John Champion,


Born: 21th June 1795 at Richmond, Surrey, England
Arrived Sydney: 7th February 1814               Vessel:  General Hewitt       
Status:  Convict
Died:  7th November 1887 at Faulconbridge, N.S.W.
Buried: 11th November 1887 at St John’s Parramatta, N.S.W.

Profile:  During the Macquarie era, John married Sarah Barber/Baker/Barrol at St. John’s, Parramatta, N.S.W.  on the 11th May 1818 and they had the following children;-
Elizabeth, born 25th November 1818 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
Mary Ann, born 27th December 1819 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
John, born 12th August 1821 at Parramatta, N.S.W.

John and Sarah also had the following children after the Macquarie Era:-
Louisa, born 17th May 1823 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
Sarah, born 3rd August 1824 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
James, born 17th June 1826 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
Harriet, born 25th September 1824 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
Eliza, born 3rd October 1829 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
William Henry, born 9th December 1831 at Parramatta, N.S.W

George T, born 13th June 1834 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
Samuel Barnard, born 17th February 1836 at Parramatta, N.S.W.
Martha, born 27th July 1839 at Parramatta, N.S.W.

Charles, born 23rd November 1841 at Parramatta, N.S.W. (1)


During the Macquarie Era, the 1814 Muster showed John as “off stores” with Mr Carlyle. (2)  Sometime between the 1814 Muster and 2nd February 1818, John had been assigned to Blaxland. On the 4th November of that year, records show John was being employed by John Blaxland as a blacksmith. (3)


On 2nd February 1818 the Marriage Banns were published at St John’s Parramatta for John Champion and Sarah Baker, aged 17 years, at the time she was at “The Factory, Parramatta”.  They were married on 11th May at St John’s by Samuel Marsden. Again there was a different spelling of her name now shown as  Barber on the marriage certificate.(4)  By the time of the 1828 Census, John was still working on a "Ticket of Leave" as a blacksmith for John Blaxland at Newington (5), he had possession of one horse and he was described as 5’5 ¾” with fair to ruddy complexion, light brown hair and hazel eyes.


The Sydney Gazette of the 30th August 1826 reported that John Champion had charged Lachlan Kernon with using indecent language to Mrs Champion “something about a black fellow, a broken thigh and what not” the Judge said, and dismissed the complaint as it appears a “vexatious case.  A week or two earlier Sarah had charged Florence Mahoney with using bad language to her.

In 1832 John’s Conditional Pardon was approved and issued 6th April, 1833.ref.(6) John next came to our attention in July 1838 when he applied to the Colonial Secretary to buy 4 allotments of land in O’Connell Street,  Parramatta.  This land was later sold to James Walker in October 1839.


July 1841, John was a witness in a court case where Mrs Mason, who lived near John, was charged with selling sly grog.  She was found guilty.  John in his evidence stated that he was Superintendent over the salt works and that he had 14 government men under him as well as free emigrants.  He then lived at Blaxland’s Lodge. In the period 1841 to 1844 a number of advertisements appeared in the papers “Salt for Sale” by John Champion. 

Writing in the Royal Australian Historical Society’s Magazine of 1834, J Houlson reported “the quaint old hexagonal four room lodge still stood on the corner of Sutherland Street and Parramatta Road”.  Could this have been John’s home?  It would appear that he left Blaxland’s employment about January 1848 when he applied for a Publican’s License for “The Currency Lad” on Sydney Road. 


John died at Faulconbridge on 7th November 1887 at the age of 92.  He was buried in the St John’s Historical Cemetery at Parramatta on 11th November. 


Contribution received by email dated 4th May 2010 from David Champion, great grandson of John Champion


 (1)  A Register of Pioneer Families, Volume 2, Pages 84 to 95.

 (2)  AO Records 4/4004 MFR 393.

 (3)  Bigge Report Appendix 5731 BT Box 26.

 (4)  Page 614 of Historical Records of Aust. Macquarie to Liverpool VII Series I.  AO 151.

 (5)  Census of New South Wales, November 1828.

 (6)  Government Gazette p.348 1932.




To return to home page click here