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James Smith (c. 1756–1813)

James Smith (c.1756-1813) and Ferdinand Dowland, both dustmen, were found guilty on 8 December 1874 at the Old Bailey, London, of trying to sell a stolen horse to a man for boiling as dogmeat. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation on 3 March 1785. Smith was sent to the Ceres hulk on 5 April, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Scarborough in February 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Smith was ordered to receive 25 lashes on 24 April 1789 for neglecting his work. He received a 30 acre grant of land at Mulgrave Place in June 1797. By 1806 he was reportedly working for William Reynolds on his small farm. A James Smith, possibly the First Fleeter, was also working 30 rented acres at Richmond in partnership with John Smithson in 1806. He is possibly the James Smith who was buried at Windsor on 5 May 1813; his age was given as 52.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 335

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Citation details

'Smith, James (c. 1756–1813)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1756


4 May, 1813 (aged ~ 57)
Windsor, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
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