The story of John Pascoe Fawkner's father, John Faulkner and the beginning
of a journey that will see John Pascoe firstly arrive at Sorrento in the ill fated Collins Settlement of 1803 as an 11 year old before moving on to Hobart Town in 1804.

 

John Faulkner was born in 1770 in London, living at 2 Parkers Lane, Drury Lane
and also near St. Giles where he married Hannah Pascoe on 13th January 1792.
The Faulkners moved to a small house at 11 White Cross Street in 1801, and continued to live there until 1802. As Faulkner was taken by the Bow Street
runners early in May 1801 only his wife and daughter Elizabeth, born in 1795,
were there all of that time. His son John, born on 20th October 1792, was
attending boarding school in Chelsea.

Faulkner had a fairly prosperous business as a refiner of gold and silver buttons. It was his custom each evening after work to visit the Bell Inn at Red Lion Market, White Cross Street where the publican was Mr Hayes, for a pint of Ale.

On the evening of Thursday, 30th April 1801, after finishing his pint, Faulkner was asked to accompany the publican's wife to the back room, as she had something to show him. Joining them was Thomas Collett, a soldier of the 3rd Regiment of Guards, to whom Faulkner was introduced after arriving at the Inn. John Faulkner was shown a bag of jewellery and was asked if he could melt down the gold and silver. Faulkner agreed to do this and so the three people left for his workshop.

 

Unbeknown to Faulkner, this jewellery was owned by John Weppler, a planter from Jamaica who had arrived at Billingsgate the previous evening and had hired a cart
to carry his baggage and trunks which included a red leather trunk with its contents valued at £1200 . After several visits to lodging houses in an effort to obtain accomodation for his wife and a young lady under his protection, Weppler discovered the red leather trunk was missing. He immediately reported this to
Bow Street.

Thomas Collett had stolen this trunk and rifled its contents, which he took to the Bell Inn and offered to sell various articles to Mrs Hayes. After some bargaining
Mrs Hayes bought several items including pearl earings and a beautiful diamond necklace. Unfortunately Elizabeth Smith, who worked as a bar-maid, overheard
Mrs Hayes and Collett in argument on the price of the selection Mrs Hayes had made. Elizabeth also saw the jewellery when seving Collett a beer, and commented how beautiful the diamond necklace was.

At Faulkner's workshop the furnace was lit and while waiting for the correct temperature, the thief presented the refiner with two pearl pins for his wife. First the silver was melted and then the gold and each was poured into an oblong mould. Faulkner bought the silver for £4.16-0d., but could not agree with the price Collett wanted for the gold- 50/- an ounce.

Two days later, Weppler, having heard nothing of his trunk, inserted
advertisements in the newspaper offering a reward of £100 which was later raised to 150 guineas. It was Elizabeth Smith who soon arrived at Bow Street to claim the reward and tell all she knew. A raid was made on the Inn by four police officers and Mr.Weppler with a search warrant. John Sayers was the officer in charge and a careful search of the Inn failed to find any of the stolen property, except a handkerchief from Mrs Hayes' pocket which Weppler claimed was his. Mrs.Hayes was charged with recieving stolen goods and sentenced to fourteen years transportation. Collett had been apprehended at Knightsbridge Barracks and a search of his lodgings revealed a box containing 22 guineas. Strangely Collett recieved only seven years.

Faulkner heard that there was trouble brewing for him and he bolted but was eventually arrested and placed on trail. The indictment of John Faulkner was made for feloniously recieving on 30th April 1801, a gold snuff box set with diamonds, value £400; a diamond necklace, value £20; a pair of shoe buckles, value £11; two silver tablespoons, value £1.10.0d; and five silver teaspoons, value £2; being part and parcel of the goods stolen by Thomas Collett.

When called on to speak, Faulkner said "My Lord and Gentlemen of the Jury, Mr. Hayes has sworn very falsely against me. I know nothing of this business. he has now come forward under a promise of getting his wife's pardon, if he will appear against me."

The verdict was brought in, guilty, and sentenced to transportation for fourteen years. As was the custom, Faulkner was sent to the Woolwich hulks, stripped, washed, shaven, dressed in convict clothing, chained and sent to work.

 

Prison hulks at Woolwich, Kent

 

Convicts being transported were permitted to take their families on the ship with them if they wished and it was not until early 1803 that Mrs Faulkner was to join H.M.S "Calcutta" at Portsmouth. On 9th February, Mrs Faulkner and her children, John Pascoe now aged ten years and Elizabeth aged seven years, and only a few treasured possessions boarded the night mail coach to Portsmouth, paying a guinea for a seat inside. Leaving Piccadilly the first stage was to Kingston on Thames where the horses were changed, and so on to Portsmouth. A very rough ride through the night, with little chance of sleep for any passenger.

The "Calcutta" had taken on 120 prisoners, including Faulkner, from the Woolwich hulks at Nore and then moved to Portsmouth for their wives and another 80 prisoners.

"Calcutta"

The Faulkners disliked the accommodation provided for them below deck so much, they paid the boatswain Wyatt 20 guineas for his cabin on the forecastle.

It was not until Sunday, 24th April that the Calcutta was ready for sea, after
having the wedding of Maria Stanfield to Sergeant Sarjent, conducted by the Rev.Knopwood. Gossip on the ship was that Maria was seen too often in the Chaplin's cabin. Several other women proved to be very loose types and officers obtained bed mates for the voyage from among them.

The "Calcutta" having joined the "Ocean", eventually cleared the channel on 29th April 1803 in very rough weather; high winds, hail and squalls. The weather was so bad that it was nine days before the convicts could be mustered in divisions for Divine Service held on the quarter-deck.

First port of call was Santa Cruz. The local Governor's daughter, the British Agent, his wife and children came on board to inspect the ship and have tea with Captain Woodriff. This visit was returned the next day by the Captain and his officers. The two day stop was a great relief to passengers and convicts alike, and fresh food was welcome.

The Equator was crossed on 10th June and the usual celebrations were held. The next day the Rio Nova, a slave trader with several hundred slaves, was sighted and boarded. This was a break in the monotony of the voyage. Another incident was the flogging of Mrs Riley, who was charged and found guilty of stealing a cap from another prisoner's wife. Her punishment was two dozen lashes on the bare back by the boatswain's mate. The piteous screams of the victom were heard throughout
the ship.

Seven weeks after rounding the Cape, King Island was sighted. The "Calcutta" stood well off shore riding out a gale, which did much damage to the sails. On the next morning, with calmer seas, the entrance to Port Phillip was sighted. The vessel sailed through the Rip close to Pt. Nepean without mishap. Next day several parties were sent ashore to search for water. A fresh stream was found under Arthur's Seat at McCrae, but the shallow approach for the ships ruled this out as a site for a settlement. Sorrento was then selected.

It was not until 19th October that the Faulkners landed, although John Faulkner, with the other convicts, worked unloading the supplies. After their reasonably comfortable quarters on the ship the Faulkners were not happy at having to share a tent with two other families, so John Faulkner built a rough hut covered with old canvas.

 

The "Calcutta" & "Ocean"

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