Francis Stafford1

M, #5818, b. circa 1777, d. 23 March 1828
Relationship4th great-grandfather of Keith Graham Bassett
ChartsAncestors of Keith Graham Bassett
Last Edited31 May 2022
Birth*circa 1777 County Dublin, Ireland2 
News-Arct26 February 1801 "The Freeman's Journal", Dublin, Ireland;
Yesterday, an offender named Stafford, stood in the pillory, in the middle of College-green, for perjury3 
Note* The Atlas left Cork Harbour on November 29, 1801 under the command of Captain Richard Brooks and sailed to New South Wales in the company of her sister ship Hercules. On board were 151 male and 28 female convicts.
Conditions aboard the Atlas were appalling as Brooks had crammed the ship with goods to be sold for his personal gain.
An attempted mutiny on board the Hercules led to suspicions of similar actions on board the Atlas, and combined with rumours of an attempt to poison the crew led to numerous flogging of both convicts and crew. Many convicts died as a result of the floggings.
Having been suspected of involvement in the conspiracies, Francis Stafford along with Patrick Darcey, Darby Lachy and Mary Courtney were flogged on April 5, 1802.
The Atlas arrived at Port Jackson after a voyage of 220 days, 63 male and 2 female convicts, as well as 2 soldiers and a sergeant's wife had died during the voyage. Three convicts had escaped during a layover at Rio de Janiero. A further 4 men died after arrival in Sydney.
Transported*7 July 1802 "Atlas", Port Jackson, NSW, Australia;
Names: Frans Stafford
Age: 25
where Tried: City Dublin
when Convicted: Feby 1801
Terms of Transportation: seven years2 
Muster 1806*1806 NSW, Australia;
Francis Stafford, Atlas, Sealing, Employed by Kable5 
Muster 1811*1811 NSW, Australia;
Status: Convict
Sex: Male
Name: Francis Stafford
Ship of Arrival: Atlas
Trial date: Feb 1801
Trial Place: Dublin
Sentence: 7 years6 
Cert-Freedom*8 February 1811 NSW, Australia;
No.: 234/733
Name: Francis Stafford
Where Tried: Dublin City
When: Febry 1801
Sentence: Seven Years
Ship: Atlas
When Arrived: 1802
When term expired: Febry 1808
Date of Certificate: 8 Feby 18117 
Trial*5 December 1812 The Bench of Magistrates, Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Francis Stafford brought forward on a charge of stealing cedar the property of the Judge Advocate, who declining him from particular circumstances to prosecute, he was discharged8 
Marriage*19 July 1813 St Philips, Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Francis Stafford, Carpenter, a Widower and
Elizabeth Adams, a Spinster, both of this place
were married in this Church by Banns this Nineteenth day of July in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred & thirteen
By me William Cowper
This marriage was Solemnized between us
Francis Stafford
Elizabeth Adams
In the Presence of
Saml Rowley
Ann Byrne her mark;Bride=Elizabeth Adams1 
Muster 1814*1814 Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Name: Francis Stafford
Ship of arrival: Atlas 1
Status: Free
Stores: Off
Remarks: Carpenter9 
Correspondence*3 July 1820 NSW, Australia;
To His Excellency Governor Macquarie &c &c &c
The Memorial of Francis Stafford
Humbly States
That Memorialist having through his industry acquired some stock and now desirous to become a Settler in the Colony his having a Wife and Child.
Memorialist therefore begs leave to Solicit for some Land for the purpose of Cultivation and to depasture his stock and as in duty bound will ever pray
Francis Stafford
July 3, 1820

I believe the petitioner to be an industrious man
William Cowper
I beg to recommend this Petitioner
John Rope?10 
Grant30 June 1823 NSW, Australia;
No. Of Grant: 184
No.: 13
Folio: 32
Grantees Names: Francis Stafford
No. of Acres: 50
'Grant or Lease: Grant
District: Appin
By whom Granted: Sir Thos. Brisbane
When Granted: 30th June 1823
Annual Quit Rent: 1s
When Quit Rent Commences: 30th June 1828
Name of Farm:
Witnesses Names: Rob Crawford & Wm Elyard Junr.
Description: Bounded on the South side by Wash's farm, bearing E 30 chs on the East side by 17 chains of Hayson's farm, bearing N, on the N side by a W line of 30 chains, & on the West side by a South line of 17 chains
Remarks: Conditioned
To Clear and Cultivate 15 acres within the term of 5 years, not to sell, aliene, assign transfer or set over within the said term, Reserving Govt the right of making Public Roads through the same, also the right of such Timber as may be deemed fit for Naval Purposes
Muster 1825*1825 Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Francis Stafford,, Free by servitude, Atlas, 1802, 7 years, householder Sydney
Eliza Stafford, 10, born colony,,,, Daughter of Francis Stafford;Daughter=Elizabeth Stafford12 
News-Arct1 January 1827 "The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser", NSW, Australia;
Police Reports.
John Kavenagh, free, was charged with having committed a robbery on Saturday night last, on the person of Francis Stafford, a carpenter, who lives in Clarence-street. It appeared that three men had attacked deponent about 11 o'clock at night, as he was going home, knocked him down, robbed him of 14s. 6d. and the handkerchief which he had round his neck; deponent also positively swears that the prisoner was one of the party. Committed for trial.13 
News-Arct*6 January 1827 "The Monitor", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
THE Public are particularly cautioned against harbouring my Wife, Elizabeth Stafford, and my Daughter, Elizabeth Stafford; particularly to Michael Power, of Wilberforce, as he has been in the habit of doing so, notwithstanding my repeated Caution to that effect; as I positively will prosecute any Person so doing after this Public Notice. Given under my hand, this 2nd day of January, 1827.
FRANCIS STAFFORD.;Principal=Elizabeth Adams14 
Death*23 March 1828 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia15 
News-Arct*26 March 1828 "The Australian", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
During the darkness and silence of Saturday night last, a report got abroad, when 'twas past the hour of midnight, among persons living along the upper part of Castlereagh-street, that murder was stalking in the neighbourhood. Several consequently sprang from their beds, and ran to ascertain more of the matter. Every succeeding minute tended to confirm the cry of murder the more, and to spread it the; wider, till at last, reaching the ears of the Chief Constable, Mr. Jilk's, he set off, with a party of the constabulary, for the house wherein the appalling act was reported to have occurred; on entering one of the rooms of which, there was found extended on the floor, the body of a man steeped in blood. There was a bleeding at the mouth, and a lingering, warmth about the body, but no vital pulse throbbed therein!---life had departed. Close to the head of the dead man lay an axe, and this the neighbours, or a majority of the neighbours, denounced, as the murderous instument— but there were others amongst them, the Chief Constable aforesaid, who felt disposed to attribute the man's death to natural, rather than to human agency. The report of its being brought about by foul play, however, became more eagerly received, and on all hands, the affair was considered a very proper subject for "Crowner's quest.''
At ten o'clock next morning, accordingly, the Acting Coroner Mr. John Slade, convened an Inquest on the body, and evidence to the following effect was heard;
John Brown, who lives next door to the house deceased lived in, deposed, that on Saturday night, or Sunday morning, between twelve and one o'clock, he heard a screaming at a gate which fronts his dwelling. From the faintness of the cries, judging them to proceed from a child, and being often repeated, he was induced to get out of his bed, and to enquire the matter. He did so, and found outside, a little girl, the daughter of the deceased, who implored his assistance for her father declaring that he was then dying. Browne, the deponent, immediately bustled to the place described, and there saw deceased weltering in blood - he was then bleeding at the mouth. The body was quite warm, but lifeless, and laying on the floor.
The daughter of the deceased— a girl about 12 years of age, who cried most bitterly was examined. She stated, that her father, on the evening spoken of, was seized with a fit of coughing, in the course of which, blood burst from his mouth, and in a few minutes he became insensible: her fright, at such an occurrence, induced her to run to the neighbours for assistance.
Mr. Cook, of the Humane Dispensary, said he examined the body - the deceased had, to witness's knowledge, been laboring under an asthmatic affection for some months past, during which he had been an attendant at the dispensary, and received medical aid. It was his (witness's) opinion, deceased died by the bursting of a blood vessel.
Proof was then gone into of the identity of deceased; his body was recognised to be that of a carpenter, named Francis Stafford.
The Jury having heard all the evidence obtainable, and been advised on it by the Coroner, after a short consultation, returned a verdict- "Died by the visitation of God."
The above is a case which may well call the best exertions of philantropy. The deceased has left an orphan, a female child, precariously protected - a poor pensioner on the general bounty.15 
News-Arct26 March 1828 "The Monitor", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
On the morning of Friday last, a man named Stafford, more generally known by the appellation of handsome Carpenter, residing in Castlereagh Street, dropped suddenly dead. The man had been unwell for a length of time. A Coroner's inquest was held upon the body and a verdict returned of, Died by the Visitation of God.16 


Elizabeth Adams b. 9 Aug 1795


  1. [S1570] NSW Early Church Records 1788-1855, V18131522 3A/1813 Francis Stafford & Elizabeth Adams.
  2. [S1636] NSW Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849, online, Francis Stafford 1802.
  3. [S1550] Irish Newspaper Archives, online
  4. [S1860] Brian Ahearn, Beyond the Sea.
  5. [S1323] General Muster of NSW 1806 for Sydney, Australia.
  6. [S1571] NSW Convict Musters, 1806-1849, online, 1811 Muster.
  7. [S1398] Certificate of Freedom.
  8. [S1679] Bench of Magistrates: County of Cumberland: Minutes of Proceedings.
  9. [S1571] NSW Convict Musters, 1806-1849, online, 1814 Muster.
  10. [S1233] Colonial Secretary Correspondence, 1788-1825.
  11. [S1693] Ancestry NSW Registers of Land Grants and Leases, 1792-1867, online, Francis Stafford 1823.
  12. [S1571] NSW Convict Musters, 1806-1849, online, 1825 Muster.
  13. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, "The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser", Monday, January 1, 1827.
  14. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, "The Monitor", Saturday, January 6, 1827.
  15. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, "The Australian", Wednesday, March 26, 1828.
  16. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, The Monitor, Wednesday, March 26, 1828.
  17. [S1571] NSW Convict Musters, 1806-1849, online, 1822 Census.