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John McGowan (1805–1879)

John McGowan (1805-1869), a shoemaker, was found guilty at the Lancaster Assizes on 9 August 1838 of 'cutting & maiming'. Sentenced to 15 years transportation he arrived at New South Wales aboard the Parkfield in September 1839. According to his convict records he was 26 years old, could read and write, was Roman Catholic, married, born at Mayo County and had no previous convictions. He was described as being 5 feet 1¼ inches (153 cms) tall with a ruddy & freckled complexion, brown hair and grey eyes.

McGowan was granted a ticket of leave on 32 September 1846. It was cancelled in May 1847 after he left his district (Liverpool) without leave. He married Margaret Phillips on 31 August 1842 at St James Church of England Cathedral, Melbourne; they had seven daughters. Following his wife's death in 1855 he married Bridget Hayes on 29 December 1856 at St Monica's Chapel, Heidelberg, Victoria; they had five daughters and four sons. 

John McGowan died on 17 February 1879 at Kilmore, Victoria.

Original Publication

Citation details

'McGowan, John (1805–1879)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Mayo, Ireland


17 February, 1879 (aged ~ 74)
Kilmore, Victoria, 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.

Religious Influence

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
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: maiming
Sentence: 15 years
Court: Lancashire
Trial Date: 9 August 1838


Married: Yes


Children: Yes (16)