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William Simms (1757–?)

William Simms, a private marine in the 8th (Portsmouth) Company, joined the Supply on 24 February 1878 as part of the ship's marine complement. He arrived in Sydney aboard the ship in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. On 20 May 1789 he was discharged to the Port Jackson detachment and sent, by the Supply, to Norfolk Island on 4 March 1790. In March 1791 he requested to remain on the island as a settler. He was granted (as William Syms) 60 acres of land on 24 November 1791 at Phillipsburg. In 1793 he was working as a constable at Cascade.

On 22 August 1800, as Syms, he joined the NSW Corps. The next year, with his wife and two children, he moved to Sydney. In April 181o, he and his two sons, who were also soldiers, transferred to the 73rd Regiment. They went to Ceylon when the regiment was transferred there in 1814. In early 1816 Simms and his wife returned to England while his sons returned to New South Wales.

In September 1816, as an out pensioner of Chelsea Hospital, he petioned for a passage to return to Sydney with his wife. The petition was annotated 'usual answer' which was in most cases a refusal. There is no record of his death in New South Wales, but his wife returned and died at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum in 1825.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p pp 330-31

Citation details

'Simms, William (1757–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Symms, William
  • Syms, William
  • Simes

Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England

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