Patrick John London – (1770 – 1810) & Sarah (1780 -1818). New South Wales Corps.

Patrick John London or John London as he was sometimes known was our first London to Australia.  He and his wife Sarah came to Australia aboard the Ann.    On the 25th August 1809 the English ship Ann, left England bound for the new colony of Sydney. Aboard were convicts both men and women, crew, settlers and soldiers (and a limited number of soldiers wives and children) from the 73rd regiment who would serve as reinforcements and replacements for the existing marines in the wild new colony.  The 73rd were specially trained for this commission and were known as the 73rd regiment on foot. Source  Australian War Memorial Colonial Records

The ship arrived at Sydney on the 27th February 1810.  As to where (Patrick) John and Sarah fitted into this motley crew I strongly suspect he was a soldier with the 73rd regiment on foot who would come to Australia and later become the New South Wales Corps. (Thanks to  Lyn Murphy and Allen London who have done the research behind this one and generously shared).

Further research (2018) – Biographical database of Australia has enabled me to almost certainly tie our Patrick into the New South Wales Corps.  (link here).  Sarah who is recorded as a free-woman (Mrs. London with a child) would stay on in Australia.  Accurate record-keeping at the time that the family arrived was lacking and this was a criticism that made its way back to England’s government of the day.  Patrick promptly dropped dead within a month of arriving, on the 27th March 1810.  The cause of his death at this time is still a bit of a mystery.

Patrick/John left a wife Sarah and a an infant son William London.  Upon his demise, Patrick/John was almost definitely buried in The Old Sydney Burial Ground.  Record 1342.   He does not appear in the colonies papers as a convict.

By 1814 Sarah who was still recorded as Mrs. London was living off the stores, with an ex-convict, M. Holligan (who we also find as Hallighan and Halligan) and her son in Windsor.  From what I can see Sarah’s relationship with Holligan/Hallighan is possibly a sibling (?) or as a live in housekeeper?  Later records refer to Hallighan (who was deemed to be William’s legal guardian, also refer to him as his uncle and also as father).  Morris or Maurice as he was recorded would marry the year after Sarah’s death and he delivered young William to the authorities in Sydney in 1819 (around the same time he married, they had been living in Appin).   I struggle to accept that he would have been the boys uncle in that case?  The records I’ve secured so far are definitive that Sarah was “Mrs London” on her arrival and Mrs London on her death. Patrick is recorded definitively as William’s father.   On his son’s pioneer records Patrick is recorded as William’s father but no mention is made of his mother.  Sarah died before July 1818 and thus William London was left an orphan as a small child.  The Reverend Samuel Marsden would step in and William would be one of the first admissions to the new Orphanage School for the growing number of orphans in the colony.