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William Brice (c. 1766–?)

William Brice was found guilty on 11 February 1785 at Bristol of stealing a looking glass from a shop. Sentenced to 7 years transportation he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk before embarking in 1787 for New South Wales aboard the Friendship as part of the First Fleet. Ralph Clark described him in his journal as aged 16, born in Gloucestershire and having no trade.

Brice's name appears in victualling lists in 1788 and he was also a witness at a trial in that year. He then disappears from the records. He either left the colony in 1792 after his term had expired, as many convicts did when their sentence finished if they could afford the fare or could work their passage home, or his death was not recorded, or he was lost in the bush.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 48-49

Citation details

'Brice, William (c. 1766–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1766
Gloucestershire, 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