David Kilpack was born circa 1757 in London, England and died 30 November 1797 Field of Mars, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes.

David Kilpack - convict on Scarborough in 1788 (1st Fleet)

David Kilpack, a sawyer by occupation, was tried by the Middlesex Jury at The Old Bailey at the sessions which began on the 26 January 1783. Found guilty of feloniously stealing on 18 January 1783 poultry to the value of 7s 6d from Charles Pratt. On his way to his uncle's home at Greenwich, Kent, he had been passing through Back Lane, Clapton from his mother's home and while "making merry" he had been caught with a stolen turkey cock, a rooster and 2 hens, 2 ducks and a gander. By the time of his trial he was too hoarse from jail fever to read his own defence. He was sentenced to transportation for 7 years.

David Kilpack, sentenced to be transported on the "Swift", embarked on l6 August 1783 for America. The prisoners mutinied after 13 days and rowed back to England, so that on 10 September 1783 he was before the jury for a second time and found guilty of "returning from transportation and found at large on 1 September 1783 without any lawful cause" and sentenced to death with the other mutineers of the "Swift". His sentence was later commuted of transportation for life. He was lodged in "Censor" hulk before sailing to the Colony of New South Wales aboard the "Scarborough".

In New South Wales David gave evidence at a number of trials. In one, on 24 October 1789, he told the magistrates how he had given a young pig to William Hamly, a carpenter's mate from the "Sirius" in return for a silk handkerchief and a bottle of liquor. Hamly indicated that he hadn't realised that the giving away of liquor was an offence, as it was so often done by others. Hamly was confined to his ship for so long as it remained in port.

Three years after arriving in New South Wales David Kilpack married. He married in Sydney on 15 June 1791 to Eleanor McDonald, a convict who had arrived on "Lady Juliana" in 1790. He was able to sign the marriage register showing that he could read and write.

He received a conditional pardon in 1794. In that same year he received his first grant of 30 acres (12ha) of land at the Field of Mars. He received a 2nd grant of 50 acres (20ha) nearby on 21 July 1795. The grants are near prsent day Carlingford, bounded on the east by Pennant Hills and subdivided by Carlingford Road.

He sold his 2 grants totalling 80 acres (32ha) before June 1797 to John Macarthur who was buying up land in the area. David Kilpack stayed on as overseer (manager) for John Macarthur of his former land until his death.

David Kilpack died on 30 November 1797 aged 40 years. His only son, David, died three months later on 23 February 1798, aged 15 months.

His widow married Thomas Higgins on 31 January 1799 (he had arrived on "Surprise" in 1790) and they had one son. Eleanor died on 28 September 1835, aged 81 years, and is buried with David Kilpack.


Offspring of David Kilpack and Eleanor McDonald (c1754-1835)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Martha Kilpack (1792-1826)
Elizabeth Kilpack (1793-1850) 16 June 1793 Field of Mars, New South Wales, Australia 17 October 1850 Milsons Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia James Milson (1783-1872)
Eleanor Kilpack (1795-1868)
David Kilpack (1796-1798)

Changes of surname by daughters:

  • Martha Kilpack married James Reynolds in 1816
  • Elizabeth Kilpack married James Milson in 1810
  • Eleanor Kilpack married Andrew Murray in 1818


Footnotes (including sources)

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