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Lewis, Joseph (c. 1763–?)

Joseph Lewis (c1763- ), a former weaver, was a marine in the 11th (Portsmouth) Company when he arrived at Sydney aboard the Alexander in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He was attached to Captain John Shea's company at Port Jackson.

Lewis worked as an 'ordinary carpenter and sawyer' before being sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in June 1789. He was one of several marines who became almost mutinous about short rations on 9 April 1791 but later apologised about the incident. Deciding to settle, Lewis was granted 60 acres at Norfolk Island, only 20 of which was ploughable. He sold the land to Charles Grimes and left with his wife to join the New South Wales Corps, and remained a soldier at Norfolk Island until 1810 when he returned to England with the corps and transferred to the 5th Veteran Battalion.

Lewis was described in military records as being nearly 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a round face, black hair, hazel eyes, and dark complexion; he was illiterate.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 219-220

Citation details

'Lewis, Joseph (c. 1763–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/lewis-joseph-31396/text38848, accessed 24 May 2022.

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