Convict on the “Friendship”
The most likely birth record for Edward
was on the
22nd March, 1760, in the Parish of St Mary’s,
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. He was baptised at St
Chad’s in the Parish of St Mary’s, on 9th
His parents were David Pugh and Elizabeth Hammer; they
were married by licence on 9th June, 1757 at
St Julian’s, Shrewsbury2. Edward had two
siblings: Richard christened 11th September,
1758, and Elizabeth christened on 19th July,
The church of St Chad’s where Edward was baptised
collapsed in a pile of rubble in 1788. It was old and
had a number of cracks in its structure. A new church
was built nearby using some of the old church stones4.
Edward was committed by T Pottat Esq. on
the 18th September, 1784, charged with
stealing a great coat belonging to William Barnard. He
was found guilty on the 5th October at
Gloucester Quarter Sessions, and sentenced to be
transported for 7 years to America5.
Due to the War of Independence in America
he was held in
Castle Gaol, Gloucester
for over 3 years until he was ordered to be transported
to New South Wales.
The Castle Gaol at Gloucester was originally a medieval
castle that replaced the Norman castle in the twelfth
century. By the seventeenth century this castle was
being used as the gaol, but it had fallen into a serious
state of disrepair, and in 1797 it was demolished to be
replaced by the new county gaol.
During Edward’s time in gaol it appears he fathered a
girl named Ann or Nancy with Elizabeth Parker. The child
was born in Castle Gaol, Gloucester, however a search
has not found any record for the birth in the gaol3.
On the 23rd March, 1787, Edward was ordered
to Portsmouth for the “Prince of Wales” with Betty Mason
and Elizabeth Parker who had her daughter Ann (/Nancy,
an infant) with her. They would have had to travel about
190km from Gloucester to Portsmouth, most likely in a
caged cart and held overnight in various goals along the
Edward was received on the "Friendship” on
the 10th April, 1787; his occupation was given as house
carpenter, age 22. He was just over 5ft 6ins tall, of
dark complexion, with hazel eyes and light brown hair.
On the same day Elizabeth Parker with her daughter was
received on the “Friendship” and was recorded as
Elizabeth Pugh in Ralph Clark’s Journal. However no
record has been found of a marriage between Edward and
Elizabeth or any record of the birth of the girl3..
Edward must have behaved himself on the
voyage out as he does not get a mention in the journal
of Ralph Clark who also travelled on the “Friendship”.
Just 13 days after the women came ashore
in the new colony, Elizabeth Parker died on the 19th
February, 17886 leaving her daughter Ann. She
was buried as Elizabeth Pue and was recorded as the
first white woman to die in the new colony. Also on
board the “Friendship” from Rio to the Cape of Good Hope
(Table Bay) was Hannah Smith7, and her infant
son William who died on the 5th June 17886.
On the 15th June, 17886
Edward Pugh married Hannah Smith. They were marries at
St Phillips Church by Rev Richard Johnson, the marriage
was witness by Richard Morgan who was in Gloucester Goal
with Edward and Samiel (Samuel) Barnes who was the
assistant of Rev Richard Johnson and arrived with him
and his wife on the “Golden Grove”.
June was not a good month for the couple
as Hannah’s son William who arrived with her on the
"Lady Penrhyn" died on the 5th June 17886.Two
weeks later the 30th June, 17886
Ann the infant child of Elizabeth Parker/Pugh who
arrived on the “Charlotte” died; her death was recorded
as Ann Pue6.
Edward and Hannah went on to have five
children of their own: they were David born 17896,
Simon born 17916, Edward born 17946,
Harriet born 17966 and Charlotte born 17996.
The two girls and Simon all grew to be
adults, they married or had a partnership, what happened
to David and Edward is still a mystery. There are
indications in some reports where a number of male
children born of convicts changed their surname to hide
the fact they were convict children as their brother
Simon did. He used his mother’s maiden name of Smith for
a number of years until while travelling to Tasmania
around aged over 30 he returned to using Pugh.
At Christmas time 1788 Edward and Hannah’s
house was robbed of a pound of flour by Michael
Dennison, who in turn was convicted for his crime of
stealing and received 150 lashes8.
Edward came off sentence in July, 1891 and
was given a land grant of 70 acres in August at the foot
of Prospect Hill. In December Captain Watkin Tench, on
an inspection of the area of Prospect, noted that Edward
Pugh had 2 ½ acres under cultivation but that the soil
in this area was “but indifferent”, and that water was
Edward must have abandoned working his
land grant as he joined the NSW Rum Corp in 1800 and
stayed there until 1810. It appears though that he
returned to his land after his time in the Rum Corp, as
in 1814 he was described as a landholder in the
Edward joined the NSW Corps in January
1800 and his first day on the payroll of the Army was
the 29thJanuary 1800 and was paid 2 shillings
& 1½ pence for 3 days to the end of the month
then they were paid once a month on the 24th
and Edward received 1 pound 4 shilling for his first
When he first joined up he was in Captain
John McArthur’s company then served under different
Captains, he was in Captain Grosser’s company in June
1805, Captain Lewis’s company June 1808. Edward was not
listed in the 25th December 1809 to 24th
February 1810 military muster book so you would have to
assume he was discharged prior to the 25th
December 18099. However no date was found.
Edward then had several working locations and jobs. In
1820 he was working for a Mr Withers, and in the 1822
Muster book it shows “Edward Pugh, Free B S, Friendship,
occupation Fiddler at Windsor”. He was the only person
listed in the 1822 muster book as a Fiddler. He served
in the “Endeavour” schooner in 1824, and in 1828 he was
working as a labourer for Henry Seymour, surgeon, in
Edward died in Windsor District
Hospital on 30th November 18376
and was buried at St Matthews, Windsor. He was buried as
a pauper and information about the burial of paupers is
they were buried down the back corner area where there
are no headstones of the cemetery at St Matthews,
Windsor. In November 2015 the family descendants group
installed a headstone for Edward and the FFF attached
their First Fleet plaque to the headstone.
The names of Edward and Hannah Pugh are
however displayed in a memorial of sorts: where they had
their land grant at Prospect was assigned the name
Pemulwuy on the 30th January, 2004 and a new
suburb with a modern housing estate was established. A
number of the streets have been named after the first
fleet holders of the land grants in the area, there is
an Edward Drive, Pugh Street, and Hannah Way.
Shropshire Archives, fiche 148, P25.
Shropshire Archives, copy of church register.
Sue Stafford, Upton St Leonards Gloucester researcher
with other documents from paid search.
St Marys Gloucester parish churches history web site
Calender of prisoners in Castle Goal 10/1/1786 and copy
of page from a newspaper “Journal” 11/10/1784.
NSW BD&M Certificates and Transcripts.
Ralph Clarks journal
Colonial Secretary Correspondence.
The National Archives, England, War records; WO 12-9900