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Samuel Midgley (c. 1765–?)

Samuel Midgley (c.1756- ), Thomas Smith and William Shore were found guilty on 22 March 1785 at Lancaster, Lancashire, of stealing foods from a house. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation on 13 April 1785. Sent to the Ceres hulk before July 1785 they were dispatched to the Alexander in January 1787 and arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Midgley was ordered 100 lshes on 13 April 1789 for stealing a gallon of pease. He was ordered another 100 lashes on 13 September 1789 for being found in John Stokoe's hut with the intent to commit a felony. He was sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in Dec 1789.

By July 1791 Midgley was subsisting on a Sydney Town lot on Norfolk Island, with 54 rods cleared. In May 1794 he was working for six months as a labourer for Thomas Sparks. He probably continued as a labourer on the island at least until late 1796. He probably returned to England some time in the next few years.

In mid 1811 Midgley sent a petition on his own behalf and his nephew Charles for a passage from England to Norfolk Island, saying he had been a settler there for upwards of twelve years and had property there, as well as a son (who has not been identified). The petition was endorsed by John Hunter.

A Samuel Midgley was living in New South Wales in 1814 and placed an advertisement in the Sydney Gazette in November 1816 saying he was about to leave the colony on the Sophia. It is not known if he was this Samuel Midgley.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 245
  • Biographical Database of Australia —


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Citation details

'Midgley, Samuel (c. 1765–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Midgeley, Samuel

c. 1765
Manchester, Greater Manchester, England

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
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Convict Record

Crime: theft (house)
Sentence: death
Commuted To: 7 years
Court: Lancashire
Trial Date: 22 March 1785


Children: Yes (1)
Left the colony: Yes