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William Smith (c. 1755–1830)

William Smith was found guilty on 16 March 1786 at Dorchester, Dorset, of breaking into a house and stealing 20 pounds of bacon, other goods and one farthing coin. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation. He was sent to the Dunkirk hulk, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Charlotte in March 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Smith was sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in February 1789. He shared a sow with Ann Smith and her daughter Ann. He was shown as maintaining 4 people (most probably Ann Smith and her two children) on a one acre lot. He left the island for Port Jackson on the Francis in February 1794.

Smith was granted 50 acres of land west of Parramatta in 1794; he continued to live with Ann Smith on the farm. By 1802 he had another 40 acres at the Hawkesbury and held 70 acres in 1806. William Smith died at Prospect on 12 January 1830 and was buried at St John's Parramatta; his age was given as 80. He had left his farm to his stepson Thomas as an inducement for him to marry and live with his mother and stepfather on the farm (which he did).

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 337

Citation details

'Smith, William (c. 1755–1830)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1755


12 January, 1830 (aged ~ 75)
Prospect, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years