Barnett, Levi

Full name:

Barnett, Levi

Dates recorded for being in Berrima:

Sept. 1841

Occupation if known and land ownership:



ToL Convict

Levi Barnett’s life is outlined in John Levi’s study of the Jewish community in Australia.[1] He was born in 1799 and, at the age of 15 and then living in London, stole two-shillings for which he was gaoled for six months. Soon after his release he re-offended and in 1815 was sentenced to life in the colony. He arrived on the Elizabeth a year later, his convict ident listing him as an ‘old clothes man’. He continued to challenge authority and the 1828 Census indicates he is serving time at the penal colony in Port Macquarie. On his return to Sydney he spent time on the Phoenix, a hulk moored in Sydney Harbour, and then at the Hyde Park Barracks. [2] In 1829 he offended again, this time stealing government property, for which he spent three years at Moreton Bay penal colony.

Given this background it is perhaps surprising that his name appears as a constable in the Berrima Police Establishment ledger of September 1939. In the year previous (March) he had been granted a ticket of leave (40/1631) which suggests he had not offended since his return from Moreton Bay in 1832.[3]

He remained in Berrima, being mentioned in an arrest at Taylor’s Inn in 1844.[4] And his conditional pardon is signed by Berrima magistrates, Allman, Nicholson and Throsby in 1846. This document also confirms his date of birth as 1799.[5]

He was still in Berrima in 1846 when he subscribed 5/- to the Irish Relief Fund and in 1847 when he subscribed 5/- to the Catholic School.[6],[7] There is a Levy Barnett charged but found not guilty of assault and attempted rape in 1847 but there is no proof this is the same man.[8]

Barnett died in September 1848 at Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum.

[1] Levi, John. These Are the Names: Jewish Lives in Australia, 1788-1850. Melbourne University Press, 2006, pp. 1834-5

[2] State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12188; Item: [4/4005]; Microfiche: 636

[3] State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12202; Item: [4/4142] No. 40/1631

[4] Hawkesbury Courier and Agricultural and General Advertiser, 28 November 1844

[5] SRA NSW Card Index to Letters Received, Colonial Secretary; Reel Number:799; Roll Number:1250 pardon number 46/161

[6] Sydney Chronicle, 10 October 1846

[7] Sydney Morning Herald, 26 June 1847

[8] Sydney Morning Herald, 2 March 1847