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William Edwards (c. 1753–1792)

William Edwards (c.1752-1792) was found guilty in January 1784 at the Guildhall, Westminster, of stealing wearing apparel. 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 in June 1784. He was discharged to the Friendship in March 1787 and arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Edwards' rations were reduced to two-thirds for three months from 3 June 1789 after he attempted to defraud the stores of 34 pounds of meat. He received 50 lashes on 14 October 1788 for being in the drum major's hut without good reason and a further 100 lashes on 25 February 1790 for the theft of three pounds of butter and two of tallow from John Palmer.

He may have been the William Edwards who was buried at Port Jackson on 25 December 1792.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 116

Citation details

'Edwards, William (c. 1753–1792)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1753


24 December, 1792 (aged ~ 39)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years