James Williams was born in Denbigh, Wales.

Marine Private James (John) Williams (c1760.....1820)

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Born : Circa 1760

Where Born : Wrexham , Denbigh , Wales

Occupation : Blacksmith / Soldier

Date Arrived : 26/1/1788

Ship Arrived on : " Sirius "

Rank attained : Marine Private

Date of Enlistment : 16. March 1782

Where Enlisted : Portsmouth

Date of Discharge :21. February 1791

Where Discharged : Norfolk Island

Enlistment R.N.S.W. Reg : September1792

Date of Discharge : October 1799

Re-Enlistment R.N.S.W. Reg : November 1799

Transferred Invalid Company: 1810

Died : 16. March 1820

Where Died / Buried : Concord Sydney

Parents Names :

Spouse's Name : Rachael Watkins

Born : 1760

Where Born :

Occupation :

Date Arrived : 1790

Ship Arrived on : " Neptune "

Date Married :

Where Married :

Died : 10 . February 1840

Where Died / Buried : St Phillip's Church Sydney

Spouse's Parents :



Area Settled :

Mulgrave Place , Liverpool

Children :

1 . Susannah Williams (b.1792....d.)

2 . Ann Williams (b.1794......d.)

3 . Sarah Williams (b.c1789.....d.)

4 . Michael Williams.(b. c 1802......d.)

History & Achievements :

James Williams enlisted as a Marine and was a member of the 23rd Portsmouth Company . He was stationed on board the ship " Sirius " and it was on this ship he left England for Australia. Upon his arrival in Sydney John was sent to Norfolk Island on the ship "Golden Grove " on the 2nd of October 1788. He returned to Sydney where he enlisted in the Royal New South Wales Regiment . He discharged from the Regiment only to Re-Enlist . When the Regiment returned to England he stayed as a member of the Royal Invalid (Veterans) Company. Granted lands at Cascade Stream of 60 acres, James made several trips back and forth from Norfolk Island .

E- mail address


© Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia

Last revised: May 11, 2002.

Records of Denbigh date back to the 11th Century where it was described as a small border town. Denbigh (or 'Denbych' in Welsh meaning 'Little fortress') grew steadily throughout the next 200 years to become a royal residence for Welsh Princes and a focal point of Welsh power in North Wales.

In 1282 , Edward I conquered the town and fell under English rule. From that time, the medieval town developed as the building of the castle was completed and was protected by the castle town walls.

Denbigh never really knew peace over the next few centuries, being fiercely contested between the Welsh and English. In 1563 Queen Elizabeth appointed Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, lordship of Denbigh and control of the castle becoming in the process governor-general of North Wales. The next major event was 1643 when Denbigh became a refuge for a Royalist garrison during the Civil War. This ceased with the surrender in 1646 after which the castle and town walls were allowed to fall into ruin.

Throughout these periods the people of Denbigh had long since abandoned their inconvenient fortress-borough and moved to reside outside the town walls. This was now amongst the largest and richest towns in Elizabethan Wales, a powerhouse of Renaissance culture and enterprise, and a vibrant, prosperous market town.

Visit St Asaph Cathedral the site of this ancient Cathedral goes back to 560 when the Church with a large monastic Community was founded here by St Kentigern.

James Williams arrived in Australia with the First Fleet on the Sirius, he was a Marine Private and was one of the first people to be sent to Norfolk Island to set up a Convict Settlement and supervise the convicts under Philip Gidley King who had been sent by Governor Phillip.


1787 January 6 The first group of convicts are embarked on Alexander at Woolwich, London.

May 13 First Fleet sails from Portsmouth, Hampshire.

June 3 Arrival at Madeira. Water and fresh supplies taken on board.

July 14 Fleet crosses equator.

August 6 Arrival at Rio de Janiero. Fleet undergoes repairs, takes on fresh water and supplies.

September 4 Fleet departs Rio.

October 14 Arrival at Cape of Good Hope. Fresh supplies and livestock taken on board.

November 12 Departure from the Cape. (Table Bay)

November 25 Captain Phillip divides the Fleet and sails ahead with the four fastest ships.

1788 January 3 Coast of Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) sighted.

Jan 18/19 The first division of the Fleet anchors at Botany Bay.

January 20 The remainder of the Fleet arrives.

January 26 All Fleet ships anchor in Sydney Cove, Port Jackson. Captain Phillip and officers go ashore, raise the flag and toast the new colony. Two French ships commanded by La Perouse enter Botany Bay.

February 15 The Supply sails for Norfolk Island carrying a small party to establish a settlement.



Norfolk Island is the site of one of the earliest European settlements in the Southwest Pacific. It is arguably the most famous place of secondary punishment for nineteenth century British Convicts.

On the 6 March 1788, less than two months after the establishment of the colony of New South Wales, Lieutenant Philip Gidley King and 22 settlers (including 9 male and 6 female convicts) landed at what is now Kingston, Norfolk Island.

The produce from this settlement probably saved the Sydney inhabitants from starvation, but by 1804 it was no longer needed. However, the settlement met with mixed success. The soil was fertile, but clearing the rainforest proved difficult and early crops were attacked by rats and parrots.

On 19 March 1790 "HMS Sirius" the flagship of the First Fleet, was wrecked on the reef at Kingston. Although there was no loss of life, the incident highlighted the settlement's vulnerability.

Despite these difficulties, the settlement continued to grow, reaching a population of over 1100. However, the settlement failed to become self-supporting and proved to be both difficult and expensive to maintain. From 1806 onwards the inhabitants were gradually transferred to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). In 1814 the settlement was abandoned, following destruction of all buildings to discourage unauthorised occupation of the Island.

Norfolk Island was to remain uninhabited for another 11 years.