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James Ruse

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Ruse
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 9th August, 1760
Occupation: Farmer
Date of Death: 5th September, 1837
Age: 77 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Cornwall. Assizes at Bodmin
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 293 other convicts

References

Primary source: Gillen, Mollie; The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet.Craig James Smee in 'Births & Baptisms Marriages & Defacto Relationships Deaths & Burials New South Wales 1788-1830' Sainty, Malcolm & Johnson Keith; 1828 Census of New South Wales. Betty L Meckel & Mollie Gillen 'Founders of Australia Biographical Dictionary of First Fleet'
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Denis Pember on 19th April, 2016 wrote:

James was born at Lawhitton in Cornwall (near Launceston). His family moved to South Petherwin, In 1779, aged 19, he married 33 year old Susannah Norcott. The couple had two children; Elizabeth (1779) and Richard (1781).
In the parish records there is an entry where the South Petherin overseer recorded making a payment of 10 shillings to James Ruse “for making the garden hedge and digging the plants etc”. He was clearly a farmer of some ability.

In 1782 he was tried at Bodmin Assizes and sentenced to death for “burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Thomas Olive and stealing thereout 2 silver watches, value 5 pounds.” He was reprieved and sentenced to transportation for seven years to Africa. He was sent to the ‘Ceres’ hulk in the Thames in 1785 in readiness for the voyage to Africa. He was then transferred to the ‘Censor’ hulk on 1 Jun 1786, and from there was sent to Portsmouth for embarkation aboard the first fleet ship ‘Scarborough’ on 27 Feb 1787. His wife stayed in England and was partly supported by the parish and her father in law; she baptised an illegitimate child in Sep 1787.

Denis Pember on 19th April, 2016 wrote:

In July 1789, aware that his term for transportation was up, James asked the governor, Arthur Phillip for a grant of land. An allotment was made at Parramatta and Phillip ordered that an acre of land be cleared and a hut constructed. In November 1790, Ruse was found to have one and a half acres in bearded wheat in May and a half an acre of maize in August, with a small productive kitchen garden.
He married in September 1790, to Elizabeth Parry (Second Fleet Convict, Lady Juliana, 1790) Elizabeth was aged 21 and James was 31.
He received a full land grant of 30 acres on 30 March 1791 and the following year the superintendent reported it well. The following year he had 11 acres cultivated mostly growing maize, 4 sows and 30 fowls.
There are then continual changes as he improves his situation by developing, selling and obtaining several new grants.
By 1828, his land holding had decreased ab=nd he was an overseer employed by Captain Richard Brooks at Lower Minto.

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
Page 326…
[Ref R1563] Ruse, James, 68, F, Scarborough, 1788, Overseer to Capt Brooks, Lower Minto.
[Ref R1564] Ruse, Elizabeth, 57, F, Lady Juliana, 1790.

The children of James Ruse and Elizabeth included Rebecca (1791), James (1793), Elizabeth (1794), Susannah (1797), and Mary (1798).
Ruse converted to the Roman Catholic faith late in life. Elizabeth died in 1836 and he died the following year. The headstone in the Catholic Cemetery at campbelltown is believed to have been designed and partially carved by him….
Sacred to the memory of James Ruse
who departed this life Sep 5 in the year of Houre Lord 1837
Natef of Cornwell and arived in this coleney by the Forst Fleet
aged 77.
My mother reread me tenderley
With me she took much paines
And when I arived in this coleney
I sowd the forst grain and now with my hevnly father
I hope to for ever remain.

Dain II Ironfoot on 17th September, 2016 wrote:

Originally sentenced to death

iain Frazier on 21st September, 2019 wrote:

James Ruse arrived NSW on SCARBOROUGH 1788.

James married Elizabeth (Perry) convict 7yrs from LADY JULIANA in 1790 at St Johns Parramatta & produced 5children including Elizabeth born in 1794 & baptised in 1795 at St Johns Parramatta.
In 1828 census he is described as age68 overseer/cattleman? to Captain (Brooks) Lower Minto.

Elizabeth (Ruse) had married John (Wells/Wills), convict emancipist from NEPTUNE age60, in 1812 at St Matthews Windsor.
John died in 1820.

Rebecca married Noel (Chapman) convict 7yrs from SPEKE & produced at least 3children

Elizabeth (Perry) has an entry in this Website.
Noel (Chapman) has an entry in this Website.
John (Wells) has an entry on this Website

iain Frazier on 16th December, 2019 wrote:

James (Ruse) was born & baptised in 1759 son of Richard (Ruse) & Elizabeth (Curne) at Lawhitton nr Launceston Cornwall.  When he was about 6yrs the family moved to South Petherwin where his mother died in 1766..
In 1779 he married Susannah (Norcott) & produced 2children.
In 1780 he is recorded as receiving payment of 10shillings for gardening from the parish overseer.
After sentencing he was sent to Wood St Comptor London in 1783.  From 1783 to 1785 he required medications-purging salts, bark concoctions, liniments against effects of dank dungeons.
Transference to the CERES hulk was in preparation for transportation to Africa, so embarkation on SCARBOROUGH was an indiscrimanate change of the authorities plan.
In the meantime Sarah (Norcott) & the chidren received support from the parish & her father in law.  In 1787 an illegal child was born.  They all remained in the United Kingdom.
In 1789 James (Ruse) asked Governor Phillip for land grant for farming & received an allotment at Rose Hill/Parramatta.  He was noted as industrious & courageous by Governor Phillip who arranged clearance of 1acre for him plus erection of a hut.
His marriage to Elizabeth (Perry/Parry) was his second.  They produced 6children.
James (Ruse) & Elizabeth (Perry/Parry)s children were:
Rebecca (Ruse) was born & baptised at St James Parramatta in 1791.  She died in 1792 age about1.
James (Ruse) was born in 1792 & baptised at St James Parramatta in 1793 age10months.
Elizabeth (Ruse) was born in 1794 & baptised at St James Parramatta in 1795 age4weeks.  She died in 1875 age80.
  She partnered with Edward (Armfield) after her marriage to John (Wells/Wills) and produced children.
John (Armfield)
Susannah (Ruse) was born about 1797.
Mary (Ruse) was born in 1798 & baptised at St Phillips Sydney in 1799 age3weeks.  She died in 1871 ag72.
Ann (Ruse) was born about 1800.
In 1806 Elizabeth (Parry/Perry) is recorded as living at Hawkesbury with three of her children as landholder with 7hogs 15acres and three free men.
Recordings for James (Ruse) are:
In 1790 he had 1.5acres wheat .5acre maize small kitchen garden.
In 1791 he received land grant 30acres.
In 1792 inspectors found farm very good-11acres cultivated maize 4sows 30fowls.
In 1793 he sold 600bushells maize to commissary for 150lb & sold farm Rose Hill to surgeon John (Harris) for 40lb hoping to return to England.  [John (Harris) was the partner of Ann (Mash) mentioned on this Website who also married William (Chapman) also mentioned on this Website.]
In 1794 he ran out of money-sought & received grant 30acres Hawkesbury.
In 1797 he was granted 40acres; and sold property of 30acres Hawkesbury for 300lb-intending to return to England.
After 1797 he was charged with running gambling school; and was in court over 165lb debt to Thomas (Smith).
In 1802 he sold 20acres Hawkesbury.
From 1802-06 he may have worked as a seaman.
In 1809 he sold 20acres Hawkesbury.
In 1820 he achieved 130acres by grant 75acres by purchase, held 45acres Windsor 20cleared 3horses 2cows 7hogs & was tenant to W (Baker) for 15acres.
In 1825 he had 10acres Windsor 10hogs.
In 1828 he was overseer for Captain Richard (Brooks) Lower Minto; and cultivated 4acres 1horse 3cattle.
More details for James (Ruse) can be found in a book by J R Israel ‘See My Mother Reread (sic) Me Tenderley’, a title that has reference to the inscription on his grave, etched by himself apparantly.
Edward (Armfield) has an entry on this Website.

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 19th April, 2016 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Gillen, Mollie; The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet. Sainty, Malcolm & Johnson Keith; 1828 Census of New South Wales. (prev. ), firstname: James, surname: Ruse, alias1: , al

Denis Pember on 19th April, 2016 made the following changes:

occupation

Dain II Ironfoot on 17th September, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 9th August, 1760 (prev. 9th August, 1759)

iain Frazier on 21st September, 2019 made the following changes:

source: Gillen, Mollie; The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet.Craig James Smee in 'Births & Baptisms Marriages & Defacto Relationships Deaths & Burials New South Wales 1788-1830' Sainty, Malcolm & Johnson Keith; 1828 Cen

iain Frazier on 16th December, 2019 made the following changes:

source: Gillen, Mollie; The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet.Craig James Smee in 'Births & Baptisms Marriages & Defacto Relationships Deaths & Burials New South Wales 1788-1830' Sainty, Malcolm & Johnson Keith; 1828 Cen

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