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John Small (1761–1850)

John Small (1761-1850), a former marine, and John Herbert were found guilty on 14 March 1785 at Exeter, England, of highway robbery. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation on 5 April 1785. Sent to the Dunkirk hulk in January 1786, they arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Charlotte as part of the First Fleet.

Small worked in the laboratory tent at Port Jackson. He married Mary Parker on 12 October 1788; they had seven surviving children. In February 1794 Small received a 30 acre grant of land at Eastern Farms. From 1809 to 1825 he worked as a district constable at Kissing Point. He died on 2 October 1850 at Ryde.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 331-332

Citation details

'Small, John (1761–1850)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


30 November, 1761
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England


2 October, 1850 (aged 88)
Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Passenger Ship
Key Events
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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years