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Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett, one of 308 convicts transported on the David Clarke, 03 June 1841

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Barrett
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1758
Occupation: Blacksmith
Date of Death: 1788
Age: 30 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Theft
Convicted at: Old Bailey
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Charlotte
Departure date: 13th May, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 26 other convicts


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Community Contributions

Leonie Dolley on 9th May, 2013 wrote:

Thomas died in the hospital at New Norfolk 28\10\1841.

Nell Murphy on 12th September, 2017 wrote:

Thomas BARRETT was convicted at Somerset, England on 3 April 1841 for forgery and housebreaking. 15 yr transportation sentence. Sent to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) per the ship ‘David Clarke’ arriving 4 Oct 1841. Gaol Report: “good character and respectable connections. Hulk Report: “good”. Ship Surgeon’s Report: “general conduct good”.

Married man; aged 42yrs; farm labourer’ 5’9”; ruddy complexion; brown hair; Hazel eyes.
Native place of birth: Yeovil, England.
Wife Elizabeth & 5 children.

2 yrs Probation Period.
Station Gang: Rocky Hills, VDL.

28 Oct 1841: Died, in hospital, New Norfolk.

Finn on 15th March, 2019 wrote:

Yeah, I’m editing this because he’s my ancestor and I’m sick of seeing lies online.

- He was convicted in Old Bailey, London, on the 10th of September 1782 and was not originally sentenced to death but to life in prison, only for it to be changed to deportation.

- He was convicted for stealing a watch (not household goods) because he wanted to copy the design.

- He was caught by the ship’s surgeon, John White, forging fake coins from spoons and trading them on land when the Charlotte stopped for supplies. He was told he would not be punished (ratted out) if he forged a medal to commemorate the Charlotte fleet.

- He forged the medal from a surgeon’s dish (a kidney dish), inscribing messages into the back of the medal and an illustration of the ship on the front. He also made a copper duplicate for White’s servant upon White’s request.

- After arriving in Australia, Thomas Barrett got married at 17 and had at least two sons that my family is aware of.

- Due to the high sand ratio in the soil on the colony, the convicts were not having luck growing crops and started to starve. Thomas Barrett and two (not three) friends devised a plan to steal rations for their families. Thomas’ youngest son was sick and so became the driving force behind the plan.

- The group knew that theft of rations was punishable by death, but they continued to watch guardsmen schedules until they felt time was right.
- During the night, the three attempted to get to the rations but were unsuccessful. They tried again the next night, but were caught.

I got this information from Thomas Barrett’s journal, which has been passed down within my family. After being captured, there is only one last entry so the following information is based on that and also word of mouth within my family.

- Thomas and his friends awaited trial and were allowed to see they’re families at home only one more time. Thomas, in this time, wrote his last entry where he implied that he wasn’t scared and that he wouldn’t be put to death but forced into manual labour.

- During the trial, Thomas’ friends were relieved from the death penalty and sentenced to hard labour instead, only making Thomas Barrett believe that he too was going to be let off.

- It was found during trial that Thomas was the mastermind behind the plan due to the motive of his sickly son being ratted out by one of Thomas’ friends.

- Thomas was put to death by hanging on the 27th of February 1788.

My family says that the only reason we have the journal is because Thomas’ wife hid it from authorities. It is very precious to us and this is the first time I’ve ever shared online that we even have it. I hope this helps uncover the truth of Thomas Barrett.

Convict Changes History

Leonie Dolley on 9th May, 2013 made the following changes:

date of birth 1799, date of death 1841, gender, occupation, crime

Nell Murphy on 12th September, 2017 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 328. Tasmanian Archives. (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 328)

anon on 7th May, 2018 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 100 years (prev. 15 years), voyage, source: http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/thomas-barrett-the-man-who-carved-the-charlotte-medal-was-the-first-convict-executed-in-sydney/news-story/f425a72b34736f268f596966bee882c2 https://alw

Finn on 15th March, 2019 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years (prev. 100 years), date of birth: 1758 (prev. 1759), occupation, crime

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