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Burn, Peter (c. 1754–1788)

Peter Burn (c.1755-1788) was found guilty on 10 September 1783 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a wooden cask containing 36 gallons of rum from his captain's ship. Sentenced to 7 years transportation he was sent to the Censor hulk and embarked for New South Wales on the Scarborough in February 1787, arriving in the colony in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

On 21 May 1788 Burn was sent to gather greens on the east side farm at Port Jackson. According to an eyewitness, William Ayres, Burn was dragged away by Aboriginal people. A few days later Burn's torn and bloody clothing, pierced with spears, was found. His body was never found.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 60

Citation details

'Burn, Peter (c. 1754–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 November 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1754


21 May 1788
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

spear wounds

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places