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Ferdinand Dowland (c. 1767–1827)

Ferdinand Dowland (c.1754-1827) and James Smith, both dustmen, were found guilty on 8 December 1874 at the Old Bailey, London, of trying to sell a stolen horse to a man for boiling as dogmeat. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation on 3 March 1785. Dowland was sent to the Justitia hulk on 5 April, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Scarborough in February 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Dowland (as Fardinan Dolan) married Jane Jackson (as Hester Roberts) on 4 September 1796. By 1806 he was self-employed as a fisherman and was living with Mary McCarty. In 1814 he was receiving charity and by 1822 was living at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum. He died (as Ferdinand Doolan) on 24 February 1827; his age was given as 60.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 108

Citation details

'Dowland, Ferdinand (c. 1767–1827)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Doland, Ferdinand
  • Doolan, Ferdinand
  • Dowling, Fardinand
  • Dowland, Frederick

c. 1767


24 February, 1827 (aged ~ 60)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft (livestock)
Sentence: 7 years