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James Baldwin (c. 1754–1838)

James Baldwin and Thomas Till, both chimney sweeps, were found guilty on 12 January 1785 at the Old Bailey, London, of breaking into a house and stealing clothing. Their death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation. After spending sent to the Ceres hulk, Baldwin arrived at Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Scarborough as part of the First Fleet.  In March 1790 he was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius.

On 1 July 1791 he was maintaining himself on a Queenborough allotment, with 36 rods cleared and 30 rods of timber felled. He shared a sow with two other people. By March 1792 he was off stores. He left Norfolk Island on the Kitty in March 1793.

Returning to New South Wales Baldwin worked as a stockman and labourer and was sometimes listed as James Balding or William Balding in Musters. He died at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum and was buried on 28 December 1838; his age was given as 84.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 17-18

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Citation details

'Baldwin, James (c. 1754–1838)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Balding, James William
  • Balding, William

c. 1754


27 December, 1838 (aged ~ 84)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years