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James Williams (c. 1760–1820)

James Williams was a marine in the 23rd (Portsmouth) Company. He arrived in Sydney aboard the Sirius in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He was sent to Norfolk Island on the Golden Grove in October that year. On 26 April 1789 he received 24 lashes after a quarrel with a fellow marine. He returned to Port Jackson in February 1791 and was discharged from the ship's books.

Williams returned to Norfolk Island as a settler and received a 60 acre grant of land at Phillipsburg, but left the island at the end of the year and joined the NSW Corps in Port Jackson. He returned to Norfolk Island on the Kitty in February 1792 and remained there until the end of 1794. He was discharged from the company of George Johnson in October 1799. He re-enlisted soon afterwards.

By 1806 Williams was living with Rachel Watkins, who, in that year was recorded with one son and three daughters. When the NSW Corps was withdrawn in 1810, Williams remained in the colony and transferred to the Invalid (later) Veteran Company. He was on guard duty when he died on 16 March 1820 at South Head; his age was given as 70.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 384

Citation details

'Williams, James (c. 1760–1820)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1760
Wrexham, Wales


16 March, 1820 (aged ~ 60)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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