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James Holloway (c. 1759–?)

James Holloway (c.1759- ) was found guilty on 20 October 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of pickpocketing a silk handkerchief. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, he was sent to the Ceres hulk on 5 April 1785 and was discharged to the Scarborough in February 1787. He arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

On 6th March 1789, Holloway and 15 other convicts left the brick kiln where they were working and "marched to Botany Bay... to attack the natives and to plunder them of their fishing-tackle and spears". One of the convicts was killed and seven were injured. Initially they claimed the attack was unprovoked but they were forced to admit the truth.

Each was sentenced to 150 lashes and then placed in a leg iron for a year. Seven were punished on 7th March, four others on 4th April. The first was witnessed by a local Aboriginal man, Arabanoo, who was present at the initial incident and was told why the punishment was being administered. He "displayed ... symptoms of disgust and terror only".   

Holloway has not been found in any further colonial records. As his sentence expired in October 1791 he may have left the colony.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 177

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Holloway, James (c. 1759–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1759

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft (pickpocketing)
Sentence: 7 years