People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

John Bates (?–1790)

John Bates was a marine in the 47th (Portsmouth) Company. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Sirius as part of the First Fleet. He was a mason by trade.

He drowned on 23 July 1790 after a whale attacked a small boat from which he, James Ferguson, Thomas Harp and John Wilkins were fishing near Bradley's Head in Sydney Harbour. Only Wilkins managed to swim ashore.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 27

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Bates, John (?–1790)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


23 July, 1790
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
Military Service
Key Events