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Noah Mortimer (c. 1761–1846)

Noah Mortimer (c.1761-1846), his father John Mortimer, 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.

Noah Mortimer and his father 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 (Noah had a wife and two children in England). Because of their good behaviour their petition was granted on 20 April 1789 but the families didn't take up the offer.

Noah was confined on 24 January 1789 after being involved in a plot by convicts to capture the island but was discharged two days later after being determined to be less guilty than others. He received 60 lashes on 8 April 1789 for refusing to work and 24 lashes on 9 October 1789 for loitering and idling his time at work.

By 1 July 1791 Noah was providing for himself and Mary Cottle on a one acre lot at Sydney Town. At the end of December he was a member of the night patrol and had been settled on ten acres.

In August 1801 Noah went into partnership with his father leasing 30 acres and on 3 November he married Mary Cottle; they had adopted a child, James Williams (b.1796), the son of Frances Williams and Robert Ryan by 1805. By 1807 Mortimer held 110 acres.

Noah left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) with his wife, son, and father on the Lady Nelson in December 1808, settling on 170 acres at New Town.

Noah Mortimer died (as Nathaniel Mortimer) on 3 June 1846 at Hobart; his age was given as 88 and his occupation as labourer.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 254

Citation details

'Mortimer, Noah (c. 1761–1846)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Mortimer, Nathaniel
  • Mortimore, Noah

c. 1761
Devon, England


3 June, 1846 (aged ~ 85)
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 (2)