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John Anderson (1763–1816)

John Anderson was found guilty, on 26 May 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing three linen tablecloths and attacking the owner in her kitchen as she going out. Sentenced to seven years transportation he was sent to the Censor hulk on 4 August. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Scarborough as part of the First Fleet.

In August 1789 he was made a member of the night watch at Sydney Cove. He married Elizabeth Roster on 25 December 1790. The next year he received a 50 acre land grant at The Ponds. By mid 1800 he was living on a 30 acre farm at the Hawkesbury, held by purchase. In 1806 he held 130 acres in the Hawkesbury area bought from John Benn: 22 acres in grain, one in vegetables and garden, 104 in pasture and three were fallow. He also owned 30 pigs. His wife, himself, and a convict servant were living 'off stores'.

In February 1815 he and his wife entered into an agreement whereby they would live apart and he would pay her £25 a year. A year later his wife, and one of their convict servants, were found guilty of his murder. At her trial neighbours reported hearing violent quarrels between the two. Anderson was buried at St Matthew's Churchyard, Windsor, on 28 February 1816. His wife and servant were executed.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 9

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Anderson, John (1763–1816)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 27 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]




26 February, 1816 (aged ~ 53)
Cattai, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

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Passenger Ship
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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years