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James Ferris (c. 1808–1881)

James Ferris was found guilty (as James Perris) on 6 April 1826 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a handkerchief valued at two shillings. Sentenced to life transportation he arrived in New South Wales aboard the England in 1826. According to his convict record, he could neither read nor write, was aged 17 when he was convicted, and was employed as a plasterer's boy.

Ferris was sent to work for Thomas Best as an assigned servant at Castle Hill — he was still there in 1828. He was granted a ticket of leave in 1829 and a conditional pardon on 18 September 1836. He married Mary Ann Turnbull, a widow, on 9 December 1844 at the Presbyterian Church, Parramatta; they had two children.

James Ferris died on 2 February 1881 at Casino, New South Wales; his cause of death was given as pleurisy.

Citation details

'Ferris, James (c. 1808–1881)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Perris, James

c. 1808
Wiltshire, England


2 February, 1881 (aged ~ 73)
Casino, 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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft (pickpocketing)
Sentence: life
Court: Old Bailey, London
Trial Date: 6 April 1826


Occupation: labourer


Children: Yes (2)