1834 portrait of William Blue, by T. B. East
|Died||May 7, 1834
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Williams (1805–1824, her death)|
- For the Australian tree commonly known as "Billy Blue", see Acacia sclerosperma.
On 4 October 1796 he was convicted, at Maidstone, in Kent, of stealing raw sugar and sentenced to seven years transportation. After serving over four years in the convict hulks (Prison ship), he was transported to Botany Bay, Australia, in the convict ship Minorca.
Transportation to Australia
He arrived in Sydney in 1801 and served out the remaining two years of his sentence. In 1804, records show him living in ‘the Rocks’, then a very tough part of the city. There he met Elizabeth Williams, a 30-year-old convict from Hampshire, England, who had arrived in June 1804. On 27 April 1805, they were married at the old St. Philip's Anglican church in Sydney, where 5 of their 6 children were later christened.
He became a boatman that ferried passengers across Sydney Harbour. He was also made a water bailiff and watched boat traffic on Port Jackson from a special tower. Despite being a bailiff, it seems Billy didn't do everything by the book. It was said that his law infringements were frequent, but due to his colourful personality, they were looked upon with a "benevolent air" by the authorities.