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John Howard (c. 1763–1847)

John Howard (c.1763-1847?) (as Thomas Howard) and Christopher Trusty were found guilty on 23 July 1783 at the Old Bailey, London, of assault with a pistol (which Trusty held) and intent to rob. Trusty was sent to the Swift transport, from which he escaped, was recaptured and hanged. Howard was sent to the Censor hulk on 4 October 1783 and embarked on the Scarborough for New South Wales in February 1787, arriving in the colony in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Howard was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. He received 50 lashes on 18 November 1790 for the theft of potatoes. By July 1791 he was subsisting himself on a Sydney Town lot and had cleared 50 rods. He left the island on the Atlantic in September 1792.

Howard was described as a labourer and seaman in 1813. He was 5 feet tall with a fair ruddy complexion, his brown hair was going grey, he had blue eyes and was 'stout and healthy'. He was a settler at Broken Bay in 1825 and a fisherman at Pittwater in 1828.

He is probably the John Howard who died on 1 January 1847 at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum; his age was given as 94.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 179

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Howard, John (c. 1763–1847)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Howard, Thomas

c. 1763


1 January, 1847 (aged ~ 84)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: assault and robbery
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Old Bailey, London
Trial Date: 23 July 1783