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Fraser, William (?–1791)

William Fraser ( -1791) indicted as thus but spelt Frazer on his marriage certificate, was found guilty at the January 1787 Manchester Quarter Sessions of stealing several pieces of cloth; his wife Ellen was also found guilty of the offence. Fraser arrived at Sydney aboard the Charlotte in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. His wife arrived on the Prince of Wales.

Fraser (as Frazer) worked as a blacksmith at Port Jackson where he was noted for his surly temper and heavy drinking. He received 25 of 100 lashes on 5 January 1789 for insolence. He was sentenced to work in irons on 23 June 1789 for a month for another incident of drunken insolence.

David Collins wrote, when William Fraser died on 13 June 1791, that he 'was an excellent workman, and was supposed to have brought on an untimely end by hard drinking, as he seldom chose to accept of any article but spirits in payment for work done in his extra hours'. Fraser and his wife had two children at Port Jackson.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 135

Citation details

'Fraser, William (?–1791)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 November 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Frazer, William

13 June 1791
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

alcoholism (chronic)

Passenger Ship
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