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William Atkins (1756–?)

William Atkins and John Bentley were found guilty of sacrilege (probably theft from a church) and sentenced to fourteen years transportation on 22 April 1789 at the Peterborough (Northamptonshire) Assizes, England. They were sent to Stamford Gaol but, after almost escaping, were moved to the Thames hulk Justitia at Woolwich, London. The pair arrived in Sydney in June 1790 aboard the Neptune as part of the Second Fleet.

Atkins was sent to Norfolk Island in 1791 arriving, aboard the Queen, on 11 November. On 4 January 1792 he married Mary Flanagan. Following Mary's death in 1795, and after 1801 William lived with Mary Allen; they married in 1810. The couple, with Atkins' children, moved to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) aboard the Estramina in May 1808. William was granted 80 acres of land at Clarence Plains. In 1809 he had 95 acres and in 1819 was recorded as having 60 acres: 15 sown in wheat, one in barley, and owning 2 cattle and 129 sheep.

There is no record of Atkins after 1819.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 140-41

Citation details

'Atkins, William (1756–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

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Passenger Ship
Key Events
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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 14 years