- Born: ca. Mar 1786, Whitefield, Lancashire, England
- Christened: 5 Mar 1786, Shaw Holy Trinity Chapel, Shaw, Lancashire, England
- Marriage (1): Mary Hitchen on 12 Aug 1805 in St Johns, Halifax Yorkshire, England
- Died: 22 Aug 1836, Windsor, New South Wales, Australia aged about 50
- BuriedMale: 23 Aug 1836, St Johns Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
James' story is recounted more fully in Craig's book, In the Shadow of Feathertop:
James was baptised in the Shaw Chapel in the village of Shaw, to the NE of Manchester. His father was recorded as "George Buckley of Whitfield, Weaver". This was probably the village of Whitefield, about 13 miles away, towards Manchester. If the family was living there it is likely that James was born there too.
Mary Hitchen of Yorkshire, England married James Buckley in 1805 at Halifax in Yorkshire. James was recorded as being from Crompton and Mary from Warley (in the Parish of Halifax). Both James and Mary made their mark indicating they were illiterate.
James "late of Manchester, labourer" was indicted with his co-offender James Bardsley on 10 December 1816 for stealing "twenty seven pieces of calico of the value of one penny and twenty seven pieces of cloth the value of one penny of the goods and chattel of Timothy Whittaker and twenty seven pieces of other calico of the value of one penny and twenty seven pieces of other cloth the value of one penny of the goods and chattel of John Ward". They were both tried and found guilty of larceny at the Lancaster Quarter Sessions held at Salford on 22 January 1817, and were sentenced to 7 years transportation. James, with his occupation as cotton weaver, was in Machester Gaol in March, and then taken to the hulk "Retribution" at Sheerness on the Thames.
James sailed from Downs on 18 Jul 1818 on the ship Morley arriving in Sydney as a convict on 7 November 1818. He was described as a weaver, 5' 5 ¼" tall, with a dark ruddy complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes. He was assigned to Mr Rouse of Parramatta and in the 1821 and 1825 musters was listed as a sexton. His wife Mary was also later convicted of larceny back in England and was also transported to Australia with four of their five children. Their eldest child Abraham remained in England with his grandparents to continue his education and later came to Australia (as a free man) with his wife Frances Greenwood.
James was granted a certificate of freedom on the 16 March 1826 (same day as his wife Mary).
In the 1828 census he was described as being 41, "Free by servitude" , a protestant, and part of a family group with wife Mary 40, children George, Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Ann, Jane, Martha, James and William. They had one horse and three cattle, but no land.
James died in Aug 1836 and was buried on 23 August 1836 at St Johns Parramatta by Rev. Samuel Marsden. His occupation was recorded as a 'nailor'.
Noted events in his life were:
• He worked as a Nail Worker according to daughter Elizabeth's Death Certificate.
James married Mary Hitchen, daughter of Joseph Hitchen and Susan Sagar, on 12 Aug 1805 in St Johns, Halifax Yorkshire, England. (Mary Hitchen was born on 27 Feb 1786 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England and died on 13 Sep 1855 in Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.)