In Old Parramatta, one could find Princely Pickpockets, Gentlemen Rogues, Genteel ‘Sea-Wives,’ Homemakers who were Housebreakers, and Anti-Settlers. Here, a celebrated highwayman supped with the ‘Guv’nor,’ a hardened ex-con loved his shotguns as much as he prized his tuberoses, and a frail one’s profession of heartbreak could just as easily be an act of revenge. It was a place that could make a convict out of a free man, and turn a convict into a constable…or even a mayor! As the title suggests, Rogues tells the stories of some of Old Parramatta’s most morally bankrupt and incorrigible characters, as well as those misfits who, simply by rebelling against the norms of their day, became walking paradoxes.

Edited by historian Dr. Michaela Ann Cameron, and supported by Create NSW, Rogues features new pieces by Dr. Cameron as well as Dr. James Dunk, Dr. Catie Gilchrist and David Morgan.

Essays featured in this collection are listed below.

George Barrington: The Prince of Pickpockets

Rogues, Rapists, Cheats, Thieves and Murderers: The Batmans

Nicholas Bayly: The Anti-Settler

Mary Cavillon: Homemaker, Housebreaker

Nicholas Cavillon: A Hardened Villain

The Hollands: Guns ‘n’ Tuberoses

Mary Kelly: The ‘First Lady’ of Kellyville*

Wretched, Rascally and Depraved: The Magees

Sarah Moses: “Tell the World I Died for Love”

Benjamin Ratty: Convict Constable

Catherine Crowley Wentworth: A Convict Sea Wife

D’Arcy Wentworth: A Gentleman Rogue

John Williams: The Mayor of Reinvention


This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

The essay marked* was previously 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: Michaela Ann CameronJames DunkCatie Gilchrist, and David Morgan.

Cover Image: William Beechey, Portrait of George Barrington, (c. 1785), PIC Screen 11 #T275 NK13 / nla.obj-134292248, National Library of Australia via Trove.

© Copyright 2016–2021 Michaela Ann Cameron