Richard Partridge (I) (c.1759–1831)

RICHARD PARTRIDGE is one of St. John’s First Fleeters. He was originally to be transported to America on board the Swift along with DAVID KILLPACK (I), but when a mutiny broke out on board, both men were among those who escaped. They were soon recaptured and sentenced to death at the Old Bailey. Both of their death sentences were commuted and they were transported with the First Fleet per Scarborough (1788). In the colony, Partridge married fellow First Fleeter MARY GREENWOOD and became the notorious “Left-Handed Flogger” and gaoler. RICHARD and MARY are both buried in unmarked graves in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta.


  • Alternate: DICK RICE
  • Alternate: RICHARD PRICE (name misspelt in newspaper report of his death)
  • Colloquial: OLD DICK RICE


  • Born: c.1759
  • Tried and convicted: Old Bailey, Middlesex, England, 30 April 1783
  • Sentenced to seven years transportation: Old Bailey, 30 April 1783
  • Embarked for America per Swift16 August 1783
  • Escaped during mutiny on the Swift: 29 August 1783
  • Recaptured: 1 September 1783, Kent, England
  • Retried: Old Bailey, 10 September 1783
  • Sentenced to death: Old Bailey, 10 September 1783
  • Death sentence commuted to Transportation for Life: Old Bailey, Saturday, 13 September 1783
  • Imprisoned on the Censor hulk: > 13 September 1783
  • Wagon ride to Portsmouth: 24 February 1787
  • Embarked on the Scarborough: 27 February 1787
  • Sailed with the First Fleet per Scarborough: 13 May 1787
  • Arrived at Botany Bay per Scarborough: : 19 January 1788
  • Arrived at Port Jackson per Scarborough: : 26 January 1788
  • Bread stolen by Australia’s first bushranger “Black Caesar”: 30 April 1788
  • Birth of daughter MARY RICE: c.1791
  • Death of daughter MARY RICE: c. 25 November 1791
  • Burial of daughter MARY RICE: 25 November 1791, unmarked grave, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta
  • Birth of son RICHARD PARTRIDGE (II): 3 November 1793
  • Baptism of son RICHARD PARTRIDGE (II): 10 February 1794, St. John’s Church, Parramatta
  • Received 60 acres of land: 15 September 1796 at Northern Boundary Farms (Carlingford)
  • Birth of daughter MARY ANN PARTRIDGE: 15 February 1797, Field of Mars, New South Wales
  • Received Absolute Pardon: 12 September 1797
  • Baptism of daughter MARY ANN PARTRIDGE: 17 September 1797, St. John’s Church, Parramatta
  • Received Absolute Pardon: 12 September 1797
  • Married MARY GREENWOOD: 5 November 1810 at St. John’s Church, Parramatta
  • Execution of adopted aboriginal son DANIEL MOW-WATTY: 1 November 1816 at Hangman’s Hill, The Rocks, Sydney
  • Charged with stealing 3 pigs: 10 January 1827
  • Died in his sleep right next to his wife MARY: 22 May 1831
  • Buried: 23 May 1831, unmarked grave, St. John’s Parish, Parramatta

Burial Location

  • Unmarked grave, location unknown, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

Trial Records


  • Fellow mutineer on the Swift (1783) and fellow First Fleet convict Scarborough (1788)DAVID KILLPACK (I)
  • Spouse of MARY GREENWOOD
  • Possible relative of MARY GREENWOOD’s former partner and accomplice in England GEORGE PARTRIDGE
  • Friend of JOHN MARTIN: fellow First Fleet convict, fellow constable, and Northern Boundary Farms neighbour (MARTIN witnessed the Partridge wedding)
  • Parent of MARY RICE
  • Adopted Parent of DANIEL MOW-WATTY


  • Flogger
  • Night Watchman at Parramatta
  • Gaoler / overseer of ironed prisoners
  • Constable
  • Pound-keeper
  • Farmer
  • Carter
  • Labourer


  • Convict, Swift, 1783
  • Convict, Censor4 October 1783–24 February 1787
  • Convict, Scarborough, 27 February 1787–26 January 1788
  • Flogger
  • Parramatta Constable

Related Content

Richard Partridge: The Left-Handed Flogger (2016)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: This purloiner of ladies’ laundry became a mutineer on the Swift in 1783 before being transported to Botany Bay with the First Fleet on the Scarborough. In the new colony he soon became known as the infamous “Left-Handed Flogger” – one half of the monstrous, misery-inducing, two-headed, eighteen-tailed “cat.” more>>

Daniel Mow-watty: The Boy Who Strayed from the Bush Path (2016)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: A short biographical piece on Daniel Mow-watty; an aboriginal boy adopted by Richard and Mary Partridge when he was a child. When he grew older, Mow-watty’s bilingualism as well as his knowledge of indigenous plants led to him acting as a guide to botanist George Caley. As Caley’s guide, he travelled to Norfolk Island, Tasmania, Nattai (Appin) and became the third Aboriginal person to travel to England. However, Daniel Mow-watty’s exposure to European lifeways left him feeling increasingly torn between two cultural identities that were not fully integrated: “Daniel” and “Mow-watty.” For Daniel Mow-watty, the outcome was ultimately tragic. more>>


Richard Partridge Death Notice, Newspaper, First Fleet, First Fleeter, Convict, Parramatta, The Left-Handed Flogger, History, St. John's Cemetery Project, St John's Cemetery Parramatta
Sudden Death,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Saturday 28 May 1831, p. 2.


Primary Sources

  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2), 30 April 1783, trial of RICHARD PARTRIDGE, (t17830430-27), accessed 29 March 2016.
  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 8.0), 30 April 1783, punishment summary of RICHARD PARTRIDGE, (s17830430-1), accessed 9 March 2018.
  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 8.0), 10 September 1783, trial of RICHARD PARTRIDGE, (t17830910-19), accessed 9 March 2018.
  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 8.0), 10 September 1783, punishment summary of RICHARD PARTRIDGE, (s17830910-1), accessed 9 March 2018.
  • Parish Baptism Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Parish Marriage Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Richard Partridge, Richard Partridge – land grant, 1796, MLMSS 7367/Folder 1X, State Library of New South Wales,, accessed 12 April 2020.
  • Sudden Death,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Saturday 28 May 1831, p. 2.

Secondary Sources


# First Fleet

# Convict

# Trial Place: Old Bailey

# Punishment: Seven Years Transportation

# Ship: Swift (1783)

# Mutineer

# Punishment: Death (commuted)

# Punishment: Transportation for Life

# Hulk: Censor

# Ship: Scarborough (1788)

# Burial year: 1831

# Grave: unmarked