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David Syme Fenton (c. 1815–1876)

David Fenton (c.1815-1876), a printer and soldier, was found guilty on 30 April 1839 at Upper Canada Court Martial, Ontario, of desertion. Sentenced to life transportation he arrived in Sydney aboard the Woodbridge in February 1840. His age was given as 25. He was single, could read and write, had no previous convictions and was a Presbyterian. He was described as being 5 feet 6½ inches tall with a ruddy complexion, brown hair and dark grey eyes.

Fenton was granted a ticket of leave on 22 February 1847 and a conditional pardon in 1850. He married Mary Goulding on 21 June 1850 at Wollongong, New South Wales; they had four daughters and four sons. In 1865 his occupation was given as labourer.

David Fenton died at his home in Kippax Street, Sydney on 17 August 1876. His age was given as 61 and cause of death as chronic bronchitis.

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Citation details

'Fenton, David Syme (c. 1815–1876)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1815
Perthshire, Scotland


17 August, 1876 (aged ~ 61)
Sydney, New South Wales, 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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: court martial
Commuted To: life
Court: Ontario (Canada)
Trial Date: 30 April 1839


Occupation: soldier


Children: Yes (7)