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Thomas Bird

Thomas Bird, one of 228 convicts transported on the Lord Hungerford, July 1821

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Bird
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1799
Occupation: Brass worker
Date of Death: 20th February, 1888
Age: 89 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Felony
Convicted at: Warwick Assizes
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Lord Hungerford
Departure date: July, 1821
Arrival date: 26th December, 1821
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 227 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/4, Page Number 59 (31) New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

Dianne Jones on 7th February, 2021 wrote:

TRADE: Brazier (see New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849; 1821 Lord Hungerford).

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

1821: On arrival in VDL per Lord Hungerford, Thomas BIRD was 21 (born 1799), a native of Birmingham, and a brazier. He had been convicted at the Warwick Assizes on 31 March that year. Described as 5’6” tall with brown eyes and hair (see New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849; 1821 Lord Hungerford).

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

1821: On arrival in VDL per Lord Hungerford, Thomas BIRD was 21 (born 1799), a native of Birmingham, and a brazier. He had been convicted at the Warwick Assizes on 31 March that year. Described as 5’6” tall with brown eyes and hair (see New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849; 1821 Lord Hungerford).

1831, 31 October: Thomas BIRD, convict, per Lord Hungerford, and Elizabeth BAREFOOT (born 1814, Parramatta, NSW) were married at St John’s Church of England, Launceston, by banns. Witnesses were John Laird and William Jones, and the chaplain was WH Browne (see Libraries of Tasmania, NAME_INDEXES:819404).

1832: Thomas and Elizabeth Bird had a daughter, Zipporah Elizabeth, born in August (see Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922; reg no 4572). Her father is listed as a tinman, at Launceston.

1834: Thomas and Elizabeth Bird had a son, Thomas, in October. Thomas Bird Snr is listed as a farmer at The Springs (see Libraries of Tasmania, NAME_INDEXES:1083449). Note: Breadalbane, a town, situated on the Midlands Highway, 11.2 kilometres from Launceston, was named by Governor Macquarie. Earlier the district was known as Cocked Hat, The Springs and Brumby’s Plain (see Wikipedia).

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

1837, 13 April:
“PUBLIC POUND, LONG MEADOWS, DISTRICT OF LAUNCESTON.
“IMPOUNDED by… Thomas Bird of the Springs, 4th April, 1837, A yellow sided cow, white back, belly, and tail, branded on the near shoulder WB, off rump WRW. Damage claimed, 2s. 6d. Poundage fees, 6d. per day. Food and water, 3d. per day (see Launceston Advertiser, p2).”

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

1838, 23 January: Thomas BIRD was convicted in the Supreme Court, Hobart Town on 23 January 1838, and sentenced to life (commuted to 15 years) for horse stealing. One local paper reported he had stolen a mare, valued at £20, the property of Charles Wilkins (see The Hobart Town Courier, Fri 26 Jan 1838, p3).

A far more detailed report appeared in the Colonial Times, on 30 January, p5:
“SUPREME COURT - CRIMINAL SIDE.

“Before His Honor the Chief Justice, and a Military Jury.

“TUESDAY JANUARY 23, 1838.

“Thomas Bird stood charged with stealing a mare value £20, the property of Charles Wilkins, on the 8th November last.

“Charles Wilkins examined - I am a blacksmith, and reside at the Cocked Hat, about 6 miles from Launceston. The prisoner lives about 200 yards from my house. I had a mare and foal running in Mr. Jarratt’s paddock on the 7th November last; missed them on the 8th, about 11 or 12 o’clock in the morning; I discovered they had been taken out of the paddock by some of the logs of the fence having been removed, there was a gate to the paddock, also a lock on it; I afterwards saw the prisoner on the 25th November in Mr. Jackson’s stables. Mr. Swift was with me; the mare was worth £20; the prisoner is a married man; there were two men living with him - one was W. Lancaster, the other Barfoot. On the morning I missed the mare I went to the prisoner’s house, but did not find him at home. I looked for him the next day, but did not see him. On the 16th or 17th, I saw him for the first time. I saw Lancaster the day after I had seen Bird: I saw Barfoot on the 29th at the Police-office here. I saw Bird going towards his house from my own place; I saw W. Lancaster with his wife in Mr. Smith’s paddock, about half a mile from my own residence; I took him in charge myself; Bird, on the 17th or 18th was taken to Launceston. The mare had been in my possession about two years; she was dark brown, and was branded on the off side of the neck J: I am certain the mare I saw in Jackson’s stable on the 29th November was mine. Lancaster was in Bird’s service; Barfoot is brother-in-law to the prisoner; I have seen Barfoot at the prisoner’s two or three times a-week-he lives about a mile from the prisoner.

“Constable Henry Lark examined - In November last I was stationed at Brighton; I remember seeing the prisoner at the Castle Inn at Brighton. On the 9th November last; he was sitting in the tap-room with two other persons; there were three horses standing at the door; I saw them there, about eight minutes; I had a conversation with one of the men but not the prisoner; I saw them leave the house – they took with them the three horses; they appeared to be very fatigued—they could scarce walk; I observed two were mares - the other I did not observe; I saw one of the mares at the Police Office and Court-house; the mare was a dark bay cart mare; I saw them at the Castle Inn about: 6 o’clock in the evening - they led the mares away; the prisoner led a darker bay mare than the one I saw here.

“Cross-examined - I could have described you the next day by your dress and appearance. I saw you six or seven days afterwards, when you were in charge.

“Constable Isaac Stephen - I was stationed in November last at Bridgewater Ferry. I remember seeing the prisoner there on the 9th November, in company with two other men, about seventeen minutes to nine; each man had a mare with him; one of the mares was so ill that we had to lift her out of the boat; I asked them why they had been riding the beast in that way; the prisoner said they had been riding the mares from Oatlands for fun- he had given her as much water as she could drink at Mr. Mawle’s and that was the occasion of her illness; the prisoner appeared to be a stranger, and asked how far it was to the nearest public-house; I told him the Black Snake was the nearest and he said he would go there and stop all night. I saw two mares alive in Mr. Jackson’s stable and one dead at the Fox Inn. The one I saw at the Fox Inn was the one prisoner had; I saw the other, two mares at the Police-office, and outside this
Court; one was a large bay mare, the other a smaller black mare—I observed no marks.
The mare I saw at the Fox was a dark bay, and the larger of the three; I was on this side the Ferry on the 9th November; the mare that was dead I saw on the Thursday following; it was about a fortnight before I saw the other mares; we were about twenty minutes lifting the mare out of the boat; I have been used to horses; I had not seen the prisoner before that night.
Cross-examined by prisoner.- I went to Mr. Jackson’s stables by the orders of Mr Swift,
to see if the mares were the same that came across the Ferry; I had no suspicion at the
time you crossed that the mares were stolen.

“Samuel Blackhall examined - I live about two miles from town, on the New Town road.
I recollect Friday morning, 9th November; I got up about half-past 5 o’clock; I found two
men in the yard - they had two mares in the stable. I knew one man, Barfoot, by sight,
the other man I did not know; Lancaster came afterwards. The prisoner is very much
like the other man; he asked me when I expected the mail from Launceston, I said it
would not be long. I got them breakfast a little after six; the two men had nearly finished
before Lancaster came. The mail stopped that morning, and I took the man out a glass of
beer; the door fronts the road; the man that asked me when I expected the mail, went to
the opposite side of the room; they did not remain long after breakfast; they went towards Hobart Town together, and left the mares in the stable; the strange man said he expected his cart and bullocks, and if they came, to let them have something to eat. They were absent about two or three hours, when Lancaster and Barfoot came and took the mares, and said the cart had broke down, and would not reach there to-day. I saw them all again in the evening with the mares; they wanted beds for the night, but I could not accommodate them, and they went towards town again. I saw the mares afterwards at the Police-office, and outside the Court, when Lancaster and Barfoot were tried.

“Josiah Alding sworn - I am assigned servant to Mr Blackhall, I know the prisoner, and
saw him on the 9th November last with another man on two horses; I opened the gate,
and they put their horses in the stable; I got them breakfast, and about an hour afterwards,
another man came - his name was Lancaster. I am quite certain the prisoner is the man who
came with Barfoot.

“Thomas Nettlefold examined - I was keeping the Dallas Arms November last, when two
men came there with some horses. I have seen the two men at the Police-office and here
Barfoot and Lancaster; they came on the 10th or 11th November last; I gave Barfoot in
custody to the washhouse keeper that night, I saw one mare in the stable, and one tied up
outside; they were, claimed by Lancaster and Barfoot. Perkins, the constable, took charge
of the horses; I never saw the prisoner at my house.

“Constable Perkins examined - I received from Mr. Nettlefold two mares on the 10th
November last, about 10 or 11 o’clock at night. I took, the mares to the Police-office, and delivered them to Mr. Swift.

“John Swift examined -I am district constable; I remember receiving two mares from
Constable Perkins, on 10th November last; I took them to Jackson’s livery stables.
William Hudson, for the prisoner, examined.- I live at Campbell Town, and am a
coppersmith and tinman. The prisoner called at my place about the 7th or 8th of November;
he said he was going to Hobart Town to buy tin, and asked me if I knew where he could
purchase any; I told him it was likely he could get some at Mr. Orr’s stores; there was
another man with him, a stranger to me-the prisoner had a chesnut-horse, the other a grey
one. They came about 2 or 3 o’clock, stopped about five minutes, and Bird asked me to hold
his horse, while he lighted his pipe. I only know Lancaster by sight.

“Charles Barlow examined - I am a black smith, and was in the road-party at Oatlands in November last, and now at Spring-hill. [This witness prevaricated in his evidence so much, that the Judge ordered him to be sent to the Penitentiary.]

“Edward Whitehouse examined - I do not remember the prisoner.

“The Jury found the prisoner Guilty.”

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

1838: Thomas BIRD was one of 17 prisoners from VDL taken to Sydney per Moffatt and admitted to Sydney Jail. His date of birth is listed as 1803 and he is described as 5’7”, stout build, with brown hair and eyes and a small scar on his left cheek (see New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930; Description Book Sydney 1835-1838).

1838, 23 June: Arrived on Norfolk Island (see below).

1844, 20 January: At Norfolk Island – Thomas BIRD, per Lord Hungerford, convicted in the Supreme Court, Hobart Town on 23 January 1838, and sentenced to life (commuted to 15 years) for horse stealing, is on a list of prisoners who are deemed “Invalids and Ineffective” and recommended for removal to Sydney. He arrived on Norfolk Island on 23 June, 1838, and is described as “afflicted with Monomania” (see New South Wales, Australia, Convict Records, 1810-1891; Norfolk Island: Returns of Convicts to NSW, 1844-1845). Note: Monomania is characterised by an exaggerated or obsessive enthusiasm for or preoccupation with one thing, according to the Oxford Dictionary).

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

What became of Thomas Bird? He died on 20 February 1888, at Fingal, in Tasmania (see Australia Death Index, 1787-1985, reg no 232).

Elizabeth Bird remarried in 1843. She died on 11 October 1886, at Geelong, in Victoria (see Australia Death Index, 1787-1985, reg no 12787).

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

Addenda: A very comprehensive description of Thomas Bird is given in the register “Description lists of convicts convicted locally or arriving on non-convict ships, 1832-184”. He is listed as:

Name: Bird, Thomas per Lord Hungerford, FS [free by servitude]
Trade: Tinman, brazier
Height: 5’6¼”
Age: 34, 1835
Complexion: Fair
Head: Oval
Hair: Light Brown
Whiskers: Light brown
Visage: Oval
Forehead: High
Eyebrows: Light brown
Eyes: Brown
Nose: Straight
Mouth: Small
Chin: Round, rather large
Remarks: Scar left wrist, scar over right eyebrow (see Tasmania, Australia, Convict Court and Selected Records, 1800-1899).

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

1822: Listed as in the service of Mr Houghton (see New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849; Tasmania; List of convicts (incomplete) 1822).

1823: Listed as in jail (see New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849; Tasmania; List of convicts (incomplete) 1823).

1826: Thomas BIRD was transported to Macquarie Harbour [reason not known] (see New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849; Tasmania; List of convicts (incomplete) 1826).

Note: Edited excerpt from Maxwell-Stewart, 1987: “Macquarie Harbour Penal Station, on the west coast of VDL, operated between 1822 and 1833. It was one of a number of sites of secondary punishment with just over 1150 prisoners serving time there. The main settlement was located on Sarah Island, but there were many outlying stations and the penal station as a whole covered a vast area.

“Convicts were sent to Macquarie Harbour for a wide range of reasons. About half had been sentenced to secondary transportation for theft, robbery, fraud or receiving, committed while serving their original sentences in Tasmania. Nearly thirty percent were absconders… Others were sent directly from newly arrived transport ships or from the hulks in Bermuda for engaging in mutinous conduct.

“The enigma of Macquarie Harbour penal station is that, despite its fearful reputation as a site of punishment, it also functioned as a highly productive colonial shipyard… It was closed down in late 1833 and many of the remaining convicts were relocated to Port Arthur.” (see H Maxwell-Stewart, ‘“Penal Labour” and Sarah Island ‘, in I Duffield & J Bradley (eds), Representing convicts, London, 1997).

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 wrote:

1828, 15 November: Thomas BIRD is issued with a Pass to Remain in the District of Emu Plains in the service of D McLeod Esq (see Tasmania, Australia, Convict Court and Selected Records, 1800-1899; Pardons, Leave, Discharge; Register of passes to travel granted to convicts assigned - Northern Tasmania, 1828-1833).
1830: Listed as with the Survey Department (see New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849; Tasmania; List of convicts (incomplete) 1830).

1832: Listed as having received a Ticket of Leave (see New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849; Tasmania; List of convicts (incomplete) 1832).

1835: Listed as free by servitude 31 March 1835 (see New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849; Tasmania, List of convicts (incomplete) 1835).

Convict Changes History

Tanya Taylor on 14th September, 2015 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1799 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1888 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

Dianne Jones on 7th February, 2021 made the following changes:

occupation

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/4, Page Number 59 (31) New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849 (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88,

Dianne Jones on 8th February, 2021 made the following changes:

date of death: 20th February, 1888 (prev. 1888)

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au