Henry Kable - Australia’s first Chief Constable
© Copyright Mike Fernandes 2013
Henry Kable Married Susannah Holmes in the first European wedding ceremony in the new colony. Susannah had been sentenced to death for theft however her sentenced was reprieved by the King. Susannah and Henry formed a relationship in Norwich Castle Gaol where she gave birth to a son Henry (1786-1852). Susannah was one of the women chosen to be transported to Australia. Henry Kable won the first civil suit heard in New South Wales where he won damages against the ships captain for the loss of a gift plundered on the voyage from England. This case may have brought Kable to the attention of Governor Arthur Phillip who appointed him as an overseer. Three years later he was made a constable and three years after that appointed as Chief Constable. In 1802 he was dismissed for misbehaviour for illegally importing pigs from a visiting ship. After this he became a merchant and ship owner. He formed a partnership with boat builder James Underwood and Simeon Lord in the expanding commerce of the colony. Henry Kable’s achievements were remarkable for a man (apparently) who’s only claim to literacy was his ability to add a column of figures. In 1968 on the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, more than a hundred of Henry and Susannah Kable gathered in the first reunion to honour convict ancestry.
Henry Kable was born in Suffolk, England. Kable was convicted of burglary in 1783 and sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted to transportation for fourteen years to America. Due to the American Revolution, transportation to America was no longer possible so he was held in Norwich Castle Gaol until he was transported on HMS Friendship in the First Fleet to New South Wales.
Henry Kable and his wife Susannah are laid to rest in the cemetery attached to St Matthews Church of England in Windsor NSW
The foundation stone for St Matthews Church was laid by Governor Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824). Lachlan Macquarie succeeded William Bligh to become the 5th Governor of New South Wales and served from 1810 to 1824.
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Henry Kable (1763-1846)

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