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John Folly (c. 1749–1830)

John Folly/Foley (c.1749-1830) was a marine in the 47th (Portsmouth) Company when he arrived at Sydney aboard the Friendship in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He worked as a bricklayer and mason in 1788 and 1789 and was sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in March 1790. Opting to become a settler on the island he was granted 60 acres at at Drummond's Run, Phillipsburg, and was appointed master mason on 1 December 1791. He was appointed constable for Creswell Bay and West Point Streams in September 1793.

Folly lived with Catherine Heyland; they left the island with their two sons and two servants for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Porpoise in December 1807. Settling at Queenborough, he took up 40 acres and an additional 170 acres at Brown's River in 1809.

John Folly was buried (as John Folley) at Hobart on 19 March 1830; his age was given as 81; his occupation was given as farmer.

information from

  • Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 328
  • Val Hell, 'John Folly Marine Private', Fellowship of First Fleeters, website:' — accessed 13 October 2020

Citation details

'Folly, John (c. 1749–1830)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Foley, John
  • Folley, John

c. 1749


19 March, 1830 (aged ~ 81)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Military Service
Key Events