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Jacob Josephson (1773–1845)

Jacob Josephson, who had converted from Judaism to Christianity and was a teacher of Christianity to Hebrews for the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, was sentenced to 14 years transportation for stealing the communion plate from a church. He arrived in Sydney in 1818 aboard the Neptune. He was described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall, with a dark ruddy complexion, black hair and dark eyes.

Josephson received a conditional pardon on 30 June 1820 and opened a jewellery and silver shop in the city. In 1827 he was imprisoned for bankruptcy. By 1828 he had become an innkeeper. He became a prominent member of the Methodist Church.

*information from John S. Levi, These Are the Names: Jewish Lives in Australia 1788-1850 (2013), pp 405-07

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Josephson, Jacob (1773–1845)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


21 April, 1773
Breslau, Poland


6 December, 1845 (aged 72)
Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

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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
Convict Record

Crime: fraud
Sentence: 14 years