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William Ayres (c. 1762–?)

William Ayres (c.1762- ), indicted as Eyres and listed as Hares by the contractor, a saddler, was found guilty, on 29 July 1783 at Winchester, England, of assault and highway robbery. His death sentence was commuted to seven years transportation on 2 September 1783. Sentenced to 7 years transportation to America, Ayres was one of the prisoners who mutinied on the convict transport Mercury in April 1784. Recaptured, he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk, and discharged to the Friendship in March 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

On 2 February 1789 Ayres was sentenced to 50 lashes 'for attempting to impose a falsehood'. He was ordered another 25 lashes on 13 April 'for refusing to obey the orders of the Coxswain of the Boat'; this sentence was forgiven.

Ayres married Mary Potten on 17 July 1789. He was recorded as having left the colony by mid 1791, his sentence having expired.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 14

Citation details

'Ayres, William (c. 1762–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hares, William
  • Eyres, William

c. 1762
Stafford, Staffordshire, England

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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years