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William Johnson (c. 1762–?)

William Johnson (c.1762- ) and John Ramsay were found guilty on 24 March 1784 at Battersea, Surrey, of the highway assault and theft of silver shoe buckles, knee buckles, two handkerchiefs, two muslin stocks and two shillings. The men's death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation. Sent to the Justitia hulk, they were dispatched to the Scarborough in February 1787 and arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Johnson's was mustered on board the Scarborough and there is no record of Johnson's death during the voyage. He does not, however, appear in the victualling list for 1788 at Port Jackson. He may have been one of the 11 men who were reported to have absconded in the first few days after landing. Many seemed to have believed that would be able to walk to China.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 196

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Citation details

'Johnson, William (c. 1762–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1762

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: highway robbery
Sentence: death
Commuted To: 7 years
Court: Surrey
Trial Date: 24 March 1784