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Sea chest purported to be the property of convict John Abbott

Date: c 1813
Dimensions:
Overall: 388 x 690 x 372 mm, 1.7 kg
Medium: Iron, paint, deal (pinewood)
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sea chest
Object No: 00015633

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    Description
    This sea chest is believed to have been owned by the convict John Abbott who was transported for life and arrived on the GENERAL HEWITT in 1814. A pale grey painted inscription on the exterior of the lid reads, 'J Abbott colony of NSW General Hewitt'.
    SignificanceThis is an extremely rare example of a chest associated with Australia's convict past.
    HistoryBetween 1788 and 1868 over 168,000 men, women and children were transported from Britain to Australia as convicts on board more than 1,000 modified merchant ships which had been converted into convict transports.

    John Abbott was convicted in Essex on 8 March 1813 and sentenced to transportation for life. He was described as being a labourer from Essex, aged 25, 5ft 9", with dark hair and hazel eyes.

    Abbott was transported on the convict ship GENERAL HEWITT and arrived in Sydney on 7 February 1814. He was not convicted of any offences in the colony and was in service with John Dickson of Sydney from 1814 to 1825 when he was granted a ticket of leave.

    At the 1828 census, Abbott was listed as working for Thomas Barker of Sussex St, Sydney.

    The GENERAL HEWITT (or HEWART) was a convict transport of 937 tons built at Calcutta in 1812. The ship embarked 24 convicts at Woolwich on 28 July 1813 and another 300 at Portsmouth on 23 August. For this voyage, the master was Percy Earl and the surgeon was Richard Hughes. The future colonial architect Francis Greenway was also transported on this ship, and during the voyage a total of 34 convicts died due to malnourishment and general weakness.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Sea chest believed to be owned by John Abbott who was a convict and arrived on board the GENERAL HEWITT in 1814

    Web title: Sea chest purported to be the property of convict John Abbott

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