FF Joseph Hatton, Convict ‘Scarborough’ (1748–1828)

Joseph Hatton, a hawker and peddler, was charged in York on 25th July 1784 with two counts of seven years breaking into a linen draper's store and stealing a quantity of printed cotton, pieces of lawn, ribbons, as well as a silk handkerchief from a house at Dewsbury.

He was sentenced for grand larceny to seven years transportation, received at the age 36 on Justitia Hulk, and despatched by wagon on 24th February 1787 to Portsmouth for Scarborough, embarking on 27th.


At Port Jackson on 1788 Hatton was put to work at the brick kilns, and was present at the much discussed wedding party of Anthony Rope (Alexander) and Elizabeth Pulley (Friendship) on 19th May 1788 held in Rope’s tent when the ‘sea-pye’ supper containing fresh meat, a welcome change from the usual ration of salt pork, which was alleged stolen goat’s flesh.

The wedding party included Joseph,witnesses John Summers (Alexander). and Elizabeth Mason(Prince of Wales, together with Frances Williams(Prince of Wales), Robert Ryan(Prince of Wales), James Price(Alexander), and Samuel Day(Alexander).

All involved were charged with theft in a community where fresh meat was normally unavailable.


On 30th May, Capt David Collins examined Joseph Hatton about the disappearance of a goat belonging to Lt Johnston. He heard evidence from Joseph, Frances Williams(Prince of Wales), Elizabeth Mason(Prince of Wales), Ann Daly (Prince of Wales) who gave evidence as Ann Warburton,and Samuel Day(Alexander). James Price(Alexander), Anthony Rope and his new wife Elizabeth Rope nee Pulley and Samuel Day for trial

On Monday 2nd June, The Criminal Court sat and James Price together with Anthony Rope and his new wife Elizabeth Rope nee Pulley were charged with stealing the goat’s flesh.

After evidence was given by others including Samuel Day(Alexander). Who put up a very good defence of having found a goat mangled by some animal and as it was still quite fresh, ‘took the liberty of cutting some of the meat off to make a pie for the wedding dinner’,they were acquitted

All the accused were acquitted and the papers were signed by Capt Collins.


In July 1791 he was sentenced to 800 lashes for receiving goods known to have been stolen. Hearing that the watchmen were seeking the original thief, he went ahead with a warning, and took and the stolen property in the woods.

On 18th March 1792 he married Rosamund "Rose" Sparrow (Mary Ann 1791)This solemnization of matrimony by Banns between Joseph Hatton and Rosomand Sparrow this 18th day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand even hundred and ninety two by me Richard Johnson.
Joseph signed the register in the presence of Richard Robinson and John Taylor.


In May was living on a 50 acre grant at Eastern Farms, the grant dated 10th July. By October he had 4 acres in maize

The couple separated after she stabbed him in the stomach June 1795, apparently ‘in a fit of jealousy & passion’ and we can only guess that a relationship with Ann Smith nee Colpitts may have been the likely cause.

David Collins (only some seven years younger than Hatton) called him ‘an elderly man’ although he was 47 years old.

On recovery from this dangerous wound, ‘he earnestly requested that no punishment might be inflicted on her, but that she might be put away from him’ Rose was in more trouble later, sent to Norfolk Island in October 1789 after the theft of clothing from John Archer (Scarborough) but had returned by 1806where she was housekeeper to Jas Oliver.


In the 1828 Census :

Rose Sparrow age 65 f.s. Mary Ann 1791 7 years, Protestant, lodger with Jas. Oliver

Edward Sparrow age 41 Coromandel 1820 7 years, lodger with Jas. Oliver of Wilberforce.


In 1834 as, in that year, she contested Joseph Hatton's son Joseph’s right to inherit her former husband's property. There is no further record of Rose Hatton nee Sparrow.

Joseph suffered losses in other directions notable when Davis Collins wrote to Philip Gidley King in January 1799 about his problems, ‘a settler here….. a very good Man’


By 1800 he was living with Ann Smith nee Colpitts (Lady Penrhyn) who bore him a son on 5th May 1800. Twenty-two settlers including Joseph Hatton partly subscribed to the building of the first bark schoolhouse and chapel – one of the earliest in the colony. On 16th July 1800, the new structure was officially opened and Joseph and Ann’s son, young Joseph, was one of three children christened on that momentous day for the settlers of the district. That bark structure was to be the forerunner of St Anne’s Church.


A list of landholders from August of 1800 shows Hatton on his grant a Kissing Point. He owned 17 pigs and had sown six acres of wheat with another eight acres ready for planting maize. Hatton was off stores but Ann and four children, including the three children - Mary (1792),Jane(1796) and Elizabeth (1797)- from her previous marriage to Thomas Smith

By 1802, Joseph had sold his fifty acres to the colonial brewer James Squire and had purchased John Jones original grant of thirty acresof land at Kissing Point.. He owned 24 pigs and held 30 bushels of maize in store with 3 acres sown in wheat and 14 ready for maize and was able to support both his family and a servant as all were off stores.

Life continued to be very hard on the land and to make matters worse, in December 1804, The Sydney Gazette reported that the family had been robbed of all its possessions. So having become respectable settlers in their new homeland, it is ironic that Joseph and Ann became victims of the very sorts of crimes they themselves had committed while back in England. Nevertheless, after their turbulent lives back in the Old Dart, Joe and Ann took their opportunities and together became a leading family in the life of the small rural community of Kissing Point


In 1806, he was doing much the same- his 17 acres remained in grain, two acres were allotted to an orchard and garden, five were pasture and six fallow. His hogs numbered 10, he held nine bushels of maize but nether a wife or child was listed in the return of landholders. The 1806 muster showed Ann still living with him


On 1 June 1828 Joseph was found dead in his house.

 His death was determined to be the result of 'extreme age and infirmity'.

Inquest:An Inquest was held this week at Kissing Point, in the district of Parramatta, before Francis Beddik, Esquire, Coroner, on the body of Joseph Hatton, a settler, aged 77 years.

It appeared, from, the evidence, that the deceased had returned from Sydney to his residence, at Kissing Point, in a boat, on Saturday evening last, retired very early to rest, and the following morning was found dead in his bed. The deceased had been some time infirm and was very well known in the neighbourhood. The Jury, after due deliberation, returned the following verdict :That they said Joseph Hatton died, by the visitation of God, in a natural way, and not otherwise.-·The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842)Fri 6 Jun 1828 Page 2 Supreme Criminal Court.


Joseph was buried at St Anne’s Ryde.

Ann died four years later on 3 August 1832. Her death notice and obituary referred to her as Mrs. Hatton of Kissing Point. This was the name she was known by for many years in the local district. She was buried however by her legal married name of Ann Smith at St Anne’s Ryde

After her death young Joseph took control of the whole thirty acres and laid claim to it. He had probably been working the grant through Joe senior’s later years and before Ann’s death. Apparently young Joseph stated that the original will made by his father in 1823 had gone missing


However his half sister Elizabeth Bryan (nee Smith) must have known the contents of her stepfather’s will and attempted to win back her share.

As noted above in 1834, Rose Sparrow, Joseph’s legal wife, reappeared and won her case in the Supreme Court for the ownership of all of Joseph Hatton’s possessions including Jones Farm. She based her case on the fact that Joseph Hatton had left no will.

By now it became evident that young Joseph would need to “find the will” or Rose Sparrow would become the owner. Miraculously, young Joseph was soon able to find it and in March 1837 Elizabeth finally won her case and received from Joseph junior as her share of the estate the adjoining twenty acres of Richard Hawkes farm that Joseph senior had previously purchased. Rose Sparrow received only a small amount of cash. Justice was finally delivered.


Complied by John Boyd 2020.

The Fellowship of First Fleeters installed a FFF Plaque on Joseph Hatton’s Grave on 14th September 2008

Refer FFF Web Site:http://www.fellowshipfirstfleeters.org.au/graves.html


Under  see FFF Plaque 114 – Installed 14th September 2008 for

FF JOSEPH HATTON Convict ‘Scarborough (1748-1828)



*- information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 166-67

*-inquest, Sydney Gazette, 6 June 1828, p 2

*-‘Hatton, Joseph (1748–1828)’, People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/hatton-joseph-24927/text33477, accessed 3 July 2020.

*-Paul Coghlan-acattain@bigpond.com



Copyright Fellowship of First Fleeters