John Williams (1816–1873)

JOHN WILLIAMS was born JOHN WILSON ISAAC in Sussex, England, the son of JOHN ISAAC, a sailor, and ANN ISAAC (née MOORE). JOHN WILLIAMS followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a sailor, but in early 1834, aged 17, he turned to crime. He was tried under the alias ‘JOHN WILLIAMS’ and convicted of theft at the Old Bailey, and transported per Henry Porcher (1835). In the colony, JOHN WILLIAMS went on to become an inn keeper. At Parramatta, Burramattagal Country, he was the proprietor of the well-known Woolpack Inn that once stood on George Street, Parramatta on the site of the present-day courthouse. He even went on to be voted Parramatta’s first mayor, but resigned after only one month. He died on 6 November 1873 of Bright’s disease of the kidneys, aged 57 and was buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta in the same vault as his first wife MARGARET WILLIAMS and their son JAMES WILLIAMS who predeceased him.

Names

  • Birth name: JOHN WILSON ISAAC
  • Alternate: JOHN WILLIAMS

Burial Location

  • Section 1, Row V, No. 7, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, New South Wales

Relationships

  • Son of JOHN ISAAC
  • Son of ANN ISAAC (née MOORE)
  • Brother of FRANCIS ISAAC
  • Brother of MARY ANN ISAAC
  • Brother of ELIZABETH ISAAC
  • Husband of MARGARET WILLIAMS (née LESLIE)
  • Father of JAMES ISAAC WILLIAMS
  • Father of ELIZA WILLIAMS
  • Father of CATHERINE WILLIAMS
  • Father of BARBARA WILLIAMS
  • Father of JOHN WILLIAMS (II)
  • Husband of MARY LOUISE WILLIAMS
  • Father of MARGARET L WILLIAMS
  • Father of HERBERT WILLIAMS
  • Father of ERNEST WILLIAMS
  • Father of AMY ANNIE WILLIAMS
  • Father of LOUISA MAUD WILLIAMS

Occupation

  • Sailor
  • Convict
  • Baker
  • Publican

Positions

  • Convict per Henry Porcher (1835)
  • First Mayor of Parramatta

Related Content

JOHN WILLIAMS: THE MAYOR OF REINVENTION (2021)

By David Morgan

Abstract: John Williams’s life was a long voyage from convicted smiling pickpocket to respectable citizen. Born ‘John Wilson Isaac,’ he was initially a sailor. Having been caught picking pockets in London, he was transported to New South Wales for fourteen years. Initially working as a baker, he then became a publican, managing a series of hotels in Guruk (Port Macquarie), Cadi (Sydney) and Parramatta. Successful in business, he also became active in the Parramatta community, his efforts crowned by his becoming first Mayor of Parramatta in 1862. Read more>>

Multimedia

Lists

# English

# Convict

# Trial Place: Old Bailey

# Punishment: Fourteen Years Transportation

# Hulk: Fortitude

# Ship: Henry Porcher (1835)

# Parramatta Mayor

# Woolpack Inn

# Burial year: 1873

# Grave: marked