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Ferguson, James (1772–1790)

John/James Ferguson was a midshipman on the Sirius which arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

He drowned on 23 July 1790 after a whale attacked a small boat from which he, John Bates, Thomas Harp and John Wilkins were fishing near Bradley's Head in Sydney Harbour. Only Wilkins managed to swim ashore.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 125

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Citation details

'Ferguson, James (1772–1790)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 11 August 2022.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Ferguson, John



23 July, 1790 (aged ~ 18)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Key Events