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Matthew John Gibbons (1765–1835)

Matthew John Gibbons was sentenced to seven years transportation for the theft of a little over a pound of tea. He arrived in Sydney in 1790 aboard the Surprize as part of the Second Fleet. After marrying Margaret Gordon on 13 June 1793 he, two weeks later, enlisted in the New South Wales Corp and was given a conditional pardon in October of that year. With his wife he sailed with his employer Major Grose to England in December 1794. He was described as a copper plate printer in the baptism register for his son in England. Discharged from the NSW Corps in mid-1798 he joined the 3rd (Prince of Wales) Regiment. He was discharged from that regiment in October 1800 at the rank of sergeant. In June 1801 he sailed for New South Wales with his wife and two children on the Minorca, reaching Sydney in December.

In March 1802 he was granted 100 acres of land at Prospect. The land proved to be unproductive and in 1803 the family moved to the Evan district where he was granted 160 acres. In 1806 the family was recorded as holding 159 acres near Richmond. He used his profits from farming to start businesses in Sydney, including selling properties and operating an inn. In 1814 he sold his businesses and returned to England. He returned to the colony in October 1822. He was granted land at Little Bulli. By 1824 he was living in Sydney and in 1824 was employed as a storekeeper. He held 1000 acres of land (Stanwell Park) which was surpervised by a convict overseer.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 286-87

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Gibbons, Matthew John (1765–1835)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]




20 July, 1835 (aged ~ 70)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

Passenger Ship
Military Service
Key Events
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years