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William Green

William Green, one of 311 convicts transported on the Barwell, September 1797

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Green
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1774
Occupation: Carpenter
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Burglary
Convicted at: Devon Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Barwell
Departure date: September, 1797
Arrival date: 18th May, 1798
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 307 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 224
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

Phil Hands on 20th March, 2018 wrote:

Tried and convicted in Devon in 1797, sentenced to 7 years transportation.
Left Portsmouth on 7th November 1797.
Ship:- the ‘Barwell’ sailed with 296 male convicts on board of which 9 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 18th May 1798.

William Green was born in 1774 in Devon, England. His occupation was that of Miller and Carpenter. He was convicted, at the age of 22, on the 20th March 1797, for “being at the same place and time as a burglary’ - the term given was 7 years. A little over a year after his arrival William married Mary Rose (daughter of free settlers Thomas Rose & his wife Jane) on the 15th February 1800, they had 3 children between 1801-1805.

William died as a result of drowning in a Hawkesbury river flood that was called the “Great March Flood’ on the 22nd March 1806 at the age of 32.

It had been raining for three weeks. The Hawkesbury River had flooded again, but this year in 1806 it had risen quickly to over 47 feet and had washed away crops, stock and many houses.
Earlier in the day the Rose family had been rescued from the roof of their cottage on Farm on the river flats of the Hawkesbury River that they had purchased from Lawrence May in 1802. William Green and his wife Mary nee Rose and young family were living on the same property as Tom and Jane Rose who had arrived some years earlier in 1793 on the Bellona. Both families lost everything they owned.
William married Mary Rose in 1800 at St. Philips Church in Sydney. He had arrived in the colony just 10 years previously he was a Carpenter by trade and was doing well, he had obtained a land grant, was a free person, and was a respected member of the small community at Wilberforce.

William Green, along Thomas Reiby and John Chapman Morris (a convict who narrowly escaped drowning on the Guardian some 16 years previously), with 5 other men took out a small craft in the hopes of retrieving some of their possessions and stock that had been swept away. Thomas Reiby was the only man who could swim, and he had been, prior to his marriage to Mary Haycock in 1794 a junior officer on the store ship Britannia.

Morris was steering this small craft and accidentally drove her against a submerged branch of a tree that had fallen into the river causing a gash through which water poured. Reiby would have stopped this leak with his handkerchief and thus gained time to get on shore as it was only a short distance away, but he was prevented because the others on board panicked and rushed forward which resulted in weighing down the front of the boat and she tilted and started to sink.
They all called on Thomas Reiby for assistance and were all about to grasp hold of him but Thomas aware that death of all, including himself, would be inevitable, jumped overboard and passed under the boat. He expected that if they saw him they would leap towards him as they were all still in terror. Tom rose under the bow and got hold of the end of the craft and struck off towards the nearest bank and towed her within a few yards of shallow water, but due to being fully clothed and with his boots till on had to relinquish his hold. Once on shore, Thomas assured them he would save them all if they could summon a few moments patience,  outcries were at this moment dreadful as they were all standing in the boat which was gradually sinking. Thomas Reiby tore a sapling from the earth and wadded into the water as far as he could and presented the end of the sapling to four of the men separately, thus saving four lives. The fifth man managed to get ashore without his assistance. Thomas again plunged in
and both John Chapman Morris and William Green had kept above water until the other four were saved; Reiby made towards Morris, whose cries for help had not yet ceased, but unfortunately assistance was a fraction too late. His hat alone was seen floating on the surface of the water & William Green could not be seen.
The bodies of William Green and John Chapman Morris were not found for some days and the body William was found near the riverbank near Simpson’s Farm.

William Green and John Chapman Morris were buried in the Burial Ground which was established in the area before Macquarie designated the 5 Macquarie towns in 1810 and it is located on a patch of underdeveloped land behind the Windsor’s Jolly Frog Hotel (Bridge & Macquarie Streets).

William left his wife Mary and his children Elizabeth 5, Thomas 2 and William 8 months.

William was just 32 years of age and life was just starting to look up for him in this colony and he lost his life assisting others in time of need.

Mary then married free settler Henry Murray in 1807, he commited suicide by hanging himself in 1812, Mary then married another free settler, James Singleton in 1813.

Mary died on 25th January 1838 at Wilberforce age 56.

Convict Changes History

Jennifer Walsh on 11th April, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1774 (prev. 0000), date of death: 3rd April, 1806 (prev. 0000)

Phil Hands on 20th March, 2018 made the following changes:

date of death: 0000 (prev. 3rd April, 1806), gender: m, occupation, crime

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