The Closure of Norfolk Island 1814

The Kangaroo departed Norfolk Island on 27 Feb 1814 with 45 passengers for Port Jackson arriving 10 Mar 1814, completing the closure of Norfolk Island colonial settlement of 1788 – 1814.

The last known record for Norfolk Island’s colonial settlement of 1788 to 1814 is the list of persons left at Norfolk under the direction of Mr William Hutchinson Superintendent, to assist in the final evacuation, April 1813 located in the Norfolk Island Papers NSWSA, 4/1169: 417 – 418. The research was undertaken and has significantly expanded the initial profiles in The Inhabitants of Norfolk Island Late 1808 – 1814 (Dunn and Lambert,2021). Emancipated convict William Hutchinson, was appointed the superintendent of the Settlement’s clean up party of Norfolk Island when the island commandant Tankerville Alexander Crane of the 73rd Regiment departed Norfolk Island per Minstrel 18 Feb 1813.

The analysis of the primary records which were an integral part of this research for The Closure of Norfolk Island 1814 are located across a vast range of repositories, including the National Library Australia, State Archives and Records Authority New South Wales, Mitchell Library Sydney NSW, State Library NSW, Tasmania Archives Heritage Collection, and the National Archives (UK). In addition to this, I consulted the University of New England (UNE) Convict History Research Collective datasets of the ‘New South Wales Convict History Data Project’ and the ‘Directory of the Norfolk Island First Settlement 1788-1814’. The result is a comprehensive profile on the individuals who were the last to leave Norfolk Island on its closure of the Island’s colonial settlement of 1788 – 1814.

This includes convicts, free people, children and a New Zealander, some had been living on Norfolk Island since 1790. There was will be a book launch on Norfolk Island on 6 Mar 2024 at the Norfolk Island 1st Settlement Showcase and Research afternoon. More details