John Asgill was transported at 19 for stealing gowns and frocks. He arrived in Van Diemen’s Land 15 November 1836 on the convict ship 'Henry Porcher'. John was a labourer and shoemaker from Coventry. He worked well for William Gellibrand until 1841, when he absconded and was caught over the river at Sandy Bay pretending to be a free man.
Whilst on the run, he married under the pseudonym ‘James Charlton’. He was 22 when he applied to marry 20-year-old Scottish convict Janet Fulton on 3 May 1841. Janet was from Glasgow where she was employed as a steam loom weaver. Her surgeons report states; honesty questioned, disposition good and obliging. Her gaol report notes character and connections very bad and that she had been convicted before. They were married at Trinity Church Hobart on 28 June 1841. The honeymoon period would have been rather short lived as he was apprehended at Sandy Bay on 7 October 1841. A son was born in Hobart in 1842. It appears they were reunited and remarried at Bothwell in 1844 under his real name and had two daughters. The family moved to New South Wales where a further seven daughters and two sons were born to the couple.
Old Bailey Central Criminal Court
Tasmanian Archives & Heritage Office - Convict records, CON31/1/2 image 151, CON27/1/2/image 154,
CON18/1/9 image 5.
Female Convicts Research Group (Tasmania): Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land Database
Tasmanian Archives & Heritage Office - Colonial Tasmanian Family Links database.