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John James Levien (1815–1877)

John James Levien, stockbroker's assistant, was sentenced to life transportation for forgery. He arrived in Tasmania in 1833 aboard the Surrey. He was described as being 5 feet 3½ inches (160.1 cms) tall, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. His conduct during the voyage was described as 'very good'. He was assigned to Mr. G. Butler and received a conditional pardon on 31 March 1836. In January 1837 he was given permission to proceed to New South Wales providing there was approved security to prevent his escape.

Levien moved to Port Phillip (Victoria) and was one of the first settlers listed as welcoming Superintendent Charles La Trobe to the district on 7 October 1839. He became the licensee of the British Hotel in September 1843 and later worked as a wine and spirit merchant with Edward Norman until 1853. In 1855 he became a partner in Levien and Steinmetz. He was one of the founding members of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation.

He died on 27 December 1877 at Darlinghurst, Sydney.

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

Citation details

'Levien, John James (1815–1877)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Levaine, John James

23 November, 1815
London, Middlesex, England


27 December, 1877 (aged 62)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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Passenger Ship
Key Organisations
Convict Record

Crime: forgery
Sentence: life