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John Cullyhorn (c. 1755–1807)

John Cullyhorn/Callaghan (c.1755-1807?), a seaman, and John Carney were found guilty on 22 July 1782 at Exeter, Devon, of breaking and entering a house to steal gowns, other goods, and 32 shillings in money. The men's death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation. The pair were sent to the Ceres hulk in April 1785, where they remained until they embarked for New South Wales on the Scarborough in February 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

John Cullyhorn married Elizabeth Leonard/Leonell on 19 February 1788. He was ordered to receive 600 lashes and was sentenced to 6 months work in irons on 31 July 1789 after being found guilty of insulting Major Robert Ross. Cullyhorn had been under the misapprehension that his sentence had expired and he would no longer have to work as a convict and had believed that the information had come from Ross. 

Cullyhorn (as Callaghan) was granted 50 acres of land at Eastern Farms in 1792. He was off stores by 1800; no wife or children were listed as living with him. He was not listed as a landholder in 1801 or 1802.

He may have been John Callinan who died on 13 December 1807, aged 50. Alternatively, he could have left the colony after having given up his farm in 1801.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 90

Citation details

'Cullyhorn, John (c. 1755–1807)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 31 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Callaghan, John
  • Callyhorn, John
  • Callinan, John

c. 1755


13 December, 1807 (aged ~ 52)
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
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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years