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John Black (1778–1802)

John Black, the son of a clergyman, was a ship's officer and privateer (state-sanctioned pirate).

While a ship's officer on the Britannia, which brought convicts to Sydney in 1798, he formed a relationship with convict, Mary Hyde. He settled in Sydney where he engaged in whaling operations, voyages of exploration, and capturing Spanish vessels. In 1802, as ship's captain, he sailed from Sydney to India, to Bombay (Mumbai) and then to Calcutta (Kolkata) on the brig Fly before being lost at sea on the return voyage.

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Citation details

'Black, John (1778–1802)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


31 October, 1778
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England


1802 (aged ~ 23)
at sea

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