John Dee was born in 1813. He was born and lived in Westbury- on-Severn and worked as a ploughman. On 11 August 1832, at the age of 18, he was convicted at Gloucester Assizes of housebreaking and theft of a silver watch, two gold seals and two gold keys from the house of Edwin Palmer and was sentenced to transportation for life. After spending time on the hulk, Justitia at Woolwich, he was transferred to the Surrey which set sale for Van Diemens Land on 4 December 1832 and arrived on 7 April 1833.
He was assigned to work as an assistant to Mr Giblin from 1833 -1835 and then on public works. He received a ticket to leave on 7 April 1842 and conditional pardon on 4 July 1845 and 23 December 1846.