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John Lockley (c. 1764–1808)

John Lockley (c.1764-1808), a watchmaker, was found guilty on 22 February 1786 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing 12 sets of silver watch cases from an apprentice who had collected them from Goldsmith's Hall. His death sentence was finally commuted to 7 years transportation (after a date for his hanging had been set) on 14 January 1787. He was dispatched to the Alexander in January 1787 and arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Lockley was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. He was maintaining himself on a Sydney Town lot with 89 rods cleared by July 1791. In May 1794 he was employed on jobbing work by Edward Bedford. In 1797, in partnership with William Clarke, he purchased part of a 60 acre block originally granted to Joseph Lewis. He held 44 acres in 1807 when he left the island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Porpoise.

Lockley settled on 50 acres at Queenborough in VDL. Rev Knopwood recorded in his diary on 16 April 1808 that Lockley had recently drowned.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 223

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Citation details

'Lockley, John (c. 1764–1808)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Lockly, John

c. 1764


April, 1808 (aged ~ 44)
Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


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 Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: highway robbery
Sentence: death
Commuted To: 7 years
Court: Old Bailey, London
Trial Date: 22 February 1786


Occupation: clock and watch maker
Married: Yes