Bartholomew Reardon Senior was born at Winchester, Hampshire, England in 1724 and was the son of Daniel and Mary Reardon, nee Harrington.  He worked as a shoemaker at Gosport near Portsmouth, England.  He married Katherine Wood on 20 July 1781 at Gosport. In view of his age, 57, at this wedding it may not have been his first marriage.  Katherine did not accompany him to Australia.

Bartholomew Snr was convicted of stealing a hair trunk and sentenced to seven years transportation on the Scarborough, one of the ships of the First Fleet.  Two years later with the colony facing severe food shortages, he was sent on the Sirius to Norfolk Island where he met Hannah Rowney.  They were married in November 1791 and produced five children between 1791 and 1799. 

Bart Snr’s role on the Island was as a servant to Captain Piper the Commandant of Norfolk Island, for whom he managed a piggery. He was also bell ringer, i.e. more like a town crier.  He became a free settler in 1790.  Bart Snr died on Norfolk Island on 1 May 1807 aged 83.


His grave site is unknown so the the First Fleeters Plaque was placed on its own memorial stone on the cemetery boundary in 1987.


Hannah Rowneywas born in 1755 in London, England to John and Mary Flinger.   Hannah was charged with stealing a bible and prayer book and sentenced to seven years transportation.  She came out to Australia on the Lady Juliana, part of the Second Fleet. Her husband, Patrick Rowney, escaped capture and remained in England.

On arrival in Sydney she was shipped off almost immediately to Norfolk Island in the ship Surprize, arriving in 1791, 15 months after Bart Snr. She left Norfolk Island on 9 November 1807, arriving in Hobart twenty days later.


The seven-sided monument at St. David's Park Hobart lists the passengers arriving from Norfolk Island to Hobart on the Lady Nelson in September 1807 including Hannah and her daughter Frances but not her other daughter, Ann.  Her son Bart Junior remained there until 1810.  Son-in-law to be, Thomas Williams, is shown in a different place.  The third side shows the dedication of the memorial by the Very Reverend Kenneth N Reardon, Dean of Hobart, who was also a descendant of Bart Snr and a Fellowship member for several years.


On 20 September Hannah was given twenty acres at Queensborough, elsewhere identified as Sandy Bay and nowadays a very desirable part of Hobart. No evidence has been uncovered as to what happened to it.  Her second marriage was to William Horne, another convict, on 20 May 1809 and they farmed at Pittwater near Hobart. She died on 4 November 1829 at St Georges Pittwater above Sorell.

Bartholomew Reardon Junior was born on 15 December 1791. He showed such considerable aptitude for farming in his youth working his father's land that Captain Piper asked him to stay on Norfolk after his family left.  Captain Piper went on to accumulate considerable wealth and Sydney's exclusive suburb, Point Piper, bears his name. Bart Jnr arrived in Hobart in 1810. His talents led to his being granted substantial land grants: 600 acres at Macquarie River, 23 acres at Green Hills  and a one quarter share of 11 000 acres at Emu Point north-west of Campbell Town.


He married Elizabeth Nash, also born on Norfolk Island, on 1 January 1812.  She died in Hobart in 1878.  One of their nine children was named Edward Lord Reardon after his father's friend and benefactor Edward Lord.  One hundred years later the Hobart Mercury dated 19 January 1911 quoted Bart Jnr as saying that his father had gained land grants through the good offices of Lieutenant Governor Edward Lord.


Author Robert Hughes includes in his book The Fatal Shore, page 227, the following assessment of Edward Lord.

 Edward Lord (1781-1859) a Welsh marine officer who in 1803 built the first private house in Hobart, was the most powerful man in the early settlement next to Collins, and its largest stock owner.  An arrogant land-grabbing troublemaker, he burned all the Government House papers when Collins died in 1810 in order to cover his business tracks.


David Collins was the first Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania and Edward Lord succeeded him for a short but fateful period.  Lord was seen as using and abandoning his protégé as Bart Jnr's business was failing.  Bart Jnr quarrelled with his neighbour, he was drinking to excess and he stole a cow worth three pounds for which he was given seven years in gaol at Macquarie Harbour.

During the Arthur Phillip Chapter tour of Tasmania in 2018 I visited Port Arthur where a video presentation of prominent Tasmanian criminals included Bart Jnr. In a rather unusual conversation afterwards, one of the staff told me that things such as the questionable deals done by Lord and others were not exactly as they had been portrayed. A particular mention in the video was that Bart Jnr had dinner with Governor Macquarie.   Bart Jr. died on 1 January 1849.


Francis Reardon, eldest daughter of Bart Snr, was born on 12 October 1794.  She travelled to Hobart with her mother on the Lady Nelson arriving on 29 November 1807. Shortly after, on 8 August 1808, she married the convict, Thomas Whellan Williams. She was still only 13!  I hold a copy of the Marriage Certificate which both participants signed with a cross, meaning that they were probably illiterate. My sister’s research revealed that Thomas Williams had received a 14-year sentence but we have yet to discover what his crime was to get double the usual term. On the St. David's memorial in Hobart, Williams is mentioned as a later arrival in 1808 – perhaps Thomas and Frances had met before Hobart.  It was a bountiful union as the couple produced ten children. Frances died on 3 September 1862, Thomas on 10 January 1853.


Ann Reardon was the second eldest daughter of Bart Snr and Hannah.  Ann was born on 12 May 1796 and died on Norfolk Island in 1807, aged 11, not long before her mother and sister sailed for Hobart. Her fallen headstone has an inscription reading: HERE LYETH THE BODY OF REDON.


Steven and Daniel Reardon were sons of Bart Senior:  Steven was born in 1798 and died on 8 May 1801. Daniel was born in 1799 and died on 11 January 1801.  The two boys are buried in Norfolk Island cemetery near their father, Bartholomew Senior.  Their graves share a unique headstone with their names carved on. How very sad to lose both young boys in such a short time. 

My direct line to my First Fleeter is as follows:  Bartholomew Reardon/Frances Williams/ Richard Williams/ Susannah Williams/ George Biggs/ Elsie Biggs/Sydney Featherstone/ Jean Coulter/ Tony Coulter.


Compiled by Anthony Coulter, FFF member #8100 - Editorial Assistance by Gillian Doyle was greatly appreciated. 8/12/19



Family archives and Internet links:



Copyright Fellowship of First Fleeters