Jim's genie jottings

Website of the Fleming, Jolliffe, Kessey and Murphy families of New South Wales - and Website of the Fleming, Jolliffe, Kessey and Murphy families of New South Wales - and their forebears

Person Page 3,225

James Reed

b. about 1810, d. 30 January 1898
James Reed circa 1865


James Reed was born about 1810 in Trentham. ||A letter from the Regimental Secretary of the Staffordshire Regiment (successor to the 80th) states:- "No. 665 James REED enlisted in the 80th Regiment on 11th June, 1827 at the age of 17. The record shows he was a brickmaker and had been born at Trentham in the parish of Stone, Staffordshire"1,2


Family life

James Reed and Frances Heazel were married about 1830 in Sunderland.1,2,3

Children with Frances Heazel (b. 1812, d. 5 April 1895)

SonReed (d. before 1895)
DaughterAnn Reed (b. 6 June 1830, d. before 1895)
SonJohn Benjamin Reed+ (b. 1832, d. before 1895)
SonJames Reed (b. about 1835)
SonAlexander Reed (b. 10 July 1837)
DaughterEliza Emily Tobin Reed (b. October 1841)
DaughterSarah Ann Reed (b. 21 March 1844, d. May 1843)
DaughterPrudence Reed+ (b. 3 July 1846, d. 29 October 1940)
DaughterFrances Reed+ (b. July 1848)
SonGeorge Charles Reed (b. 1850)
DaughterMary Ann Reed (b. 1852)
DaughterJane Reed (b. June 1856)


James Reed emigrated on 25 July 1836 at Deptford. convict ship "Earl Grey"||"James Reed and his family embarked on the "Earl Grey" on 25th July, 1836. The military party considted of 5 officers, a sergeant and 29 rank and file, 3 officers' wives, five women and seven children. There were 45 in the crew."
"According to Surgeon Evans, the ship was new and very damp, so several of the guard suffered 'catarrhal affliction'. To dry out the ship, fires were burnt between decks and the barracks and prison 'dry holy stoned with hot sand and lime' - this during the voyage from Deptford to Kingstown, Ireland, to embark the convicts."
"During the passage to Ireland little John Reed took sick with croup. ... The little boy was bled and given aperient powders to make him vomit, to the extent that his 'countenance became pale and sunk' and 'symptoms of sinking of the powers of life were manifest - the powders were discontinued...' - all on the first day! It took him two weeks to recover from this treatment."1
He immigrated on 31 December 1836 to Sydney, NSW, Australia. convict ship "Earl Grey"||"The ship arrived in Sydney on 31st December 1836. 'The weather proved remarkably fine and unusually dry' wrote the surgeon. The next day the convicts were marched to the Barracks to be inspected by the Governor (Sir Richard Bourke). The safe arrival of the ship and its assorted company was briefly reported in the Sydney Gazette. The officers and their wives are mentioned by name. James Reed, his wife and children are not mentioned - just '29 rank and file of the 28th, 50th and 80th Regiments, 5 women and 7 children'."1,4 He was migration about 1862 in Bourke, New South Wales, Australia. Sydney||"James' and Frances' obituaries in the 'Western Herald' are quite specific that the family moved to Bourke in 1862... The year is significant because it marks the beginning of land selection under the provisions of the Robertson land acts. For several years there had been severe unemployment in Sydney and agitation for land reform, that is, to allow small selectors to move in on the great holdings of the squatters, was vigorous. Provision was made for Crown lands to be selected 'at a price of £1 per acre, with an initial payment of 25 percent and the remainder within three years'."
"From 1860 it was possible to travel as far as Penrith by train, by Cobb & Co. coach to Dubbo, then by whatever transport was available (frequently horseback) for 400 miles to Bourke. It is likely that the Reeds had to organise their own transport to carry household goods and the women and children"1

Working life

  • James Reed was employed by as in Sydney, NSW, Australia, in 1844. a grocer||self||"Lew's 1844 Directory for the City of Sydney records James Reed, grocer, Barrack Lane."1
  • He was employed by as in Sydney, NSW, Australia, in August 1846. a constable||Police||"Another baptismal record - Prudence, August 1846 (born July). The grocer had become a constable in Kent Street. Previously the babies were baptised in St James or St Philip's chirch, the two nearest the Barracks. Prudence was baptised at St Andrews which suggests that James was stationed at the watch immediately behind the still incomplete cathedral."1
  • In July 1848 James Reed was in Sydney. labourer||||"In July 1848 when ... Frances was born her father was a labourer, residing in Clarence Street. Occupation and residence remained unchanged until at least June 1856 when their last child Jane was born."1
  • In February 1870 James Reed was at near in Bourke. a publican||self||"Old James' last major venture was to take up 80 acres near Mt Oxley, on the main road (as it then was) to Dubbo via Gongolgon. There he established the Mountain House Hotel in February 1870"1
  • On 18 May 1879 James Reed was a publican.5

Residence information

James Reed lived in Liverpool, England, in May 1835. "The 80th Regiment was stationed in the Liverpool area from May, 1835. In September, the Diary records, 'the Regiment received orders to proceed to Chatham for embarkation in Convict Guards for New South Wales'.
"A senior officer wrote later, 'It was reported that the Regiment was to embark for New South Wales, but no one would believe it. We considered ourselves a crack regiment ... so fine a corps could not possible be sent on such a service'.
"Officers could make arrangements to leave the Regiment. Private James Reed had no choice."1
He lived at Sydney Barracks in Sydney, NSW, Australia, in January 1837. "Until July, 1837 the Regiment was based at Sydney Barracks. It then moved its headquarters to Windsor. It supplied detachments to a variety of locations to act as guards for convict work gangs."1


James Reed died on 30 January 1898 at North Bourke in Bourke. senile decay||"In their later years, (James and Frances Reed) lived with their daughter Sarah Ann and her husband Michael Brennan in North Bourke. The Brennan's fourth daughter Isabella was said to be the first white child born at North Bourke, in 1869. Frances died in April 1895 and James in January 1898, aged 88 and leaving, it was reported, nine surviving children, 'held in high esteem', 86 grandchildren and over 40 great grandchildren."1,2 He was buried on 31 January 1898 at Bourke cemetery, central eastern side, in Bourke.2


  1. [S303] "Research Report: Reed family facts", 1986, Robert Luxford, to James Fleming (Sydney); Fleming Family History Archive, Sydney.
  2. [S326] Death Certificate, James Reed, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, NSW, Vol 1898 No 5.
  3. [S405] Death Certificate, Frances Reed, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, NSW, Vol 1895 No 4274.
  4. [S384] Surgeons Journal, Earl Grey 1837, (MS, 1837); Archives Office of NSW; Kingswood.
  5. [S355] Marriage Certificate, James Murphy and Prudence Whye nee Reed, 18 May 1879, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, NSW. 1879/2580 (250).
Last Edited21 August 2018