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William Cuckow (c. 1743–1807)

William Cuckow (c.1743-1807), indicted as Cuckoo, was found guilty on 25 July 1743 at Maidstone, Kent, of the theft of goods worth £1.13s.2d. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation. He was sent to the Censor hulk (received as Cookes) where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Scarborough in 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Cuckow was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. He returned to Port Jackson in 1794 and was granted 30 acres of land at Mulgrave Place in November 1794. The farm was sold to Lieutenant Robert Braithwaite in December 1798.

William Cuckow was buried at the Old Sydney Burial Ground on 3 April 1807.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 89

Citation details

'Cuckow, William (c. 1743–1807)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Cook, William
  • Cookes, William
  • Cuckoo, William

c. 1743
Kent, England


3 April, 1807 (aged ~ 64)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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