Bartholomew Reardon

The Reardon Family
Bartholomew Reardon was a shoemaker who lived at Gosport, England.  He was married to Katharine Wood on 20 July 1781 at Holy Trinity, Gosport, England.  According to the Hampshire Public Records Office Bartholomew had received a stolen hair trunk from a sailor named Carey.  Bartholomew and his wife Katherine were charged with having the trunk in their house, knowing it was stolen.  He was found guilty at Winchester in Hampshire on 15 July 1783.  He was sentenced to be transported to America for seven years.  He sailed on the Swift in 1793, but due to a mutiny he returned to London.  He was a prisoner on the hulk Censor until he was placed on the Scarborough, one of the 11 ships of the First Fleet.

Hannah Rowney/Ronay/Rooney was born in England in 1754.  She was tried at the Old Bailey on 11 September 1788 for stealing a leather bound book, a bible and two prayer books from St Katharine Kree Church in London.  She was caught selling them to a pawnbroker.  On another occasion she was found guilty of stealing two church books from St Giles in the Fields.  She was sentenced to transportation for seven years.

Lady Juliana Second Fleet Convict Ship by Robert Dodd (Wikipedia)

Hannah sailed from England on the Lady Juliana with 226 female convicts on board.  On 23 June 1790 they arrived in Port Jackson where conditions were very bad.  Hannah was one of 150 female and 330 male convicts who were then sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprise. 

The new colony was close to starving.  Bartholomew left New South Wales for Norfolk Island on the Sirius with just four months of his sentence to complete.  He became a free settler.  He also worked as a Bell Ringer and Hut Keeper.

Hannah Ronay met Bartholomew Reardon on Norfolk Island.  They were married on 5 November 1791 during the visit of the Reverend Richard Johnson, and their son Bartholomew was christened at the same time.  They had both been married in England before being transported.  Hannah and Bartholomew had five children.

Bartholomew died on Norfolk Island on 1 May 1807 before the family left for Van Diemen’s Land on the Lady Nelson in 1807.  Hannah is listed as owning 7½ acres of land when she left for Hobart.  This land, given to her when she served her sentence, was used for crops and pigs.  Hannah travelled alone with her daughters Ann and Frances.

Norfolk Island Cemetery where Bartholomew Reardon and his children were buried (G Stonehouse)

Their son Bartholomew jnr remained on Norfolk Island to farm his father’s land and travelled to Van Diemen’s Land later.

On arrival in Hobart Town, Hannah and Frances were kept on government stores.  Hannah was allocated a town block of 20 acres at Sandy Bay.  No improvements were made as the land was unsuitable for farming and it was sold to George Evans in 1815.  Hannah married William Horne on 22 May 1809.  They lived on his 100 acres property at Pittwater.  His occupation was given as butcher.

Article submitted by Tony Reardon from information supplied by Judy Pearson.
Article featured in First Fleet Folio August 2013

Children of Bartholomew and Hannah Reardon
Bartholomew (1791); Frances (1794); Anne (1796); Steve (1798) and Daniel (1799)
Steve and Daniel Reardon died on Norfolk Island; their burials are listed in the Norfolk Island Colonial Cemetery.

The children of Bartholomew and Hannah Reardon: Norfolk Island Cemetery



On 9 November 1807, Hannah Ronay with children Ann and Francis Ronay/Reardon were on the 1st Embarkation the Lady Nelson for Van Diemen’s Land.






Bartholomew jnr moved to Sydney for a time; in 1810 he embarked on the Schooner Elizabeth May for the Derwent River Van Diemen’s Land, where he received a land grant.  He married Elizabeth Nash by Banns in Hobart Town on 19 September 1846.  They had 8 children.  Bartholomew died on 1 January 1849 and was buried in St John’s Richmond.

Sandstone headstone for Bartholomew Reardon who died 1 January 1849 (T Reardon)

lie the remains of
Bartholomew Reardon
late of Pittwater
who died 1st  January, 1849
Aged    57    Years
on whose soul may God have
It is a holy and wholesome thought
to pray for the dead that they may
be loosed from their sins.

Inscription from the bronze plate at the foot of the sandstone headstone:

Sacred to the Memory of
Late of Pitt Water who died 1st January 1849 aged 57 years
Bartholomew Reardon born Norfolk Island 15th June 1791, son of First Fleeter
Arrived Van Diemen’s Land 1810.
Married Elizabeth Nash 1st January 1812.
Highly recommend by Captain Piper and others, he immediately received land grants. His agricultural knowledge and his substantial efforts resulted in high crop yields, which benefited all the colony.
He was first to grow wheat free of smut disease.
He was among the first to introduce merino sheep to the colony at his property “thorn hill”. His hospitality and community services were renowned: Governor Macquarie and Lieut. Governor Sorell were his guests in April 1821.
He also served as District Constable with honesty and devotion to duties.
Subsequently his huge barn, filled with harvest, was burnt to ashes by malicious scoundrels; it had been used for all community gatherings, religious services, and musterings.
His property “green hills”, Forcett, is still in the Reardon family today 1995
We his descendants proudly and gratefully acknowledge and honour his many sterling and outstanding qualities.


Further Reading:
Bateson, Charles The Convict Ships 1787-1868, Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1959
Cobley, Dr John Sydney Cove 1788 The first year of the Settlement in Australia Holder & Stoughton, 1963
Flynn, Michael, The Second Fleet, Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1993 and 2001