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William Duncan

William Duncan, one of 278 convicts transported on the Admiral Gambier and Eolus [Aeolus], July 1808

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Duncan
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1785
Occupation: Gardener
Date of Death: 12th July, 1859
Age: 74 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Murder
Convicted at: Surrey Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Admiral Gambier and Aeolus
Departure date: July, 1808
Arrival date: 20th December, 1808
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 279 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 415 (207)
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 21st February, 2015 wrote:

WILLIAM DUNCAN was employed in the service of William Chivers, Esq., as gardener, at Clapham Common. On the morning of the day of the murder, after breakfast, the niece of Mr Chivers, who resided with him, went in his carriage to take an airing. Mr Chivers, who was between seventy and eighty years of age, went into his garden to take a walk, as was his daily custom, inspecting the gardener at his work, and conversing with him. About half-past eleven o’clock the gardener ran into the house from the garden, in great agitation and terror, exclaiming to the servants: “Lord, what have I done! I have struck my master, and he has fallen”; and immediately left the house, without giving any explanation, and made for the town of Clapham. The footman went into the garden to discover what had happened, when he found his master on the ground, apparently lifeless, and his face a most shocking spectacle. It appeared that the gardener had struck his master with a spade that he was working with, the end of which entered the lower part of his nose, broke both his jawbones, and penetrated nearly to a line with his ears, so that his head was almost separated. The gardener had inflicted two deep wounds, one being about eight inches in length and three inches and a half in breadth. Duncan was soon after apprehended, and the magistrates committed him to Horsemonger Lane Prison. The cause of the shocking act was a dispute between him and his master respecting the pruning of a vine.

The jury, after having conferred for a considerable time, found the prisoner guilty of murder; and he was accordingly sentenced to be executed on the Monday following, and to be anatomised.

The prisoner, during the whole of the time, conducted himself with great composure. He was a tall athletic man of respectable appearance.

The Privy Council, however, did not, it appears, conceive that he was guilty of wilful and premeditated murder, but, on the contrary, admitted an immediate provocation on the part of the unfortunate old gentleman. They therefore represented him as a subject for Royal clemency, in consequence whereof he was twice respited, and then ordered to be transported for the term of his natural life.

At the time of the trial William was said to be 21 or 22 years old.

1811: TOL
2/4/1816: CP

12/4/1816: Passenger per ‘Kangaroo’ to Hobart.
12/4/1816: land grant and indulgences for Duncan, settler and holder of conditional pardon

1816: On list of persons who have had lands measured in Van Diemen’s Land but have not received their grants.

25/5/1821:  Indebted to the Government at Hobart

1823: Appointed as an extra Constable for the District of Glenarchy.
July 1824: Resigned as Constable.

5/10/1838: Married Maria Dillon and had 6/7 children.

12/7/1859: William died aged 74.  He was a Licensed Victualler at the time of his death.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 21st February, 2015 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1785 (prev. 0000), date of death: 12th July, 1859 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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