Convicted for stealing silk and linen in 1804 at the Old Bailey Courthouse in London, Barnard Williams was transported to the fledgling colony of New South Wales in Sydney Australia as punishment. He arrived in 1807 aboard the Duke of Portland.
Having previously worked as a waterman on the Thames in London, upon arrival Barnard was put to work in the dockyard. His skills included the ability to read and write and soon was given the task of record keeping.
He became the New South Wales Government Coxswain in 1808 under Lachlan Macquarie and remained in this position for 14 years. During this time, as the port became busier and busier, his responsibilities grew quickly in importance.
It was while the colony of NSW was under Lachlan Macquarie that Barnard was requested to build some huts for the Aborigine Bungaree at North Head. Macquarie is recorded as saying that ‘Barney’ Williams, having put the farm in very neat order for them, built good huts for their residence and made a most excellent and romantic road from the landing place to the village. Barnard had also previously built huts at Elizabeth Bay.
He died in 1822, leaving 6 children, Elizabeth, Ann, Mary Ann, John Barnet, Thomas George and Edward Henry.
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