People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

John Holmes (1789–1854)

John Holmes (1789-1854), a labourer, was found guilty of larceny on 3 April 1817 at Taunton, Somerset. Sentenced to 7 years transportation he arrived at Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) aboard the Lady Castlereagh in June 1818. According to convict records he was 5 feet 8¾ inches tall, with a dark ruddy complexion, black hair and hazel eyes.

Holmes was assigned to Mr (William) Nicholls Snr. A number of infringements were listed in his conduct record:

  • 15 May 1826, drunk and disorderly and ill-using his wife — reprimanded
  • 22 September 1826, out after hours, Dis?
  • 30 November 1827 — is bound over to keep the peace for three months towards Ellen his wife
  • 20 November 1829, drunk last night — fined 5 shillings
  • 26 December 1829, drunkenness — fined 5 shillings
  • 19 March 1831, drunk last night — fined 5 shillings
  • 30 January 1833, breach on no.2 in suffering Mary Ann Frickner to be in his house after 8 o'clock at night — fined 10 shillings
  • 14 October 1833, assaulting and threatening Ann - his wife, who hath pray'd sureties of the peace — ordered to ? sureties to keep the peace 3 months.

Holmes married Eleanor Barras on 6 March 1823 in Hobart; they had one son and two daughters. A Mr Holmes left Tasmania for Adelaide, South Australia in May 1845 with his wife (neither of their first names were listed). A John Holmes died on 9 August 1854 at Adelaide. His age at death was given as 65 and cause of death was listed as decay of nature.

Citation details

'Holmes, John (1789–1854)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


4 March, 1789
Donyatt, Somerset, England


9 August, 1854 (aged 65)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

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 (house)
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Somerset
Trial Date: 3 April 1817


Children: Yes (3)