Convict, Charlotte c1754 - 1823


Died 1 July 1823, aged 82 years.


John Trace was sentenced to seven years transportation at Exeter on 20 March 1786 for stealing 30 pounds of mutton.  Trace was sent to the Dunkirk hulk, aged 31, and delivered on 11 March 1787 to Charlotte.


On 25 May 1788, at Port Jackson, he was accused of stealing some flour from his tent mate, Thomas Till, and received a sentence the next day of 200 lashes, and was also required to repay the flour. He was ordered another 50 lashes on 23 January 1789 for selling a pair of shoes to Thomas Prior. On 23 August he married Mary Rose (Lady Juliana, aged given as 20 in 1789). Their only known child, George, was born on 10 August 1796 and baptized at St John’s, Parramatta.


He was settled in mid-August 1792 and emancipated on 3 November, three months early, in order to become a settler.  He received a 50 acre grant at Prospect, and Governor Phillip asked for his wife’s return from Norfolk Island, since Trace was now a settler.  Mary Trace returned from Norfolk Island by Kitty in March 1793. By mid-1800 he was off stores with one acre sown in wheat and three ready for maize.  His wife and child were still publicly victualled. Two years later Trace had cleared 15 acres, (one sown in wheat, four ready for maize) and owned one hog.  His wife and child were now both self-supported.


On 2 July 1801 he had assigned a 50 acre farm (formerly owned by John Limeburner) at Prospect to secure a debt of £13. In 1809, Trace sold 16 rods of ground at the Brickfields for £5. Over the years his health failed. In 1814 he was on charity at Sydney (his wife listed mistakenly as Mary Lewis) and in 1819 recorded as an invalid.


In 1822 the couple were still together at Sydney. He died 1 July 1823, age given as 82.  His tombstone at the Sydney Burial Ground, Elizabeth Street, recorded him as “a faithful friend, a dear father, and a loving husband”.


Note: This information, which appears on the grave stone of John Trace at the First Fleet Memorial Garden at Matraville, is based on research by Molly Gillen

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