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Norris, William

William Norris was a marine in the 36th (Plymouth) Company when he arrived at Sydney aboard the Friendship in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He served in Captain Watkin Tench's Company at Port Jackson.

He had a relationship with convict Elizabeth Clark during the voyage. She was accused on 27 May 1788 of abusing him and was sentenced to be flogged. The case was re-opened and the sentence was countermanded after the earlier association was discovered — and that Norris had struck her, calling her a whore.

Norris was later acquitted (through lack of evidence) of theft from the wine cellar at the trial that saw Private William Godfrey convicted. Easty recorded in his journal that everybody thought Norris guilty. He returned to England on the Gorgon in December 1791.  

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 265

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'Norris, William ', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 11 April 2021.

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