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John Bunt

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Liskeard, Cornwall, England
Death: Died in Berrima, New South Wales, Australia
Cause of death: Rheumatism
Place of Burial: Sutton Forest, New South Wales, Australia
Immediate Family:

Husband of Ann Bunt, V
Father of Henry Bunt; Phillip Bunt, 2nd; Ann Bunt; John Bunt; Mary Bunt and 7 others

Occupation: Farm worker, Gardner at the time of his death
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Bunt

John was baptised twice, the first on the 2nd of November 1809. The first baptism was a private baptism, usually in the home, presumably because he was a delicate baby and was not expected to survive. A second baptism on the 26th of December 1809 was held in a Church. His mother died when John was just six years old. His father remarried on the 18th of January 1816.

On the 31st of December 1833 at Cornwall Quarter Sessions, Bodmin, John Bunt, late of the parish of Liskeard in this county, labourer, was at this session indicted, tried and convicted for feloniously stealing one fustian coat of the value of one shilling of the proper goods and chattels of Henry Hill. It is therefore ordered that for the said offence he, the said John Bunt, be transported to such parts beyond the seas as His Majesty with the advice of the Privy Council, shall direct for the term of seven years.

At the time of his conviction John was a 24 years old a farm servant, single, was of the protestant faith and could read. He had no former convictions. He was a short man 5ft 4in with a ruddy complexion, dark brown hair and hazel eyes, with mono brow (eye brows which met). John had a scare on the right side of his neck and a small wart on the back of the left thumb.

John was transported on the eighth voyage to Australia of the 'Surrey', which left England on the 9th of April 1834 and landed in Sydney on the 17th of August 1834. The voyage took just over four months at sea. John was the only ancestor of the Bunt related families to arrive in Australia as a convict. John was convict number 34-1529, 260 to embark and all arrived alive. The "Surrey" completed eleven voyages to Australia carrying convicts, more than any other ship.

The 'Surry' was built in 1811 at Harwich and was owned by the London firm of Mangles. The 'Surry' was later referred to as the Surrey. The 'Surry' was a transport of 443 tons, she was a square rigged ship with an overall length of 117 ft. 6 ins., a breadth above the gunwales of 29 ft. 6 ins, and a draught, when loaded, of 18ft. The vessel was copper-sheathed, and had quarter galleries, with a Minerva bust for a figurehead. She carried a crew of thirty and was armed with fourteen cannons.

When the Surry was originally built at Harwich in 1811 she had two decks with a height between decks of 5ft. 8 ins. However, about 1818, she must have received a major refit - the Shipping Registers after 1819 record the vessel as having three decks.

The Surry had one of the longest careers as a convict transport and she was the only transport to make 11 passages to Australia. She completed her last voyage on reaching Hobart on 11 August 1842.

The Surrey landed 2,177 male and female convicts in Australia and lost 51 men and one woman during her passages, 36 of the men dying during her first, and most notorious voyage, was in 1814 under the command of James Patterson.

Charles Kemp was her Master for four voyages (1829, 1831, 1833, 1834) and the surgeon in 1834 was John Smith.

In New South Wales John was assigned to John Nicholson Junior who was granted 700 acre property in 1822 he named 'Newberry'. John resumed his old occupation as a farm servant. John received his certificate of freedom (no. C41/767) and five weeks later married Ann Fairall.

John, the times he lived in: The historic village of Berrima is situated in a valley by the Wingecarribee River 122 km south-west of Sydney The area around Berrima was the land of the Dharawal Aborigines whose language gave the town its name from a word said to mean 'to the south'. The Aborigines had been driven off their land or killed by the 1870s.

The first European party to travel through the district was led by an ex-convict John Wilson. They arrived in 1798. They had been sent by Governor Hunter to gather information about the southlands to discourage convicts who were heading south in the belief that China was but 150 miles away.

Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell camped on the banks of the Wingecarribee, near the present bridge, in 1829, while surveying the route of a new road south, which would avoid the steep climbs over the Mittagong Range. Impressed by the water supply, the ease of the river crossing and the availability of building material (particularly stone), he recommended it as a town site. Robert Hoddle, who later laid out Melbourne, drew up a town plan and it was approved by Governor Bourke. The town was established, in the manner of an English village, around a village green. The markets held there later attracted sellers from all over the district.

The first two Inns were built in 1834. Both buildings still stand and the second, the Surveyor-General Inn, has never lost its license. It is now the longest-licensed hotel in NSW (2005).

A bridge over the river was completed in 1836. The population was recorded as 249 in 1841 but had dropped to 192 by 1851. An 1842 newspaper report depicted a primitive village consisting mostly of slab and bark huts. Some handsome sandstone buildings were also erected, many of which are still standing. Substantial Anglican and Catholic churches replaced makeshift premises in 1849 and 1851 respectively.

NSW Government's archives & records management authority

State Records

Convict Index

Surname Firstname Alias Vessel Year No Date RecordType Citation

BUNT John Surry 1834 41/0767 14 Jun 1841 Certificate of Freedom [4/366; Reel 1009]

Index to Certificates of Freedom, 1823-69

John Bunt 'Surry' was granted his 'Certificate of Freedom (41/0767) on the 14 of June 1841. A Certificate of Freedom was a document stating that a convict's sentence had been served and was usually given to convicts with a 7, 10 or 14 year sentence. Convicts with a life sentence could receive a Pardon, but not a Certificate of Freedom. The Certificate of Freedom number was sometimes annotated on the indent or noted on a Ticket of Leave Butt. Colonial Certificates of Freedom relate to sentences received for offences committed after arrival in the colony.

Beside the Sutton Forest Bunt family there are Bunts who settled in Newcastle, New South Wales. There were three different families who chose that area.

Karen Rhonda Jurd nee Bussey

John Jurd, b.1941

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John Bunt's Timeline

1809
November 2, 1809
Liskeard, Cornwall, England
1842
February 4, 1842
Age 32
Burrawang, New South Wales, Australia
1843
October 17, 1843
Age 33
Camden, New South Wales, Australia
1866
March 20, 1866
Age 56
Berrima, New South Wales, Australia
March 22, 1866
Age 56
Sutton Forest, New South Wales, Australia
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