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James Coventry (c. 1754–1790)

James Coventry was a quartermaster aboard the Sirius which arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. On 26 May 1788 he became involved in a drunken brawl with two seamen, John Assell and John McNeal, and was charged with attempted murder. Coventry and Assell were sentenced to 500 lashes. Coventry received part of the sentence the next day; the remainder was remitted on the King's Birthday, 4 June.

Coventry was stranded at Norfolk Island after the Sirius was wrecked in 1790. He drowned there when helping to land provisions from the Justinian storeship and the Surprize transport on 17 August 1790. He left everything to his wife, Ann Coventry,who lived at 10 Greek Street, Soho, London.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 84

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Citation details

'Coventry, James (c. 1754–1790)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1754
Perth, Perthshire, Scotland


17 August, 1790 (aged ~ 36)
Norfolk Island, Australia

Cause of Death


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