Redmund / Redmond, McGrah / McGrath.


Born in England circa 1756--Died in the Colony 1788.


Redmund McGrah (so indicted) was sentenced to seven years transportation at the Old Bailey on 29 October 1783. He had been tried and sentenced to a whipping a month earlier, and had given a plausible story for trying to sell some stolen sheets, promising never to do it again if let him go.


In court again for the trial that earned him transportation. McGrah gave another plausible story about having been offered a shilling to carry the bag containing the stolen goods. He was found to have forced the door of a shop with a “chisel” and taken everything he could lay his hands on: tea, sugar, soap, Spanish liquorice, 24 yards of tape, half a pound of thread, six pounds of tallow, candles, an apron, six books, one pound of pearl barley and three linen towels. He had come lately from the sea, “I have been abroad most of this war…I had been three months in London.” A witness said he had “rehearsed” exactly the contents of the bag. “We went along [to the watch house] very jocose”.


On 30 March 1784 McGrah was delivered to the Mercury transport from Newgate, and was among those recaptured by the Helena at Torbay after the convicts had taken control of the ship. To Exeter via Topsham on the River Exe and committed to gaol on 16 April. McGrah was remanded to his former orders without trial by the Special Commission presiding at Exeter on 24 May. Sent to the Dunkirk hulk, aged 27, he was “troublesome at times”. On 11 March 1787 he was embarked on Friendship for the journey to NSW; Ralph Clark recorded him as aged 28 with no trade.


McGrah died and was buried at Sydney Cove on

29 July 1788 as “Edmund McGrass, papist”



To The Memory of

Edmund (Redmund) McGrath.


Look not through the sheltering bars,

your longest walk has ended.

Now, the friendly Port of Heaven is calling you home.





Founders of Australia.


Verse: J. Mortimer # 6409.



Copyright Fellowship of First Fleeters