In 1801 it wasn't just the convicts who were doing a bunk and going bush; members of the NSW Corps were also suffering from restless feet and Private John Boatsman was another who caught the wandering bug.
He did a flit but didn't have much time to frolic in his freedom before being dragged to front up to a court-martial.
Poor old Private John Boatsman was sentenced to be executed for desertion by firing squad on 19th April 1801.
But the morning of the 19th dawned grey and wet, torrential rain hindered the execution which was deferred.
The 20th dawned equally damp and miserable; again the execution was deferred.
The 21st was just as bad but the Governor was given evidence of "favourable circumstances" about John Boatsman and granted him a free pardon.
April 22 dawned bright and clear, in mores than just the weather, for John Boatsman.