John Small [Convict "Charlotte" 1788]

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John Small [Convict "Charlotte" 1788]'s Geni Profile

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John Small

Birthdate: (88)
Birthplace: Warwickshire, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Death: October 2, 1850 (88)
Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
Place of Burial: Ryde, NSW, Australia
Immediate Family:

Son of John Small and Rebecca Small
Husband of Mary Small, First Fleet convict and Mary (Parker) Small [Convict "Lady Penrhyn" 1788]
Father of Thomas Small; Rebecca Oakes; Mary Hughes; John Small; William Small and 2 others
Brother of Ann Small; William Small; Sarah A Small; Mary Small; Thomas Small and 3 others

Occupation: Surgeon, Police Constable/Inn owner
Managed by: John Douglas McIsaac
Last Updated:

About John Small [Convict "Charlotte" 1788]

John SMALL was born c1761 (baptised 11/12/1761 at Birmingham, UK

John was convicted of assault (with Steven DAVENPORT, John HERBERT, Robert ELLWOOD) and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He arrived in Sydney Cove on 26/1/1788 on "Charlotte"

John married Mary PARKER in 1788 at Sydney Town and they had the following children

  • Rebecca 1789
  • Mary 1791
  • John 1794
  • William 1796
  • Thomas 1799
  • Sarah 1804
  • Samuel 1804

John died 2/10/1850 at Kissing Point, NSW (the last known First Fleet convict survivor)


John Small was tried at Devon Lent Assizes, held at Exeter Castle on Monday 14th of March 1785 and sentenced at Exeter on the 14th of March 1786 for 7 years transportation, for feloniously assaulting James Burt in the King's Highway, putting him in "corporal fear and danger of his life" and feloniously and violently taking from him his watch and tortoishell case valued at 30s, one pruning knife valued a 6d and five shillings.

(facts from the records in the archives office of the library of NSW and the Mitchell Library).

John arrived on the First Fleet on the "Charlotte" a three masted bark with two decks.The ship was built in 1784 on the Thames River England and was 335 tons,105 feet long and 28 foot beam. It was converted to a ship rig by the East India Company for the transportation of convicts and it carried 88 male and 20 female convicts to Australia. John Small was one of the male convicts - he was accused of being a highwayman.

After its voyage to Botany Bay the "Charlotte" set off with its sister East India Company ships the "Lady Penrhyn" and "Scarborough" for China where once loaded with tea they returned to England.

He was apparently working at the hospital as is indicated by John Cobley in his report dated 3rd July 1788 when John was accused of drunkeness - a charge which was later dismissed for lack of evidence.

The next time John Small came to notice was when he and Mary Parker were married by banns by Richard Johnson,Chaplain on the 12th.October 1788 with Samuel Barnes and Thomas Akers as witnesses.

The newly married couple lived in a hut at Parramatta before John received his Land Grant at Eastern Farms in 1794. John had 30 acres of land, all cleared, 20 acres of which was cultivated.

He was a Protestant.

He was Freed by Servitude and appointed a constable from the beginning of 1809 and this appears that this position was of District Constable as he gave evidence at the inquest into the death of George Patfield later that year.

Allegedly came to New South Wales, Australia, with Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788, married in England and had four addtional daughters & three sons
John Small, born 1761 and a bit maker from Birmingham, at aged 19 joined the Plymouth Marine Corps. His description was ‘dark brown hair, five feet six inches tall, fair complexioned and with hazel eyes’. He embarked on HMS Lively sailing between New York and England with dispatches for the Admiralty. Lively lived up to her name and John travelled continually between England, New York, West Indies and the Caribbean sharing many adventures and mishaps during those travels with the most disastrous being the loss of the Lively when American prisoners held on board were able to take her over. As a result John finished up as a prisoner for at least four months in Havana Cuba but was exchanged for Spanish prisoners after peace was signed in 1783. He was discharged aged 22 years with 9 Pounds 16 shillings and 7 pence after quite an adventurous three years.

Now aged 24 - and like very many discharged marines unable to get work and running out of their severance pay - John turned to crime and was convicted with Stephen Davenport, Robert Ellwood and John Herbert. The offence was ‘feloniously assaulting James Burt in the King’s Highway, feloniously putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life and feloniously and violently taking from his person and against his will, one metal watch and tortoise shell case value 30 shillings, one pruning knife value 6 pence and five shillings his goods’. In other words Highway Robbery - a hanging offence. One of the offenders did actually hang, one set free and the other two transported. Royal Mercy was extended to John Small on condition of transportation for seven years possibly because of his services in the Royal Marines. He spent two years on the prison hulk Dunkirk before going aboard the Charlotte bound for NSW.

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John Small [Convict "Charlotte" 1788]'s Timeline

November 30, 1761
Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
December 11, 1761
Birmingham, Warwickshire, UK
December 11, 1761
St. Martins Chur,Birmingham,England
December 11, 1761
St. Martins Chur,Birmingham,England
September 22, 1789
Age 27
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
December 13, 1791
Age 30
New South Wales, Australia
October 21, 1793
Age 31
Putney, New South Wales, Australia
December 14, 1796
Age 35
Ryde, New South Wales, Australia