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Joseph Morley (c. 1770–1838)

Joseph Morley (c.1770-1838), a cousin of the First Fleeter Joseph Morley, was found guilty at the December 1787 Middlesex Old Bailey Sessions of the theft of a cotton gown, a crepe gown and six shirts. He remained at Newgate Gaol until April 1788 and was then sent to Stanislaus hulk where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Surprize in November 1789, arriving in the colony in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet.

Morley was working for Robert Sidaway in October 1797. He married Ann Yates on 9 September 1798 at Sydney. From at least 1803 he was a partner in a shipping business owning two vessels which sailed between Sydney and Hawkesbury. He leased a farm in the Lane Cove district from Isaac Nichols in October 1806 for four years which probably contained timber resources as the rent was very high. In January 1807 Morley and Nichols signed an agreement in which Morley agreed to erect a timber yard. Morley also operated a ship chandling business at the bottom of Pitt Street. In February 1809 he was granted a wine and spirit licence.

Morley and his wife separated in July 1809. One of their daughter's had died as an infant in July 1801, another died from burns in 1808. By 1809 Morley had already started a relationship with Hannah Railton; their daughter was born either late 1809 or early 1810; they had at least six more children. Morley and Railton were married on 22 June 1818.

Morley was described as a licensed publican of Sydney in 1822 and as a publican in 1828. He owned 7 horses. He purchased his cousin Joseph Morley's farm in 1807 for the nominal price of five shillings and took his cousin's wife into his household following Morley snr's death in 1822.

The younger Joseph Morley died on 17 May 1838 at Sydney aged about 68.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 443-444

Citation details

'Morley, Joseph (c. 1770–1838)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1770


17 May, 1838 (aged ~ 68)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years