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Baker, William (c. 1761–1836)

William Baker was a marine corporal in the 53rd (Portsmouth) Company. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Charlotte as part of the First Fleet. He was attached to the company of Captain Watkin Tench and was appointed orderly to Governor Philip until Philip returned to England at the end of 1792.

Baker had a daughter with Susannah Huffnell in 1788. Susannah and her daughter went to Norfolk Island in March 1790 and do not seem to have had any further association with Baker who returned to England on the Atlantic in 1792.

Having returned to New South Wales on 25 October 1794 by the Surprize, Baker was appointed storekeeper at the Hawkesbury settlement. He was granted 40 acres of land at Toongabbee in December 1794. He received a 30 acre grant at Mulgrave Place in June 1800. By then he had also purchased 30 acres from Charles Williams. Two years later he was recorded with only his Mulgrave Place grant, reduced to 26 acres. In 1807 he was again recorded as holding only 26 acres. He kept his post as storekeeper until dismissed by Governor Macquarie in March 1810. He had married Elizabeth Lavender on 26 August 1795.

In 1814 Baker was working in Hobart as a storekeeper and by the next year was a crier of the Deputy Judge Advocate's Court and, from May 1824, of the Supreme Court of Tasmania. He sought a £20 increase in salary in February 1836, which was granted. He was buried at Hobart on 14 September 1836; his age given as 75. He held 30 acres at Argyle and 200 acres at Ulva in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 16-17

Citation details

'Baker, William (c. 1761–1836)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 8 August 2020.

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