The man recorded in the St. John’s burial register as “WILLIAM HEATHERINGTON, Convict” cannot be matched to anyone in the records of convicts who arrived in the colony prior to his burial date of 2 November 1791.
A “JOHN HETHERINGTON” was recorded as arriving with the Second Fleet per Surprize (1) (1790), but this was not the right person, as JOHN HETHERINGTON never actually sailed to the colony; due to good behaviour on the hulks and recommendations he was permitted to leave the hulks before his sentence of transportation was completed to transport himself to South Carolina in the United States of America where his uncle was based, instead of Botany Bay. However, following a series of unfortunate events, JOHN HETHERINGTON instead returned to England before the completion of his sentence and was arrested for a violent burglary. He was tried for both offences again at the Old Bailey and sentenced to death. He was executed on 23 February 1791. So, this is definitely not the man who was buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta in November 1791.
Another possibility for WILLIAM HEATHERINGTON’s true identity is “THOMAS HETHERIDGE” who was tried and convicted at Gloucester in 1789, sentenced to seven years transportation, and arrived with the Third Fleet per Atlantic (1791). Further research required.
- unmarked grave, exact location unknown, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta
- Parish Burial Registers, Textual records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
# Grave: unmarked
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