John Levett was born in August 1821 in Lewes, Sussex. He was the seventh child of Edward and Sarah Levett. Three months before his 21st birthday, in May 1842, he appeared before the magistrates in Lewes where he pleaded guilty to stealing a bottle of port wine and a bottle of ginger beer from the landlord of the Star Inn, Lewes. He was sentenced to one month hard labour.
Three years later he was summoned to appear at the Lewes Quarter Sessions. He was employed as a coach guard and had been entrusted with twenty five pounds by Henry Cloak in Uckfield and had been instructed to deposit the money in the bank at Lewes.
In his summing up, the Chairman of the bench said 'They the jury had the fact that the prisoner, who previously had no money, or, at least, was in debt in two or three places, at the tap of the Crown, at the tap of the Star, and at a beer-
The Chairman said the prisoner had been convicted on the clearest possible evidence, and as he had previously been found guilty of felony, the usual rule must be applied in this case, he must leave the country. The sentence was that he be transported beyond the seas for ten years.
He embarked on 10th Dec 1845 and set sail on the 22nd December 1845 from London on the Joseph Somes. However, bad weather caused a further delay and the ship anchored in the English Channel until 14th January 1846 when the weather improved. The ship arrived in Hobart, Tasmania on 20th May 1846. He was ill during the voyage but appeared to be recovering when the vessel berthed. He was then assigned to a station gang in Hobart for 18 months labour.
He applied for conditional pardon 1852 and this was approved on 7th June 1853. This meant he was free but had to remain in Australia. The last discovered record of John Levett had him living in Swansea, Tasmania where on the 25th May 1863 he was sentenced to a fine of £10 or one month's night labour as he was in breach of the Master and Servants Act.
In 1865 he married in Tasmania and about that time he changed his surname to Smith.
Transported to the Australia
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|John Levett - convict|