John Wathen was born in 1778 and lived in Westbury-on-Severn. On 11 January 1817, at the age of 39, he was convicted of stealing from John Smith the following items; a rug, 11 plates, 2 salts, 2 vinegar bottles, 2 glasses, 2 saucers, a jug and a sugar basin. He was sentenced to be transported for 7 years. After a spell on the hulk, the Justitia, he was transferred to the Lord Eldon which set sail for New South Wales on 9 April 1817 and arrived on 30 September 1817. He obtained his certificate of freedom on 15 January 1824.