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Blay, Solomon (1816–1897)

Solomon Blay (Bleay), boatman, was sentenced to 14 years transportation for attempted counterfeiting. It was his third conviction. He had previously been sentenced to 12 months for stealing potatoes and four months for stealing onions.

Blay arrived in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1836 aboard the Sarah. According to the surgeon's report he was flogged on board the ship for insolence and was 'as bad as can be'. He was described as being 5 feet 8¼ inches tall with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He was appointed a police constable in May 1838 but was dismissed from the position in October 1839 due to lack of discipline with alcohol and was sent to a chain gang. In 1840 he applied for the position of hangman. He was granted a ticket of leave on 20 August 1849, a conditional pardon on 6 July 1850 and a free pardon on 21 February 1857.

He performed his last hanging at the age of 71.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Blay, Solomon (1816–1897)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 October 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bray, Solomon
  • Murphy, Solomon
  • Blaey, Solomon
  • Bleay, Solomon

20 January 1816
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England


20 August 1897
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Passenger Ship
Social Issues