Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Colonial Events 1804

A strong stone bridge replaced the earlier one over the Tank Stream


Assigned convicts became entitled to wages under certain conditions


First church service performed at Hobart by Rev. Robert Knopwood - At what is now Sorrento Rev. Knopwood conducted the first religious service in Victoria in October 1803 and, after Collins decided to abandon that settlement, the first service in Tasmania at Hobart Town in February 1804. (ADB Online)


Government brewery established at Parramatta although hops were in short supply and an experienced brewer had yet to be found. First brewery in Parramatta

Historical Records of Australia Series 1., Vol IV., p 460 {Extract}
Governor King to Lord Hobart
Sydney New South Wales
March 1st 1804
Respecting the utensils for brewing, and the hops sent by the Glatton and Cato, I have a pleasure in saying that the former are all fixed at Parramatta in a building appropriated for that purpose, with a kiln and every other requisite for malting barley and brewing under the same roof. 142 pounds of hops were bartered with a settler who has long brewed in small quantities. The remainder I shall preserve for the purpose of brewing for the use of those your Lordship points out, which has always been an event much desired by me. A trial has been made in which we have succeeded in making a small quantity to begin with, and I do not doubt but we shall soon carry it on in a very large scale. That which is made is very good, altho' we have no one proficient in brewing to conduct it. In a former letter I stated what might be expected from the utensils for brewing and the hops sent by the Glatton, and that the indifferent kind of barley we possessed would enable us to continue brewing beer when commenced; nor do I doubt but your Lordship's attention to this colony will direct my request being granted for some good seed barley and more hops being sent, also another set of brewing utensils for Sydney and one for Norfolk Island. It would also be a future benefit if a thousand well established hop plants could be put on board any whaler coming direct.. There are now about forty thriving hop plants growing from a quantity of seed brought by an officer in 1802 which are much taken care of.

March 1

Governor King signifies his intention of re-opening Newcastle settlement....

Governor King to Lord Hobart 1st March 1804. {Extract)
In a former letter, I communicated my reasons for withdrawing the guard and people I had sent to Coal Harbour. Occasional supplies of coal and cedar for buildings are got from thence, both by Government and individuals. Should any fit person present himself for managing a settlement of that kind, I shall renew it immediately. Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. V, King 1803, 1804, 1805. Edited by F. M. Bladen, Lansdowne Slattery and Company, Mona Vale, N.S.W.,1979, p.329

March 4

Uprising at Castle Hill

March 5

Roman catholic services banned and martial law proclaimed

March 8

Three rebels executed at Parramatta - Charles Hill, Samuel Humes (Hung in Chains) and John Place

March 9

Three rebels executed at Castle Hill - William Johnston (Hung in Chains), John Neale, George Harrington

March 10

Two rebels executed at Sydney - John Brannon and Timothy Hogan

March 14

Charles Menzies of HMS Calcutta offered his services as Superintendent at the new settlement at Coal River

March 18

Lieut. Charles Menzies appointed Commandant at Coal River

March 25

General orders for the new settlement at Coal River

March 30

Settlement re-established at Hunter River under Lieutenant Charles Menzies. Participants in the Castle Hill rebellion were among convicts sent to the River on this day


Three men by the name of Broadbent, Johnson and James Field stole Sergeant Day's boat in Sydney with intention of sailing to Timor. They were wrecked 100 miles north of Port Stephens. Two were killed by natives and the third James Field turned himself in to the settlement at Newcastle. Read about the ordeal of James Field here

May 7

Earthquake felt at Parramatta, Hawkesbury

May 7

Arrival of Coromandel at Port Jackson with 200 convicts. Master John Robinson


First successful inoculation against small pox in Sydney


Arrival of Richard Siddons on the English whaler Alexander


Lieut. Colonel Paterson, N.S.W. Corps, to be sent by Gov. King to examine Port Dalrymple with a view to settlement (Did not leave until October because of inclement weather)

June 24

Arrival of convict ship Experiment with 2 male and 136 female prisoners

June / July

Natives at Portland Head 'dispersed' by soldiers of the New South Wales Corp in consequence of hostility towards settlers........ The Hull Packet 26 February 1805 ..... The natives in the neighbourhood of Portland Head had committed some enormities in consequence of which a detachment of the New South Wales Corps had been sent to the relief of the settlers. A few of the hostile natives having fallen, the remainder dispersed. 'Since then' says a letter from Portland Head, ' their rancour has greatly subsided, or, at all events its consequences have become much less injurious than before and many have signified a desire of returning to their accustomed habits, without which the wants peculiar to the savage state must be felt with increased severity, as well from the loss of the succour afforded them by the settlers as from the relaxation produced by a long state of dependence upon the bounty of their benefactors'. The above proceedings took place in June and July lst, but at the date of the last accounts tranquility appeared to be completely restored.

June / July

Severe Punishment of convicts at Coal River for their plans to murder Officers and escape from the Colony

August 1

Charles Throsby appointed to medical duty and Magistrate at Newcastle


Many convicts and half the military detachment withdrawn from Norfolk Island


Attempt to cross the Blue Mountains by George Caley . George Caley arrived on the Speedy in 1800. He joined the Hunter River Expedition in 1801.


In 1804 cedar getters sent up the Hunter river lived under difficult and dangerous conditions. Read Lieutenant Menzies' correspondence regarding these early expeditions

December 20

Death of Provost Marshal Thomas Smyth

December 27

Death of pickpocket George Barrington who had arrived on the Active in 1791