- Patrick Byrne Convicted
Carlow in March 1795 for 7 years, Ship Marquis Cornwallis
Patrick Byrne 20 years, Tried County Carlow in March
1795, Term of 7 years
Arrival 11 February 1796 on Marquis of Cornwallis.
Master: Michael Hagan. Sailed from Cork.
Transcribed Extracts from "Branching Out"
compiled by Amy Humphries.
The first of our ancestors to come to the colony
of NSW was Patrick Byrne, convicted at Carlow, March
- 1795, sentence 7 years. Aged 20 , he was
transported for an unspecified crime to NSW. An obituary
notice for William Byrne (son of Patrick and Sarah) does
give a pointer to Patrick's involvement in the Irish
troubles and speaks of Patrick being out with the pike
men in County Carlow. Some rebels transported on the
Marquis of Cornwallis were of the type called
"defenders". Originally these were groups of
Catholics who banded together to defend themselves
against gangs, such as the Peep O"Day Boys, who
raided Catholic houses for arms at dawn. Patrick Byrne on
the Marquis of Cornwallis may well have been a Defender
or member of a similar group. Those transported on this
ship were without official papers when they arrived, as
the authorities occupied with more pressing matters,
delayed sending out even the barest details of these
people's sentences until three years later.
On 9 August, 1795 the Marquis of
Cornwallis with Captain Michael Hogan and crew,sailed
- with 163 male and 70 female transportees under
the supervision of a detachment of the NSW Corps
commanded by Ensigns John Brabyn and William More. The
ship called at the Island of St Helena and the Cape of
Good Hope where they lay 25 days in Table Bay, before
arriving in Sydney on 11 February, 1796 after a voyage
lasting 186 days i.e.. 6 months.
The first unequivocal documented
information about Patrick is that, on 22 September 1799,
as Patrick Burn,
- he married Sarah Best, by banns in the Church of
St. John, Parramatta. Both lived in the parish and Samuel
Marsden officiated. Patrick signed his name with a cross.
St. John's Church was on a site adjacent to the present
Woolpack Hotel, in George Street, Parramatta and it seems
to have been the township's church until 1803.
When Patrick enlisted in the NSW
Corps on 10 April, 1801, he had already served 6 years of
his 7 year
- sentence, and he received a bounty of 5 pounds 10
shillings. He was a private in Captain McArthur's
Company, even when McArthur was absent from the colony
between November, 1801 to June, 1805. In 1805 Captain
Savory replaced McArthur.
For the whole period of his enlistment he was in the
Parramatta detachment of the Corps and his pay was about
1 shilling per day. For several months beginning 25 May
1806 he was detailed for guard duty.
Life in the Corps was not without
its excitements for Patrick. It is probable that he was
involved in some
- way with the tragic episode on 4 March 1804,
called the Battle of Vinegar Hill (or Castle Hill
Uprising)- an abortive attempt by 200 Irish prisoners to
gain their freedom.
A few months later on 12
November, 1804 he arrested John Green "a black man
from Pennsylvania who
- had committed atrocities in Parramatta" The
man was later executed. The account of the trial can be
read in the Sydney Gazette and Advertiser Vol. 2 March
1804 - February, 1805.
Between 6 and 7pm on the evening
of 26 January 1808 "the drums of the NSW Corps beat
to arms, the
- troops formed in the Barracks Square (Wynyard
Square) and then marched, bayonets fixed, band playing
and colours flying, towards Government House (at the
corner of Bridge and Phillips Streets)" - the Rum
Rebellion was underway. Governor William Bligh was under
house arrest, Major Johnson proclaimed himself Lieutenant
Governor and James Macarthur assumed the position of
Colonial Secretary. Apparently this was a fateful night
for Patrick also. Possibly the Parramatta detachment of
troops had been marched into Sydney Town when trouble was
brewing. His son William, speaking of these events many
years later, claimed that Patrick caught a chill while on
duty during the disturbances associated with the
deposition of William Bligh, and died a couple of months
later. The military records certainly do not contradict
this claim, Patrick Byrne died as a soldier on 1 April,