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Richard Partridge (c. 1759–1831)

Richard Partridge (1559-1831) was found guilty on 30 April 1783 at the Old Bailey, London, of the theft of a linen shirt, an apron, cotton stockings, and some linen greased rags used for candles from a house. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, he was among the prisoners who mutinied on the convict transport Swift, bound for America, in August 1783. Recaptured, Partridge was tried again at the Old Bailey on 10 September 1783, was sentenced to death, and later had his sentence commuted to life transportation. He was sent to the Censor hulk in October 1783, was discharged to the Scarborough in February 1787, and arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Partridge formed a relationship with Mary Greenwood soon after landing. Their son, Richard, was born on 3 November 1793, and a daughter Mary on 15 September 1797. The couple were married on 5 November 1810 at St John's Parramatta.

Partridge received a conditional pardon on 30 September 1794. By October 1795 he was working as a nightwatchman and was a constable in 1796. He was granted 60 acres of land at the Northern Boundary Farms in September 1796. As Richard Rice he also worked as a gaoler and overseer of ironed prisoners. Joseph Holt described his brutal flogging of some Irish prisoners in 1800, 'I never saw two trashers in a barn moove there stroakes more handeyer than those two man killers did'.

By mid 1800 Partridge had 21 acres sown in wheat. By August 1804 he had received another 80 acres. He held 140 acres in 1806; 40 acres were in grain, the rest were pasture, vegetables and garden. In 1815 Partridge had a contract for the carriage of bricks and materials for government buildings at Parramatta and supplied provisions for the working party under William Cox, building the new road across the Blue Mountains. He was still operating as a carter in 1828.

Richard Patridge died suddenly at Parramatta on 22 May 1831; his age was given as 72. He was buried at St John's cemetery, Parramatta. Savings of several hundred pounds were found in an old tea pot.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 277-278

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Partridge, Richard (c. 1759–1831)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Patride, Richard
  • Patridge, Richard
  • Price, Richard

c. 1759


22 May, 1831 (aged ~ 72)
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: returning from transportation
Sentence: death
Commuted To: life
Court: Old Bailey, London
Trial Date: 10 September 1783