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William Robinson (c. 1762–?)

William Robinson (c.1762- ) was found guilty on 3 March 1783 at Winchester, Hampshire, England, of highway assault and the theft of a silver watch, money and other goods. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation. Robinson was among the prisoners who mutinied on the convict transport Mercury in April 1784. Recaptured, he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk in June 1784. He was discharged to the Friendship in March 1787 and arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Robinson married Frances Hart on 13 February 1788 at Port Jackson. They were sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in February 1789 and by July 1791 Robinson was supporting them both on a Sydney Town lot. At the end of August he received 81 of an ordered 100 lashes for playing cards on a Sunday with John Lawrell.

Governor Phillip recorded Robinson as having left the colony between July and mid December 1791; his sentence had expired in April 1790. An experienced seaman, Robinson probably worked his passage to England. His wife Frances left Norfolk Island on the Atlantic in September 1792.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 311-12

Citation details

'Robinson, William (c. 1762–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Robertson, William

c. 1762

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years