The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.
Execution of Thomas Barrett 27 February 1788
Convict Thomas Barrett was the first person to be executed in the new colony. The forger, believed to be the artist responsible for the Charlotte Medal, was convicted on 17 February 1788, with three others, of stealing food from the government stores, and sentenced to death. One of the men was sentenced to be flogged, while the other two sentenced to hang were instead given a last minute reprieve and banished from the colony. Barrett's execution was carried out on the same day as the trial, and he was hanged at 6pm on a gallows tree that stood on a hill between the male and female camps on the western side of Sydney Cove, close to the where the intersection of Essex and Harrington Streets in the Rocks is today.