William H. Bennett (c.1786–1860)

William H. Bennett was a convict transported per Tottenham (1818) who was initially sent to Parramatta to work as a convict on “Mr. [Richard] Rouse’s Town Gang.” With his ticket of leave in hand, however, Bennett soon began his rise to a better life as one of Parramatta’s “eminent bakers,” eventually owning the entire O’Connell St frontage between Hunter and Macquarie Streets, Parramatta (including the three state heritage listed Georgian cottages known as The Travellers Rest Inn) as well as a farm at Windsor. He is buried with his wife, Elizabeth Miller, also an ex-convict, in a marked grave at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, right near the central walkway.

Burial Location

  • Section 2, Row F, No.1, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta


  • Spouse of Elizabeth Miller
  • Step-parent of Rebecca Miller
  • Parent of Elizabeth Ann Bennett
  • Parent of William Harrard Bennett II


  • Labourer
  • Baker


  • Convict Tottenham (1818)
  • Convict on Richard Rouse’s Town Gang, Parramatta (1818-c.1822)

Related Content

William H. Bennett: An Eminent Baker (2015)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: Being transported beyond the seas may well have been a blessing in disguise for William H Bennett. A labourer in his homeland, Bennett received what was then considered a light sentence of seven years transportation to New South Wales. There he progressed from being a convict in the ‘town gang’ at Parramatta to one of the town’s eminent bakers, ‘carrying on business on a large scale.’ He also became a full-fledged settler as legal titleholder of considerable land including well-situated adjoining allotments on O’Connell Street containing his home and business. His social circle was comprised of equally ambitious and high achieving emancipists such as the chief constable of Sydney as well as other notable characters. His colonial life exemplifies the opportunities that existed in the young colony for skilled or astute emancipists to make a better life for themselves than they may have had in their native lands. more>>

Elizabeth Bennett: The Baker’s Wife (2017)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: Elizabeth Bennett was a baker’s wife and matriarch of an eminent Parramatta family in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Her early years, however, were far from respectable. Her story begins in Lambeth where she was apprehended for a crime known as “uttering.” Sentenced to 14 years transportation on the ill-famed convict ship “Janus” with her young child on board, her first stop on arrival in 1820 was the Parramatta Female Factory’s first incarnation the “Factory Above the Gaol.” more >>


# Convict

# Ship: Tottenham (1818)

# Settlement: Parramatta (Rose Hill)

# Burial year: 1860

# Grave: marked