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William Bradbury (c. 1760–?)

William Bradbury was found guilty on 3 July 1782 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a pocketbook containing bank bills for £20, notes for £10 and five guineas. His death sentence was commuted to life transportation. He was one of the mutinous convicts who embarked on the Swift transport for America in August 1783. After being recaptured he was sentenced to life transportation and was sent to the Censor hulk in October 1784. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Scarborough as part of the First Fleet.

Bradbury's good behaviour at Port Jackson saw him working as a nightwatchman in August 1789. By 1791 he was farming a 120 acre grant of land at The Ponds in partnership with John (Thomas) Brown and William Mould. He absconded sometime around late 1791 after finding out that he had been transported for life. He had told people that he 'would rather perish'.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 43-44

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Citation details

'Bradbury, William (c. 1760–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1760
London, Middlesex, England

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
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years