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John Jones (c. 1761–?)

John Jones (c.1761- ) was sentenced to 7 years transportation on 23 July 1783 at the Old Bailey, London. Two men of this name were sentenced at this session so it is difficult to be sure which one became involved in later events. One John Jones stole five tablecloths and some spoons. The second John Jones stole 240 copper halfpennies. Whichever John Jones he was, he participated in the convict mutiny aboard the Swift transport in 1783. After being recaptured he was sentenced to 14 years transportation to America. He then joined the mutiny on the convict transport Mercury in April 1784 and was again recaptured. His death sentence was commuted to 14 years transportation in August 1784 and he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk. Jones was discharged to the Friendship in March 1787 and arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.  

Jones was sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in February 1788. On 22 July 1789 he told the commandant Philip Gidley King that his term had expired. King treated him as a free man, at liberty to work for the crown, until orders could reach him from the Crown. By July 1791 Jones was subsisting himself on a Sydney Town lot of which he had cleared 40 rods.

Jones was not on Norfolk Island in early 1792 when surviving victualling records commence. It is possible that he left on one of the Third Fleet ships that called at Norfolk Island between August and December 1791.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 199

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Jones, John (c. 1761–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1761

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 14 years