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John Bishop (c. 1766–1834)

On 14 March 1791, John Bishop was tried at Maidstone, Kent and sentenced to seven years transportation. He departed England on the convict transport Pitt at Yarmouth on 17 July 1791 and arrived in Port Jackson on 14 February 1792. By 1801 John was a free man, renting and later purchasing a land holding at Mulgrave Place, Windsor, where he grew wheat and maize and ran pigs. He was assigned several convicts.

By 1805, Martha Edwards was living with John as his housekeeper and on 14 October 1811, they were married at St John's, Parramatta by Samuel Marsden. As Martha Bates, Martha had been convicted of theft at the Old Bailey, London, on 28 October 1789 and transported on the Neptune, arriving in New South Wales on 28 June 1790. The witnesses to the marriage were Joseph and Mary Smallwood.

By 1814, John was recorded as a boatman.

On 29 March 1824, following Martha's death in 1823, John married Mary Smallwood at St John's Parramatta.  Mary had arrived in New South Wales as Mary Partridge on the Pitt in 1792, the same ship as John Bishop. She had been living with Joseph Smallwood as his wife, until his death in 1819. Mary died in Parramatta on 28 December 1828.

Bishop married Rebecca Smith, a widow, on 4 May 1829 at St John's, Parramatta. Life with a man 27 years her senior may not have been to Rebecca's liking as, in March 1833, John Bishop advertised that he would not be responsible for her debts, now she had left him. A year later, he offered a reward of ten pounds for her return. John Bishop died just a month later, without seeing his wife again. The executors of his will later advertised for Rebecca to contact them to "hear of something to her advantage". His will made generous provisions to Rebecca, giving her the house and a regular allowance but, quite close to his death John made it a requirement of his will, that she would only inherit if she was living at home at the time of his demise.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Bishop, John (c. 1766–1834)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1766


23 April, 1834 (aged ~ 68)
Parramatta, 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
Convict Record

Crime: unknown
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Kent
Trial Date: 14 March 1791