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Joseph Hatton

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Joseph Hatton
Aliases: Joseph Hattom
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1748
Occupation: Hawker
Date of Death: 1st June, 1828
Age: 80 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: York Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Scarborough
Departure date: 13th May, 1787
Arrival date: 26th January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 16 other convicts


Primary source: http://www.firstlanding.com.au/1st_fleet_convicts.htm
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Eric Harry Daly on 10th January, 2013 wrote:

Joseph Hatton was tried at York, Yorkshire on 24 July 1784 for stealing material with a value of 2 shillings. He was sentenced to transportation for 7 years and left England on the Scarborough aged about 39 at that time (May 1787). His occupation was listed as hawker and peddlar.
In July 1791 Joseph was tried for having stolen goods in his possesion for which he received 5oo lashes.
He married Roseamond Sparrow, a fellow convict from York,  transported for 7 years,  in 1792 at St John’s Church, Parramatta. 
It seems they split up after Roseamond stabbed him with a knife in July 1795 during an argument but he did not press charges. He then made a home with Ann Colpitts, transported from Durham for 7 years, with whom he a son, Joseph, born in May, 1802.  Joseph married Sarah Patfield at St James Church, Sydney in 1824. 
The Hattons owned large areas of land in what is now Top Ryde.

Phil Hands on 16th April, 2018 wrote:

Joseph, a hawker and peddler, was tried and convicted at York Castle on 24th July 1784 of breaking and entering the shop of Benjamin Clay at Dewsbury and stealing a quantity of Printed Cotton, serveral pieces of Lawns, and a large Quantity of Ribbons and Handkerchiefs, also for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Abraham Hutchinson also at Dewsbury and stealing one Silk Handkerchief, sentenced to transportation for 7 years.
Left England on 13th May 1787.
Ship:- the ‘Scarborough’ sailed with 208 male convicts on board, there were no reported deaths during the voyage.
Arrived on 26th January 1788.

Sentenced to 800 lashes in July 1791 for receiving stolen goods. 
Early in 1792, he was given a grant of 50 acres of land at the “Eastern Farms.” By 1800 he had 16 acres cleared, three acres under wheat, 14 acres ready to be planted with maize and owned 24 pigs.

Married convict Rosamond Sparrow (‘Mary Ann’ 1791) on 18th March 1792 at Parramatta
Text: This solemnization of matrimony by Banns between Joseph Hatton and Rosomand Sparrow this 18th day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand even hundred and ninety two by me Richard Johnson
Joseph signed the register in the presence of Richard Robinson and John Taylor.

They separated in 1795 after ‘Rose’ stabbed Joseph, apparently in a fit of rage, he did not press charges.

By 1800 he was living with convict Ann Smith (nee Wise, ‘Lady Penrhyn’ 1788) 

In 1802 he was occupying 30 acres of land at Kissing Point, held by purchase, and was able to support both his family and a servant.

On 1st June 1828 he was found dead in his house at Ryde NSW. His death was determined to be the result of ‘extreme age and infirmity’, he was 80 years old

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Friday 6th June 1828, page 2

An Inquest was held this week at Kissing Point, in the district of Parramatta, before Francis Beddik, Esquire, Coroner, on the body of Joseph Hatton, a settler, aged 77 years [sic 80 years]. It appeared, from, the evidence, that the deceased had returned from Sydney to his residence, at Kissing Point, in a boat, on Saturday evening last, retired very early to rest, and the following morning was found dead in his bed. The deceased had been some time infirm and was very well known in the neighbourhood. The Jury, after due deliberation, returned the following verdict : That they said Joseph Hatton died, by the visitation of God, in a natural way, and not otherwise.

Paul Anthony Coghlan on 3rd August, 2019 wrote:



Sunday 14 September 2008

Address by Paul Coghlan (great-great-great grandson)

JOSEPH HATTON (1748 – 1828)

We are gathered here today in modern Ryde but in a most historic setting at St Anne’s Anglican Church, Ryde. Our ancestor Joseph Hatton to whom we pay tribute today was among the very first group of about 1,370 souls who comprised the first non indigenous settlers of Australia. Just over one half of those who landed in Sydney Cove were convicts. Joseph Hatton and Ann Colpitts were among them.

Joseph Hatton, son of Joseph Hatton and Hannah Ramsden, was christened on 2 Oct 1748 in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England and died on 1 June 1828 in Kissing Point (Ryde) at age 79, though other records including the headstone show him to be 82 years of age at his death. By any account this was an extraordinarily long life, half being lived in England and the other half in Australia. He was buried here at St Anne’s in June 1828, 180 years ago. What a story he could tell us!!

Joseph was taken from York Castle in July 1784 and charged with stealing printed cotton, several pieces of material, and a large quantity of ribbons and handkerchiefs. At his trial, Joseph stated that he was born at Worsop, in Cheshire, about ten miles from Nantwich, and that he was 55 years of age but he appeared to be only about 35 to the court official. This proved to be correct.

We have a very good description of Joseph from his 1784 trial. He was dressed with a claret surtout coat with champagne blanket coat buttons. A surtout coat is a man’s frock coat, of the kind worn by cavalry officers over their uniforms in the 18th and early 19th centuries. He was dressed in olive-coloured breeches with white metal buttons, round slouched hat, very long flaxen coloured hair, which hung loose upon his shoulders, a very large scar on the right side of his head, a small scar just below the hair, a scar on his right cheek, one other scar on his right temple. He was described as a grey and a very stiff made man, about 5ft 8 inches and had lost the thumb on his left hand. He said he travelled as a hawker and peddler, but produced no license. Perhaps Joseph may have been frequently hawking and peddling other people’s possessions!
He was found guilty of grand larceny and sentenced to be transported to the American plantations for the term of seven years. Fortunately for us, the American War of Independence closed off that destination for Joseph and he ended up sailing with the First Fleet to Australia. He spent almost three years in York Castle prison, before he was dispatched to Portsmouth by wagon on 24 February 1787. He embarked on the transport ship Scarborough on 27 February before the First Fleet sailed on 13 May 1787. We can only imagine the conditions he endured during his long voyage to this fatal shore.

On arrival, he was put to work in the Port Jackson brick kilns. The first mention of Joseph in Australia was his attendance at the wedding of another brick kiln worker, Anthony Rope who was being married to Elizabeth Pulley in May 1788.  Six days later, a supper party was held at Anthony’s tent to celebrate the wedding. There, six guests enjoyed a sea pie which contained fresh meat - a rare treat in those days. However the recent disappearance of a goat raised suspicions with the authorities about the source of the meat. The claim was made that the wedding party had found the goat dead on a rock and of course were not going to waste the opportunity provided. However, they were all subsequently acquitted of the charge of improperly sourcing one of Australia’s first meat pies.

However, old habits die hard! In July 1791, Joseph was sentenced to an incredible 800 lashes for receiving goods known to have been stolen from Parramatta. Hearing that the watchmen were seeking the original theft, he went ahead with a warning, and took and hid the stolen property in the woods on a property in the vicinity of Kissing Point. Remember that Joseph’s sentence had been for seven years and his time would have been up by 1791 -  a year before he officially received his land grant. I can’t help but wonder if Joseph was actually living on the Kissing Point grant before it was officially gazetted to him in May 1792.

So, somewhat surprisingly, his crime had not prevented him from getting a land grant from Governor Arthur Phillip the following year. He, together with twelve other emancipists received their land grants at what was known as The Eastern Farms (being east of Parramatta) later to be called Kissing Point and now of course Ryde.

A few months before receiving the land grant, he married a convict, Rose Sparrow, who arrived with her mother in 1791. This, he probably thought, was a shrewd move because single men got 30 acres whereas married men received 50 acres. Nevertheless, he paid a price because in June 1795 she stabbed him in the stomach in a fit of jealousy and we can only guess that a relationship with Ann Colpitts may have been the possible cause. Hatton generously requested that she not be committed to trial but that his wife be put well away from him. A very wise and reasonable request in the circumstances!

It is interesting to note that while Joseph was recovering in the hospital tent, the surgeon, even then, described him as an elderly man but Joseph in fact was to last for another 33 years. In January 1796, David Collins, the Deputy Judge Advocate, wrote to the future Governor King stationed at Norfolk Island promising Joseph to procure for him four oars. He described him as a very good man who had lately suffered some losses.

His parting with the fiery young Rose Sparrow proved to be a fortuitous one. Some time after stabbing Joseph Hatton in the belly, Rosamond was convicted of receiving stolen property and sentenced to have her head shaved, wear an iron collar for six months and spend twelve months in Parramatta goal. Rosamond was sent to Norfolk Island in October 1799 after theft of clothing so Joseph was well rid of her. We are not descended from her!

By 1798 only five of the original thirteen grantees were still on their land with many having found the hardships to be insurmountable. The resilient Joseph Hatton was one of the five still remaining on his 1792 grant and by then was living with another First Fleet convict Ann Colpitts, a relationship that was to last until Joseph’s death in 1828. Joseph and Ann however never married.
In August 1798, the first Christian service was preached at Kissing Point and in 1799, twenty-two settlers including Joseph Hatton partly subscribed to the building of the first bark schoolhouse and chapel – one of the earliest in the colony. In July 1800, the new structure was officially opened and Joseph and Ann’s son, young Joseph, my great-great grandfather, was one of three children christened on that momentous day for the settlers of the district. That bark structure was to be the forerunner of St Anne’s Church where we stand today.

By 1802, Joseph had sold his 50 acres to the colonial brewer James Squire and had purchased Thomas Jones original grant of 30 acres at Top Ryde and later part of the Edward Marsh grant on which Hatton’s Cottage still stands today.

Life continued to be very hard on the land and to make matters worse, in December 1804, The Sydney Gazette reported that the family had been robbed of all its possessions. This would have been a very cruel blow to this family eking a meager living from the land.

Ann Colpitts (nee Watson – a Scot) from whom we are all descended, had lived a most colourful life. Back in England she was a member of the notorious Bishop Auckland Gang of thieves and pickpockets, who infested the markets in the towns and generally resorted to fairs in the country. Her husband Thomas was even more notorious than Ann he being jailed on about five occasions and Ann just three occasions. One of her visits to the prison was for picking a Highlanders pocket. She must have been good at her profession! She had a number of relationships on the way out from England and here in the colony, before she moved in with Joseph together with three of her children from these earlier unions. She too was buried here at St Anne’s in August 1832.

At the 1828 inquest into Joseph’s death, it was stated that he had just arrived by boat from Sydney, and had refused more than two cups of tea before going to bed. 180 years later he rests here today together with many of his descendants and of course there are four generations of his descendants alive today. Many of them are here at this dedication service. 

Joseph Hatton became a leading figure in the life of the small rural community of Kissing Point. He often gave evidence at inquests and was frequently listed as a petitioner to improve the conditions of his fellow settlers. His name was on the list of petitioners in 1822 requesting that a piece of land be set aside as a burial ground – the one in which he was to be buried. Joseph Hatton’s name lives on today all those years later. Hatton’s Cottage, Hatton Street, Hatton Lane and Hatton’s Court are nearby and of course Top Ryde was known for many years as Hatton’s Flat. The familie’s long association with St Anne’s goes back now for seven generations. My children Lara and Timothy Coghlan were the sixth successive generation for example to be christened at this historic church. From such humble beginnings Joseph Hatton and Ann Colpitts have left an enduring legacy of which we can all be proud and it is fitting that this memorial plaque is now rightfully in its place. For this we can all thank my aunt Joan Ross who has been instrumental in organizing today’s event.

Paul Coghlan
18 Wyarama Street
Allambie Heights NSW 2100

9452 2088

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 10th January, 2013 made the following changes:

convicted at, term 7 years, voyage, source, firstname, surname, alias1, alias2, alias3, alias4, date of birth 1748, date of death 1st June, 1828, gender, occupation, crime

Paul Anthony Coghlan on 3rd August, 2019 made the following changes:


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