Labourer. He is not listed in the 1822 Muster nor the 1828 NSW Census.
This information came in an email from Lesley Uebel in answer to a
question put to the PJ list.

Other Comments:

Reg Wright in his book "The Forgotten Generation of Norfolk Island and
Van Diemens Land" names a Port Jackson convict, John DOBSON as a member
of a boats crew who assisted in the clean-up and eventual abandonment of
Norfolk Island in 1813-1814. This resulted in the removal of the
settlers and emancipists to VDL. This 'clean-up crew returned to PJ on
the 'Kangaroo' in March 1814. The NI Superintendent Hutchinson, in his
report to Governor Macquarie, stated that the old NI convicts and the 10
PJ convicts had in general behaved themselves extremely well and they
were subsequently rewarded with pardons, (the PJ convicts were
conditional pardons only), in January 1814. John DOBSON did receive his
CP at this time.

Mentioned in the Colonial Secretary Index
DOBSON, John. Per "Indian", 1810
1814 Jun 29 - On list of prisoners to be sent to Newcastle per "Lady
Nelson" (Reel 6004; 4/3493 p.208)
1815 Aug 26 - Prisoner at Newcastle; former butcher at Windsor. Re
remission of sentence and return to Sydney (Reel 6004; 4/3494 p.150)
1820 Aug 4 - Butcher of Emu Plains. Witness for R Fitzgerald in charges
made by Sir J Jamison (Reel 6049; 4/1745 p.189)
I have obtained these letters from the NSWAO but they don't shed any
light on the mystery.

John DOBSON died in September 1820 and was buried on 4 September 1820 at
Windsor. Registered: St. M. Windsor, D. Age 52 years.

John DOBSON had committed another crime in PJ as he was convicted,
sentenced to 3 years gaol and transported to Newcastle in June 1814, I
have been unable to find out what it was he did and who he did it with,
if anyone.

My GGGrandmother Mary Ann DOBSON was born in VDL in c1814 (she married a
VDL convict, Charles LEDGERWOOD) but there is no record of her birth,
her death certificate has John Dobson named as her father, there is no
record of her mother's name, there are no DOBSON's recorded in musters
or census on VDL around 1814 that I have been able to find, no Dobsons
at all anywhere in Australia until much later, except for this John.

So maybe, just maybe, Mary Ann's mother was one of the 60 Irish convicts
from the 'Catherine' that were sent from PJ to VDL on the 'Kangaroo' to
even up the sexes at that colony. As the "Kangaroo' did not sail for
Hobart until late May 1814, and due to a comedy of errors, she sailed to
Hobart and returned to PJ without landing her passengers, and then had
to return to Hobart again to complete the delivery, one of the
'Catherines' convicts and John DOBSON had ample time to become
acquainted before she continued on her way to Hobart and he re-offended
and was sent to Newcastle!
OR maybe he had a female accomplice in the crime that saw him sent to
Newcastle and she being sent to VDL.
OR maybe there is some other explanation and I will never be able to
officially "claim" him.
OR maybe he is not related at all and I will just have to adopt him.

Mary DOBSON on the 12th January 1837 in Melbourne gave evidence against
John GUNN (a VDL and later PJ convict) and stated that "I was bought up
in the family of Mr NIDYE in Van Diemens Land where I learnt to read, I
was christened and I used to go to church." Mary was 22 years old at the
time. She was one of only 37 women in Melbourne in 1836 when she arrived
at the Port Phillip settlement on 20th April 1836.

The search continues.

Regards Jeff Arnold

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