James Lewis was born in 1799 in Llangarron, Herefordshire and worked as an agricultural labourer in Lydney. On 4 April 1835, at the age of 36, he was sentenced to be transported for life for the manslaughter of his wife Hannah. After a spell on the hulk, the Justitia at Woolwich, he was transferred to the Aurora on 27 June 1835 which set sail for Van Diemen’s Land on 8 October 1835. He was detailed to work as an assistant to R. Willis. He was granted a ticket of leave on 4 April 1844 but this was revoked on 18 March 1850.