James Dixon

James Dixon (1758 – 1840) Catholic priest, convict (political)
Reverend James Dixon was tried and sentenced to death for suspected complicity in the Irish rebellion. The sentence was commuted to transportation for life. He arrived at Sydney on the Friendship on 16 January 1800. In a Despatch dated 29 August 1802, Lord Hobart in England authorised Governor King to employ Dixon in the exercise of his clerical duties, provided his conduct in the Colony had been satisfactory. On 19 April 1803 he was granted a Conditional Pardon.

James Dixon (1758-1840), Roman Catholic priest, was born at Castlebridge, County Wexford, Ireland, into a family in comfortable circumstances. He was educated by a neighbouring parish priest and later at Salamanca and Louvain, where he completed his course in 1784 and became curate at Crossabeg parish, near Wexford. There he was arrested in 1798 under suspicion of taking part in the Irish rebellion and of having commanded a company of rebels at Tubberneering. He was tried by court martial and convicted on shaky evidence. According to Dr Caulfield, bishop of Ferns, he was probably mistaken for his brother Nicholas, who took an active part in the rebellion. He was found guilty and sentenced to death, but was reprieved conditional on his being transported for life.

Dixon arrived in New South Wales in the Friendship on 16 January 1800. He remained in Sydney, where his conduct satisfied the authorities. On 19 April 1803 Governor Philip Gidley King, influenced by the uneasiness of the Irish at not being able to practise their religion, granted him conditional emancipation and permission to exercise his duties as a priest, as the secretary of state, probably on the representation of the former governor, John Hunter, had suggested. Dixon was obliged to take the oaths of allegiance and abjuration, but was allowed to minister as priest as long as he and his congregation strictly obeyed the governor’s orders. The Holy See recognized the advantage to the Catholic convicts of this permission. At the petition of Father James McCormack, guardian of St Isidore’s in Rome, Propaganda forwarded a faculty to him, as well as to Fathers Peter O’Neil and James Harold, neither of whom was in New South Wales when it arrived, and made him prefect apostolic of New Holland, the first Catholic ecclesiastical appointment in Australia.
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dixon-james-1980
also
http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/03/may/11/03.html
and
https://catholicoutlook.org/historical-series-fr-james-dixon-parramatta-pioneer/

Reverend James Dixon
Reverend James Dixon was tried and sentenced to death for suspected complicity in the Irish rebellion. The sentence was commuted to transportation for life. He arrived at Sydney on the Friendship on 16 January 1800. In a Despatch dated 29 August 1802, Lord Hobart in England authorised Governor King to employ Dixon in the exercise of his clerical duties, provided his conduct in the Colony had been satisfactory. On 19 April 1803 he was granted a Conditional Pardon.
http://www.historyservices.com.au/resource_material_Roman_Catholic_Church_Convict_Priests.htm

Australia’s first Catholic Mass, 15 May 1803
https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/australias-first-catholic-mass-15-may-1803/

The convict priests
https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/the-convict-priests/

Peter O’Neil (1757 – 1846) Roman Catholic priest
https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/peter-oneil/

James Harold (1744 – 1830) Catholic priest
https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/james-harold/
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