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Samuel Woodham (c. 1766–?)

Samuel Woodham (1766- ) and four other men, including John Ruglass, were found guilty (a fifth was found not guilty) on 30 May 1781 at the Old Bailey, London, of highway assault and theft of a silver shirt buckle. Woodham's death sentence was reprieved to enlisting for life in the army in Africa. On 1 November 1782 he embarked on the Den Keyser for Africa with 40 men and women, including Ruglass, Thomas Limpus, and John Martin who was sent back to Newgate sick. After landing at the island of Goree off the West African coast without victuals, Woodham made his way back to England and was recaptured. At the Old Bailey on 23 February 1785 he was sentenced to life transportation to Africa. He was delivered to the Ceres hulk on 5 April 1785, and discharged to the Scarborough in February 1787, arriving at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.  

Woodham was given a conditional pardon on 19 October 1799. He received a 30 acre grant of land at Mulgrave Place that same month. The 1800 muster recorded no details of cultivation and by 1802 he was no longer listed as a landholder. No further colonial records have been found for Woodham. 

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 392

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Citation details

'Woodham, Samuel (c. 1766–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1766

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: life