ELIAS BISHOP and CATHERINE SMITH
Elias Bishop was born around 1765 and
arrived in the Colony as a marine private in 17 Company
on Alexander. At
Sydney Cove he served in the company of Captain Lt Watkin Tench.
On 4 March 1790, he was sent to Norfolk Island on Sirius. There
he was one of the leaders of a protest by marines
regarding short allowances of provisions on 9 April
1791. Ralph Clark, marine, wrote in his diary of Elias
and six other marines “I wish that I was only despotic
for three hours I would hang the above Seven and then
make the Rest draw lots for every fifth man and I would
hang them also weather they had any hand with the other
or not but because they keep Such bad Company.” The
other six were Thomas Tynan, Andrew Fishburn, Francis Mee, John Hailey, John
Roberts and William Sims.
By the 25 January 1792, Elias was settled with 60 acres
of land at Morgan’s Run, Queensborough, Norfolk Island.
By the end of that year he had sold grain to the store,
signing with his mark. In October 1793, he had only 40
acres of land, of which only 39 were ploughable, consisting
of 36 level acres and four hilly acres, and six were
cultivated. In May 1793 he hired Samuel Benear to work
for him, and by mid-June he had married Catherine
Catherine had been born around 1752, in London, and
managed to get herself convicted at Old Bailey on 10
January 1787, for secreting a watch belonging to
a roundhouse keeper, and was sentenced to
seven years transportation. She arrived on Lady Penrhyn.
Elias and Catherine left Norfolk Island on Supply on
6 November 1795. He had sold his land on the island to
Henry Hatheway for 22 pounds.
By 1802 he had 30 acres of land in the Hawkesbury area,
of which 25 were cleared and were cultivated. He had one
sheep, 29 goats, two hogs and the records show that
three of the farm residents were off stores. On l6
August 1803, he was granted 100 acres, again in the
Hawkesbury area. Six months later their house was struck
by lightning and set on fire, and they lost all their
personal belongings and Catherine was in a state of
shock and paralysed.
She obviously recovered, and by 1806, apparently after
much hard work, Elias had added by purchase a further 30
acres, of which 22 were sown with grain, one with barley
and half an acre with potatoes, and 106 acres were
pasture and an orchard and garden.
By 1828, when 61 years of age, he held only 30 acres at
Richmond, of which 26 acres were cultivated, and he
owned four horses. He obviously had sold off his other
land by this time.
He had working for him at Richmond, in 1828, as a
labourer, Thomas Bradcock, who had been born in the
Colony 17 years earlier, and as an assigned servant he
had John Branham per Atlas 1815.
Catherine died on their farm on 27 August 1835 and was
buried the next day at St Peter’s Church of England,
Richmond, NSW. Elias did not outlive her by much, dying
on the farm on 10 November 1835, and was buried beside
her the next day.