1773 - 1839 (66 years)
||Jonathan Griffiths [1, 2] |
||04 Mar 1773
||Stone, Gloucestershire, England 
||14 Mar 1773
||All Saints Church, Stone, Gloucestershire, England [4, 5]
||Baptism - Jonathan Griffiths
Jonathan Griffiths was baptised 14 March 1773 at All Saints Church, Stone, Gloucestershire, England
||23 Jun 1827
||Tamar, Tasmania, Australia
|Mr jonathan Griffiths launched his new Schooner Called the Resolution. See attached newspaper article. |
||Launch of Resolution
Newspaper article advising of Jonathan Griffiths Launching the Resolution which he built on the Tamar, Tasmania. the article appeared on Page 5 of the Hobart Town Gazette
||Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia 
||Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia 
||Tucker Family Tree | The Descendants of Jonathon Griffiths
||16 Jun 2017 |
||Thomas Griffiths, b. Stone, Gloucestershire, England d. Aug 1782 |
||Sarah Withers, b. Apr 1740, Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England d. 18 Mar 1783, Stone, Gloucestershire, England (Age ~ 42 years) |
||12 Dec 1762
||Stone, Gloucestershire, England
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||Eleanor McDonald, b. 1770, Dublin, Ireland d. 01 Mar 1831, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia (Age 61 years)  |
||Yes, date unknown
|Type: Partners |
- Jonathan and Eleanor met at Norfolk Island Penal Colony, but never married.
- Jonathan Griffiths and Eleanor McDonald met each other at Norfolk Island. Both had been transported to Australian and sentence to 7 years. Jonathan Griffiths arrived on the second fleet in 1790. Eleanor McDonald arrived in Australia one year later.
- Eleanor is recorded in the earliest documents as "Elinor" and later as "Eleanor". She will be referred to as Eleanor.
Eleanor McDonald was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1770. Of her early life or family nothing is known. On 27 October, 1790 Eleanor is recorded as being sentenced at the Quarter Sessions (Court) at the Tholsel, Dublin. The record states:-
"found guilty of stealing a metal watch, chain and locket - value six guineas - the property of Thomas Dalton. Sentenced to be transported".
A copy of the record is attached. The record is written in "olde English" - where the letter "f" stands for the letter "s". Some of the sentences of other persons that can be made out on the record, make for interesting comparisons.
Eleanor left Ireland from the Cove of Cork as a convict aboard the "Queen" ("Queen Anne" in some records) and arrived at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) on 26 September, 1791, as part of what has been historically designated as the Third Flee
A complete list of prisoners aboard "Queen" from Dublin and other counties is attached. The list shows
Age:- 20 years
Date of Trial:- October, 1790
Sentence:- 7 years
The Transport "Queen" was the first convict transport that sailed direct from Ireland to New South Wales and comprised 133 men, 22 Women and 1 boy aged 11 years.
A Copy of the "Queen" indent (list) of prisoners showing Elinor McDonald, is attached.
Eleanor was also sent to Norfolk Island where she arrived on 223 April, 1792. The first recorded association with Jonathon Griffiths as a "family" was there and a record noted in "Norfolk Island - The People and their Families - 1788-1813"ttached. Eleanor served the balance of here sentence at Norfolk Island.
|+||1. Thomas Griffiths, b. 10 Oct 1797, South Creek, Hawkesbury, NSW, Australia d. 11 Jun 1826, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia (Age 28 years)|
|+||2. Sarah Griffiths, b. 1798, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia d. 26 Dec 1870, "Terricks", Launceston, Tasmainia, Australia (Age 72 years)|
|+||3. John Griffiths, b. 23 Aug 1801, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia d. 02 Jan 1881, Launceston, Tasmainia, Australia (Age 79 years)|
|+||4. William Griffiths, b. 1803, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia d. 03 Nov 1881, Hadspen. Tasmania, Australia (Age 78 years) [Father: Birth] [Mother: Birth]|
|+||5. E. Griffiths|
|+||6. Mary Griffiths, b. 30 May 1804, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia d. 21 Jan1874, Mt Thorley, New South Wales, Australia |
|+||7. Ann Griffiths, b. 07 Jul 1806, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia d. 23 Jun 1863, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia (Age 56 years)|
| ||8. James Griffiths, b. 21 Feb 1808, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia |
| ||9. Henry Griffiths, b. 16 May 1812, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia d. 13 Aug 1889, Launceston, Tasmainia, Australia (Age 77 years)|
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||28 Mar 2015 |
Jonathan Griffiths was born in Stone, Gloucestershire, in the March of 1773 the youngest of four children to Thomas and Sarah Griffiths.
||Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825|
Page 6 - GRIFFITHS, Jonathan. Per "Scarborough", 1790; ship owner and builder; landholder at
Richmond Hill and later Launceston
||Richmond Landowners in 1801|
Richmond Landowners in 1801 - Jonathon Griffiths Prperties are listed under number 7
||List of Families Norfolk Island 1788 - 1813|
This is an official list of Families on Norfolk Island between 1788 - 1813. Jonathon Griffiths and Eleanor McDonald are listed here.
||Full Report of Sentence - Jonathon Griffiths Page 2|
Extract from crown records of Assizes (Oxford Circuite) in the public records office London. Assizes. 1787 - Jonathon Griffiths full report of Sentence Page 2.
||Full Report of Sentence - Jonathon Griffiths Page 1|
Extract from crown records of Assizes (Oxford Circuite) in the public records office London. Assizes. 1787 - Jonathon Griffiths full report of Sentence Page 1.
||"Scarbough (2)" List of Prisoners - Jonathon Griffith|
List of prisoners transported aboard the Scarbouragh on the second fleet - Jonathon Griffiths
||A Reproduction of the Sydney Gazett December 8 1810|
An address from the settlers of the Hawksbury printed in the Sydney Gazette 8 December 1810 - there is a list of 94 Names including Jonathon Griffith.
||A typed reproduction of the Sydney Gazette Article 8 December 1810|
This is a typed readable version of the Address of the Settlers of the Hawksbury and the Governors reply printed in the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser 8 December 1810. Jonathon Griffiths Name appears amongst the list.
||Extract from the Sydney Gazette 21Sep 1811|
Extract from the Sydney Gazette 21 Sep 1811 - House for sale.
||Extract - Australian Dictionary of Biography - Jonathan Griffiths|
An Extract from the Australian Dictionary of Biography - Jonathan Griffiths - An obvious error is the age of which Jonathan was convicted.
||An Extract from "The Fatal Shore"|
An Extract from "The Fatal Shore" - A history of the transportation of convicts to Australia 1787 -1868 by Robert Hughs . It meantions the conditions of Scarbourgh, this was the voyage and ship that Jonathon Griffiths was embarked.
||Location Map - Port Fairy - Victoria, Australia|
Map of Victoria showing Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia
||Shipping Arrivals and Departures - Tasmania 1803 - 1833|
Both Jonathon and His son John Griffiths feature on this extract.
||Extract from The Forgotten Generations of Norfolk Island.|
Jonathon Griffiths was on Norfolk Island during the period described in this extract from The Forgotten Generations of Norfolk Island
||A Calendar of the Criminal prisoners in the Castle Gaol for the county of Gloucester at Trinity Sessions July 15th 1788.|
Jonathan Griffiths, aged 13yrs appears under prisoner 29, listing his offenses.
||Calendar of the Criminal Prisoners in the Castle Gaol for the County of Gloucester at Epiphany Sessions January 13th 1789|
Jonathan Griffiths convicted and sentenced to be Transported beyond the seas for 7 years. He appears on page 2, prisoner No. 13.
- Jonathan Griffiths was the first member of our family to arrive in Australia, which he did in 1790 as a convict.
Jonathan was born on 4th March, 1773 at Stone, Gloucester shire, England. He was baptised on 14 March, 1773.
The Gloucester shire,County Council records show that Jonathan was the youngest child of Thomas Griffiths and Sarah Withers. Sarah Withers had been baptised at Thornbury, Gloucester shire on 13 October, 1742, the eldest child of John Withed Sarah Berkeley. Her family had been in that area back to her great grandparents, John Wither (sic) and Cristian Smith, who had married on 4 September, 1676 at Thornbury. Of the early background of Thomas Griffiths, nothing is know.
Johnathan's parents had married at Stone on 12 December 1762. His brother, William, was baptised on 25 November, 1764 and his sisters, Ann was baptised on 20 march 1768 and Elizabeth on 8 July, 1770.
Burial record show that Jonathan's father, Thomas Griffiths was buried on 26 August, 1782 and his mother, Sarah Griffiths (nee Withers) was buried on 28 March, 1783. Jonathon was therefore an orphan at the age of 10years.
It seems that Jonathan may well have, together with the three other children of his family, gone to live with his maternal grandparents, were they were cared for and that his association with his grandfather or uncle was where he learnt orited his sills as a builder and ship builder.
Of Jonathon's life from then is not known until his name is listed on the list of prisoners held in the Gloucester Castle Gaol at Gloucester on 15 July, 1788.
A Copy of the Gloucester Gaol Record for that date is attached under documents. The record provided the following information:-
"William Hawlings - Aged 16 and Jonathan Griffiths - aged 13
Brought in June 7th. Commanded by C.F. Morgan Esquire. Charged with stealing in a Wagon of (Mnfr) Manufacturer Thomas and John Creed - a box containing two coats, two waistcoats, two pair of Breeches and other Wearing Apparel - Value 5 pounds, the property of Thomas Morgan".
The gaol record lists Jonathon's age as 13 years. From other records this is not correct. The Gloucestershire County Council advise that he was listed on the Gaol Record as above, convicted and sentenced in that year - 1788. Other recordw that he was convicted and sentenced on 16 July, 1788. So Jonathon was aged 15 years at the time of his arrest and conviction. A copy of the letter from Gloucestershire County Council is attached to documents.
Jonathan's record of conviction and sentence is as follows:-
Arrest:- 7th June, 1788 (aged 15 years).
Charge:- Grand Larceny (stealing clothes from a wagon - value five pounds.
Convicted:- 16 July, 1788.
Sentence:- 7 years transportation "beyond the seas."
A full and detailed report of his sentence is attached in documents. This document makes for interesting reading in the way it is set out and the legalistic terms in which it is written. Jonathan's co-offender was not listed in these details. The box of clothing stolen is detailed item by item and the value of such items.
Jonathon was held at the Gloucester Castle Gaol and was recorded as being held there in October, 1788 and January 1789. It is not known where he was held after that.
At the age of 16 years, Jonathan was transported to New South Wales aboard a transport ship called "Scarborough". This transport sailed together with two other convict transports in what has been historically designated as the Second Fleete records of the second Fleet refer to "Scarborough (2)". The symbol (2) means that "Scarborough" was making its second voyage to New South Wales, as this transport was also part of the First Fleet to New South Wales in 1788.
"Scarborough" was of 418 tons (about 430 Tonnes), which is about the size of a Manly ferry. The transport left England on 19 January, 1790 under the command of John Marshall. It arrived at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) on 13 April0 refreshed there for 16 days and arrived at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) on 28 June, 1790. The voyage therefore took a total of 5 months 9 days.
Aboard one of the transports in the Second Fleet ("Neptune") the convicts were treated with savage brutality. The rations for the convicts aboard "Scarborough" were not deliberately withheld, but owing to a reported attempt at mutiny, thects were closely confined and given insufficient access to the deck. The height of the space for the convicts under the deck was 4 feet 6 inches (about 145cms). This was one of the direct causes of the high death rate aboard the transport. In the first Fleet voyage, "Scarborough" lost no one.
History records the voyage of the Second Fleet as disastrous. "Scarborough" carried 261 men from England. Of these 73 died on the voyage. Of the 188 convicts that landed, 96 of these were ill and those who did not require medical treatmeere described by David Collins (the Colony's first Judge Advocate) as "lean and emaciated". A copy of this quote in "The Forgotten Generations of Norfolk Island and Van Diemans Land" is attached.
The Second Fleet was the only "private" transportation of convicts to Australia that took place during the history of transportation of convicts to Australia. The cost and "profit" to the owners of the vessels in the Second Fleet were priy financed and organised. All other convict fleets and transports were financed and organised by the Crown.
Two recent historical books refer to the Second Fleet as -
"The voyage of the Second Fleet turned out to be the worst in the whole history of penal transportation". (The Fatal Shore - Hughes - 1987.
A second reference is contained in the "History of Australia" by John Molony Published in 1988 which stated:-
"The Second Fleet was the most cruel and inhumane episode of the whole epoch of transportation".
At the age of 17 years, Jonathan Griffiths arrived in New South Wales on 28 June, 1790 in that Second Fleet, presumably one of the "lean and emaciated" survivors. A copy of the "Scarborough (2)" (indent of List) of prisoners listing Jonathan Griffiths is attached.
On 7th August, 1790 Jonathan was landed at Norfolk Island where he served the balance of his 7 year sentence. Convicts were taken to Norfolk Island to collect timber and flax which were to be used in naval ships back in England. It was alsr the purposes of occupying that island to prevent the French from claiming the island for themselves. It was also the days before Norfolk Island became a "hell Hole" after 1803 for the brutality to convicts.
It was at Norfolk Island that we find the first recorded reference to Jonathan Griffiths and Eleanor McDonald as being associated as a family.
Jonathan Griffiths was sentence to 7 years transportation to Australia. He arrived on the second fleet and was sent to Norfolk Island to serve his sentence. He Met Eleanor McDonald who arrived one year later in 1791, she also was sentence to 7 years transportation to Australia. They met at Norfolk Island whilst serving their prison sentences.
Jonathan Griffiths Left Norfolk Island on 21 September 1795 having completed his sentence and he was now "Free by Servitude". This would confirm his conviction as being on 16 July, 1788 (ie 1788 Plus 7 years sentence is 1795).
It seems that when he arrived back in New South Wales he was granted 100 acres of land at Richmond, as it appears, were other convicts freed from Norfolk Island.
On 19 February, 1796. Eleanor McDonald left Norfolk Island and returned to New South Wales. When she became "Free by Servitude" is not known but probably around October, 1797 (ie 1790 plus 7 years is 1797).
Eleanor joined Jonathan at Richmond where in October, 1797 she had her first child, Thomas Griffiths who was baptised at Parramatta. It seems that whilst shill a convict she must have been "assigned" to Jonathan or was located near him. Tact detail of this is not known.
Jonathan and Eleanor had 10 children, but it appears there may have been 12 children. A detailed family chart shows a record of 10 children. The 5th and 6th children were twins.
A record of the first settlers at Richmond in 1800 records Jonathan as having purchased two blocks of land in that district. A copy of the land map is attached.
The following is a resume of some of the records of the early days in New South Wales which mention Jonathan Griffiths":-
1804 Jonathan was building ships on the Hawkesbury River for trade to Sydney. He Build a number of ships (up to 92 tons) by 1804 his ships had carried cargo to Sydney and Newcastle.
1806 The Convict Muster (a count of convicts and people in the Colony) in that year records both Jonathon and Eleanor as being credited with 100 acres, 6 children (although the family chart records 7), residents of Richmond and a farmer.
1810 In 1810 Governor Lachlan Macquarie on his tour of New South Wales visited the Hawkesbury region. The Residents of the area (Richmond/Windsor), including Jonathon Griffiths, signed a letter of thanks to the Governor, which was published in the Sydney Gazette. A copy of the Sydney Gazette is attached. The Governor's reply to the letter makes for interesting reading, overall. (Details of the Governor's visit are contained in the Second Generation - See attachment.
1811 Notice in the Sydney Gazette in 1811 of the sale of a house and premises in George Street, Sydney owned by Jonathon Griffiths. The notice is attached.
1814 The muster of that year shows Jonathon as Free by Servitude - landholder - 7 children - resident of Windsor (which is near Richmond). In that Muster is recorded the fact that 3 male convicts were assigned to him and 1 female convict as a servant. The Crown assigned (or directed/allocated) convicts to serve their sentence in the service of some specific person - that is, the convicts provided free labour to that person. Here we have an ex-convict having assigned to him four convicts to work for him free - and no doubt a very common occurrence in those times.
1816 - 1818 Building ships, assisted the Crown with a brigatine (ship) in pursuit of "villains" - rewarded with 200 pounds and a written authority from Governor Macquarie to apprehend runaway convicts. This I found interesting, as here we have an ex-convict authorised to apprehend runaway convicts. In 1818 Jonathan sent a boat to re-capture a government boat that had been taken by convicts. He sent his sealing crews to Kangaroo Island (South Australia) and to New Zealand.
1822 onwards From 1816 - 1817 Jonathan had sailed to and from Van Diemans Land (Tasmania) and in 1822 Jonathan took two of his sons, John and William, to the Launceston area and over the next few years built up and developed land and property in that area. By 1830 he owned 7000 acres. He built a bridge of the North Esk River which remained until 1899. It seems that Jonathan spent time between that area and Windsor. A record of this arrivals and departures (of which therewere many) between 1803 - 1833 is attached.
1820's Jonathan Griffiths built a house at Legana Tasmania.
1828 New South Wales Census listed Jonathan Griffiths as a shipbuilder.
During this period, Eleanor McDonald remained at Richmond, although she may well have travelled to Tasmania as well. One recorded arrival and departure does refer to "with wife and children". A detailed background of their eldest child, Thoms Griffiths, does give some clue to the fact that Eleanor resided at Richmond. Musters and Census show that both were at Richmond and Windsor. In February, 1812, Thomas was appointed by his father as trustee to receive certain rents from farms, to be paid to his mother. By this time Jonathan was a man of substance, being a substantial landholder, a ship builder and owner, whose vessels were trading the Hawkesbury River, Bass strait and the Coal River (Newcastle). As a sign of Jonathan's respectability, he had been appointed as a member of a committee for the erection of a school house at Richmond. This was 17 years after serving his sentence.
It would seem that Thomas acted as Jonathon's on shore manager of his business interests. In 1826 Thomas was riding in a horse race and his horse collided with another rider and both fell. Thomas apparently had a violent fall and hee 14 hours later. Details of this event and other interesting details of the time and place are attached.
On 1 March, 1831 Eleanor McDonald was buried at Richmond. The burial notice shows that she was buried under her own name. Apparently Eleanor and Jonathan Griffiths never "legally" married. The burial notice provides the following details":-
Name: Eleanor McDonald
Buried: 1 March, 1831
Age: 61 Years
Quality or Profession Lived with Jonathan Griffiths
By whom: Buried by the Roman Catholics (St Peters Church of England Cemetery at Richmond)
A copy of the burial notice is attached.
The story of Jonathan Griffiths continues on. On 3 August, 1834 he married Ann Smith (nee Grant) in Launceston. She was widow and had 3 children, when she married Jonathan. A copy of the marriage certificate is attached. Jonathan apparently could write as he signed his name, but Ann Smith made "her mark".
Six months after they were married, Ann eloped and left him. Apparently the tree children were left with Jonathon whom he cared for and raised.
It seems that Jonathan Griffiths and those members of the family still with him, left Richmond more or less permanently to reside in Tasmania, about 1835/1836. Attachments shows some of his children died in Tasmania.
From about 1836 59 1839, Jonathan was in partnership with his son John (who was the manager in the enterprise) and was involved in the settlement and foundation of Port Fairy, which is near Warrnambool, Victoria. Here Jonathon was involvedompany that developed whaling and sealing interests. In 1837 a 2 Storey pre-fabricated house was built on Griffiths Island (named after them?). Soon after Jonathan built the first substantial house on the mainland (a 4 roomed house) in what is known as Cox Street, Port Fairy. Sheep grazing and agricultural ventures were established in this area as well by them. In 1837 a bumper potato crop was grown and sold in Adelaide. A map of this location is attached.
It was at Port Fairy that Jonathan died in November, 1839 and may have been buried near the house that he built in 1837. Jonathan was aged 66 years.
Jonathan's story in Australia is detailed to some extent in the "Australian Dictionary of Biography" A copy of the entry relating to Jonathan is attached, The odd detail (such as aged 22 years when he arrived in New South Wales is noticeably incorrect.
A Historical research project (November 1988) has assessed that the convicts who came to Australia were not necessarily all criminals, layabouts or useless, but in many cases were intelligent, hardworking and possessed many skills. When lg at the details of the life of Jonathon Griffiths in Australia, he would most certainly fit into the point of view put forward by that report.
Jonathon Griffiths had been orphaned at the age of 10 years and at the age of 15 years in 1788, was sentenced to 7 years transportation "beyond the seas". He was 17 years of age when he landed in New South Wales, after surviving the horrf the Second Fleet, in 1790. He served most of his sentence a Norfolk Island in the South Pacific and was freed by servitude in 1795.
He lived with Eleanor McDonald, also a convict, and they had 10 children. He became a property owner and pioneer in the Richmond/Windsor district at the foot of the Blue Mountains. He was a Ship builder of renown and traded the Hawkesburyr, Sydney, Newcastle, Tasmania and New Zealand.
From 1822 (or even earlier) Jonathan spent time between Richmond and Launceston in Tasmania. He developed and owned substantial property in the Launceston area over the next few years. He was involved in whaling, sealing and agriculturalres with his sons. In 1836 they laid the foundations of Port Fairy in Victoria where he died in 1839.
Jonathan Griffiths made his mark on the development of three areas in Australia -
Richmond/Windsor in New South Wales, Launceston in Tasmania and Port Fairy in Victoria.
As an ancestor and one of the founding members of the Potts family in Australia, we should reflect with admiration on his many achievements.
- [S2] Geoffrey William Potts, A history of the Potts Family.
- [S3] John Griffiths, Jonathon Griffiths Australian Heritage.
- [S2] Geoffrey William Potts, A history of the Potts Family, 40 (Reliability: 2).
Born 14 march 1773 Stone Gloucestershire England
- [S469] England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975, (findmypast), 14 Mar 1773 (Reliability: 3).
All Saints, Stone, Gloucestershire, England
- [S470] Gloucestershire Archives, England, 14 Mar 1773 (Reliability: 3).
- [S2] Geoffrey William Potts, A history of the Potts Family, Nov 1839, 40 (Reliability: 2).
Died November 1839, Port Fairy, Victoria
- [S2] Geoffrey William Potts, A history of the Potts Family, 40 (Reliability: 2).
Buried Port Fairy Victoria
- [S2] Geoffrey William Potts, A history of the Potts Family (Reliability: 2).
- [S3] John Griffiths, Jonathon Griffiths Australian Heritage (Reliability: 2).
- [S172] Tasmanian Government, Linc Tasmania, (Tasmanian Government), 3 Aug 1834, RGD36/1/2 no 2588.
See attached copy of St John\'s Church Marriage Register 03 August 1834 Jonathan Griffiths and Ann Smith.