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Stephen Martin (c. 1748–1829)

Stephen Martin (c.1748-1829) was found guilty on 28 April 1783 at Bristol, England, of stealing a 'cann and a pair of boots and spurs'. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, he was sent to the Censor hulk by the end of 1785 and was discharged to the Alexander in January 1787. He arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Martin received 25 lashes on 20 February 1789 for neglecting his work. He was sentenced to 50 lashes on 28 November 1789 for theft and was ordered to repay two pounds of flour at a pound a week. He was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790.

Martin was subsisting two people on a Sydney Town lot by July 1791, with 145 rods cleared and 45 rods of timber felled. In November 1791 he married Hannah Pealing in a mass wedding ceremony on the island; the couple had one daughter. By 1794 he was selling grain to stores and was employing William Clarke on a 12 acre lease at Grenville Vale. In 1805 Martin owned a house or hut valued at £15. His child was still living with him, but no wife was listed in the Muster. He and his daughter went to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Estramania in May 1808, settling on 33 acres at Melville.

Stephen Martin died at Green Ponds (Kempton) and was buried on 29 October 1829; his age was given as 81.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 239-40
  • 'Stephen Martin', HMS Sirius 1786-1790, — accessed 29 January 2021
  • Kathleen Rutherford, 'Stephen Martin', Fellowship of First Fleeters, — accessed 29 January 2021

Citation details

'Martin, Stephen (c. 1748–1829)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1748
Cornwall, England


28 October, 1829 (aged ~ 81)
Kempton, Tasmania, 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
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Bristol
Trial Date: 28 April 1783


Children: Yes (1)