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James Bird (c. 1748–?)

James and Samuel Bird (the relationship between the two is not known), were found guilty on 20 July 1785 at Croydon, Surrey, of stealing 1000 pounds of saltpetre in ten hessian bags from a warehouse. Sentenced to 7 years transportation they were sent to the Justitia hulk to await embarkation. The pair arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Alexander as part of the First Fleet.

On 13 April 1789 James Bird was sentenced to 25 lashes for refusing to obey orders but his punishment was forgiven. On 20 July he was sentenced to 100 lashes for disposing fish meant for the sick at hospital. On 29 December 1790 he married Mary Desmont/Dismon. No further records have been located for Bird.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 35

Citation details

'Bird, James (c. 1748–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 5 March 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1748

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.

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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years