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Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||23rd July, 1837
life span was 54 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
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D Wong on 1st November, 2015 wrote:
http://www.stmatthewswindsor.catholic.edu.au/SiteData/163/UserFiles/PublicationLinks/Pioneer Families In The Hawksbury.pdf
Laurence May came from Dublin, and was sent out on the ‘Queen’ in 1791. He was flogged as an Irish Papist who had suppressed evidence in Court on the robbery at Arndell’s Parramatta residence. By 1800, he had earned himself a 30 acre grant on Robinson’s Lagoon and his farm flourished. In 1804, the coroner found that his wife, Anne, had died from excessive drinking and not by violence. May advertised for a wet-nurse for his baby daughter, Sarah. His son, Laurence, was five. In 1805, he married Elizabeth Dowling. The first child wandered off to perish in a rain-filled sawpit. The second son, Christopher, born April 1813, was later to cause a sensation by riding a velocipede down George Street, creating a public nuisance and being requested by Lieutenant Bell not to appear in public again. Storms had demolished part of May’s Bardonarrang farm, and so May put his Parramatta inn up for sale. He held farms at Prospect and Concord, as well as others ‘down the river’, which were offered on clearing leases. May had a racing chestnut gelding, ‘Tickle Toby’, which won him a lot of money, and also caused him in 1813 to ask debtors to pay up. In 1815 he opened at Wilberforce the Windsor horse mill, a powerful mechanism for grinding flour, and provided complimentary cartage of grain from wharf to mill. A charge that he substituted inferior grain was found false. Laurance’s third wife, Risetta, had 2 sons: John (1817-1838) and James (1820-1891). In 1819, May had to have his leg amputated, but his toughness and fortitude surprised the doctors. He returned home and continued to build his reputation as a man of vision, becoming a pioneer irrigator along the Hawkesbury River. James carried on farming in the Hawkesbury. He and his wife, Caroline, had 8 children - James Alfred, Herbert, Christopher Watkin, Jack, Joshua and daughters Tess, Sophie and Caroline. James May died on 6th August, 1891, and was buried with step-brother, Christopher, who died childless in 1890, in the Catholic cemetery at Windsor. James’ sons, James Alfred, Christopher and Joshua carried on farming in the Hawkesbury district. James Alfred, Christopher, Joshua and Jack May are all buried in the Catholic cemetery and the Mays living in the district now are descendants of James Alfred, Christopher and Joshua May.
(Information on Laurance May was provided by E. Harding)
Convict Changes History
Libby Hogan on 1st November, 2015 made the following changes:
convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Sydney Gazette (prev. ), firstname: Laurence, surname: May, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 0000, date of death: 23rd July, 1837, gender: m, occupation, crime
D Wong on 1st November, 2015 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1772 (prev. 0000)