John and Margaret Manning


by Grahame Thom

As published in the journal of the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc, Ancestral Searcher, Vol 2 No 6 December 1979 pp120-12. Please also see Margaret Beynon’s (nee Llewellyn) story by clicking on link below.

The first we hear of John Manning is when he was found guilty on 12 September 1798 at the Old Bailey for stealing a cloth coat valued at 30/- from a boy in a London street on 26 May 1798. John must have been one of the many poor Londoners as he had no goods that could be forfeited. John, described at the trial as aged 29 years, a labourer of the parish of St. George, Hanover Square, London was sentenced to 7 years transportation beyond the seas. (1)

After his trial John was held in the New Prison at Newgate until early 1800 when by order of the King on 14 March 1800 sentence was confirmed. (2) On 1 April 1800 John Manning was delivered on board the convict transport ship ‘Royal Admiral’. John at this time was described as a carpenter being 5 foot 5 inches tall, of dark complexion and having been born in Whitechapel. (3)

This then gives a clue as to John’s past. A search has been made of the parish registers in the area of Whitechapel and the only possible birth entry which may relate to John is one for John the son of John and Catherine Manwaring. This John Manwaring was baptised at the Church of St. Mary, Whitechapel on 28 August 1768. When it is considered that Manwaring can be and was pronounced as Mannering or Manning then it is possible that John Manwaring was John Manning convict, bound for Sydney. (4)

With John on board, the ‘Royal Admiral’ sailed for Sydney on 23 May 1800 leaving behind memories of a hard life in London and heading for an unknown life beyond the seas. The ‘Royal Admiral’, built in 1777 of 914 tons, was making her second voyage to New South Wales as a convict transport. Her master was William Wilson and her surgeon Samuel Turner. This voyage had its moments with the first occurring before sailing. On 7 May a disturbance broke out amongst the convicts; two were found attempting to rob others of money by menacing them with knives. A search on 8 May found four knives and a pair of razors and the culprits were flogged for their efforts. Again on 17 May seven convicts were flogged for stealing biscuits.

As was common in those days gaol fever was carried on board by the convicts and by 21 May thirteen were sick with the fever with the first death occurring on 24 May. So the 300 male convicts, 6 wives, 8 children, 67 crew and several passengers, including 11 missionaries bound for the South Sea Islands, were in for a long and hard voyage made more difficult by the death on board of the surgeon, Samuel Turner, on 3 June 1800. One of the missionaries, Mr. Elder, having had some experience in medicine, attempted to assist in stopping the spread of fever by fumigating with pitch and gunpowder, as 30 convicts were by this time extremely sick.

By 22 June the passengers and master had become concerned about a reported plot to seize the ship. As the passengers had doubts about the capacity of the crew to control the convicts, they, with the approval of the master, divided themselves into watches for the rest of the voyage. About this time the ‘Royal Admiral’ parted company with the fleet (19 ships having set out from England) and on 4 August strange sails were sighted and cannon fire could be heard. This must have caused the convicts below deck to wonder if they would ever see land again.

Four British ships had captured the French frigate ‘La Concorde’ and next day 59 French prisoners were transferred to the ‘Royal Admiral’. These prisoners were disembarked at Rio de Janeiro on arrival on 12 August. The ‘Royal Admiral’ departed on 12 September and arrived at Sydney on 20 November 1800. Convict deaths on the voyage totalled 43 and almost all of the surviving convicts required medical treatment. Even in October 1802 Governor King reported that many were still sick and would never fully recover. (5)

What part John Manning played in the events of the voyage are not known. However it would seem he was not one of those badly affected by the fever as he was soon active in the life of the colony.

What of John Manning’s future wife, Margaret Baynon?

Margaret Llewellyn was born about 1777 probably in Cardiff, Wales. By 1797 she had married Thomas Baynon (here I use the most used spelling, others being Beynon, Baynham, Baynange) and on 28 March 1797, when aged 20 years Margaret was convicted at Glamorgan for an unknown crime, receiving a sentence of transportation for life.(6) From searches made in London it appears the Assize records for Glamorgan are no longer in existence. (7) What happen to Thomas is not known as the various records consulted only indicate that Margaret came to New South wales.

It was four years before Margaret came on board the ‘Nile’ at Spithead, England; what happened in those four years is not known. On 21 June 1801 the ‘Nile’ set sail for New South Wales, a ship of 322 tons with Jas. Sunter as master and Jos. Hislop as surgeon. The voyage via Rio de Janeiro took 176 days with the ‘Nile’ arriving at Sydney on 14 December 1801. No known incidents occurred on the voyage and all 96 female convicts arrived safely. (8)

From a memorial by Margaret in 1810 it is known that she lived from the time of her arrival at No. 14 The Sign of the Compasses, South Row (O’Connell Street), Sydney. (9) From this and later events it can be assumed that this was also the residence of John Manning.

As yet it has not been established how John served out his sentence. But from the tenor of his life it would be reasonable to assume that he was allowed to work on his own account because of his profession as a carpenter and because he was a well behaved convict.

Only 10 months after arriving in the colony Margaret gave birth to a child on 18 October 1802; the father being John Manning. So it would seem Margaret went straight from the ship to the same house where John lived and co-habited with him soon after. The child was baptised Mary on 25 December 1805 at St. Phillips, Sydney. (10) Why John and Margaret delayed the baptism until then is not known but it could be that they waited until John’s 7 year sentence had expired on 15 September 1805. Also on 4 June 1804 Margaret had been granted a conditional pardon by Governor King. This gave her back all her rights as a citizen except that she must remain within New South Wales.

The 1806 muster shows John Manning and Margaret Banyon living together with John being described as a self-employed carpenter. (12) With the rise in importance of wine and spirits as a medium of exchange it is possible that John, with the assistance of his wife ran an inn The Sign of the Compasses at 0’Connell Street, while carrying out jobs as a carpenter for in 1809 the Sydney Gazette states that John held a wine and spirit licence. (13) However, it would seem that not long after 1810 John found he was earning enough as a tradesman for there are no further references to him holding such a licence. Also with the arrival of Governor Macquarie in 1809 trade in wine and spirits became better controlled and this may have influenced John to cease trading.

This paragraph has been added in 2006. In view of the fact that their first child was born in 1802 and Eliza was born in 1808 (see below) it is likely that John and Margaret had other children during this period. The NSW Registery of Births, Deaths and Marriages has a record of a child named Margaret Manning being buried on 10 September 1806; no other details are recorded in the Church of England register (13a). It is likely that this child did not live long after birth and that she is the daughter of John and Margaret. This would mean that they had six children.

On 17 June 1808 Margaret gave birth to their second child Eliza who was baptised at St. Phillip’s on 31 March 1811. (14) This was also the same day that their third child James was baptised. (15)

Earlier Margaret had been granted her first absolute pardon by J. Finucane under the governorship of W. Paterson on 3 June 1809. The pardon remitted her sentence without any restrictions whatsoever. (16)

This was one of the many recorded events involving the Mannings to occur over the next few years. No doubt in recognition of John having lived at South Row since 1801 Governor Paterson granted John a lease of 45.5 rods on 22 August 1809 for 14 years at 5/- annual rent. (17) So Margaret had her absolute pardon, John his lease of land, and together they had two children and a reasonable future.

(To be continued next issue)

1. Ho 10/1 (AJCP 59). Ho 11/1 (AJCP 87) – National Library and OBSR 12.9.1798 No. 48 – Greater London Record Office; Mary Flower’s letter 22.7.1971 to author.
2. PC 2/154 (AJCP 619) – National Library
3. HO 26/6 (AJCP 2731) – National Library
4. St. Mary. Whitechapel Baptisms P 93/MRY 1/10 – Mary Flower’s letter 4.9.1971 to author.
5. Diary of Jas. Wilshire – The 1788-1820 Gazette, Issues 44 to 46 and The Convict Ships 1787-1868, Charles Bateson, 1974.
6. HO 11/1 (AJCP 87) – National Library and CO 207/1 (AJCP 57) National Library. Since writing the Manning story the National Library of Wales has provided the following information – Thomas Baynon and Margaret Llewellyn were married on 14 May 1795 in the parish of Llansamlet, Wales. On 3 January 1797 Margaret Baynon, aged 22, was charged with burglary with her accomplice Ann David, having stolen a number of specified items from a shop at North Cornely where the Baynons lived. Both were sentenced to death on 1 April 1797 but, as their behaviour was orderly their sentences were commuted to transportation for life to Sydney.
7. Mary Flower’s letter 22.7.1971 to author.
8. The Convict Ships, 1787-1868, Charles Bateson, 1974.
9. Card Index – Petitions – Mitchell Library, Sydney.
10. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Sydney, No. 1548 Vol 1 on 5.5.1978 to author. Governor Hunter laid the foundation of St. Phillip’s Church (with two I’s ) on Church Hill on 7 October 1798; it is understood one ”l” was dropped from the name when a new church was built after 1856.
11. Register of Absolute and Conditional Pardons 1800-1809, SZ 76, the Archives Authority of New South Wales .
12. HO 10/37 (AJCP 72) – National Library.
13. Sydney Gazette 26.2.1809 – mfm National Library.
13a. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No 2100, Vol 2, issued on 11.9.1981 to the author.
14. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No. 2350 Vol. 1 issued on 5.5.1978 to the author.
15. Ibid. No. 2351 Vol. 1 on 5.5.1978 to author.
16. Register of Absolute Pardons 1791-1825 – The Archives Authority of New South Wales A.O. 414486.
17. Land Grants 1788-1809, K. A. Johnson and M, R. Sainty, 1974, p226.


Ancestral Searcher, Vol 3 No 1 March 1980 pp 3-8

After his arrival in December, 1809, Governor Macquarie rescinded their pardons and lease, along with many others given by the previous administration. Margaret handed in her pardon on 12 February 1810. (18) The lease was re-granted by Macquarie on 18 October 1811, back dated to 1 January 1810 under the same conditions. (19) Before any pardons were reissued Macquarie decided that he had to be satisfied the pardons should be granted.

The withdrawal of the pardon appears to have caused some problems for the Mannings for without an absolute pardon Margaret could not leave New South Wales. News from home (Wales) let Margaret know that an aged parent was sick, so she petitioned the Governor in February 1810 for approval to return to Wales. It is interesting to note that Margaret stated she had been very ill since arrival, even though she had had two children in that time. (20)

The petition and/or Margaret’s good record must have had some effect, for on 10 April 1810 Macquarie reissued the absolute pardon. (21) Unfortunately, both absolute pardons do not state why she received a life sentence.

The Mannings must have still had a desire to return home for on 21 April 1810 John advertised in the Sydney Gazette for all claims to be presented for payment and for all debtors to liquidate their debts. (22) But the Mannings did not leave and it can be assumed that the reason was that Margaret was to have their third child, James, born on 8 February 1811. (15) Click here to read about the story of James Manning.

Also John’s business seems to have improved. In late 1810 he obtained a contract to build a flight of steps. These steps were in the old market place alongside the cove opposite Globe Street, (23) and were well used, for they were said to have been one of the few well-built walking paths in the Rocks area. John submitted his claim for work done to the administration and in February 1811 received 21 pounds stg. for the job. (24)

John’s work must have been appreciated by the administration, for in March 1812 he obtained another contract for rebuilding the hospital wharf on the west side of the cove for 500 pounds stg. with the work to take 6 months. John rebuilt the wharf to 50 feet long and 35 feet wide with a crane and windlass on each side capable of lifting 1.5 tons. John had the use of such blocks and tackles as he needed, the government punt, and was allowed to buy up to a ton of bar iron from the Government Store. (35) John received two hundred pounds in advance on 1 April 1812. (26) Then when he had erected the piles he received one hundred and fifty pounds on 1 July 1812. (27) It is not known whether he finished the job in six months. However, John concluded the contract and on 16 March 1813 he received the final payment of one hundred and fifty pounds. (28) D.R. Hainsworth has described this wharf as a good example of a construction during the Macquarie period. (25)

Four days after John received his final payment Margaret gave birth to their fourth child, and third daughter, Charlotte, on 20 March 1813. She was later baptised on 13 June 1813 at St. Philips. (29) Just to show his versatility and possibly due to lack of work as a carpenter, John carried out upholstering work in 1814. ( 30) Then on 2 December 1815 Margaret gave birth to their last child, Charles, who was baptised at St. Philips on 25 August 1816. (31)

In partnership with Thomas Boulton, stonemason, John obtained a contract sometime around 1815 to build the Governor’s Secretary’s house for three thousand pounds stg. This must have been the highlight of John’s work as this event is mentioned in his daughter Charlotte’s obituary in 1904. (32) Soon after the work was completed the prominent convict architect Francis Greenway was very critical of the high cost, saying that he could have built the house for a third of the price. (33) This criticism may have caused a downturn in John’s ability to attract building contracts as later events indicate he fell on bad times to some extent.

In the Sydney Gazette of 24 January 1818 a government advertisement stated that amongst others, John Manning’s lease was ready but not called for. Sometime during the three months ended 31 March 1819 John received seven pounds, nineteen shillings for the supply of lime to Parramatta for use by the Government. (34)

Now comes some interesting speculation. In the 1818 convict muster, John Manning is described as being a carpenter in Sydney and living with him as his wife, Margaret Baynon. (35) Then in 1820 the muster records the same details for John Manning but for Margaret it states she had left the colony. (36) Had she returned home at last to see her aged parent? It seems unlikely that she would have gone by herself. Both were in the colony in 1821 as they are again listed in muster for that year and just to show that the details were not being copied from a previous muster John’s profession had changed to undertaker. (37)

Issues of the Sydney Gazette for 26 August 1820 and 24 February 1821 reported that John Manning’s lease, amongst others, would be ready for delivery on 5 March 1821. John cannot have been in a hurry (or was he overseas?) to pick up the document for on 5 July 1822 the Sydney Gazette listed leases still waiting for collection, including John Manning’s town lease.

The August 1822 convict muster list describes John as an undertaker, the same as in 1821, again a different occupation and another indication that he could not maintain a living working as a carpenter during this period. Margaret was listed as his wife, together with four of their children – Mary not being included. (38) On 12 January 1824 Mary married John Mills, a clerk, at St. Philips. (39)

Then John ran into further difficulties. Included in a list of receipts credited to the Colonial Fund for the quarter ended 31 December 1823 was an amount of 10/- being for payment of a fine imposed by the Supreme Court on John Manning. (40) It is not known why he was fined and further trouble awaited him. In the Sydney Gazette of 22 March 1826 a police report stated that John Manning was a prisoner of the Crown, having offered stolen property for sale in the Market. On being taken into custody John was unable (or unwilling) to explain why he was in possession of stolen property. He was remanded until such time as the owner came forward or other evidence was obtained. What eventuated is not know, but John probably did not remain in custody for long.

The 1828 Census lists John, Margaret and Charles as living at O’Connell Street, Sydney. (41) We know by now that Mary was married, but it is not known what happened to Eliza or James.

Charlotte was probably living with Thomas Anderson, as both are not listed and then on 11 May 1829 Charlotte married Thomas at St. James. (42) In the Census John’s age is given as 62 years and Margaret’s as 52 years. In 1832 and 1834 John is again working as a carpenter living in 0’Connell Street ( 43).

I would assume that by the 1830’s John would have either retired or was only doing a small amount of work for little is recorded about the Mannings until their deaths. In 1842 John Manning of O’Connell Street, Sydney is listed as an eligible elector for Bourke Ward in the first elections for the Municipality of Sydney. (44) The Sydney Morning Herald of 1 November 1842 published a list of electors supporting candidate A. Foss; one of the signatories being John Manning.

Then on 6 September 1849 John and Margaret’s son, Charles, married Eliza McCutcheon at St. Andrews Church; one of the witnesses being Charles’ sister, Charlotte Anderson. (45) It is possible that Charles had lived with his parents at 0’Connell Street and had supported them in their old age. Also it was most likely that this marriage was arranged at short notice as a special licence was issued for the ceremony. Charles’ parents may have been ill and because of this and their age Charles and Eliza may have decided to bring their marriage forward while John and Margaret were still alive.

On 1 December 1849 Margaret Manning died at O’Connell Street and she was described as being 75 years old and the wife of a gentleman. She was buried on 3 December at St. Peter’ s Church, Camperdown. (46) No doubt Margaret’s death had a marked effect on John for he passed away at 0’Connell Street on 26 July 1850 and was buried alongside his wife on 29 July. John was described as 86 years old and a carpenter. (47)

So passed on a pioneering couple, although not prominent in the early affairs of Sydney but truly the type of people who helped make this country what it is today. One of their great-grandchildren, Roland J. Anderson, became the Member for Botany in the New South Wales Parliament in the early 1900’s – convict to parliamentarian. One final interesting point is that there is no record of a marriage between John and Margaret. In fact, various records examined indicate that they did not marry.

18. Returns of Pardons and Certificates of Freedom Surrendered, 29.1.1810- 18.2.1811 – The Archives Authority of New South Wales A.O. 4/4427.
19. Historical Records of Australia, Volume 7, p .315, p 440.
20. Card Index – Petitions – Mitchell Library, Sydney.
21. Copies of Returns of Absolute and Conditional Pardons granted 1810-1819, The Archives Authority of New South Wales, A.O. 4/4427.
22. Sydney Gazette, 21.4.1810, mfm, National Library.
23. A Century of Sydney Cove and The Genesis of the Circular Quay, Norman Selfe, Royal Australian Historical Society Journal, Vol 1, p 59.
24. Sydney Gazette, 20.4.1811, mfm National Library.
25. The Sydney Traders, D.R. Hainsworth, pp 207-8. 26. Sydney Gazette, 25.7.1812, mfm National Library.
27. Sydney Gazette, 20.10.1812, mfm National Library.
28. Sydney Gazette, 24.4.1813, mfm National Library.
29. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No. 3048, Vol 1 issued on 7.11.1969 to author.
30. 1814 Muster, Society of Australian Genealogists, Sydney.
31. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No. 3922 issued on 18.2.1972 to author.
32. The Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 27.8.1904, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney.
33. Francis Greenway, His Life and Times, M.H. Ellis, p 41, p 256.
34. Sydney Gazette, 12.6.1819, mfm National Library. 35. H010/10-11 (AJCP 63), National Library.
36. HO 10/14 (AJCP 64), National Library.
37. HO 10/16-17 (AJCP 65), National Library.
38. HO 10/36 (AJCP 72), National Library.
39. Card Index, Society of Australian Genealogists.
40. Sydney Gazette 24.2.1825, mfm National Library.
41. HO 10/21, 24 (AJCP 67-68), National Library.
42. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No. 4529, Vol 3, issued on 9.4.1970 to author.
43. The New South Wales Calendar and General Post Office Directory 1832, 1834, National Library.
44. Sydney Morning Herald 14.9.1842, National Library.
45. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry or Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No. 635, Vol. 79, issued on 9.11.1971, copy held by author .
46. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry or Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No. 612, Vol 34B, issued on 16.7.1970 to author .
47. Certificate issued by the Principal Registrar, Registry or Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, No. 780, Vol 36A, issued on 22.9.1970 to author.

Please click on the link below to read details about the Manning land in O’Connell Street, Sydney

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey
Ref: t17980912-61

JOHN MANNING, theft : simple grand larceny, 12th September, 1798.

Original Text:

528. JOHN MANNING was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 26th of May, a cloth coat, value 20s. the property of James Gibbons.

JONATHAN HAMMOND sworn. – I live at Mr. Gibbons’s, woollen-draper, No. 84, Oxford-street; I was sent home with a coat to Mr. Webb’s, in Bolton-street, Piccadilly, on Saturday evening, the 26th of May, we did not know the gentleman, and I was to wait for the money for it, and turning round the corner of Bolton-street, the prisoner met me, and said, you are going to Mr. Webb’s, are you not? I told him, yes, I was; he said, he was come in a very great hurry from Mr. Webb, he had a key in his hand; he said, he was to take the coat, and I was to go to the great hotel place, where a great many coaches came to, facing the Green-park, I believe they call it the White-horse Cellar, I was to go there to ask for a parcel for Mr. Webb, and he was to take the coat to Mr. Webb; I gave him the coat wrapped up in a black wrapper; he asked me for the bill, and I gave it to him; I went to the White-horse Cellar, but there was no such parcel; then I came back to No. 10, Bolton-street, and Mr. Webb was not at home; I waited there, and was crying about the street, and asking the people; I went to No. 10, Bolton-row, to see if it was there, I was afraid to go home; a great while after that I called at No. 10, Bolton-street, again, and Mr. Webb was come home, and he went with me to Mr. Gibbons’s; Mr. Webb had another coat made, and about a fortnight ago I was going with Mr. Gibbons into the country, Mr. Gibbons sent me home with a whole piece of woollen cloth, as much as I could carry; I went with it as far as the corner of Newman-street, in Oxford-road, and this John Manning came up to me, and said, that he was sent from Mr. Gibbons’s shop to take the cloth; it struck me directly that that was the man that took the coat from me; I was very near Mr. Gibbons’s, and he said I was to go back again to the corner of Hanway-yard for a parcel, where the coaches stop; I said to him, should I take the cloth along with me for the parcel, and he seemed quite in a flurry; he said, oh, no, I must take the cloth, and you must go for the parcel; I had put the cloth down from my shoulders, and he had his hands upon it to take it, but I did not let it go; then I took hold of him by the collar, and told some gentlemen to stop him; with that he got away from me in a minute, and pulled his apron off and buttoned his blue lappelled coat; he did that just as he began to run, he run as bard as he could; I called out stop thief, and I ran after him as well as I could; he ran down Oxford-street as far as Berner’s-street, he was stopped at the top of Berner’s-street by this young man; I am sure he is the man that took the coat, I knew him directly when he came up to me when I had the cloth, I am sure he is the same man; I asked the people that had got him to bring him to No. 84, Oxford-street, facing Poland-street, and just by the door he was rescued; he ran down Poland-street, and there was a constable delivering a summons there, and he took him again; he was brought back to Mr. Gibbons’s shop, and searched, they tied his hands with a piece of lift, and took him to the office, there was a rule found in his pocket, and some papers of his own, he was a carpenter.

Prisoner. What kind of a coat had I on? – A. In Oxford-road he had a blue coat on, when I saw him before he had no coat on, he had a jacket and an apron on; there was a boy saw him talking to me at Newman-street, and another boy, and I asked them to go to the office, and they said, no, they would be out of the mess.

Q. Are you sure he is the man that took the coat? – A. Yes; it was a good while ago, but I knew him as soon as ever he came up to me when I had the cloth.

BARNETT- HENRY BROWN sworn. – I live in London-street, Fitzroy-square.

Q. What are you? – A. A gentleman’s son; I was coming down Oxford-road, I heard a cry of stop thief, I stopped this man, who was running, and told him it was for a coat, I searched his pocket for his apron, and he had not got it; he said, he would go back with me; the boy told me he had an apron on, but when I stopped him he had not.

Prisoner. Q. What coloured coat did the boy say I had on? – A. He said you had a brown coat on, he made several hesitations about it, he was not quite certain.

Q. What are you yourself? – A. A gentleman’s son; my father is a Portugal merchant, and generally resides there, he has no business here, he transacts for Mr. Duff, in Finsbury-square.

Court. Q. The man was running when you stopped him? – A. Yes.
Q. How long has your father lived in London-street? – A. Seven years and a half.
Q. Who is your father’s partner in Portugal? – A. I do not know, all his letters come in Portuguese, I do not know any thing of him, he is a steward, I believe.
Q. Steward to a merchant? – A. Yes.
Q. What part of Purtugal is it? – A. Somewhere in the North.
Q. What province in the North? – A. I cannot tell, I never heard the name mentioned.
Q. Mr. Duff is the correspondent? – A. Yes.
Q. Did you never hear the name of your father’s partner there? – A. No.
Q. How old are you? – A. Eighteen.
Q. Where did you stop the prisoner? – A.At the corner of Castle-street, in Berner’s-street.
Q. You did not stop him in Poland-street? – A. No.
Q. You have not told us a word of his running away? – A. A young man laid hold of him from me, and asked him what business he had to stop or be taken, and he ran away down Poland-street, and there he was stopped by a constable, and then I went back with him to the shop.
Q. (To Hammond.) Did you ever say any thing about his having a brown coat? – A. No; I went into the crowd, and said, it was a blue coat; this Mr. Brown has been to see him in Clerkenwell prison.
Brown. No, I have not; I went to see another person there, Bill Doyle, and then I saw him.
Hammond. At the time I was getting the bill, I could not find him, and he did not answer, and when he came back, he said he had been to see poor Manning, that he had got five children.
Court. (To Brown.) Q. I shall enquire your description – what is your father’s name? – A. Bernardino Escoffia , No. 40, London-street.
Q. How came you by the name of Brown? – A. That is my mother’s name, and I put my own name besides, Bernard-Henry Brown, my mother lives there too.
Q. And she goes by the name of Escoffia? – A. No, Mrs. Brown, he is my second father, he is not my first father.
Q. How came she to go by her first husband’s name? – A. I was too young to know any thing about it; my first father was killed in a duel.
Q. What was your own father? – A. I do not know, I never heard.
Q. And you never enquired what he was? – A. No.
Q. Then of course you never enquired whether he died worth any money? – A. I did not.
Q. You may have a very large fortune for any thing you know? – A. I do not know indeed.
Q. And you are eighteen years of age? – A. Yes.
Q. Does your father speak English? – A. He can speak a little English, but he speaks more French; Mr. Gordon, No. 29, Percy-street, comes to him very often.
Prisoner’s defence. I am an innocent man of this fact, I was going that way about some business, I am entirely innocent of it, I have a wife and five small children; I know nothing of it more than the child unborn. (see below)

The prisoner called two witnesses, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY (Aged 44.)
Transported for seven years .
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. COMMON SERJEANT.

Copied from The Proceedings of the Old Bailey web site 9 February 2006


Success at last

Grahame Thom 2023

In late 1979 I wrote an article that were published in the Society’s magazine titled John and Margaret Manning, Ancestral Searcher – Vol 2 No 6, December 1979 pp 120-125, and Vol 3 No 1, March 1980 pp 3-8, see above. From time to time I wondered if John’s statement at his trial at the Old Bailey, London, that he was the father of five children was true, or just said to gain sympathy. 

From about 2000, when more family history data started to appear on the internet, I would search for Manning births in the 15 years before his departure from England in 1800. This year I again did searches on and for baptisms in London with a father John Manning, and I am reasonably satisfied that I have found the correct family. All the locations recorded are close together in the older area of London. So here is a time line of family events for convict John Manning, including his time in Sydney, New South Wales.

John Manning Time Line

1768 Baptism, 28 August, St Mary, Whitechapel, London

1787 Marriage, 28 November, St Mary, St Marylebone London, spouse Martha Jones

1788 Birth, 31 October, Cow Lane, Farrington, London, John Manning, baptism, 21 March, 1791, St Sepulchre, Newgate, London

1791 Birth, 17 February, Cow Lane, Farrington, London, Charles Manning, baptism, 21 March, 1791, St Sepulchre, Newgate, London

1793 Baptism, 24 February, St Andrew, Holborn, London, of Saffron Hill, Joseph Manning

1794 Birth 30 December, Cow Lane, Farrington, London, Mary Ann Manning, baptism 7 April 1795, St Sepulchre, Newgate, London

1797 Birth, 5 June, Cow Lane, Farrington, London, Martha Manning, baptism 18 April 1797, St Sepulchre, Newgate, London

1798 Caught stealing, 9 June, Oxford Street, London. Convicted at the Old Bailey, London, to be transported,12 September 1798

1798-1800 Held in Newgate Prison, London

1799 Exact date unknown, daughter age 8 years admitted to the care of the Philanthropic Society, London – most likely Mary Ann

1799 Conception of daughter Esther late November while John was in Prison. So long as the convicts remained within the prison, John could receive visits from his relatives who could bring money, clothes, food and water.

1800 1 April, placed on board the convict ship Royal Admiral

1800 Birth, 25 August, Cow Lane, Farrington, London, Esther Manning, baptism 12 October 1800, St Sepulchre, Newgate, London

1800 There were no further births of children to John and Martha Manning.

1800 John arrived Sydney, 20 November

1801 Margaret Beynon (convict, nee Llewellyn) arrived Sydney on the convict ship Nile, 14 December

1802  Assumed both John and Margaret were residents of 14 South Row, Sydney, an inn Sign of the Compasses, later named O’Connell Street.

1802 John Manning and Margaret Beynon did not marry as both had spouses in Britain, but within ten months of Margaret’s arrival, they had their first Australian child.

1802 Birth, 18 October, Sydney, Mary Manning Baptism 25 December 1805, St Philips, Sydney

1805 Burial, 10 September 1806, Sydney, Margaret Manning, child

1808 Birth, 17 June, Sydney, Eliza Manning, baptism, 31 March 1811, St Philips, Sydney

1811 Birth, 8 February, Sydney, James Manning, baptism, 31 March 1811, St Philips Sydney

1813 Birth, 20 March, Sydney, Charlotte Manning (my ancestor)

1815 Birth, 2 December, Sydney, Charles Manning. Baptism, 25 August 1816, St Philips, Sydney

1802 – 1850 During this period, John had many occupations, including carpenter, wine and spirit licensee, builder, and         upholsterer. There is a reference to the possibility they had two other children who probably died as babies.

1849 Death 1 December, O’Connell Street, Sydney, wife of a gentleman, aged 75 years

Burial, 3 December, St Peter’s Church, Camperdown

1850 Death, 26 July, OConnell Street, Sydney, carpenter aged 82 tears 

Burial, 29 July, St Peters Church, Camperdown


Online –, marriage and baptisms, St Mary, Whitechapel, London, St Sepulchre, Newgate, London and St Andrew, Holborn, London, copies of original registers

Online – Old Bailey Court Records for 1798, copies of original records

Online – AJCP original convict records

NSW baptism and burial certificates held by author










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Margaret Llewellyn

The story of John Manning’s wife, Margaret

O’Connell Street

Further details about the Manning land in O’Connell Street, Sydney