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John McNeal (c. 1761–1790)

John McNeal was a seaman aboard the Sirius which arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. On 26 May 1788 he was dangerously wounded in a drunken brawl with John Assell and James Coventry. His assailants were charged with attempted murder and sentenced to 500 lashes.

After the Sirius was wrecked at Norfolk Island in March 1790, McNeal returned to Port Jackson on the Supply. He died at Sydney and was buried on 22 May 1790. He left everything in his will to Margaret, Abraham and Mary 'McNeill' — his mother, brother and sister, of Cushendun, County Antrim, Ireland.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 234

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Citation details

'McNeal, John (c. 1761–1790)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • McNeill, John
  • McNeil, John

c. 1761
Belfast, Antrim, Ireland


21 May, 1790 (aged ~ 29)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

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