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James Dodding (c. 1764–1834)

James Dodding (c.1764-1834), a former seaman, was found guilty on 25 February 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a pair of linen sheets and pillow cases. Sentenced to 7 years transportation to America he was among the prisoners who mutinied on the convict transport Mercury in April 1784. Recaptured, he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk. He arrived at Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Friendship as part of the First Fleet.

Dodding was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. By March 1791 he was maintaining himself on a Sydney Town lot. He was leasing 10 acres in January 1792. By June 1794 he was living with Elizabeth Thackery; they were childless. His acreage had increased to 15 by 1807. In December 1807 James and his wife left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Porpoise settling on a 30 acre grant of land at Glenorchy and, eventually, 100 acres at Ulva.

Dodding and Thackery separated not long after arriving in Van Diemen's Land (Thackery married Samuel King in 1810). From 1819 Dodding worked as an under gaoler at Hobart Gaol. He died on 12 March 1834 at Hobart and was buried two days later at St David's cemetery.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 106

Original Publication

Citation details

'Dodding, James (c. 1764–1834)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Doring, James
  • Dorren, James
  • Dodden, James
  • Doorer, James

c. 1764


12 March, 1834 (aged ~ 70)
Hobart, 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
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years