James Hayman was born in Devon in 1804 and lived in Alyburton where he worked as a labourer and was married with children. On 7 April 1826, he stole half a sack of potatoes from William Parry of Sheepscombe and was sentenced to three months in prison. On 13 April 1831, he was sentenced to 3 months in prison for stealing 20 pounds of hay valued at 6d the property of William Till in Thornbury.
On January 1836, at the age of 32, he was sentenced to be transported for 7 years stealing 2 sacks of potatoes, value 7s in Thornbury the property of John Hodges. After a spell on a hulk, he was transferred to Prince George which set sail for New South Wales on 20 December 1836 and arrived in Australia on 8 May 1837. He obtained his certificate of freedom on 30 January 1843.
He married Ellen Sullivan on 3 April 1848 at Castle Hill, Dooral, Dural, NSW and died on 24 May 1886.