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George Whitaker (c. 1760–?)

George Whitaker (c.1760- ), a leather dresser, was found guilty on 14 March 1785 at Maidstone, Kent, of four counts of highway assault and theft. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation in May 1785. He was sent to the Ceres hulk in January 1786, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Alexander in January 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Whitaker (as George Wittiker) married Mary Harrison on 18 January 1788. The couple and their baby daughter Hannah were sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. By July 1791 they were subsisting on a one acre Sydney Town lot with 96 rods cleared. The next year he became a settler on 15 acres at Phillipsburg. He was also a member of the nightwatch. In October 1793 Whitaker held 12 acres, with seven cultivated. He was elected a member of the Norfolk Island Settlers Society at the end of the year. In the following May he was employing Abraham Booze by the week and was selling grain to the stores. He sold his lease in October 1798 and was listed as a private in the 102nd Regiment, having joined in 1794.

While continuing as a soldier in the NSW Corps, Whitaker purchased 30 acres at Norfolk Island in 1802 and held 42 acres of which 33 were cultivated. He returned to Port Jackson in 1806 and was discharged from the army on 3 September 1806 'having provided a substitute'. Although he was listed at Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in September 1807 it appears that only his eldest daughter Hannah went. George Whitaker may have returned to England with his wife and their two youngest children.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 378

Citation details

'Whitaker, George (c. 1760–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Wittiker, George
  • Whittaker, George
  • Witticar, George
  • Whitacre, George

c. 1760

Passenger Ship
Military Service
Key Events
Key Organisations
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: highway robbery
Sentence: 7 years