A convict who by 1840 was already ‘free by servitude’. Around that time he moved to Dungog from Paterson and attempted to obtain a license from Thomas Cook, Police Magistrate. He was denied this on the grounds he was a receiver of stolen goods. Ryan, who was also known as ‘Mickie the Priest’ set up as a storekeeper in Dungog instead, though was arrested at least once for ‘keeping a disorderly house’. Michael Ryan also gave a very heartfelt denunciation of the convict system as a time when its return was being debated that reveals some of the impact of this system on a man of his spirit.