Edward Whitton First Fleeter


Edward1 WHITTON was born in Greenwich, Kent, England about c.1757.

Edward died on or about July 6th 1802 at Windsor NSW, Australia.


He was tried in criminal court at Maidenstone in Kent Lent Assizes, England, March 10th 1783. before Sir William Henry Ashurst Knt, and Jerome Knapp, Esq, Justices.

 “Tried on Friday afternoon, March 14th  1783.”

Crime and Sentence:  William Holmes, Richard Buxton and Edward Whittan (sic), each late of the parish of Greenwich in the county of Kent  .... on October 11th  1782 ... with force and arms in the parish aforesaid .... in the King's Highway there in and upon Joseph Knowles  .... feloniously did make an assault and .... one watch with the inside and outside case made of silver and capped with gold of the value of 6 pounds one steel watch chain of the value of 6d, one stone seal set in gold of the value of 10 shillings, one other stone seal set in base metal of the value of 6d and 6d and twenty pieces of the gold coin of this realm called Guineas of the value of 21 pounds of the goods chattels and monies of the said Joseph Knowles then and there feloniously and violently did steal take and carry away”

The total value was 551 shillings.

His occupation was listed as labourer. And he was 26 years old.


“GUILTY no chattels. Sentenced to be HANGED”.


On Oct 26th 1783 Reprieved, conditional of serving LIFE in the Army at James Fort on the River Gambia West Africa

(Other spellings of name noted:  Whittan, Whetton, Witten. ) (Ref PRO Assises 35/223, no 28.) Court reports appears in; Order in Council No.2 (Whetton), p.19: Ross's Returns (Witten), p. 241: Richard's Returns, p. 266.


Edward is ordered to the hulk “ Censor” on the River Thames, on Oct 26th 1784, while awaiting transportation to Gambia.


The initial attempt to establish a penal settlement in Gambia, on the west coast of Africa was in 1775, however an appalling climate, tropical diseases and finally starvation resulted in the death or desertion of 80%, some 586 convicts of the 746 convicts sent. In the face of hostile public opinion the Government finally abandoned the West Africa option, and another destination had to be found.


The HULK system was a stopgap, as England could no longer, as it had done for much of the 18th century, transport its surplus criminals to the American Colonies, where they were sold by shipping contractors into virtual slavery on the plantations at up to 25 pounds per head.


This option was permanently closed with the outbreak of the War of Independence, which ended in 1783 in victory for the rebel colonists.


As England with the passage of time was facing a very serious explosion in the prison population, and very overcrowded prisons, the HULKS seemed a temporary but expedient solution, that in fact lasted nearly 100 years. The HULKS were old warships and merchantmen moored in the Thames River and later at Portsmouth and Plymouth used as prisons. However conditions soon deteriorated and became worse than conventional prisons, with disease spreading more rapidly among the inmates because of the damp, cold, and foggy conditions on the rivers.


It was announced in the British Parliament on January 23rd 1787 that Lord Sydney had agreed to send prisoners to the new Colony in New South Wales


On Feb 24th 1787, after two and a half years on the hulks, he is ordered to Portsmouth to join the “Scarborough”, which is part of the ships of the First Fleet Edward is now aged 30 years.


After a voyage of some 15,000miles taking some 250 days or 8 months, with 68 days in Ports on route,

Capt Arthur Phillip on board HMS SUPPLY arrived in Botany Bay on January 18th 1788, with the second part of the Fleet arriving some 24 hours later on Jan 20th 1788,  and the rest appeared the following day. The Fleet all safely anchor in Botany Bay.


Phillip is not taken with Botany Bay so six days later  he orders that the Fleet to up anchor and sails them a further nine miles north to Port Jackson,where he describes it as ”…one of the finest harbours in the world, in which a thousand sail of the line might ride in perfect security “  By nightfall on January 26th 1788 Phillip’s convey is safely at anchor in a quiet cove with a freah water supply he called Sydney Cove- so named in honour of Lord Sydney.


Edward has arrived in his ‘new home”


On the Second day Sunday 27th January 1788, Arthur Bowes Smyth (1760-1790) Surgeon on “Lady Penrhyn” noted some progress” This morning by day light a Long Boat full of Convicts from the “Scarborough” were set on Shore to assist in cutting down trees and clearing ground.

 The Thermometer at 74 degrees. Many tents were pitched this day on Shore. Upon our entering the Harbour mouth, we met many Natives on top of the high rocks, but none of them have appeared since we anchor’d. No boats suffer’d to go out of the Cove nor Sailors to be on shore after sunset”

Probably Edward’s first day in his “new” home.


November 27th 1788 Edward Whitton, convict #319, fed from Government stores.


Sometime in 1792, Edward begins living with Anne SLATOR. Edward is now 35 years old


Their first child, a girl, Jane Whitton is born on March 23rd 1794. Unfortunately she died at birth, and is buried at St Phillips Sydney “Infant child of convict Whitton buried”


3rd December 1794 - noted as a "Settler" at Mulgrave Place -Grant.


December 3rd 1794, from Governor Grose of 30 acres fronting the Hawkesbury River  known as" Whitton Farm" for an annual rent of one shilling and rent not to commence for 10 years.   The property was at Mullgrave Place on the western bank of the river. Land Grant No 326 (in 1794 Book 1A) ( Fische 3267,9/2731,p40)

 Research: Index to the paper of the NSW Colonial Secretary 1788-1825 (Archives Authority of NSW Guide No 20)

The Settlement was known as Green Hills by 1798.The Windsor Bridge now occupies part of the original allocation, now known as Lot 69 at  Windsor Bridge.


Their second child, Mary Ann2, is born c1796 at Mulgrave Place. Edward is now 39 years old


A son, William, is born June 8th 1799, at Mulgrave Place. He is baptised on Sept 21st 1799 by Rev Samuel Marsden at St Johns Parramatta


Granted Conditional Pardon on the June 4th 1800 by Gov. Hunter.

(From University of Wollongong website First Fleet :Edward WHITTON/WHITTEN )

(Reel774,Item 4/4430.p012)


DATE of settlement Dec 3rd 1798, NAME Edward Whitton, No of hogs 9, WHEAT sown 17 acres, MAIZE to be planted 5 acres, STORES 1 M off 1 Female off 2 Children  on.  SITUATED Mulgrave Place. Acquired by Grant SETTLERS' MUSTER BOOK 1800;

(Land and stock held by free settlers and emancipated or expired convicts REF AA419),


In 1801 Edward joined with other people in the area in signing a document requesting freedom from civil action until they recovered from the recent devastating floods.


KING'S LISTS (List 7) 1801(List of convicts who have received conditional emancipations in his Majesty's Territory of NSW to remain in the colony during the term for which they were sentenced) REF  BG 159 ,

NAME Edward Whitton , PARDONED by Hunter, REMAINING in Colony & Employment  Settler Port Jackson.


SETTLERS' MUSTER BOOK 1802; Anne Slater was named as owner. Edward was dead by July 1802 where his executrix Anne Slater (Queen 1791) was granted administration of his estate.


Edward lived with SLATER, Anne, from about 1792. and she was probably his common law wife.

There is no record of marriage between Anne and Edward.

On March 23rd 1794 Jane Witton, infant child of a convict was buried. (Registered at St Phillips, Sydney)

There are no birth records for Mary Ann2 their daughter born c 1796

On June 8th 1799 William Slater, parent Edward Wither, was baptised  on August 21st at St John's, Parramatta


Edward died mid 1802(possibly July 6th 1802 )

It is believed that Edward’s body was buried in the Green Hills Burial Ground, South Creek, Bridge St in Windsor


Anne1 SLATER was born in Dublin, Ireland c 1758.

After Edward died in 1802,she married John NORMAN in , St Phillips Church of England Sydney Aug 28th  1803.

Anne died aged 48 years in about 1806 in Windsor, NSW, Australia.

It is believed that she was buried in the Green Hills burial Ground, South Creek, Bridge St, in Windsor NSW, where Edward is buried


Convicted in 1788 in Dublin, and sentenced to 7 years, she was 30 years old.

Anne joined “The Queen” in April 1791:,one of only 22 female convicts, with 132 male convicts, which was part of the 3rd Fleet, and the first ship with Irish convicts, directly from Ireland. It arrived September 26th 1791,Anne was aged 33 years

The ”Queen” arrived on Sept 26th 1791, with 7 males dying during the voyage.

The 3rd Fleet consisted of 12 ships, with 2459 convicts (2229 males & 230 females ) and arrived in Sydney between July 9th 1791 & February 14th 1792.Some 218 convicts died during the voyage


 Historical Note regarding the Queen. The first Irish convicts sent directly from Ireland arrived on the Queen on September 26th 1791, which sailed from Cork carrying one hundred and thirty three male convicts and twenty two female convicts. The youngest was David Fay of Dublin, aged eleven years and the oldest was Patrick Fitzgerald, aged sixty-four. The youngest female convict was Mary Whelan aged eighteen years, and the oldest, Margaret Stephenson was fifty years. The Queen also carried four children of the female convicts and one free woman, Mrs Ann Jamison wife of Sergeant John Jamison of the New South Wales Corps.


Copy of papers concerning Edward’s Will and Ann's application for Letters of Administration.

“Know all men by these present that the Anne Slater (named in the last will and testament of Edward Whitton declared as Executrix thereto) Samuel Foster and John Redmond of Sydney are revere held and firmly bound to Richard Aitkins Esquire His Majesty Judge Advocate for this territory as follows that is to say the said Anne Slater in the sum of two hundred pounds sterling and the said Samuel Foster and John Redmond each in the sum of one hundred pounds sterling to be paid to the said Richard Aitkins Esquire his heirs or successor for which several payments well and truly to be made We severally bind ourselves firmly by these presents stated with our seals unjustly Dated the twenty seventh day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and two.


Where as the above bounden  Anne Slater hath applied for letters of Administration to be granted to her as the Executrix of the late Edward Whitton deceased of the Goods Chattels and Effects of the said Edward Whitton deceased and Letters of Administration has been accordingly granted to her upon the Usual Condition of Her entering into a bond with two sureties for the true performance of the said Trust  AND WHEREAS the above bound Samuel Foster and John Redmond has to agree to become sureties for the said Anne Slater


NOW THE CONDITION of the above written Obligations is such that if the above bounden Anne Slater as Administratrix of all and singular such Goods Chattels and Effects of the said Edward Whitton Deceased of this Territory do tender or cause to be tendered a just full true and perfect Inventory of all and singular such Goods Chattels and Effects which shall or may come into the Hands Custody Possession or Knowledge of her the said Anne Slater or of any other person or persons for her and that such Inventory She will well and truly exhibit or cause to be exhibited into the Judge Advocate for the time being or unto the Court of Civil Jurisdiction. Where as she shall be called upon or required so to do and that she will well and truly administer according to Law and do all such things as by the Statute in that Care are made and required of persons taking out Letters of Administration  THEN this Obligation to be void and of nones Effect or else to be and remain in full force. Sealed and delivered in the presence of  M. Robinson  Anne Slater X Her Mark Samuel Foster


 " New South Wales I Anne Slater Do Solemnly Swear that I will well and truly Administer all the Goods Chattels and Effects of Edward Whitton deceased which may cross to my Hands on his Account or be due or owing to his Estate and received by me as Administratrix as aforesaid AND that I will pay all the debts of the deceased Edward Whitton contracted and owing in this Territory as far as his said Goods Chattels and Effects will go and extend and tender a just account of my Administration to the Judge Advocate of this Territory or to the Civil Court Whenever called upon or required so to do.

SO HELP ME GOD ………X  Anne Slater her mark

Sworn and subscribed before me on the July 27th 1802 Richard Atkins JA


WHITTON Farm was divided between Mary Ann and William. The Will named Samuel Foster and John Redman and gave both the sum of 100 pounds each. Anne received 200 pounds.


Particulars of arms in possession of 1802 Apr 10 WHITTER, Mrs. Widow; of Hawkesbury District

 (From Colonial Secretary's Index State Records Reel 6041; 4/1719 p.93)


MUSTER 1802-Anne Slater- “Whittons Grant , 25 acres cleared, 16 acres sown in Wheat, 1 acres in Barley, 10 acres ready for Maize. 10 hogs, OFF Stores 1 Woman, 2 Children 2 Female Servants.

On Hand 50 bushels of Wheat, 60 bushels of Maize


WHITTON, Edward1 and SLATER, Anne1 had the following children:


            i.                 WHITTON Jane was born in Sydney on 23rd Mar 1794

                               She died the same day. and was interred in St Phillips Church, Sydney, NSW, Australia. (Infant)


            ii.                WHITTON, Mary Ann2 was born c 1796in Mulgrave Place


            iii.               WHITTON, William S was born in Mulgrave Place, NSW, Australia June 8th 1799.

                                (BDM as William Witter -father Edward. )

                                He was christened in St John's, Parramatta, NSW, Australia, Sept 21st 1799.

                                Baptised by Rev Samuel Marsden Also called William Slater Witter.

                                William died about 1840, place “Unknown”

                                Notes: According to the Index to the Paper of the NSW Colonial Secretary 1788-1825

                                (Archives Authority of NSW Guide No 30)

                                10-9-1818 of Windsor, on list of persons to receive grants of land in 1818 (Fiche 3266 p.45 )

                                31-7-1824 Of Wilberforce. Memorial of William Whitton (Fiche 3116 p.241-2 )

                                29-10-1824 Of Minto removed from Windsor, on list of persons liable to serve as jurors in

                                the District of Liverpool (Reel 6060 p.180 (iii) )

                                22-11-1824 Of Windsor on list of persons liable to serve as jurors in the District of

                                Windsor. (Reel 6060 p.188 (iv)

                                In 1822 Muster - William Whitten - Landholder of Windsor.

                                In 1828 Census - William Whitten - herdsman for Captain Brookes - Lake George, G Plains.

                                *Note: William is shown as age 20 years, where as he would be around 29 years




1)Thanks to Raelene Treis , & Pauline Newell for sharing their invaluable information on Edward & Anne

2)To Ray Lane for his great Whitton descendants web site

3)To the NSW State Archives

4) To the various Archives & Court Records in the United Kingdom

5)1st Fleet web sites


John Boyd, bhoid48@bigpond.net.au


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