Joseph Fawcett was born in Darlington, Durham, England, the son of Robert Fawcett, weaver and his wife, Hannah.
Joseph and his younger brother Thomas got into trouble with the law on a number of occasions and in 1836, they both were sentenced to transportation to NSW. After almost a year incarcerated in the ‘Ganymeade’ hulk, they arrived to NSW on the ‘John’ in February 1837. Joseph was assigned to William Lawson at Bathurst, and his brother to a master at Wollombi. Both brothers promptly absconded from their respective masters but were later recaptured. Joseph was later assigned to a J H Brenan.
He married Mary Ann Henlen in Bathurst on 28 April 1852. They had one son, also named Joseph, born at Bathurst in 1853. Joseph Fawcett did not receive a Certificate of Freedom until 1856. The Fawcett family arrived in Sydney in the early 1870s, originally living at Strawberry Hill (southern part of Surry Hills) later moving to Macdonaldtown. He lived in Flora Cottage, Erskineville Road, on or near the corner of Septimus Street. At the time of his death on 6 April 1897, his name was recorded as Joshua Fawcett. He was buried in the Methodist cemetery, Rookwood as Joshua Fawcett.
Occupation & interests
Joseph Fawcett purchased a town allotment in Bathurst in 1849 where he was a market gardener on the Macquarie River. Joseph Snr engaged in a number of profitable land transactions in the 1850s.When he moved to Macdonaldtown, he once again was a market gardener. He purchased and/or built a number of dwellings in the area, including Darlington Terrace, Flora Cottage and Camellia Cottage.
Local government service
Joseph Fawcett was an alderman on Macdonaldtown (Erskineville) Council in 1876-1880. Newspaper reports indicate that he was quite outspoken, and sometimes sent apologies.
Information on Joseph Fawcett courtesy Jennifer Bell.
State Archives of NSW, Certificate of Freedom, No 1856/21, 4/4416
‘Funerals’, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April 1897, p. 10