George Collins: Convict Royal Admiral 1792

Crime: Theft. Tried: 21 Mar 1792, Surrey Assizes at Kingston-upon-Thames, 7 years transportation.

Joseph Dyer, Andrew McManus, George Collins and James Brown were charged as “incorrigible rogues and vagabonds, Persons of Evil Disposition & not having any visible means of honest subsistence … ” They were found guilty and sentenced to three years’ hard labour at Norfolk Island.[1]

David Collins wrote: ‘Four vagabonds, who had repeatedly broken out of prison, and run away from the jail-gang, were tried as incorrigible rogues, and being found guilty, were sentenced to three years hard labour at Norfolk Island.’ 9 August 1796 Sydney: Joseph Dyer, Andrew McManus, George Collins and James Brown, charged with escaping from prison. [2]

There are very few known and/or surviving records for Norfolk Island for the time period late 1796 – 1802. The Norfolk Island Victualing Book 1792-1796 entries ceased in May 1796.

George arrived on Norfolk Island before 1802 most likely aboard HM Supply leaving Sydney Cove in September 1796, arriving October 1796. George Collens (sic) was sentenced to death by the Norfolk Island Criminal Court, c1798, and subsequently received a Colonial Pardon on 5 September 1798 in Sydney pardoned by Governor Hunter, on condition of going back to or staying on Norfolk Island for the rest of his life.[3]

In 1802 George Collins was granted a conditional emancipation by Colonel Foveaux at Norfolk Island. In Feb 1803 he was recommended for a pardon by Colonel Foveaux on Norfolk Island.

George Collins is listed in the Norfolk Island records as having received two shirts, material for shoes and food rations for 365 days in 1802.

George died 2 March 1803 Norfolk Island.[4] His burial is one of 25 known deaths/burials on Norfolk Island not listed in the Rev. Fulton’s Baptism, Burial and Marriage records of Norfolk Island 1801 – 1806.

[1] John Cobley, Sydney Cove 1795-1800: the second governor, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1986, p. 80.

[2] David Collins, Account of the English Colony, Vol. 1, p. 408 and Criminal Court records 1788-1833 Criminal Jurisdiction, SRNSW, Reel 2391, 2700 [5/1147B], pp. 151 – 152.

[3] Colonial Pardon, 5 September 1798, SRNSW, 4/4493; Reel 771, pp. 29 – 30.

[4] Cathy Dunn, Norfolk Island Deaths and Burials: 1st Settlement 1788 – 1814, the author, CDRom, Milton NSW, 2012.

Cite this article as: Cathy Dunn, 'George Collins: Convict Royal Admiral 1792', Australian History Research,, accessed [insert current date]
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