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Okey, William (c. 1769–1788)

William Okey (c.1769-1788) was found guilty on 24 March 1784 of breaking into a building and stealing food and hempen sacking. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation. He was sent to the Censor hulk in July 1786, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Alexander in January 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Okey and Samuel were speared to death on 30 May 1788 after being sent to collect rushes, for thatching roofs, 'in a cove up the harbour' (*historian Stephen Gapps believes the cove may have been what William Bradley named on his 1788 Map of Port Jackson as 'Bloody Point' — jutting out at the end of Iron Cove). The killings were believed to have been a reprisal for the convicts taking a canoe belonging to one of the Aboriginal people.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 268

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Citation details

'Okey, William (c. 1769–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/okey-william-30710/text38052, accessed 21 June 2021.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Birth

c. 1769
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

Death

30 May 1788
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

spear wounds

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Occupation
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years