William Hubbard


William Hubbard was born about 1768.  When William was 15, he and William Boggis, a fisherman, were Committed the 3d. Day of February 1783, by John Levy, Esq. charged on the oaths of George Anderson and William Potter, with having feloniously taken and stolen in the House of the said George Anderson; One Sheet, of the value of Three Shillings, the Property of the said George Anderson.  They were found guilty at the Surrey Quarter Sessions on 19 February and sentenced to transportation to America for 7 years.  At the time of the trial, he was a labourer of the parish of St Olave in Surrey (in the area of Southwark, on the southern bank of the Thames in London).  His occupation was later given as a plasterer.

William Hubbard was at the New Gaol at Southwark, and transferred to the Censor hulk on 8 April 1785, then to the Justitia hulk.  Eventually, aged about 19, he embarked on the Scarborough on 27th February 1787.

On the day that they arrived in Sydney Cove, 27 January 1788, a large party of Scarborough men began clearing the ground for tents in Sydney.  William Hubbard, like fellow Scarborough convicts John Ramsay and Matthew Everingham whose names were next to his in the convict indent of the Scarborough, may have been involved in the timber felling and the saw pits.  His skill as a plasterer may have been utilised in some of the buildings in the fledgling colony.

Hubbard’s name was on the original list of convicts selected for the night-watch which was established in August 1789 by Governor Phillip.  In February 1790 his seven year sentence was up and William was now a free man.  He was still in the night-watch, and gave evidence on 12 April in the trial of Thomas Halford who stole some potatoes from Lieutenant Frazer's farm, near Long Cove.  The trial notes have the following: William Hubbard (one of the watch) being sworn deposes that the prisoner was brought to the watch house about the half 8 o'clock last Saturday evening.  That in the prisoner's pocket, there were some potatoes found, about four pounds.  That he threw several in the fire, and the prisoners who were there got some of them, which they afterwards roasted.  The prisoner was brought to the watch house of Cross and Howell.  Halford was sentenced by Judge-Advocate David Collins to receive two thousand lashes in the usual manner, on his bare back with a cat of nine tails.

On 19 December 1790 he married Mary Goulding at Rose Hill (Parramatta).  They were married by Reverend Richard Johnson; and they marked the register with a cross.  Born about 1767, Mary was known as Mary Atkinson when she was tried at the Old Bailey in January 1787 for stealing four yards of printed cotton from a shop.  Her death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation, and she arrived at Sydney on the Lady Juliana on 6 June 1790.  In the colony she used the name Goulding.  On the same day as their marriage, another Scarborough convict, John Ramsay married convict Mary Leary.

Children in William & Mary's family were:  1. Ann Hubbard born in 1791 however her birth record has not been found.  She married William Nash in 1810 ‎ and died in 1879.  2. Thomas Hubbard born 15 August 1796: probably William Hubbard’s son who drowned in 1812.  3. Elizabeth Hubbard born 17 September 1800: married 1820 ‎John Crook at Sydney.  4. Harriett Hubbard born 29 October 1802‎, married 1821 William Cook at ‎Sydney.  5. Margaret Hubbard born about 1806, died 1 August 1820 in Sydney.

Ex-convicts who were ‘of good conduct and disposition to industry’ were entitled to a land grant. Married men with no children could receive 50 acres, and in July 1791 William and Mary were settled on a 50 acre land grant at The Ponds.  John Ramsay and Matthew Everingham, fellow Scarborough convicts also had grants at The Ponds.  Hubbard’s grant (in modern Telopea) has modern-day Adderton Road on its west and north boundary, Kissing Point Road near the southern boundary and Sturt Park is at the south-east corner.  Watkin Tench visited this area in December, noting that Hubbard had 2¼ acres in cultivation, and wrote Hubbard’s farm, and Kelly’s also, deserve regard, from being better managed than most of the others.  The people here complain sadly of a disruptive grub which destroys the young plants of maize.  Many of the settlers have been obliged to plant twice, nay thrice on the same land, from the depredations of [the grubs].

By 1800 William Hubbard was farming 100 acres at the Northern Boundary with 40 acres cleared, 6 acres in wheat and 18 acres ‘to be in maize’.  The only livestock was 2 female hogs.  He, his wife and three children and one female servant were off stores, not receiving government stores for food.

 William Hubbard was listed as a private in the Parramatta Loyal Association in 1802.  This enlistment did not last long, because in 1803 the couple moved to a grant on the Hawkesbury River at Sackville Reach near Portland Reach.  A neighbour was another Scarborough convict, Matthew Everingham, who like Hubbard had obtained a grant at the Ponds and then at Sackville Reach.

In the 1806 muster Mary was described as Mary Golderin, housekeeper to William Hubbard.  They had 70 acres, 13 sown with wheat, 2 with maize, ¼ of an acre of orchard and garden, 5 acres in fallow, 3 pigs, and no grain in store.  In this muster, Mary and William Hubbard had 4 children listed, 3 girls and 1 boy.  The children are probably Ann (about 15), Thomas (10), Elizabeth (6) and Harriett (4).

However, the disastrous flood of 1806 would have caused damage to his farm and it appears that William briefly tried sealing or whaling for more income.  In the Sydney Gazette 8 September 1810, there is an article which lists people who were soon to leave Sydney on the ship Aurora, an American whaler.  William Hubbard and James Ruse are in this list of names.  This apparently was short-lived and he was back on his farm, as newspaper reports in 1812 and 1814 show him producing wheat and beef.

In 1812 his son Thomas died in a tragic accident.  The Sydney Gazette reported on 1 August 1812: The Boyd, a small colonial vessel, whose bottom was originally the long-boat of the ship Boyd, which was captured at New Zealand, was last week unfortunately lost with a full freight of wheat from Hawkesbury, on a beach between Hunter's River and Port Stevens, commonly called the Sand-Hills, two persons drowned, and one saved.  The sufferers were, James Wallis, who belonged to the vessel, and Hubbard, son of a Mr. Hubbard, settler on the River-Hawkesbury, whose intention of coming round was to take care of a quantity of wheat belonging to his father, and which of course was perished with the vessel.

William Hubbard supplied 2000 lbs of fresh meat to the NSW Commissariat Department on 21 August 1814.

However, soon after this, he changed his occupation; in 1816 when he contributed to the Waterloo fund, he was listed as a baker in the Windsor area.  In the musters he was a baker from 1816 to 1819.

By 1820 the family had moved to Sydney, where William was employed as a constable.  In 1820 he was recorded as a constable at District Number 2 in Sydney, and was stationed at Cumberland Street, at the Rocks.  Hubbard was still a constable in 1825.

However, both his daughter Margaret and his wife Mary died in 1820.  Margaret died 1 August 1820, and his wife was probably Mary Ann Hubbard who died 4 September 1820, in St Phillips burial register, described as ‘free’, aged 66 (but she was nearer 52 according to age on embarkation), and was buried 7 September at Sydney.

In the 1822 muster he was still listed as a constable and was living with Hannah Whitelock.  Hannah Whitelock nee Sheerwood had been convicted at London's Old Bailey in 1810 for stealing roofing lead from the building where she and her husband had been living and she had arrived as a convict on the Friends in 1811.  In the 1822 muster Hannah and her four children were with William at the Rocks.  He appears to have adopted them because the four children had the surnames Hubbard: Mary born about 1815, John about 1817, James about 1819, and William about 1820.  In the 1825 muster there were two children, John aged 7 and William aged 5.

By 1828 William had changed his occupation to waterman.  Watermen or boatmen provided transport by boat for passengers and goods.  They used watermen’s skiffs.  In the 1828 census, William Hubbard (recorded as Hubbert), aged 57, was working as a waterman in Sydney and was employing a labourer.  Also in the household was Hannah Whitlock alias Hubbert ... wife of William Hubbert.  They were living at Harrington Street, The Rocks with Hannah’s nine-year-old son William, and William Hubbard’s daughter Elizabeth Crooke (28) and her three small children.

 In the Regatta on 2 August 1832, the licensed watermen's boats competed in the fourth race, around Pinchgut Island and back, and Hubbard's boat, the Mary Ann came 5th out of 8 boats.

By 1833 there appeared to be a breakdown in the regulations regarding watermen’s licences, and they were being issued to virtually anyone.  William Hubbard was one of six watermen who signed a memorial or petition complaining about this to the Governor on 9 August 1833.

William’s de facto wife Hannah Hubbard died in April 1836 at the Benevolent Asylum and her burial record in the St James register has burial 5 April, age 64 years, which is probably older than she actually was.

When he was about 74, William Hubbard was admitted into the Sydney Benevolent Asylum on 21 May 1841, on the recommendation of Doctor McKellar.  He left with permission on 1 June 1841 and was readmitted on 30 June 1841.  During the next two years he left occasionally for a few hours at a time, eight times over the two years.

On 29 January 1842 the Sydney Gazette reported that the Government was to award a life pension of 1 shilling a day to the last three surviving members of the first fleet: The number of these really ‘old hands’ is now reduced to three, of whom, two are now in the Benevolent Asylum.

William Hubbard died 18 May 1843 at the Sydney Benevolent Asylum and was buried 22 May 1843, at the Devonshire Street (Sandhills) Cemetery.  The burial register of the parish of Christ Church St Lawrence has his age 76, and ‘Free by Servitude pr Scarborough’.

 #Friend 194, Heather Stevens.

Sources can be seen at: WikiTree contributors, "William Hubbard (abt. 1768 - 1843)", manager Heather Stevens, WikiTree, https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Hubbard-1395&public=1

Note: This story is replacing one compiled by the late Ronald Francis Cohen #6479

Descendant of FF William Hubbard Convict Scarborough and originally published on this site



Return to Scarborough


Copyright Fellowship of First Fleeters