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John Coffin (c. 1761–?)

John Coffin (1761- ) was found guilty on 9 January 1786 at the Guildhall, Exeter, of the theft of plates and other things from the house in which he was working as a servant. Sentenced to 7 years transportation he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk in May 1786 and embarked for New South Wales on the Charlotte in March 1787, arriving in the colony in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

In 1789 Coffin was twice acquitted of theft. In May 1790, as one of 'two public Delinquents' he was chained to John Bayliss working on the roads. He was sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize in August 1790. By July 1791 he was supporting himself on a Queenborough lot. On 14 November 1791 he was ordered to wear irons  for two months for disobedience and mutinous behaviour and on 10 February 1792 he received 100 lashes for neglecting government work to work for his overseer.

Coffin left Norfolk Island on the Chesterfield on 27 May 1793 for India.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 75-76

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Citation details

'Coffin, John (c. 1761–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1761

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years