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Nash, William

William Nash was a private in the Royal Marines, 58th (Plymouth) Company, when he arrived at Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Prince of Wales as part of the First Fleet. He was accompanied by his common law wife, Maria Haynes, who gave birth to their first child on, or about, 26 January. The couple married on 13 February 1789.

Nash was assigned to Captain John Shea's Company. In March 1790, the Nashes left Sydney for Norfolk Island aboard the Sirius; they returned to Sydney in December 1791. William Nash enlisted in the NSW Corps on 13 April 1792; he was discharged on 13 April 1797. 

In December 1796 Nash was granted 25 acres of land at Mulgrave Place. In November 1799 he was granted a further 180 neighbouring acres. After falling into debt he sold the land to Thomas Hobby (who owned an adjoining property) in 1802. Maria left Nash and went to live with Robert Guy in Concord.

In 1803 Nash lost a case to 'recover' his wife from Guy. In April 1804 Nash published a notice in the Sydney Gazette advising creditors that he was about to leave the colony. It is believed that he left aboard the Mersey which was shipwrecked in Torres Strait in mid-June. Of the 73 crew, only the captain and 17 of his men survived. It is believed that Nash was one of those who died.

* for more information see Carol J. Baxter, Nash: First Fleeters & Founding Families, A Three-Generational Biographical History (2004)

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Citation details

'Nash, William ', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 5 August 2020.

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