People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Burn, Simon (1754–1794)

Simon Burn, a stocking weaver, and John Haydon, were found guilty on 11 August 1783 at Exeter, Devon, of highway assault and the theft of a tin box, other goods and £1/11 shillings. Burn's death sentence was commuted to seven years transportation to America. On 26 March 1784 he was embarked on the Mercury transport. On 13 April, as Samuel Bryan, he was captured by Helena at Torbay after the convict mutiny on the Mercury and returned to an Exeter gaol. He was sent to the Dunkirk hulk at the end of June 1784. Embarking in March 1787, he arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Friendship as part of the First Fleet.

Burn married Frances Anderson at Sydney Cove on 10 February 1788. By April 1790 he was in charge of a gang of labourers. After being involved in a brawl with some soldiers on 5 January 1791 he was sentenced 'to be turned into a Gang'. By 17 August he was settled on 50 acres at the Northern Boundary Farms. On 30 November he was among the signatories of a petition asking for a Catholic priest in the colony.

On 5 October 1795 Burn was murdered after coming to the aid of a female neighbour who was being threatened with violence by the man with whom she was living.

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

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Burn, Simon (1754–1794)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 February 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bryan, Samuel



5 October 1794
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Religious Influence
Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues