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Randall, John (c. 1764–?)

John Randall, a Black American, was found guilty on 14 April 1785 at Manchester Quarter Sessions of stealing a steel watch chain. Sentenced to 7 years transportation he was sent to the Ceres hulk while he waited to embark on the Alexander on 6 January 1787. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Randall married Esther Howard/Harwood on 21 February 1788; she died on 11 October 1789. By then he was employed as a game keeper by Governor Arthur Phillip. Randall married Mary Butler on 5 September 1790. On 29 November 1792 Randall was granted sixty acres at number 92 Northern Boundary Farms, next to his fellow shipmate (and future son-in-law) John Martin. He sold the land to Joseph Holt in 1800 and joined the NSW Corps. He was described in 1808 as being 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a black complexion, black hair and black eyes. He was discharged from the NSW Corps on 14 April 1810. In 1811 he worked as a constable in Sydney Town.

It is not known what became of Randall after he sold the contents of his house at Kissing Point in 1814.

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

Citation details

'Randall, John (c. 1764–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Randel, John
  • Reynolds, John
  • Raynolds, John
  • Randle, John

c. 1764
New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

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