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Robert Jones

Robert Jones - 'Recollections of 13 years Residence in Norfolk Island and Van Diemans land', dated 1823 [?], and associated papers to 1938

About this item: 

It is now known that this document was not written by Robert Jones in 1823. The identity of Robert Jones has been the subject of conjecture. Research by Reg Wright ('Who was "Buckey" Jones?', Descent, vol.28 part 3, Sept. 1998) has shown that the person most likely to be Robert Jones (also known as Bob Buckey or Bob Jones) was a convict transported to Norfolk Island in the second voyage of the Scarborough in 1790. He received a Conditional Pardon in 1796 and an Absolute Pardon for services as gaoler in 1800/1801. In 1802 he stated that he simultaneously held the positions of Superintendent, Gaoler and Chief Constable. Following the closure of the Norfolk Island settlement, Jones was appointed Superintendent at Port Dalrymple and later Assistant to the Superintendent of Police at Sydney in 1811. He died in Sydney, aged 47, in 1818. Robert Jones died in 1818, so he cannot have written the Recollections in 1823. Reg Wright believes it to be 'a work of fiction actually produced about 1850 or an even later date'. This estimate is based on an examination of the many inaccuracies in facts and chronology which occur in the text. In addition, the watercolour illustrations depict buildings erected after 1823. This document has been widely used as a source of information on the convict era. The identity of its maker remains unknown.

Transcript: 

[plate 3]
The Flogging of Charles Maher
J.L. 1823
The Flogging of Charles Maher, 250 lashes, (single flogger)


little effect in subduing the most hardened criminal.  Thursday April 11 I well remember the date, began the most stormy weather on record here.  The cascade was partly destroyed.
The flogging of Charles Maher allmost brought about a mutiny. his back was quite bare of skin and flesh.  Poor wretch he received 250 lashes and upon receiving 200 Kimberly refused to count, meaning thereby that his punishment was enough