Country Of Origin England
Born 1802
Died 1873
Birth/Baptism Born approx. 1802, Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Parents unknown
Apprenticeship unknown
Skills Watchmaker, Jeweller, Goldsmith, Silversmith
Work Locations Hobart, Launceston
Street Address
25 Liverpool Street, Hobart
Charles Street, Launceston
Brisbane Street, Launceston
Elizabeth Street, Launceston
Marriage/Spouse 1834, St James Church, Sydney, New South Wales, to widow Mary Naylor (formerly Slavell, d. 1861)
Trial 13 March 1823, Stafford Assizes
Sentence Seven years transportation for housebreaking and stealing broadcloth from a dwelling house at Handsworth.
Arrival 30 December 1823 on the convict ship, Sir Godfrey Webster
Police Number 586
Other 1823: Petition for pardon unsuccessful.
May 1823: Moved from the Stafford County gaol to the hulks at Chatham.Approx. 1823-1827: Assigned as a labourer at the Government Commissariat.
Approx. 1827-1830: Assigned to Dr James Ross, printer and editor.

Services and skills offered by James in Van Diemen’s Land:
Gold and silversmith work, plate repairs, purchase of old gold and silver, manufacture and repair of clocks, watches, and jewellery, engraving, chasing — a form of embossing and decorating in silverwork, mechanical dentistry specialising in artificial teeth, adjustments and ratings for chronometers, sextants, quadrants, and compasses.

17 March 1830: Certificate of Freedom.

May 1830: Commenced a jewellery, goldsmith, and silversmith business, Liverpool Street, Hobart, next door to cabinetmaker Mr Woolley.
October 1831: The business was relocated to a house on Liverpool Street, opposite the old Waterloo Mill and the former premises of chemist Mr Brown.

June 1833: Travelled to Sydney, New South Wales.
1834: Married widow Mary Naylor, Sydney, New South Wales.

By January 1835: Returned to Van Diemen’s Land and set up business in Charles Street, Launceston, opposite Mr Sherwin’s Stores.

Approx. mid 1835: Relocated the business to Brisbane Street, opposite the Treasurer’s Office.

By 1841: Located on Elizabeth Street next door to chemist Mr Sanderson.
December 1842: James Courtney advertised his intent to practise as a mechanical dentist, making artificial teeth.

1843: James sold tickets at his Elizabeth Street premises for a sacred music concert and the Independent Chapel on Tamar Street
1849: Signed a petition stating he would not employ male or female convicts.

1856: Gave evidence in court that helped identify stolen jewellery from a recent burglary at watchmaker Ferdinand Riva’s.

1 December 1861: Death of wife Mary.

Late December 1861: Held an auction at his premises on Frankland Street West and stated he would be leaving Launceston. The items advertised included a dentist’s bench and assorted furniture.

Death 26 August 1873 at his residence, Frankland Street, Launceston, recorded as a 71-year-old jeweller.
Cause of death: paralysis — most likely a stroke.

The Cornwall Chronicle 27 August 1873 – Death Notice.
‘He was a man universally estimated by all who had dealings with him. As a skilful jeweller and honest tradesman, his loss will be greatly felt. He was a man of large heart, and charitable to the poor.’

Charles Bateson, The Convict Ships 1787-1868, 1985.
J M Houstone, Early Australian Silver, The Houstone Collection, 2007.
TAHO: CON31/1/6, CON23/1/1, CON13/1/2, CSO1/1/74 File No. 1639, 1827; CUS33/1/2 Departure 1833, RGD35/1/30 no284 Death 1861 [Mary Courtney], RGD35/1/42 no2144 Death 1873 [Courtenay].
Web: Ancestry: Australia Convict Ships Muster Rolls 1824, Australia Marriage Index 1834; Founders & Survivors convict database;; Findmypast, Register of Petitions for Pardons 1823; Australian Dictionary of Biography, James Ross (1786-1838); New South Wales Marriage Reg. No. 1285/1834 V18341285.
Staffordshire Advertiser 8 March 1823, 22 March 1823, 3 May 1823; Launceston Advertiser 22 March 1830, 29 January 1835, 25 June 1835, 7 September 1843; Hobart Town Courier 1 May 1830, 27 November 1830; The Tasmanian 22 October 1831; The Sydney Gazette & New South Wales Advertiser 9 July 1833; The Examiner (Launceston) 10 December 1842, 21 December 1842, 28 December 1861, 28 August 1873, 10 December 1842;Cornwall Chronicle 30 October 1841, 17 February 1849, 6 September 1856, 28 December 1861.