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Alexander McDonald (1757–1788)

William Alexander was found guilty, on 8 December 1874, at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing household goods from a house where he was probably a servant. He was sentenced to seven years transportation and was sent to the Ceres hulk to wait his fate. In May 1876 he was transferred to the Justitia hulk before being delivered to the Alexander. He arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Alexander does not appear in any colonial records, It is assumed he is the 'Macdonald' mentioned in a report on 8 March 1788, by Surgeon Arthur Bowes Smyth, stating that he and fellow convict William Allen were presumed killed by Aboriginals, after their clothes were found hanging in a tree.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 230

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Citation details

'McDonald, Alexander (1757–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • MacDonald, Alexander



March, 1788 (aged ~ 31)
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
Court: Old Bailey, London
Trial Date: 8 December 1874