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William Fitzgerald

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Fitzgerald
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1794
Occupation: Ploughman/shearer
Date of Death: -
Age: -

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 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Ireland, Clare
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Medina
Departure date: 5th September, 1823
Arrival date: 29th December, 1823
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 177 other convicts


Primary source: Irish Convict Database, by Peter Mayberry. NSW Permissions to Marry. 1825-1851.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Maureen Withey on 11th September, 2020 wrote:

Irish Convict Database, by Peter Mayberry.
William Fitzgerald, age 29, Medina (1) 1823, Tried 1823 at Clare Co., 7 years.  DOB 1794, native place, Clare Co.  Ploughman reaper shearer.

Colonial Secretary Index.

FITZGERALD, William. Per “Medina”, 1823.

1824 Mar 3 - Employed by Robert Futter (Fiche 3089; 4/1837A No.366 p.416)
1824 Mar 3 - Convict servant of Robert Futter. To be victualled from the Stores for six months (Reel 6012; 4/3510 p.431)
1824 Aug - Petition for a free passage to Ireland (Reel 6061; 4/1780 p.256)
1824 Aug 31 - Recommendation by F A Hely that attention be paid to William Fitzgerald’s petition (Reel 6061; 4/1780 p.255)
1824 Sep 22 - Re free passage to his native land (Reel 6013; 4/3512 p.412)
1824 Dec 21 - Petition to have his brother assigned to him (Reel 6062; 4/1781 p.371). Reply, 12 Jan 1825 (Reel 6014; 4/3513 p.245)
1825 Mar 28 - Memorial (Fiche 3131; 4/1841B No.278 pp.781-5). Reply, 21 Apr (Reel 6014; 4/3514 p.130)
1825 Apr 21 - On list of persons who have received orders for grants of land (Fiche 3266; 9/2652 p.90)

THE undermentioned Persons have obtained Certificates, Free Pardon, or Tickets of Leave,
during the last Week:
Free Pardon.
Medina. William Fitzgerald.
Sydney Gazette, 9 Sept 1824.


1828 Census Index.
William Fitzgerald, age 34, A.P. Medina, 1824 7 years, catholic, Farmer, Brisbane Water district, Hold 100 acres, of which 30 are cleared and 25 cultivated. Has 60 cattle.
Stephen Fitzgerald, age 30, G.S. Medina, 1824, 7 years, catholic, Farmer.


NSW Permissions to Marry. 1825-1851.
Permission 27 Sept 1832, Sydney.  William Fitzgerald, per Medina,  age 38, 7 years, Free,  and Honora Frawley, per Janus, age 52, Life, Bond.  Rev. R. Hill.

Maureen Withey on 11th September, 2020 wrote:

Marriage at St James, Sydney, NSW, William Fitzgerald, age 36, and Honora Frawley, age 40, on 1 October 1832. (Familysearch)

Maureen Withey on 11th September, 2020 wrote:

On Thursday Mr. Serjeant Torrens proceeded hence to Six-mile-bridge, county Clare, where he held Sessions for the trial of insurrectionary cases. The Assistant-Barrister, E. Scott, Esq and thirty-four Magistrates, were on the Bench. Stephen and William Fitzgerald (brothers) of Cratloe, for being out of their dwellings or. the night of the 31st ult. In their defence they alleged they were attending the fair of Newmarket, hut could not account why they were not home the unseasonable hour at which their apprehension was effected; though living in the neighbourhood of the Court, no person came forward to character;  Guilty. The Learned Serjeant immediately sentenced them to seven years transportation to Botany Bay, and they were sent from the dock on their route. They arrived in this city at eight o’clock, under escort the 93d Highlanders, and at an early hour yesterday morning were dispatched for Cork. The conduct of these men, on hearing their sentences, was was most outrageous in the dock. Their conviction gave much satisfaction. 
Sunders News-Letter, 9 April 1823.

Maureen Withey on 13th September, 2020 wrote:

Renewals of Public House Licenses, FOR 1833, In the Town and District of Sydney.
NAME.      SIGN.        REMARKS.
William Fitzgerald,  Spinning Wheel,  Granted.
The Australian, 12 July 1833.

His brother Stephen, having finished his sentence, being a polictal prisoner, was able to return to Ireland.  He then returned to Sydney, bringing his wife and child with him:

From Dublin, via Hobart Town, on Sunday last, having left the former place the 9th July, and the latter on the 16th instant, the ship Eliza, (291 tons), Capt. Joseph Harris, with sundries. Passengers from Ireland :- Stephen Fitzgerald, farmer, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, infant, and Mary Fitzgerald;
Sydney Gazette, 26 Nov 1833.

But, within a month:

One of the most sanguinary affrays we ever remember to have arisen out of Christmas revels, took place on Christmas Day last, on the Parramatta road, at the public-house called the ” Spinning Wheel,” kept by William Fitzgerald. A fight had taken place between an Englishman and an Irishman, when a general row commenced, which terminated in the death of a man named John Hughes. Another individual was so dreadfully beaten by sticks, that he was conveyed, together with the body of the murdered man, to the Hospital, where he now lies in a most dangerous Stale. Two persons named Sheilds, and Carrol, were committed by the Coroner for the wilful murder of the deceased; and William Fitzgerald, the landlord of the house, who is accused by the man in the hospital, with having inflicted the injuries on his person, together with Stephen Fitzgerald, his brother, Michael Quigley, Henry O’Brien, and Edward Lynch, have been apprehended as aiders and abettors in the transaction.
The above named parties were taken before the Bench of Magistrates on Saturday last, when a partial investigation took place, but in consequence of the absence of some material witnesses, they were remanded for three days.
The Sydney Herald, 30 Dec 1833.


The final examination of William Fitzgerald, Michael Queenland, Edward Lynch, Henry O’Brien, and Stephen Fitzgerald, for the murder of John Hughes, at the Spinning Wheel, public-house, on the Parramatta road, which happened on Christmas day last, look place yesterday, at the Police-office. William Innes, known by the name of Billy the Bull, who was so dreadfully beaten on that occasion, as to be conveyed in a cart to the Hospital, was brought up to give evidence against the prisoners and appeared to be in a very weak condition. He deposed that he was in company with the deceased on the day in question, and on going towards the Spinning Wheel, the prisoner William Fitzgerald ran out saying, “here they are,” and struck the deceased down ; witness begged that his companion might not be ill-treated, when he was immediately struck down also and beaten by sticks in the most inhuman manner, the ruffians desisted for a few moments ; when witness having received a severe wound on his head tried to raise up his hand towards it; when William Fitzgerald called out “he’s not dead yet,” when he was again attacked by several persons and beaten until he was senseless, in which state he remained until he arrived at the hospital ; witness was unable to say what became of Hughes, the deceased ; but he learned in the hospital that he had been killed. The Magistrates after deliberately going over the whole of the evidence discharged Michael Queenland, and committed the other four for aiding and abetting in the wilful murder of John Hughes. On the application of Mr. Williams the prisoners William Fitzgerald and Edward Lynch were admitted to bail.
Sydney Herald 9 Jan 1834.

Stephen was sentenced for manslaughter to imprisonment in a penal settle ment for Life. William was found not guilty.

Mr. Justice BURTON said, it having appeared that
Carroll was the assigned servant of William Fitzgerald, a letter should be addressed to the proper officer of the Government, recommending that no more assigned servants be granted him. It also appeared, that he was an unfit person to hold a publican’s licence, and he should therefore recommend the Magistrates to withdraw it.]
Sydney Gazette, 25 Feb 1834.

There are several very detailed reports of the trial , and the events that led to the fight, which can be found on TROVE.

Within a year, William was again in court:

Before Judge Burton and a civil jury.
William Lamb, stood charged with stealing 10 oxen, value £40, the property of William Bradbury ; and William Fitzgerald, for receiving them, knowing them to be stolen. The prisoners pleaded not Guilty. It will no doubt be fresh in the recollection of some of our readers, that Fitzgerald was taken to the Police Office on charge of purchasing cattle of John Usher, knowing them to be stolen, on which occasion he was dismissed, there not being sufficient evidence against him. At that time Usher absconded. Having since returned and made known circumstances calculated to criminate Fitzgerald, he was again taken up and fully committed. It appeared from evidence that prosecutor’s stockman mustered his cattle on the 10th August, 1832, and found 10 missing; they were fat oxen, and ran with the herd near Burghton’s station. Previous to the muster, Mr. Clarke, butcher of Sydney, purchased one hundred head from Bradbury, 50 of which he removed, and the others remained on the form. In February or March 1833, Mr. Clarke went to Wiltshire’s slaughter house, and saw 9 bullocks there, and the man in the yard told him that he was going to slaughter them for Fitzgerald; Clarke then offered £3 5s ahead for them, which Fitzgerald first agreed to take, but afterwards refused, on the grounds that he wanted the hides immediately, and Clarke refused to have them all slaughtered in one day.  On closer inspection, Clarke found that they bore Bradbury’s brand, viz : W. on the off hip, and b on right shoulder, and very much resembled a portion of the cattle which he had left on the farm; his suspicions were excited, and he communicated the circumstances to Bradbury.  lcely’s evidence meant to shew, that the cattle were brought to the slaughter house by Usher, and slaughtered in his name.  Mr. Forster, inspector of slaughter houses, also produced the book in which Usher’s name was entered as the owner. Usher’s evidence, upon which the charge solely hinged, deposed that in August last, Fitzgerald employed him to go near Broughton’s station for 9 bead of cattle, which were delivered to him by Lamb ; he brought them safe to Sydney, and Fitzgerald enclosed £18 in a letter and sent it by witness to Lamb, to whom he delivered it; he did not sell the cattle to Fitzgerald nor did he receive £20 for them ; some time after Fitzgerald told him that Lamb had been taken up on suspicion, and recommended him to go out of the way, and gave him 10s. ; he afterwards received thirty more from him.
For the defence, Richard Delaney swore that in August 1932 he was at the Spinning wheel, and saw Fitzgerald pay Usher £20 for 9 head of cattle, and Usher gave a receipt for the amount; the same receipt as was then before the court, which was witnessed by a man of the name of Carrol, since transported for being concerned in a row at the spinning wheel, in which a man lost his life. Mr. Sydney Stephens also swore that Usher lived with him 15 months, & he considered him a petty thief, and would not believe him on his oath.
Messrs. Manning, W. Williams and Ryan gave Fitzgerald a character for strict integrity and honesty up to the time he stood charged with the present offence.
His Honor then addressed the jury, and said it would be for them to decide, whether they would give evidence to Usher’s testimony or not t lie commented strongly on Fitzgerald’s purchasing cattle of him, knowing as he did the nature of Usher’s character. Even if what had been stated were true, that he did purchase them of him, he must have known that he did not come by them honestly. He also said that the fact of their being slaughtered in Usher’s name had a very dark appearance.
The jury after consulting half an hour, returned a verdict of Guilty against both parties. Lamb was sentenced to be transported for life, and Fitzgerald for 14 years.
Sydney Times, 14 Nov 1834.

Penny-Lyn Beale on 9th January, 2021 wrote:

Warrants of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Indent No; 125
Offence; Insurrection

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 11th September, 2020 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Irish Convict Database, by Peter Mayberry. NSW Permissions to Marry. 1825-1851. (prev. ), firstname: William, surname: Fitzgerald, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1794, date of death: 000

Maureen Withey on 13th September, 2020 made the following changes:

gender: m

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