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John Mortimer (c. 1733–1812)

John Mortimer (c.1733-1812), his son Noah, and Edward Westlake were found guilty on 20 March 1786 at Exeter, Devon, of stealing 40 pounds of mutton. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, the men were sent to the Dunkirk hulk and were discharged to the Charlotte in March 1787. They arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

John Mortimer and his son were sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in February 1788. In September 1788, the Mortimers asked permission for their families to be sent out. Because of their good behaviour their petition was granted on 20 April 1789 but the families didn't take up the offer. In August 1791 John Mortimer was sentenced to 100 lashes for stealing wheat and neglecting his work. By 15 January 1793 he was settled on 10 acres.

John and his son leased 30 acres at Balls Bay Run in August 1801 By 1805 they had cultivated 24 of 70 acres and owned 60 hogs. John left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Lady Nelson in December 1808. He was buried (as John Mortimore) at Hobart on 21 November 1812; his age was given as 88 but he was probably younger.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 253-54

Citation details

'Mortimer, John (c. 1733–1812)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Mortimore, John
  • Mortimoore, John

c. 1733
Devon, England


20 November, 1812 (aged ~ 79)
Hobart, 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 (livestock)
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Devon
Trial Date: 20 March 1786


Married: Yes
Children: Yes