John Ward and Sarah Locke
last modified 18 August 2020

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   John Ward was born ca 1792 [1].  Nothing is known of his life prior to his enlistment at in the Royal Staff Corps on 2 January 1818 as a private first class in the 3rd company based in Hythe, Kent at age 26 [5]. 
   Sometime prior to 1818, John Ward married Sarah Locke.  Sarah was born ca 1804 [1].  Three children were baptized at St Leonard's Church in Hythe Kent - Elizabeth (5 July 1818), John (30 April 1820) and William (20 January 1822). 

St leonard Hythe

St Leonard, Hythe.
Sepia drawing by William F. Saunders.
Image by kind permission of the Kent Archeological Society
Hythe, Kent ca 1830

Hythe, Kent ca 1830
Engraving of "The Barracks and Town of Hythe, Kent" from Ireland's History of Kent, Vol. 4, 1831. It appears between pages 224 and 225. Drawn by G. Sheppard, engraved by C. Bedford.  This image is from Wikipedia.
Longwood House, St Helena
Longwood, St Helena
(origin unknown)

   While in the Royal Staff Corps, John is known to have been employed as an officers servant [5].  On 23 August 1820 he sailed to St Helena as part of a detachment of the Royal Staff Corps comprising an ensign and 15 other ranks.  The Royal Staff Corps saw duty in St Helena during the period of Napoleon's exile on that island.  Their task was to maintain Government buildings, including Napoleon’s residence and place of captivity  “Longwood”.  They also assisted with guard duties [2,5,6]. 
    Following the death of Napoleon, the detachment, including John Ward, returned to Hythe on 28 December 1821.  John is then recorded as being part of a recruiting party in Birmingham and had a role in the construction of the Royal Military Canal [6].
   In 1826, The Ward Family, embarked for Australia aboard the convict ship Chapman.  The Chapman left London on 11 April 1826 with 100 male prisoners bound for Van Dieman's  Land.   John was part of the contingent of Royal Staff Corps which served as the armed guard on the voyage. 
   A son, Samuel Chapman, was born to Sarah on 6 May 1826 during the voyage to Australia.  Samuel was baptized by Samuel Marsden in the Parish of St John's church in Parramatta on 3 December 1826 [3].  Another son, James, was baptized in the Parish of St John's church in Parramatta on 22 January 1829.
   The Chapman arrived in Sydney on 4 November 1826.  The Ward family settled in Parramatta, NSW initially occupying a cottage near the convict barracks.  On 25 June 1829, John was appointed by the Governor as a clerk to the department of Bridges and Roads at a salary of £73 per annum.  Following the disbandment of the Royal Staff Corps he obtained a land grant of 40 acres south of the town of Parramatta.  In the 1832 Post office directory, a John Ward is listed as living at Breakfast Point in Parramatta.
   John purchased, and is recorded as the licensee, of the Coach and Horses Inn, Phillip Street, Parramatta for the period 27 Jun 1845 until 30 Jun 1846 when the license was transferred to a Robert Wilkinson.  The building still stands and has been renovated to become Barnaby's Restaurant [4].
   John died in February 1846 and was buried on 4 February 1846 in the Wesleyan Cemetery, North Parramatta.  The burial register indicates he was then aged 59 and gives his occupation as innkeeper.  Sarah died a few months later (burial register indicates age of 42) and was buried on 2 May 1846 next to her husband.  William Schofield performed the funerals.

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[1] Birth date is estimated as ca 1787 (based on age (59) at death in 1846 as given in the burial records [2,7]) or asca 1792 (based on age (26) at time of enlistment in 1818 [5]).
[2] Ron Dayman, The Ward Family, private publication.
[3] Baptism Certificate, NSW Births Deaths and Marriages.
[4] Ken and Shylie Brown, Parramatta, A Town Caught in Time (p 68).
[5] John Passmore "The Royal Staff Corps Settlers in Australia" In Descent, vol 7, part 1, pp 3-15 (1974).
[6] Papers of John Passmore (1914- ), National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection,  MS7613/3/1-3.  Much of John Passmore's research is summarized in the article in Descent [5].
[7] Parramatta Pioneer Register - Volume 2, Settlement to 1920 Parramatta and District Historical Society, Parramatta, NSW p 232 (2003).

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Longwood, St Helena

Hythe, Ken
    Kent Archeological Society
    Visit to Hythe, September 2006

    Parramatta and District Historical Society

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The assistance of the following who provided some information for this page is gratefully acknowledged

Ron Dayman
Margaret Lemon
Parramatta and District Historical Society