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James WAIT

[also WAITE or WHITE]
(c.1798 - 1822)
Cook to Lachlan Macquarie.

Arrived on the convict transport Eliza on 21 January 1820. Convicted at the Bristol City Assizes on 19 April 1819 and sentenced to seven years transportation to NSW. His convict indent papers list his age as 21 and his trade as a confectioner.

When he disembarked on 31 January 1820 James Wait was escorted to Parramatta and assigned to join the Windsor Road Gang under the supervision of overseer Ford. He received an Absolute Pardon from Governor Macquarie on 28 November 1821, the same date as Martin Lawlor, another personal servant who was to accompany the Macquaries back to England in 1822.

The death of James Wait on 20 May 1822, in San Salvador, Brazil, is recorded in unusual detail by Macquarie in his journal - especially considering that, by comparison, he makes so little mention of the birth of a daughter to his manservant George, who had assisted him for over 15 years and been one of his constant travelling companions.

Primary Sources:

Principal Superintendent of Convicts. Bound Indents 1820 -1821 (4/4007) p.40
Colonial Secretary. Register of Absolute Pardons and Registers of Recommendations for Absolute Pardons 1791 - 1843: 28 November 1821 (Reel 6007) p217.

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