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Tenhel, James (c. 1767–?)

James Tenhel was found guilty on 14 January 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of the theft of 25 pounds of black pepper, 7 pounds of pimento, and one loaf of sugar from a warehouse. Sentenced to 7 years transportation to America he was among the prisoners who mutinied on the convict transport Mercury in April 1784. Recaptured, he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk. He arrived at Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Friendship as part of the First Fleet.

On 11 February 1788 (as Thomas Hill) Tenhel was found guilty of taking some bread from a fellow convict and was sentenced to be confined to irons for a week on Pinchgut Island. In the later part of 1789 he was working as a boatman making deliveries between Sydney Cove and Rose Hill. In April 1790 William Chaff was convicted of robbing Tenhel's house (and was executed) while Tenhel was on a boating trip. No further records have been found for Tenhel. As his sentence expired in 1791 he may have returned to England.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 351-52

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Citation details

'Tenhel, James (c. 1767–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 3 December 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Daniel, James
  • Teninghill, James
  • Teninghile, James
  • Tenhill, James
  • Tenhel, John
  • Tenchall, James
  • Hill, Thomas
  • Tennehill, James
  • Tenchill, James
  • Tenninghill, James
  • Tenhell, James

c. 1767

Passenger Ship
Key Events
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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years