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John Boyle (c. 1756–1833)

John Boyle, a seaman, was found guilty on 21 April 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of fraud — impersonating another seaman to get his wages. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation. Boyle was sent to the Ceres hulk and embarked for New South Wales aboard the Scarborough, arriving in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Boyle married Catherine Henry on 25 May 1788. On 2 November 1789 he received 100 lashes for 'grievously beating and ill treating his wife'. She did not accompany him when he was sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply on 11 November, though she did join him the following March.

On February 1790 Boyle received 25 lashes for absenting himself from work and received 50 more lashes on 10 May for fighting. By July 1791 Boyle was supporting his wife on a one acre allotment at Sydney Town. On 7 August he received 51 of 100 lashes for showing disrespect to Captain Hill of the NSW Corps; he received the other 49 lashes a month later. He was settled on a 12 acre grant by May 1792. On 30 December he had leased 12 acres and on 7 May 1799 he bought 30 acres from Henry Hatheway.

John and Catherine Boyle left Norfolk island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Estramina in May 1808. They settled on a 40 acre grant of land at Clarence Plains. John Boyle died in hospital at Hobart on 18 December 1833; his age was given as 87. There is no record of any children.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 43

Citation details

'Boyle, John (c. 1756–1833)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1756


18 December, 1833 (aged ~ 77)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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Convict Record

Crime: fraud
Sentence: 7 years