John Naylor

A maltster and brewer, John Naylor married his first wife, Elizabeth Hodgson, in Ripon on January 8th 1821. A daughter, Mary Ann, was born of this union.

John, a colourful character, was convicted at Ripon Quarter Session Court on October 17th 1836 for stealing coal. This was his second offence. When asked the reason for this, he replied, “I want to be transported to get away from my wife”! He was sentenced to 7 years transportation and sailed on the convict ship Elphinstone, arriving in the penal colony, Port Arthur in Van Diemen's Land in October 1837. John was now 33.

Being a maltster, he was assigned to a brewery owned by Mr Richard Downwood in the north of the island, at Pitt River. During this time he obtained his Ticket of Leave. He also fathered a son, George Sylvester Naylor (the mother is not known), born in Launceston.

On December 9th 1841, John Naylor journeyed with his young son to Victoria on the mainland to join the gold rush. Both mined for gold around Lamplugh until the late 1870s. In later life he married Lucy Wells.

John then moved to Lexton where bought property and a parcel of land and where, despite retaining his mining registrations, he worked in the sawmills.

[The full story, researched by Mrs Bess Chapman – Curator of the Courthouse, 2000-2006 – can be found in the exhibition, 'One Way to Botany Bay' at the Courthouse Museum, Minster Road, Ripon.]

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