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Three First Fleeters
Submitted by
Heather Brownett

  Edward Pugh was born sometime between 1749 and 1766 (possibly February 1758)in the Parish St Marys, Shewsbury, Shropshire, England. Convicted on October 5th 1784 at Gloucester Quarter Sessions, England of stealing a great coat which belonged to one William Barnard. He was sentenced to 7 years and ordered to be transported to America but due to the American War of Independence was transported to New South Wales. He remained in gaol for nearly 3 years before being ordered to Portsmouth for the Prince of Wales on 23 March 1787, with Betty Mason and Elizabeth Parker. He probably fathered a child to Elizabeth, Ann (Nancy) Parker who went with them.

Edward was received on the Friendship on 17 April 1787 and his occupation as given by Ralph Clark was 'House Carpenter' with his age being 22 years. He arrived in the colony on the First Fleet ship Friendship with his wife Elizabeth Parker, and their child Ann (Nancy) who was born about 1787 in Castle Gaol, Gloucester, England. He was just over 5ft 6 ins. tall of dark complexion with hazel eyes and light brown hair.

Edward’s wife, Elizabeth Parker had been convicted to seven years for theft on March 23rd 1785. Elizabeth died in the new colony on February 19th 1788 less than 1 month after the arrival of the First Fleet. Edward Pugh then remarried on June 15th 1788 at St Philips Sydney to another First Fleet convict Hannah Smith who was on three different ships, the Charlotte, the Friendship and the Lady Penrhyn. Hannah also had a child with her, a son born about September 1786. On 6 June1788, nine days before Edward married Hannah, Hannah’s baby son died. Two weeks after their marriage, on 30 June 1788, Edward & Elizabeth Parker’s daughter Ann (Nancy) died at Sydney Cove.  

Their house was burgled by Michael Dennison who stole a pound of flour on Christmas Day. Edward & Hannah Pugh had five children:
David - born 8 March 1789 at Sydney Cove. Baptised 25 April 1789.
Simon - Born 29 May 1791 at Parramatta. Married Elizabeth Bidwell 7 June 1813 at St Johns Church Parramatta.
Edward - born 12 September 1794 at Prospect Hill Baptised 19 October 1794. Married Mary Mitchell 3 March 1810. (Occupation probably Stone Mason) He was a Private in the 102nd Regiment.
Harriet - born 1 October 1796 at Prospect Hill. Baptised at Parramatta on 18 February 1798. Married Stephen Parker 30 August 1813 at St Matthews Windsor. They had two sons & two daughters.
Charlotte - born 29 May 1799 at Parramatta.Baptised at Parramatta on 5 January 1800

Edward Pugh’s sentence expired on Monday 18 July 1791 and he was granted 70 acres at the 'Foot of Prospect Hill' four miles westward of Parramatta. On a visit by Captain Watkin Tench on 5 December 1791 he noted that Edward was a carpenter and that he had 2 acres under cultivation and that the soil in this area was 'But indifferent' and that water was very scarce also that the settlers were frequently robbed by runaway convicts and that few of the farmers showed determination to preserve, being most disconsolate and dispirited…. 'Some (settlers) I found tranquil and determined to preserve, provided encouragement should be given: others…predicted that they should stave, unless the period of 18 months, during which they are to be clothed and fed, should be extended to 3 years. Their cultivation is yet in it’s infancy..' Edward Pugh seems to have prospered: he was off stores by October 1795. On the September 15th 1802 in the District of Mulgrave (Hawksbury District) a second land grant was given at Richmond as the first grant was cancelled due to an error in the number of acres (I think more to the fact that the first land grant at Prospect was unworkable). The Richmond grant was 100 acres just west of Richmond near a lagoon which was later named 'Pugh’s Lagoon'.

On the 20 January 1800 Edward joined the NSW Corps and was discharged in 1810. He was described as a landholder in the Parramatta area in 1814. In 1824 he was “clear’d in Endeavour Schooner” (unsure of what that means). By 1825 he was a labourer at Richmond and in 1826 as “Edward Pew” he was still working as a labourer in Richmond, employed by Henry Seymour. Edward Pugh’s wife Hannah died at Sydney in 1826 and Edward himself died a pauper in Windsor District Hospital on 30 November 1837 and was buried at St Matthews Windsor NSW. The ceremony was held at the Church of England Church, St Matthews, in the Parish of Windsor and was conducted by Richard Taylor MA, Chaplain of Liverpool. Burial number 2590 Vol. 21.

ELIZABETH PARKER (Edward Pugh’s first wife)
Elizabeth Parker was born in Gloucestershire England in 1767 and was tried for housebreaking and transported on the First Fleet ship Friendship with her husband Edward Pugh and daughter Ann (Nancy). On 6 October 1787 she was put in irons during the voyage for quarrelling and dirtiness. Released a week later because of ill-health. She was transferred to the 'Charlotte' at the end of the month. Elizabeth died on 19 (or 26) February 1788, less than a month of arriving at Sydney Cove and her daughter Ann (Nancy) died on 30 June 1788 just 2 weeks after her father Edward Pugh married Hannah Smith.

HANNAH SMITH (Edward Pugh’s second wife)
Hannah Smith was born somewhere between 1750 & 1758 in Winchester England. Hannah was in the company of Daniel Gordon when they stole a quantity of clothing, including a red cloak, 2 pairs of shoes, a pair of stockings and shoe buckles from a house at Upham, Hants. At Winchester Quarter Sessions on 5 April 1785 she was sentenced to 7 years transportation beyond the seas and held is gaol until December 1786, when at the age of 28, she was ordered to the Dunkirk hulk and received there on December 7th 1786 with a baby son about 3 months old (probably born about September 1786). On 11 March 1787 she was discharged to the First Fleet ship Charlotte. At Rio de Janiero on 11 August 1787 Hannah was discharged to the Friendship with the child Ralph Clark notes as “William”. At the Cape of Good Hope in October 1787, she was transferred again to the 'Lady Penrhyn', where Bowes named the child Edward.

Hannah Smith married Edward Pugh on 15 June 1788 at St Philips Sydney. Nine days prior to their wedding, on 6 June 1788, Hannah’s baby son died aged almost 2 years. In 1806 Hannah was recorded as the mother of 1 male and 2 female children. In 1825 she was identified as the wife of Edward Pugh of Richmond. It seems Hannah was the woman who died and was buried at Sydney on October 17th 1826 aged 77 years. (There seems to be quite a few discrepancies between some birth and death dates and there also seems to be a discrepancy in Hannah’s birth date).

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