George Bannister 1768-1864
George Bannister was one of three youths who were convicted at the Old Bailey on 21 April 1784 for the theft of clothing from a house at Millbank. A small girl saw one of the boys getting out of the window with the clothes under his arms. They were traced through their tracks in the snow. Bannister said he had gone to look for his mother's ass, and was running along the river bank to warm himself when he heard the cry of 'stop thief'. He was found hiding behind some willows: he said he had taken shelter there from the storm. After being sentenced to 7 years transportation to Africa, Bannister was sent to the 'Ceres' hulk on 5 April 1785, aged 18, and delivered from the 'Censor' hulk to 'Alexander' on 6 January 1787 of the First Fleet.
On 15 March 1789, Bannister suffered 50 lashes for theft of three pounds of flour from James Stewart, though he pleaded it was his first offence. On 15 November a daughter, Sarah, by Ann Forbes was baptised. Bannister was sent to Norfolk Island by 'Sirius' on 4 March 1790, as also was Ann Forbes, though she does not seem to have stayed with him. At 1 July 1791 he was maintaining two persons on a Queenborough lot, of which he had cleared 66 rods and felled 25 rods of timber. His only recorded misdemeanor on the island was a theft for which he received 50 lashes in March 1791. He had been supplied with a pig under the lieutenant governor's scheme to make as many persons as possible independent of stores for meat. On 7 January 1792 he was settled on 12 acres at Morgan's Run, Queenborough: by the end of the year he was selling grain to the government.
Bannister left Norfolk Island by 'Kitty' in March 1793 and by this time Ann Forbes had started a relationship with William Dring and remained at Norfolk Island.