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Jacob Messiah (c. 1770–1819)

Jacob Messiah (c.1770-1819) was found guilty (as John Massias) on 12 January 1785 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a silver watch valued at 40 shillings, and a few other small items, from his lodging house. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, he was sent to the Ceres hulk on 5 April 1758 and was discharged to the Alexander in January 1787. He arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He claimed at his trial that he was from America and had recently landed in England and had no friends or 'victuals'.

Massias was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. In May 1794 he was working for Thomas Williams doing jobbing work. He left the island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Lady Nelson in February 1808, settling on 43 acres at New Norfolk. He was buried at St David's, Hobart, on 29 June 1819.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 244-45

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Messiah, Jacob (c. 1770–1819)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Massias, John
  • Mathias, Jacob
  • Messias, Jacob
  • Massie, John

c. 1770


27 June, 1819 (aged ~ 49)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places