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Details for the convict John Mewburn (1831)

Convict Name:John Mewburn
Trial Place:York (Town and Liberties of Beverley) Quarter Session
Trial Date:12 July 1830
Sentence:7 years
Arrival Details
Ship:Lady Harewood (2)
Arrival Year:1831
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There are currently 5 researchers who have claimed John Mewburn

  • Researcher (1336)
  • Researcher (Brittany Mewburn)
  • Researcher (Brett Miller)
  • Researcher (12561)
  • Researcher (Ian Macdonald)
Claimed convict


John was born on the 20th of September 1810 at Hurworth-on-Tees, County Durham (with baptism on Xmas day) to Thomas Mewburn, a weaver, and Mary Ann Buck.1
John was brought to trial at Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire (possibly why he has the nickname within the family of ‘Yorkshire Jack’) during the summer of 1830 and was convicted on the 12th of July of receiving stolen silk. He was then sentenced to seven-years transportation (the standard sentence for most misdemeanours).
After John’s conviction in 1830,2 he was first held, as was usual, in a prison hulk, the Retribution, at Woolwich3 while awaiting a ship. A note from that time said he had been in custody before, so perhaps he does not deserve too much sympathy. He was transported aboard the Lady Harewood on the 15th of October 1830, bound for New South Wales, arriving early in 1831.4 He was then sent to work for John Thorne at Parramatta.5
John gained his Certificate of Freedom on the 6th of February 1840.67 In this, he was described as five feet eight inches tall, with brown eyes and hair, and of a dark, ruddy, freckled complexion. He was said to be from “Durham” and trained as a whitesmith (someone who worked with soft metals like pewter or tin).
On the 5th of February 1843, well after he had gained his freedom, he married Mary Ann Bachelor at Yass, NSW. Mary Ann was born in 1826 and was christened 1st January 1828 in St Sepulchre London. She landed in Sydney 12th October 1836 on board “Elizabeth IV” with her convict mother Sarah Batchelor nee Crunkhorn (also known as Clackhorn – see this site). John and Mary Ann had 11 children – 8 girls and 3 boys.
John’s life as a farmer in Australia was clearly not a smooth one. There are records showing him leasing land at Walla Walla but there are also records in the Government Gazette that show insolvency proceedings in 1870, 1878 and 1880 – though he seems to have bounced back each time. By the 1891 census John was at Five Mile in King county.
He died of influenza on the 13th of November 1891 (thanks to Gloria Toohey for that) and the death was registered at Burrowa.8 He is buried at Mewburn Grove private cemetery at Rugby.9

1 Baptisms (PR). England. Hurworth, Durham. 25 Dec 1810. MEWBURN, John. Rec. No. 1051068.0. Collection: Baptisms, Darlington District [transcription].
2 1830. MEWBURN, John. Collection: England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892. Yorkshire.
3 1830. MEWBURN, John. Collection: UK, Prison Hulks Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849. Woolwich.
4 1831. MEWBURN, John. Collection: New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849.
5 1831. MEWBURN, John. Collection: New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834. New South Wales.
6 1840. MEWBURN, John. Collection: New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867.
7 Marriages index (CR). Australia. Yass, New South Wales. 1843. MEWBURN, John and BACHELOR, Mary Ann. Reg No. 401. Vi84340127C. (Sydney, Australia, Government of New South Wales).
8 Deaths index (CR). Australia. Burrowa, New South Wales. 1891. MEWBURN, John. Reg No. 4526. (Sydney, Australia, Government of New South Wales, Department of Justice).
9 Burials index. Australia. Rugby, New South Wales. 1891. MEWBURN, John. Collection: Australia and New Zealand, Find A Grave Index, 1800s-Current.

Submitted by Researcher (Ian Macdonald) on 4 March 2021

Disclaimer: The information has not been verified by Claim a Convict. As this information is contributed, it is the responsibility of those who use the data to verify its accuracy.

Research notes

There are currently no research notes attached to this convict.


  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/7, p.516

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