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John Grant (*1792 - †1866)

Almost two hundred years before our visit, a young man named John Grant of Moyne was charged with the attempted murder of another man from Moyne, one Nicholas Maher.

The court determined that the then 18 year-old John Grant was guilty as charged. He was duly sentenced to "transportation for life" to the penal-colony at Port Jackson.

Port Jackson is now better known as Sydney Harbour.

I have no information about John Grant's mother but his father Patrick died three years before John's conviction.

In the same year as John's conviction his sister Mary was hanged for the murder of the very same man that John had earlier tried to kill.

Six years later his brother Jeremiah was hanged for his own crimes.

John Grant had better luck as a convict in Australia.

He was granted his ticket of leave soon after his arrival and he received a conditional pardon some ten years later.

As a successful farmer and grazier he married twice and had 12 legitimate children.

John Grant died of natural causes in 1866 at the age of 74.

 

Throughout his life in Australia, John Grant complied with the condition of his pardon; that is, that he "never board a ship" which meant in a very practical sense that he never return to Europe.

It is my assertion that for Australians of Irish-convict descent Europe remained a forbidden place - in lore if not in law - until well into the twentieth century.

John Grant's pardon is shown in a ledger held by the NSW State Office of Records.

At Canowindra, near his grave, there is a bridge over the Belubula river that commemorates his achievements.

Susanne and I found the old cemetery in Moyne and we found the ruins of the old church.

Within the cemetery we found headstones for both the Grant and Maher families.

You can see the pictures of our visit to Moyne which include the headstones of both the Grant and Maher families.

The link to John Grant's memorial plaque is from Monument Australia (12th September 2013).

You can read more about John Grant by visiting Grant Online.

 

 
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