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Escott, John

John Escott was a marine in the 63rd Company when he arrived at Sydney aboard the Scarborough in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He was attached to Captain John Shea's Company at Port Jackson.

Escott was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. He worked as Major Robert Ross's manservant until he was dismissed in April 1791 'on account of his Running after the women'.

Escott was diagnosed as 'mad' by September 1791 and was confined, Ralph Clark wrote in his journal:

Wednesday 7th: Jno. Ascott who came out Captain Sheas Servant
and has Since been Majr. Ross's is gone Quite Mad and are obliged to confine him — I am Sorry for him he dose not like any
body but me — it is all about a D . . . . Convict Whore who has used him ill.

Thursday 8th: Ascott much worse than yesterday — confined him in a house made to day for to put him near the Guard and have put a Strait Waiscoats on him.

Saturday 10th: was oblige to Chain Ascott to a Gun in his house he is Quite gone — he Sent to Speak to me and when I came he Said my name was Mr. Clark and I was all in the dark.

Wednesday 14th: Ascott Still as Mad as befor I pity him.

Clarke wrote to marine Lieutenant Creswell of the marines in Sydney on 30 September 1791 that:

(Ascott) poor fellow has been Quite Reaving Mad Since the Mary Ann left this place So much So that a dark place at the end of the Gd. House is build for him where he has been obliged to be chaind to one of the Guns beloning to the Sirius and obliged to have a Strait Waiscoat kept constantly on him — he is within these two days past a little Better and Consident has allowd him to come out and Walk under the Colonnade of the Guard
in the day time — he ust to keep crying out that he was Phillip G King Governor of this Island.

Escott returned to Port Jackson on the Queen in December 1791, and left the colony on the Gorgon for England in December 1791.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 120
  • 'John Escott, Private, Marines 63rd Company, Scarborough 1788', HMS Sirius 1786-1790, — accessed 24 September 2020
  • The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787-1792 (2003)

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Citation details

'Escott, John ', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 October 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

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  • Ascott, John
  • Elliock, John
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