Blue, 'Billy’ or William

(c. 1734 – 1834)

Local connection
'Lumper’ unloading vessels at Deptford dockyard (c. 1776 – 1796), who was transported to Australia.

Biography
It is thought that he fought for the British during the American war of independence and was involved in the attack on Quebec in 1759.

He was a 'spy’ or 'guide’ which may have meant he had indigenous American Indian ancestry or local knowledge.

Once the British were defeated many freed slaves who had fought for the British had to leave America. William became a 'lumper’ unloading vessels at Deptford dockyards and had a side business of chocolate making.

In 1796 at Kent quarter sessions he was convicted of stealing sugar from a West Indian owned ship. He was sentenced to transportation to Australia for 7 years.

He spent the next 5 years on a prison hulk on the River Thames, before transportation to Australia on the Minorca.

Billy gained his freedom in 1811 and was appointed as Watchman at Sydney Cove. He was granted 80 acres of land to the north of the harbour, known today as Blue's Point.

In 1818, he was convicted of smuggling rum, but got 'away’ with it because of his connections to the authorities.

William died in 1834, leaving his property to his children.

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