He arrived in Australia on 18 February 1826 on the convict transport 'Mangles' as a member of the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot. From 25 March 1826 until 24 June 1826 he was paid 2 Pounds 1 Shilling and 4 Pence and was a Private who had served 14 years in the Army, and possibly served in the Peninsula Wars between 1809-1814.
He was part of a detachment sent to Fort Dundas on Melville Island. The detachment consisted of 1 Subaltern, 2 Sergeants, 2 Drummers and 35 Rank and File of the 57th under the command of Brevat Major Campbell. They embarked on the Schooner 'Isabella' on the 8 May 1826, and arrived at Melville Island on the 19 September 1826 to relive the 'Buffs' who were currently manning the garrison.
The voyage to Melville Island was via the relatively new settlement at King George Sound (now Albany) in Western Australia to off load supplies. This explains the amount of time it took to arrive at Melville Island from Sydney, as the 'Isabella' would have had to sail against the prevailing winds across the Great Australian Bight.
James Gibbons remained at Fort Dundas until it was abandoned to Raffles Bay in 1829, the detachment was returned to Sydney on the Brig 'Lucy' again via King George Sound. James also spent some time in Van Diemans Land however I do not have any details as yet
James Gibbons served until 1831.
James was born in Bray, Berkshire in 1788, he died in Sydney on 12th November 1837, and was buried in the then Burial Grounds on Elizabeth & Devonshire St 'The Sandhills', which is now Central Station.
James married a convict woman by the name of Mary Madden, who was transported for 7 years on the ship Edward which sailed from Cork in Ireland on 1 Jan 1929 and arrived in Sydney on 29 Apr 1829. They were married on 11 Jan 1835. They had two children Sarah born 21 Oct 1835, and Jane who was born in 1838 after James died. There is an excellent paper written by "John Morris" titled "Relationship Between The British And The Tiwi In The Vicinity Of Fort Dundas, Melville, Island". This gives an account of the 57th during there time on Melville Island the document can be obtained from the Darwin Library or the Historical Society Of The Northern Territory.
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