Norfolk Island First Settlement

James Richardson, Convict, Alexander 1788

James was born c1766 in Kent. Crime: Assault with a deadly weapon. Tried: Maidstone Kent, 18 March 1784. Sentence: 7 years transportation, arriving in NSW aboard the Alexander 1788.

On 30 Apr 1788 in Sydney he was acquitted after being accused on suspicion of stealing a certain quantity of goods from the store house”. Then later he was discharged from mistreating a sow belonging to George Johnston on 6 Sept 1788.[1]

Richard arrived on Norfolk Island aboard the Golden Grove in Oct 1788. On Norfolk Island he formed a relationship with Susannah TRIPPETT – TRIPPET, Convict, Lady Penrhyn 1788. Born c1766. Trade: Artificial Flower Maker. Crime: Steal 1 key and 1 metal watch. Tried: Old Bailey, 30 Aug 1786 as Trippet. Sentence: 7 years transportation.[2] She received rations in Sydney during 1788. Susannah also arrived on Norfolk Island aboard the Golden Grove in Oct 1788.

On 10 May 1790 five members of the boat crew were punished with 50 lashes for concealing fish, Jeremy Thompson, William Fisher, John Hall, George Wood and Thomas Watson received 50 lashes each. James Richardson was punished with 50 lashes for neglect of duty for not flogging these men as he ought to have done.[3]

In July 1791 he was farming on a two acre Sydney Town lot with 64 rods cleared.[4] On 22 Dec 1791 he was granted 12 acres of land at Grenville Vale near Sydney Township. Both James and Susannah left Norfolk Island for Port Jackson aboard the Atlantic in September 1792. In September 1792 David Collins wrote:

On board of the Atlantic came sixty-two persons from Norfolk Island, among whom were several whose terms of transportation had expired; thirteen offenders; and nine of the marine settlers, who had given up the hoe and the spade, returned to this place to embrace once more a life to which they certainly were, from long habit, better adapted than to that of independent settlers. They gave up their estates, and came here to enter as soldiers in the New South Wales corps. Very few of the convicts at Norfolk Island whose terms of transportation had expired were found desirous of becoming permanent settlers; the sole object with the major part appearing to be, that of taking ground for the purpose of raising by the sale of the produce a sum sufficient to enable them to pay for their passages to England. The settler to benefit this colony, the bona fide settler, who should be a man of some property, must come from England. He is not to be looked for among discharged soldiers, shipwrecked seamen, or quondam convicts. [5]

James then joined the NSW Corps, returning to Norfolk Island aboard HMS Porpoise in Mar 1801 with the rank of priave, returning to Sydney in 1803. Susannah did go to Norfolk Island with James. In Aug 1806 Susannah was record with the surname spelling of both Tuppet and Tripputt, free by servitude, in a concubine relationship with James Richardson, with no children. James returned to England aboard the Hindostan in May 1810 when the NSW Corps was recalled. No further records found for Susannah so she most likely possible return with him.

[1] Proceedings of Judge Advocate’s Bench of Magistrates, SRNSW, SZ765, Reel 654, pp. 18-19; p. 90.

[2] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17860830-43.

[3] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787-1792.

[4] An account of grounds on Norfolk Island, July 1791, AJCP PRO CO/201/9 pp. 27 – 28 and King, Philip Gidley. PG King’s Journal of Transactions on Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean between November 4th 1791 and November 6th 1794, AJCP PRO Reel 5, CO/201/10, p.56.

Golden Grove 1788[5] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales.

Cite this article as: Cathy Dunn, 'James Richardson, Convict, Alexander 1788', Australian History Research,, accessed [insert current date]
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