Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Blanket, John

Māori man who was one of the early harbour pilots and then worked for many years as a servant and part of the household of the politician John Robertson at his property Clovelly at Watsons Bay. On 8 Feburary 1874 Blanket and three other men from Watsons Bay were on a fishing expedition outside the heads. A storm blew in on their return journey and the boat was swamped near DeeWhy and sank. One of the men, a Portuguese sailor named Emmanuel Jacinto (or Jesson) was drowned, while the other three eventually managed to swim. Blanket was described as tattooed and as a Maori chief.

Blanket died in late 1889, aged about 82, and was buried at South Head Cemetery. In 1899 his remains were removed to be placed beside those of John Robertson.