James Bath

A Koori boy, James Bath, 16, dies of dysentery. His parents have been shot while “they were engaged in plundering and laying waste the then infant settlement at Toongabbie”. When the parents retreat the child is found nearby and adopted by the convict George Bath. When he leaves the colony, the boy is given to a Mr Greville who in turn hands over the boy to a Mr J. Sparrow. At the age of 10, James Bath expresses a desire to work for William Miller at the Hospital Wharf in Sydney, where he becomes an expert sailor. The Sydney Gazette records that “his origin he [James] remembered with abhorrence, and never suffered to escape any occasion whereby he might testify a rooted and unconquerable aversion to all of his own colour – so esteeming the term Native as the most illiberal and severe reproach that could possibly be uttered.” From The Sydney Gazette, quoted Brook, p. 2.