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Richard Hutchinson (c. 1786–1830)

Richard Hutchinson (1786-1830), a labourer, was found guilty on 17 August 1811 at the York Assizes, Yorkshire, of stealing a horse. His death sentence was reduced to life transportation. He arrived at Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in Octobr 1812 aboard the Indefatigable. He was described in 1830 as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, a native of Lancashire, aged 46, and had brown hair, grey eyes and a small scar on his chin.

Hutchinson married Bridget Byrne on 12 April 1817; they had two daughters. He had a ticket of leave by 1818 and was living in Hobart. In May 1829 Hutchinson was found guilty of stealing a bullock and in October was sentenced to 7 years transportation.

With four other men he escaped on 3 September 1830. Once their provisions were exhausted, the men resorted to killing, and eating, each other. Only two — Edward Broughton and Matthew McAlboy — survived. They surrendered to authorities and were executed. Hutchinson was the first to be killed and cannibalised by the escaped convicts.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Hutchinson, Richard (c. 1786–1830)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1786
Lancashire, England


1830 (aged ~ 44)
Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

axe wounds

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.

Passenger Ship
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft (livestock)
Sentence: death
Commuted To: life
Court: Yorkshire
Trial Date: 17 August 1811


Occupation: labourer


Children: Yes (5)