Old Parramattans

Old Parramattans is a collection of peer-reviewed essays featuring people connected to numerous heritage sites of Parramatta and buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, Australia’s oldest surviving European cemetery (1790), and/or registered in the St. John’s Parish burial register.

The biographies in the collection have been selected and edited by historian Dr. Michaela Ann Cameron and, while some are voluntary contributions, those marked with an asterisk have been supported by the New South Wales Government through a Create NSW “Arts and Cultural grant” (2019–2020); a Parramatta City Council Community Grant (2016); and a small grant from the Royal Australian Historical Society through funds allocated from the Heritage Branch of the Office of Environment and Heritage (2015) [See “Credits” below for the key]. Using these funds, a number of historians have applied (and are applying) their expertise to tell these diverse stories from Old Parramatta, ranging from content on First Peoples, First, Second and Third Fleeters, to missionaries, surgeons, Female Factory inmates and personnel, children, convicts, constables and colonial elites.

This work is ongoing, but the essays that are currently available can be accessed below.

Augustus Alt: The Baron**

Lydia Barber: A Real Life Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Sarah Bell: Female Factory Matron*

Elizabeth Bennett: The Baker’s Wife

William H. Bennett: An Eminent Baker

Elizabeth Bourke: A Much-Lamented Lady*

Frances Hannah Clements: The Convict’s Child

Thomas Daveney: The Tyrant of Toongabbie*

Henry Dodd: The Faithful Servant**

Elizabeth Eccles: The Dairy Maid

Thomas Eccles: The Swine Connoisseur**

Edward Elliott: The Husbandman**

Thomas Freeman: Minding the Store*

A ‘Raw, Ignorant Boy’: John Harris, Esquire*

Deborah Herbert: A Prigger of Toggery

John Herbert: From Felon to Farmer**

Hugh Hughes: The Wheelwright Made Right**

John Irving: The Best Surgeon Amongst Them*

Mary Kelly: The First Lady of Kellyville***

David Killpack: The Merry Mutineer**

Isaac Knight: The Trusty Sergeant**

Elizabeth Lawry: Little Babe*

Catherine Leigh: Faithful Coadjutor*

The Magees: The First Burial*

Samuel Marsden: A Contested Life

John Martin: The Self-Freed Slave***

James McManus: The Wrath of a Madman

Jane McManus: The Maid Freed from the Gallows***

Josephine Mercelin: Convicts, Slaves and the Global Entanglements of New South Wales and Mauritius

Sarah Moses: Tell the World I Died for Love*

Lives Left Behind: The Forsaken Families of First Fleeters William Gloster and James Ogden*

Christopher Palmer: Perils of a Purser*

John Palmer: The Purser, The P.O.W**

Richard Partridge: The Left-Handed Flogger

Benjamin Ratty: Convict Constable*

Ann Smith: A Plunderer in the War Against Want*

James Wright: The Highwayman***


The essays in the Old Parramattans collection marked* are supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

The essays marked** were supported through a Parramatta City Council Community Grant.

The essays marked*** were assisted by funds allocated to the Royal Australian Historical Society through the Heritage Branch of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Collection Design, Research Assistance, Editing, Multimedia and PublishingMichaela Ann Cameron.

Peer Reviewers: Special thanks to the peer reviewers who have so generously volunteered their time (but must remain anonymous).

Authors: Caitlin AdamsMatthew AllenMichaela Ann CameronAlexander Cameron-SmithElizabeth de Réland, Penny Edwell, Catie GilchristJennifer McLarenDavid Morgan, Briony Neilson, Danielle Thyer, Ben Vine.

Research Assistance for selected First Fleet content: Jennifer FollersThe Fellowship of First Fleeters.

© Copyright Michaela Ann Cameron 2015–2020