John was born in Ireland, and sailed on the "Bencoolen" in 1819 after a brush with the law that gave him a 7 year one way ticket to NSW.
John found it hard to settle, and at least 3 times was sentenced as a runaway, doing time at Newcastle, Port Macquarie (NSW) and Macquarie Harbour (Tas).
In 1826, John was "free by servitude" and married my gg- aunt Anne Toole. He was 26 and she was 14.
In 1828 census, they were living in Kent Street. However between the recording of the census, and its publication in Jan 1829 much changed !
John had been part of the first Australian bank robbery and had drowned in Sydney harbour, Anne was a widow, and about to marry another of the banks robbers - James Dingle.
The Bank of Australia robbery was the first bank robbery in Australia and apparently the largest. On 14 September 1828 a gang of five robbers - William Blackstone , George Farrell , James Dingle, John Wilford alias Creighton and Valentine Rourke - tunnelled through a sewage drain into the vault of the Bank of Australia and stole some £14,000 in promissory notes and coins. The crime was discovered the following day. Although suspicions immediately fell on Blackstone, Farrell and Dingle, they escaped an indictment until Blackstone turned informer two years later. By then Creighton was dead and Rourke had left the country. Only Dingle and Farrell faced the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 10 June 1831. Both were found guilty but escaped the gallows because of convict attaint: that is, legal concerns as to whether Blackstone's evidence was admissible because of a previous death sentence.
Hey Rosie - Great story - you have certainly done your home work.
Now this has started we had better call for more stories.
Making it good reading of the convicted who were sent here to this great land.
Plus getting an insight on how they survived when they got their freedom tickets.