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William Buckley

William Buckley, one of 292 convicts transported on the Calcutta, February 1803

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Buckley
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1780
Occupation: Soldier
Date of Death: 30th January, 1856
Age: 76 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Receiving stolen property
Convicted at: Sussex Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Calcutta
Departure date: February, 1803
Arrival date: 4th October, 1803
Place of arrival New South Wales [Port Phillip]
Passenger manifest Travelled with 291 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 344
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

D Wong on 8th April, 2017 wrote:

William Buckley was also known as the ‘wild white man’.
He was born at Marton, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, the son of a small farmer, but reared by his maternal grandfather, who sent him to school and apprenticed him to a bricklayer.

He joined the army, first the Cheshire Militia and then the 4th Rigiment.  In 1799 he was wounded in action in the Netherlands.

2/8/1802: Sussex Assizes - conviced of having received a roll of cloth knowing it to have been stolen - Life.

April 1803 - Landed at Port Phillip in the Calcutta with a party under Lieutenant-Govenor David Collins - he and two others absconded from the camp - they sent distress signals to the Calcutta from the other side of Port Phillip Bay, but they were not noticed.  Buckley’s friends turned back but were not heard of again.

Buckley was befriended by Aboriginals who believed the big (he was 6’6”) white stranger was a reincarnation of their dead tribal chief.  He learnt their language and customs and was given a wife, by whom he had a daughter.  He lived with them for 32 years.

In July 1835 he gave himself up and surrendered to a party at Indented Head.  At first he had forgotten his own language, but was identified by the tattoo mark on his arm, and the initials “W.B.”.  He obtained a pardon an was employed as an interpreter at a salary of £50.  In December 1837 he left for Tasmania and became assistant store-keeper at the Immigrants’ Home and from 1841-1850 was gate-keeper at the Female Factory.

27/1/1840: Married Julia Eagers/Higgins, the widow of an emigrant, in New Town.

30/1/1856: William Buckley died at Hobart.

Maureen Withey on 3rd March, 2020 wrote:

https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&id=AM4NAAAAQAAJ&dq=“The+Life+and+Adventures+of+William+Buckley”+“John+Morgan”&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=ZFM54nNZvL&sig=CqZcXgjLZm-6tkOWF4RrgKJcMtg&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#v=onepage&q=“The Life and Adventures of William Buckley” “John Morgan”&f=false

The Life and Adventures of William Buckley.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 8th April, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1780 (prev. 0000), date of death: 30th January, 1856 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au