John Huddlleston Wilkins

#1721, b. 11 October 1801, d. 6 August 1875

Individual's Timeline

Birth11 October 1801John Huddlleston Wilkins2,3
Christening8 November 1801John Huddlleston Wilkins4
Death of Mother14 June 1806Frances Bryers5
EmigratAU1825John Huddlleston Wilkins6
Marriage27 April 1837John Huddlleston Wilkins7,8,9,10
Marriage of Son6 December 1860John William Wilkins11
Marriage of Daughter1861Selina Frances Wilkins12
Death6 August 1875John Huddlleston Wilkins2

Primary events

Secondary circumstances

  • Occupation: John was the coxswain of guard boat, sailmaker and awning maker - his son-in-law James Berry was also a sailmaker.13
  • EmigratAU: He emigrated to Australia in 1825 from England. This is based on details on his death certificate which was issued in 1875, saying he had been in NSW for 50 years, and that he was born in Manchester. HOWEVER, I now think he was a convict who came to AU on the Morley in 1823. See research note 6.6
  • Journey: He traveled to in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, arriving between 1841 and 1860 on the unknown.
  • Directory: He was listed in a directory issued in 1861 as a sailmaker. his address was 214 Clarence Lane, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Close to the corner of Market Street and the Blue Lion Inn.14
Some aspects of John Huddlleston Wilkins's life. I believe that John WILKINS was born in Manchester in 1800 (according to his death certificate you kindly shared with me). I have his parents as John WILKINS and Frances HUDDLESTON. I wonder if HUDDLESTONE became somehow HUNSWORTH. They are a long way from each other, but the only place we have the names of John's parents is from the death certificate, and the information could just be 'from the memory' of the person reporting the death.

On the strength (or weakness really) of this I checked the Manchester records to see if I could find a WILKINS/HUNSWORTH marriage

It does nothing to further us on the road to finding Uncle, but I did find confirmation that WILKINS with a HUDDLESTON link was having children in Manchester.

A John Huddleston WILKINS was Chr 8th November 1801 in St Nicholas,Liverpool,Lancashire,England. Oddly the parents are named as

Richard WILKINS and Frances BYERS.

They were living in Pool Lane, Liverpool, father was a mariner. This info was the same on the 1800 and 1804 Chr.

LDS FILM Number: 93833

Surely that is our man........remembering that the names we currently have are from the death cert.

I checked for a marriage

Richard WILKINS married Frances BRYERS 26th July 1792 in Liverpool.

Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M00599-2 , System Origin: England-ODM , GS Film number: 93839, 93840, 93841
The film may have more details, or a rootsweb 'lookup' group may be able to help. I have had a lot of success in the past using rootschat. - then just search for Liverpool.

Other children on this couple are :

Mary Chr 13th July 1794 Bur 10th Oct 1794
Betty born 5th Sep Chr 8th Oct 1795 Bur 25th August 1797
Frances Chr 9th Feb 1800
Mary born 3rd Nov and Chr 2nd Dec 1804

Just to reiterate - if the person who supplied the info for the death certificate knew that John's middle name was HUDDLESTON he could have assumed his mother's name as HUSSDLESTON

Either that or Frances was a widow when she married. I have only found this marriage in the LDS site, so only the bare details are on the web.15
Brushes with the LAW

With assistance from Jenny PLOWES, I uncovered what I believe is John's story. He was convicted of larceny in Lancaster in October 1821, at the age of 20. Was transported for 7 years on the Morley, arriving in Hobart January 1823. Whilst still a convict, he was again convicted for stealing (a pair of boots) and his sentence was extended for a further 7 years. He was given a free pardon in 1835, for 'his work with the aboriginal community'. More details can be seen -

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: An area worth exploring regarding John.

    Known details from his death cert are that he was born c 1800 in Manchester, Lancashire.

    Amongst other John WILKINS who arrived in Australia (under various schemes, including law enforcement) there was one who was transported for 7 years, having been convicted 22nd October 1821 at the Lancaster Assizes (Lancashire). He was said to have been born in Liverpool. This man's destination was Tasmania, and he arrived on the Morley (4) Jan 1823

    When John arrived in the Colony he was put into the public works gangs (1823 lists), and I have found convict records for him in the Tasmanian Archives. (see below)

    John's record CONS 31 READS AS FOLLOWS

    Jan 3rd 1824 - Insolent to a Private in the 48th (possibly reprimanded)
    Feb 9th 1824 - neglect of duty, 25 lashes.
    Apr 4th 1825 - Indecent and dis? in the company with Ann RYAN in the bush on Saturday last, Disd?
    Jul 29th 1825 - Charged with stealing firewood, not prosecuted
    Mar 31st 1829 - committed for trial for stealing boots, no other comment but other places show that he had 7 years added to his sentence
    Jun 19th 1832 - drunk last night, 10 days on the treadwheel.

    On every note except the first, john was working on the 'government boats', which certainly links him to our WILKINS family,

    He was given a free pardon 26th June 1835, just in time to marry Sarah as a free man.,376,154,L,80

    John WILKINS was transported for 7 years in 1822, but was not pardoned until 13 years after arriving in the colony. As noted above, he was convicted for a second time in Hobart and got a further 7 years for stealing boots. The same record confirms that he was a seaman, and was aged 20 (presumably when he was convicted). He was 5' 3" and was from Liverpool. He was pock pitted and had a tattoo. There is a comment in the record I cannot make sense of, possibly worth trying to find an expert to interpret?

    In support of this - John WILKINS, a convict who was transported on the Morley, was recommended for a free pardon in July 1835 due to "for his service in the friendly mission to the Aborigines of this island". A free pardon may well have allowed him to be classed as 'free' in the eyes of the authorities.

    Later research shows up his hulk Gannymede's registration. He was 20 when convicted for stealing, and was transferred to NSW (meaning anywhere in AU). Nothing found in newspapers regarding his arrest or trial

    AND EVEN later research places John PURCELL, a soldier in the 48th regiment, and John WILKINS the convict both in Tasmania in 1824. John Purcell the soldier is Madison's 6xggf on my side, and John the convict is her 4xggf on my husband's side. See my Main Page for the co-incidences surrounding John PURCELL and other ELRICK family members.. .16,17
  • Research note 02: In the Hobart Mercury dated 14th May 1862 there is a report of the start of a divorce case between John WILKINS and Sarah Maria WILKINS. The alledged adultry on 28th February 1861 between Sarah and Antonio FRANCES, a sailor now aboard a whaler at sea. The case was held over until the last day of the 'current' sitting. I have not seen a further report in the papers, but there is an indexed entry in the LINC TASMANIA database for a divorce between these 3 parties, reference SC89/1/1, 1862, 10. However, this appears to be the couple John and Sarah nee STIMPSON, and therefore not our relatives. Confirmation can be obtained by getting a copy of the divorce papers from the Tasmanian Archives.
    * Earlier in the Hobart Mercury dated 3rd September 1861, John WILKINS, of Wellington Street, advertised to say he would no longer be responsible for his wife Sarah's debts, as she had left home without due cause..
  • Research note 03: In 1854 John signed a petition addressed to Queen Victoria regarding the appointment of the Chief Justice of Van Deiman's Land. John PEDDER had just resigned due to ill health, and Valentine FLEMING had been appointed in his stead. The petitioners preferred Mr Justice HORNE. He lived in Murray Street and was a sailmaker.18
  • Research note 04: John's wife's name on his death certificate is Harriet nee BOYD, and John is named as John Huddleston WILKINS on at least one of his convict records.
  • Research note 05: John's death certificate shows that he and Selina had 4 children in all. 2 female were still living in 1875. Selina Frances was married to James BERRY, but the other still living daughter has yet to be identified by me. John William who was married to Susannah OSWALD was the already deceased son, but this leaves another unidentified daughter, deceased before 1875, of John and Selina. Summary - 2 female children of this couple not yet found. .
  • Research note 06: John's death certificate shows he has been in NSW for 50 years. We know that he was in Tasmania up until at least 1840, when Selina was born there. We also know that Selina and her family were certainly in NSW by 1861 from her marriage and street directory entries, so the death Certificate must be counting the time spent in Tasmania as 'in NSW'..
Background information on Pool Lane, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, - Liverpool now, The Pool much earlier. King John previously 'of Lancaster', wanted a port for ships bound for Ireland. The Pool was a natural feature, and had no town at the time Doomsday anyway. It had access to the Mersey River.

Liverpool Castle was built after 1207, but prior to that the high ground where the Castle was later built, would have offered John's Harbour Master? a good defensible position.

Liverpool, centered on The Pool, became a town of 7 streets. Pool Lane ran from the Castle down to the Pool.

The Pool was converted into what is now called the Old Dock long before our family lived in Pool Lane, but the houses remained. The Old dock is long gone too, as it is under the Liverpool One development.

Children of John Huddlleston Wilkins and Sarah Davis


  1. Mark Pierson, "eMail from Jenny Plowes," e-mail to Shirley Elrick, various, From copy of Son John's Death Certificate kindly shared with me.
  2. Mark Pierson, "eMail from Jenny Plowes," e-mail to Shirley Elrick, various, From copy of Death Certificate kindly shared with me, street name to be confirmed.
  3. On Line Parish Clerks, online various based on ???, Baptism: 8 Nov 1801 St Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
    John Huddleston Wilkins - son of Richard Wilkins & His Wife Frances (formerly Bryers)
    Born: 11 Oct 1801
    Abode: Pool Lane
    Occupation: Mariner
    Register: Baptisms 1801, Page 44, Entry 1023
    Source: LDS Film 93833.
  4. International Genealogical Index (IGI).
  5. On Line Parish Clerks, online various based on ???, Burial: 16 Jun 1806 St Peter, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
    Fanney Wilkins - wife of Richard Wilkins
    Died: 14 Jun 1806
    Age: 42 years
    Abode: Thomas St
    Occupation: Mariner
    Register: Burials 1806, Page 1, Entry 146
    Source: LDS Film 1656377.
  6. Certificate or Original Parish Reg Entry, Extract from original records, From Jenny PLOWES.
  7. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1837/3851.
  8. Digger - Tas BMD Digger databases on CD.
  9. International Genealogical Index (IGI), Certificate 3852 in the Tasmanian on line originals - Image 103.
  10. Tasmanian Archives database: WILKINS      John      free      DAVIS      Sarah      New Grove      15 MAR 1837      CON52/1 p221      RGD36/3 : 1837/3851.
  11. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1860/684 33/684.
  12. DB - NSW BDM on line, online, 150/1861      BERRY      JAMES      WILKINS      SELINA      SYDNEY.
  13. Mark Pierson, "eMail from Jenny Plowes," e-mail to Shirley Elrick, various.
  14. Website ( "Sydney and New South Wales, Sands Street Index, 1861-1930 about John Wilkins
    Name:      John Wilkins
    Year:      1861
    Street Number:      214
    City:      Sydney
    Page:      34."
  15. Mark Pierson, "eMail from Jenny Plowes," e-mail to Shirley Elrick, various, Email March 2015 - Well isn’t that interesting - great discovery Shirley! Richard Wilkins and Frances Bryers/Bryars definitely appear to be our John’s parents.

    You can never quite trust the accuracy of death cert. info.

    Sibling Mary was buried was 10 Oct 1794 -…
    Also sibling Elizabeth (Betty?) buried 25 Aug 1797 aged 21 months -…
  16. Website ( "Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868 about John Wilkins
    Name:      John Wilkins
    Vessel:      Morley
    Convicted Date:      22 Oct 1821
    Voyage Date:      19 Sep 1822
    Colony:      Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)
    Place of Conviction:      Lancaster, Lancashire, England."
  17. Website ( "UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849 about John Wilkins
    Name:      John Wilkins
    Age:      20
    Estimated Birth Year:      abt 1801
    Date Received:      21 Dec 1821
    Ship:      Ganymede
    Place Moored:      Chatham
    Date Convicted:      22 Oct 1821
    Place Convicted:      Liverpool."
  18. Trove Digitised Newspapers, Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) Wednesday 6 September 1854 Page 1.
  19. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1840/206.