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John Silverthorn (c. 1763–c. 1829)

John Silverthorn (c.1763-1829?), a weaver, was found guilty on 6 March 1784 at Salisbury, Wiltshire, of assaulting a cattle driver and stealing a purse with 48 guineas and other money (£2.2s.). His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation on 6 March 1784. He was sent to the Censor hulk, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Alexander in January 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Silverthorn married Mary Wickham on 17 February 1788 at Port Jackson. His wife died in childbirth on 8 October 1789; their infant son John was buried on 29 November 1789.

Settled on 30 acres at Prospect in 1792, Silverthorn married Mary Heally on 5 May 1794 at Parramatta; she died in 1801. In 1806 he was working as a sealer for Henry Kable and in 1822 and 1825 as a sawyer.

John Silverthorn was buried on 16 October 1829 at Sydney; the death was registered at St Mary's Cathedral.; his age was given as 88.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 330

Citation details

'Silverthorn, John (c. 1763–c. 1829)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Silverthorne, John

c. 1763


c. 15 October, 1829 (aged ~ 66)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: assault and robbery
Sentence: 7 years