Edward Humphreys was born 1765 in Deptford, Kent, England to William Humphreys (c1740-) and Elizabeth Holmes (c1740-) and died 4 November 1804 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes.

Edward Humphries - convict in First Fleet on the Scarborough in 1788

His name is spelt HUMPHREYS in records overseas and HUMPHRIES in many (but not all) Australian records. The name adopted by his descendants was HUMPHREYS - e.g. for births & deaths of his grandchildren, and his daughter Susannah spelt her surname that way when she married.

Illiterate - signed with a X.

Edward HUMPHREYS, was indicted at the "Old Bailey" on 11 May 1785 for feloniously stealing , on 8 November 1784, one cloth coat value 30s, one pair of leather boots value 10s, the property of Henry Martin Bird Esq. Occupation Dustman. Sentenced to 7 years transportation to Africa. The prisoner was stopped by Nathan Nathans, with the great coat and boots; and Sarah Biggs deposed, on the 8th of November she let the prisoner into her master's house, as a dustman, but did not miss the things till they were brought back. Edward stated in his defence that a gentleman asked me to carry them, he had a sack on his head. He called three witnesses who gave him a good character, but never the less he was found guilty, and was unfortunate in that the judiciary decided to make an example of him. Court to Prisoner: "This is a second instance that has occurred this Sessions, of dustmen robbing houses; it is an offence particularly dangerous, because the credulity of servants is imposed upon by those that come under that pretence, they come into the house under a trust; I think it therefore necessary, for example, to pronounce sentence upon you before you quit the bar, in the hearing of those who have heard the trial and that sentence shall be as severe as the law admits in such a case; which is, that you be Transported for seven years."

From the time of his arrest on 8 November 1784 until the time of his trial on 11 May 1785 Edward had been held in Newgate Prison. He was transfered to the 'Censor' hulk on 23 May 1785. He was transfered from the Hulk to Portsmouth on 24 February 1787 travelling by wagon for 3 days. The newspapers of the day record that the convicts travelled through many villages enduring abuses on the way. Embarking on the Scarborough on 27 February 1787. The Scarborough left with the First Fleet on 13 May 1787 arriving in Port Jackson (Sydney) on 26 Jamuary 1788.

Appears in colonial records as having a pumpkin stolen from him by William Parr on 12 April 1790. William Parr received 100 lashes. Food was extremely short in the Colony at the time and stealing food was a serious offence.

Edward and Mary's second son (also called Edward) died on 13 March 1796 at Sydney, aged 2 years and 4 months.

Edward became a Constable in The Rocks area on the western side of Sydney Harbour. This infers that prior to becoming a Constable he had worked as an Overseer of convicts. Order for victualing as a Constable appointed that day on 15 December 1798. On list of Constables taking their oath on 8 February 1800 - Masculine District (Dawes Point), The Rocks, Sydney.

Edward died on 4 November 1804 and his wife Mary died on 24 December 1805 leaving their 5 surviving children as orphans.


Offspring of Edward Humphreys and Mary Williams (c1768-1805)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Humphries (1791-1863)
Edward Humphries (1793-1796)
Elizabeth Humphries (1795-1830) 11 December 1795 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia August 1830 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia John Turner (1792-1867)
Edward Humphries (1798-1838)
Mary Humphries (c1801-1892) 1801 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 24 January 1892 Upper Colo, New South Wales, Australia Thomas Gosper (1798-1864)
Susannah Humphries (1803-1877)



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