Richard Partridge (I) (c.1759-1831)

Richard Partridge is one of St. John’s First Fleeters. He was originally to be transported to America on board the Swift along with David Killpack, but when a mutiny broke out on board, both men were among those who escaped. They were soon recaptured and sentenced to death at the Old Bailey. Both of their death sentences were commuted and they were transported with the First Fleet per Scarborough (1788). In the colony, Partridge married fellow First Fleeter Mary Greenwood and became the notorious “Left-Handed Flogger” and gaoler. Richard and Mary are both buried in unmarked graves at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta.


  • Alias: Richard Rice
  • Alternate: Dick Rice
  • Alternate: Richard Price (name misspelt in newspaper report of his death)
  • Colloquial: Old Dick Rice
  • Colloquial: The Left-Handed Flogger


  • Born: c.1759
  • Convicted: 30 April 1783 at the Old Bailey, Middlesex, England
  • Sentenced to seven years transportation: 30 April 1783
  • Embarked for America per Swift16 August 1783
  • Escaped during mutiny on the Swift: 29 August 1783
  • Recaptured: 1 September 1783, Kent, England
  • Retried: 10 September 1783, the Old Bailey, Middlesex, England
  • Sentenced to death: 10 September 1783, the Old Bailey, Middlesex, England
  • Death sentence commuted to Transportation for Life: Saturday, 13 September 1783
  • Imprisoned on the Censor hulk: after 13 September 1783
  • Embarked on the Scarborough: 27 February 1787
  • Sailed with the First Fleet per Scarborough: 13 May 1787
  • Arrived at Botany Bay: 19 January 1788
  • Arrived at Port Jackson: 26 January 1788
  • Bread stolen by Australia’s first bushranger “Black Caesar”: 30 April 1788
  • Birth of daughter Mary Rice: c.1791
  • Death of daughter Mary Rice: c.1791
  • Birth of son Richard Partridge (II): c.1793
  • Received 60 acres of land: 15 September 1796 at Northern Boundary Farms (Carlingford)
  • Birth of daughter Mary Ann Partridge: c.1797
  • Received Absolute Pardon: 12 September 1797
  • Married Mary Greenwood: 5 November 1810 at St. John’s Church, Parramatta
  • Execution of adopted aboriginal son Daniel Mow-watty: 1 November 1816 at Hangman’s Hill, The Rocks, Sydney
  • Charged with stealing 3 pigs: 10 January 1827
  • Died: 22 May 1831
  • Buried: 23 May 1831 at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

Burial Location

  • Unmarked grave, location unknown, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta


  • Fellow mutineer on the Swift (1783) and fellow First Fleet convict Scarborough (1788): David Killpack
  • Spouse of Mary Greenwood
  • Friend of John Martin: fellow First Fleet convict, fellow constable, and Northern Boundary Farms neighbour (Martin witnessed the Partridge wedding)
  • Parent of Mary Rice
  • Parent of Richard Partridge (II)
  • Parent of Mary Ann Partridge
  • Adopted Parent of Daniel Mow-watty


  • Flogger
  • Night Watchman at Parramatta
  • Gaoler / overseer of ironed prisoners
  • Constable
  • Pound-keeper
  • Farmer
  • Carter
  • Labourer


  • Convict Swift (1783)
  • Convict Scarborough (1788)
  • Flogger
  • Parramatta Constable

Richard Partridge: The Left-Handed Flogger (2016)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: This purloiner of ladies’ laundry became a mutineer on the Swift in 1783 before being transported to Botany Bay with the First Fleet on the Scarborough. In the new colony he soon became known as the infamous “Left-Handed Flogger” – one half of the monstrous, misery-inducing, two-headed, eighteen-tailed “cat.” more>>

Related Content

Daniel Mow-watty: The Boy Who Strayed from the Bush Path (2016)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: A short biographical piece on Daniel Mow-watty; an aboriginal boy adopted by Richard and Mary Partridge when he was a child. When he grew older, Mow-watty’s bilingualism as well as his knowledge of indigenous plants led to him acting as a guide to botanist George Caley. As Caley’s guide, he travelled to Norfolk Island, Tasmania, Nattai (Appin) and became the third Aboriginal person to travel to England. However, Daniel Mow-watty’s exposure to European lifeways left him feeling increasingly torn between two cultural identities that were not fully integrated: “Daniel” and “Mow-watty.” For Daniel Mow-watty, the outcome was ultimately tragic. more>>



Sudden Death,” Sydney Monitor, Saturday 28 May 1831, p.2


  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: a biographical dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989)
  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2), April 1783, trial of RICHARD PARTRIDGE (t17830430-27), accessed 29 March 2016
  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2), September 1783, trial of RICHARD PARTRIDGE (t17830910-19), accessed 29 March 2016
  • Parish Burial Records, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Elaine M. Sheehan, “The Identity of Richard Rice: ‘The Left Handed Flogger,’” Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 70, Pt. 2 (October, 1984): 126-7
  • Ron Withington, Dispatched Downunder: Tracing the Resting Places of the First Fleeters, (Woolloomooloo, The Fellowship of First Fleeters, 2013), p.441
  • Trove


# First Fleet

# Convict

# Trial Place: Old Bailey

# Ship: Swift (1783)

# Hulk: Censor

# Ship: Scarborough (1788)

# Burial year: 1831

# Grave: unmarked