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Details for the convict James Rowley (1846)

Convict Name:James Rowley
Trial Place:York (Sheffield) Quarter Sessions
Trial Date:12 September 1845
Sentence:7 years
Arrival Details
Ship:Joseph Somes (1)
Arrival Year:1846
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There is currently one researcher who has claimed James Rowley

  • Researcher (13508)
Claimed convict


Born c1823 aka James KIRK per British newspaper archives and confirmed in 1841 census where he was living with his ‘Uncle’ William MARSHALL who was also referred to in newspaper archives. Said to have been an orphan, reason for change of surname unknown but surmising that his father may also have been a convict (currently looking at John KIRK) and they were trying to keep it hidden. No idea who was his mother. Supposed to have been married just prior to conviction. Possibly Jane Edwards but still under review.

Tasmania/Victoria/New Zealand: common law wife Elizabeth SALVIN (dau of free travellers), chn; Joseph James 1854 Tas - 1855 Melb, Walter Benjamin (aka Walter Varian) 1859 Tas - 1918 Fremantle, Frederick 1862 Tas - unknown, Harriet (my Grt Grandmother) 1864 NZ - 1945 Victoria, Louisa 1867 NZ - 1938 NZ.

James had a checkered history one moment a police constable, then a detective in both Victoria and NZ South Island, before getting in trouble once again and returning to prison in disgrace late 1860’s. Reappears in Melbourne 1876 as John Joseph ROWLEY working for a private detective agency before dying 7 Feb 1890 in Carlton where he is buried in an unmarked grave at the Melbourne General Cemetery. Death certificate gives his name as James ROWLEY, informant being the same man from the detective agency. D/C states a daughter Susan with age showing she would have been born between Joseph and Walter but no record has been found despite extensive searching.

Submitted by Researcher (13508) on 16 December 2020

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Research notes

There are currently no research notes attached to this convict.


  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/14, p.413

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