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William Holmes (1763–?)

William Holmes, a sawyer, was found guilty on 7 July 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing 17 silver spoons, a horse pistol, and five tablecloths. Sentenced to death, which was immediately reprieved to seven years transportation, he was sent to the Censor hulk. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Scarborough.

Holmes married Rebecca Davidson on 17 February 1788. Both were sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply on the 17 February 1789. In June he received 36 lashes for being absent from his task. On 9 October he received 24 lashes for loitering at work. In mid May 1790 he was ordered to receive 100 lashes for disobedience. In July 1791, his sentence completed, he was subsisting two people on a Sydney Town lot on which he had felled 57 rods of timber. By 19 November he was settled on 12 acres at Buckingham Township.

Holmes sold some grain to stores in May 1792 but gave up his grant and left the island aboard the Pitt on the 7th, bound for Bengal. No further information about him has been found.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 178

Citation details

'Holmes, William (1763–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years