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.

William Blackhall (c. 1762–1827)

William Blackhall/Blackall was found guilty on 6 March 1786 at Abingdon, Berkshire, of the theft of 200 pounds of lead from a house. Sentenced to seven years transportation he was sent to the Censor hulk on 6 January 1787 after attempting to escape from Reading gaol. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Alexander as part of the First Fleet.

Blackall was sent to Norfolk Island on the Golden Grove in October 1788. By July 1791 he was supporting two people on a one acre lot at Sydney Town. He shared a sow with Ann Yeoman and a pig with Joshua Peck and Mary Frost. In December 1789 he received 50 lashes for insolence to Stephen Donovan. He married Ann Yeoman in November 1791 in one of the mass wedding ceremonies held on the island; they were recorded in 1794 as being without children. By the end of 1791 Blackall was a member of the Grenvale Vale night watch. In December 1796 he leased 36 acres and worked as a sawyer, becoming overseer of sawyers in 1806.

Blackall and his wife were among the last to leave Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). In 1812 William had been overseer of sawyers for 18 years, he had 3½ acres of land in cultivation, and he owned 28 female sheep, 6 hogs and 6 goats. William and Ann left Norfolk Island for Port Dalrymple (without children) on the Lady Nelson in January 1813. From 1813-1824 they lived on a 40 acre grant of land at Norfolk Plains, Launceston. William was buried at St John's Launceston on 8 August 1827; his age was given as 80 and his occupation as 'pensioned overseer'.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 37-38

Citation details

'Blackhall, William (c. 1762–1827)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Blackall, William
  • Blatchell, William
  • Blackate, William

c. 1762
Berkshire, England


7 August, 1827 (aged ~ 65)
Launceston, Tasmania, 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
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years