Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Colonial Events 1801


Loss of crops and stock over the previous four months due to floods at Hawkesbury.


Muster (Census) taken.


John Murray transferred from the Porpoise to the Lady Nelson.


Ticket of leave system introduced by Governor King

February 21

Arrival of convict ship Anne from Cork. Hunter Valley Bushranger John Fitzgerald convict arrived on the Anne

March 2

Flood at the Hawkesbury


Survey of coast near Western Port by Lieutenant James Grant.

April 13

Charles Grimes appointed Acting Surveyor General of N.S.W

June 4

A silver snuff box was presented to Governor King by Lieut. Grant to mark King George III's birthday. - National Museum of Australia.

June 9

Memorandum to Colonel Paterson and Lieutenant Grant from Governor King regarding information to be collected at Hunter River

The expedition to Hunter River included Lieut-Colonel Paterson, Lieut. James Grant, J. Murray, R.N., Ensign Barralier, George Cayley and Dr. John Harris. After the Francis returned to Sydney with a small cargo of coal, artist John William Lewin joined the expedition.

June 12

Arrival of convict ship Earl Cornwallis from England under Master James Tennent master. Surgeon John Dight

June 14

Lieutenant Grant and John Harris disembarked at Coal Island (Nobbys) and raised the new Union on top of the island

June 15

Lady Nelson taken round Pirate Point to the small bay with fresh water named by Colonel Paterson Freshwater Bay.


James Grant and Colonel Paterson examined Ash Island

June 19

Colonel Paterson sights natives in the distance at Hunter River

June 22

Francis Barralier and Mr. Grant sound the entrance to the Hunter river

25 June

Description of coal at Newcastle written by Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson to Governor King, 25 June 1801

June 29

Colonel William Paterson, John Harris and Mr. Lewin take excursion of seven days using launch and small boat belonging to Mr. Harris

June 30

Exploration party proceed about 14 miles up Hunter river

July 1

Colonel Paterson's party arrive at Schank's Plains (Maitland)

July 9

Heavy showers at Hunter River.


Settlement established at Coal River (Newcastle) under Corporal John Wixtead . - Early Convict Coal Miners

July 18

Departure from Portsmouth of Matthew Flinders in the Investigator (formerly Zenophon). Under the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks, the Investigator was said to admirably fitted out and manned with specially selected men who were distinguished by a glazed hat decorated with a globe and the name of the ship in letters of gold. (Ipswich Journal 27 June 1801).

Robert Brown was appointed botanist on the Investigator by Sir Joseph Banks

August 17

Female orphan School established in the former residence of Lieut. Kent, George St. Sydney. Formally opened on this day.

September 14

Duel between John Macarthur and Colonel William Paterson

September 20

Fustic had been discovered at the Hunter River. In September 1801 Governor King issued an order prohibiting any trees of that kind to be cut down without written permission of government. King sent samples to the Duke of Portland stating that although the trees were small they appeared to yield excellent dye. Samples were also sent to Sir Joseph Banks, however it was very cheap to obtain from the West Indies and it was doubted whether there was any commercial potential from the Hunter River fustic. (Fustic produced a very fine yellow dye)


Return to England on the Hunter, of John Macarthur

October 4

Departure of Earl Cornwallis, Capt. Tennent for Bengal


Departure from the Colony of Lieutenant James Grant.


Blankets made at Parramatta gaol from locally produced wool.

December 14

Arrival of the convict ship Minorca - James Hardy Vaux and surgeon William Redfern convicts on board

December 14

Arrival of the convict ship Canada. Master William Wilkinson. Surgeon John Kelly

December 14

Arrival of convict ship Nile. Master James Sunter. Convict Margaret Catchpole arrived on the Nile.