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Samuel Griffiths (c. 1751–1821)

Samuel Griffiths (c.1751-1821) was found guilty on 24 March 1784 at Gloucester, England, of killing a wether sheep with the intention of stealing the carcass. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation and he was sent to the Censor hulk, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Alexander in 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Griffiths was established on 30 acres at Prospect in July 1791; he also worked as a butcher. He married Elizabeth Hamilton on 11 September 1791 at St John's, Parramatta, signing the register as Samuel Greefies. By 1800 he held 60 acres (which may have been a clerical error), including 15 sown in wheat and nine ready for maize. He owned a horse, 12 hogs with 40 bushels of maize on hand. In 1806 his holdings were back to 30 acres; the three people recorded (himself, his wife and a servant) were off stores. No children were listed.

Griffiths' farm at Prospect was advertised for sale in May 1809. His wife had died the previous year; as Samuel Griffis he married Elizabeth Padgett on 7 August 1810. He was recorded as a labourer in 1814 but by 1820 was working as a butcher in Sydney.

Samuel Griffiths was buried at Sydney on 22 August 1821; his age was given as 82.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 151

Citation details

'Griffiths, Samuel (c. 1751–1821)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Greefies, Samuel
  • Griffis, Samuel
  • Griffith, Samuel

c. 1751
Stroud, Gloucestershire, England


21 August, 1821 (aged ~ 70)
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.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years