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Simmons, James (1795–1849)

James Simmons was sentenced to life transportation for the theft of goods worth several thousands of pounds. He arrived in Sydney in 1815 aboard the Marquis of Wellington. He was described in the ship's indent as being 5 feet 3 inches (160 cms) tall; with a dark, ruddy complexion; light brown hair and hazel eyes. He was assigned as a servant to Francis Greenway, William Small and Henry Coleman in Richmond.

In November 1821 he received a beer licence for Richmond. He was granted a conditional pardon on 17 August 1825 and an absolute pardon on 29 March 1833. In 1828 he opened an auction room. He began to charter whole ships of cargo from England and visited that country in 1833, 1838 and 1842 to search for merchandise for his stores.

He also invested shrewdly in land in NSW and was elected as the first Jewish alderman of Sydney in 1848.

Citation details

'Simmons, James (1795–1849)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 September 2021.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Simons, James

London, Middlesex, England


2 May 1849
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Passenger Ship
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: life