Deborah Herbert (c.1767-1819)

One of 17 First Fleeters with memorials buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. Deborah was a convict transported with the First Fleet per Prince of Wales (1788). She married fellow St. John’s First Fleeter, John Herbert. Though Deborah can claim Australia’s first domestic violence case to be brought before the Courts, the couple remained together and went on to become successful settlers. Note: FULL-LENGTH BIOGRAPHY COMING SOON (2018).


  • Alternate: Deborah Elam
  • Alternate: Deborah Ellam


Related Content

John Herbert: From Felon to Farmer (2016)

By Penny Edwell

Abstract: Dramatic reversals of fortune defined the lives of many First Fleet convicts, and John Herbert was no exception. A former marine, Herbert was reduced to committing theft to support himself after being thrust into unemployment at the end of the American War of Independence. A conviction for the crime of highway robbery paved the way for a new life in the colony of New South Wales where he arrived as a common criminal but died, more than four decades later, a successful farmer. Despite a fiery early dispute that landed them in front of the colony’s Judge Advocate, John Herbert is buried next to his first wife Deborah. Both are among the 17 First Fleeters with memorials buried at St. John’s Cemetery Parramatta. more>>


  • Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St. John’s, (Parramatta, NSW: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991)
  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989)
  • Parish Burial Records, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.


# First Fleet

# Convict

# Ship: Lady Penrhyn (1788)

# Burial year: 1819

# Grave: marked