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John Bennett (c. 1769–1788)

John Bennett was found guilty on 18 March 1786 at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, of highway robbery. He was sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was sent to the Dunkirk hulk until he embarked for New South Wales on the Friendship in March 1787, arriving in January 1788, as part of the First Fleet.

Bennett's behaviour deteriorated during the voyage. He was ordered to receive 37 lashes on 28 May 1787 for breaking out of his irons. At Sydney Cove he was flogged for theft on 15 February 1788 and then hanged on 2 May 1788 for another theft.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 33

Citation details

'Bennett, John (c. 1769–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bennet, John

c. 1769


2 May, 1788 (aged ~ 19)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years