1788 – The Westlake Convict Past

The story begins in Exeter, England in 1786 where Edward Westlake was tried for stealing 40 pounds of mutton to the value of 10/-.  He was sentenced to 7 years transportation.  Little did he know he would become part of history when he set foot aboard one of 6 convict ships known as the Charlotte … she was part of the first fleet.  Edward was one of the 717 convicts that survived the treacherous journey, arriving at Port Jackson on the 26th January 1788 ….. Australia Day.

In March 1788 , shortly after arriving, a party of 23 people including 15 convicts (9 male, 6 female) were chosen to make the 1368km journey to Norfolk Island.  They were to colonize it and supply fresh food for the new colony at Port Jackson.  Edward was one of the convicts chosen to make this voyage …. he was the ‘best of the bad lot’.

After serving his sentence and later the demise of the Norfolk Island colony, Edward was relocated in 1808 to Van Diemen’s Land (now known as Tasmania), with his new family.  He was granted land at Clarence Plains (Rokeby) and remained a grazier until his death on 11th November 1828 … he was buried at New Norfolk.

Edward’s signature adorns our front label.


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