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John Harris (c. 1771–1838)

John Harris (indicted as Francis Harris), and John Place, who were both chimney sweeps, were found guilty at the June 1788 Old Bailey Sessions of highway robbery after they knocked down a pedestrian and stole his silver watch, some money, a neck handkerchief and a pocket handkerchief. Their death sentence was commuted to life transportation and they arrived in Sydney in June 1790 aboard the Scarborough as part of the Second Fleet.  

As Francis Harris he joined the NSW Corps in December 1800. From then on he was usually known as John Harris. He was discharged from the corps in April 1803 after suffering bouts of ill health and took up farming on a 90 acre grant of land at Evan (Castlereagh). By 1806 he was living with Ann Carney and employed a convict and two free men.

On 3 June 1813 at St Phillips, Sydney, Harris married Ann L'Andre, who had arrived free in 1800. In 1828 he was recorded as aged 56 and still living with Ann on 90 acres of land and owned 90 cattle and 5 horses. He died on 24 January 1838 and was buried in Castlereagh churchyard.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 321-22

Citation details

'Harris, John (c. 1771–1838)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Harris, Francis

c. 1771


24 January, 1838 (aged ~ 67)
Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia

Passenger Ship
Military Service
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: life