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David Buglass

David Buglass, one of 289 convicts transported on the Thomas Arbuthnot, 06 January 1847

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: David Buglass
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1808
Occupation: Cutler
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 15 years

Crime: Uttering forged notes
Convicted at: Durham Assizes
Sentence term: 15 years
Ship: Thomas Arbuthnot
Departure date: 6th January, 1847
Arrival date: 4th May, 1847
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land [convicts disembarked at Port Phillip, not Van Diemen's Land]
Passenger manifest Travelled with 289 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/15, Page Number 144 British Newspaper reports, census 1841, Court reports 1844
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

Veronica Short on 19th March, 2015 wrote:

Victualler - 1841 census - Spirit Merchant, with a shop, High Street, Sunderland. Bankruptcy Nov 1841, Debtors prison - 21 days. Married Dorothy Bedlington 15.8.1831, All Saints Church, Newcastle. Children Mary, William, Jacob and John Buglass.

D Wong on 24th March, 2015 wrote:

July 1836 The Gazette.co.uk:
David Buglass, formerly of Percey-Street and Union-Street, then in Pilgrim-Street, then in the Royal Arcade, and No. 14, Croft-Street, and No. 83, Pilgrim-Street, all in 1 Newcastle-on-Tyne, Cutler and Surgical Instrument-Maker.

Henry Russell, formerly schoolmaster, Matthew and James Watson (father and son), brewers and cornfactors, and Daniel (that should be David) Buglass, spirit dealer, committed to Durham gaol for trial at ensuing Winter Assize, on charge of forging notes of Stockton and Durham County Bank - Russell has made full confession of guilt, implicating the other parties, and says only 20 had been issued - 8 only have been found, and these passed two days before their apprehension.’

Before the magistrates, Henry Russell ‘made a full confession of the whole forgery’ and said that he and the Watsons ‘had commenced forging operations in May, in the present year, he (the schoolmaster) being the sole originator of the scheme, and the two Watsons his assistants, the plate being engraven by the electro-magnetic process…’

Leeds Mercury of 28 Dec. 1844 says that Henry Russell was 26 years old.
Henry Russell and the two Watsons were sentenced to 20 years’ transportation and Buglass to 15 years, the younger Watson was pardoned.

David arrived as an ‘exile’ – which meant he had already served time in prison and chose transportation, with an almost immediate TOL or COF assured on arrival.  He was landed in Port Phillip and is recorded on the NSW Gov. Convict Records.

Found the following references to David –

8/9/1848 The Argus Melbourne:
CHARGE OF FELONY. - Mrs. Frances Woodman appeared at the police office on Wednesday to answer a charge of having stolen goods in her possession, preferred by Mr. Walker, farrier.  It appeared from the evidence that Mr. Walker had a case of surgical instruments stolen from him some time back, and had not heard of it till Monday last, when he discovered it had been left at the shop of Mr. Weekly, in Elizabeth-st. for sale by Mr. Buglass, the surgical instrument maker. Buglass deposed that he bought the case from the prisoner for 9s.  the articles being in a very rusty state, which after much labour he succeeded in cleaning and then sent the case to Mr. Weekly for sale,  placing a reserve of £2 10s. upon it.  Mrs. Woodman accounted for the possession of the case by purchase from a man named Smith, whom she represented as being deaf. The bench dismissed the charge, and ordered a warrant to issue for the man Smith.

16/12/1848 Launceston Examiner, Tas:
DAVID BUGLASS, Surgical Instrument and Truss Manufacturer to the Melbourne Hospital,  HAS the honor to announce to the medical profession of Launceston and its environs, the at the particular request of a portion of his friends, he has visited this town for the benefit of those requiring his aid, as sole manufacturer of the PATENTLEVER SELF-ADJUSTING TRUSS, acting effectually without any complications, is recommended by the faculty for the cure and relief of hernia. The most eminent members of the profession are of opinion that the necessary quality of a good truss, is an efficient resisting power without any…..unnecessary pressure on the part affected; which desirable object is alone to be obtained in a truss unincumbered with straps, spina springs, or pad behind.  D.B., the inventor, engages to secure any reduceable rupture if left to his management. At home from ten to six, at Mr. James Hay’s, upholsterer, Brisbane-street, opposite the Military Hospital December 13.

Some conjecture about his name – was it David John Buglass or David Walter Buglass??

4/3/1851 The Argus, Melbourne:
In the Insolvent Estate of David Walter Buglass, of Queen-street, Melbourne, in the District of Port Phillip, in the Colony of New South Wales, cutler.

WHEREAS, the estate of David Walter Buglass, of Queen-street, Melbourne, in the District of Port Phillip, in the Colony of New South Wales, cutler, was on the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and fifty one, placed under sequestration in my hands, by order of his Honor Mr Justice a’ Beckett, Resident Judge of the Supreme Court for the district and colony aforesaid, and who did, by further order under his hand, appoint Robert Jacomb, Esquire, of Melbourne, one of the official Assignees of Insolvent Estates, to be the Official Assignee of and for this estate, I here by appoint a public meeting of the Creditors of the said David Walter Buglass, to beholden before me at my office Supreme Court House, La Trobe street, Melbourne, on Thursday the third day of April next, at the hour of eleven o’clock in the forenoon, for proof of debts, and for the election of an Assignee,  if necessary,  to act with the Official Assignee; and unless it be shown at said meeting that the goods and effects of the said David Walter Buglass exceed the sum of £100, I shall summarily proceed to rank the debts which shall be then proved on the said                                                                           estate, and direct the proceeds to be distributed accordingly.
Dated at Melbourne, this 3rd day of March, 
A.D. 1851.
Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates

Jillian Brewer on 24th June, 2021 wrote:

David Buglass was married with 6 children when tried and convicted for forging and uttering.  A year earlier, he was acquitted of larcency. In prision, Buglass was descried: “Showed decided symptoms of insanity. On one occasion he sought for an instrument to take his own life”; “A very good intellect but reserved and very perculiar”. Buglass was transported in exile class.  He left the Thomas Arbuthnot and headed to Melbourne to start a business as a surgical instrument maker and cutler. He tried unsuccessfully in 1848 to have his wife and children brought out to Australia.  In 1851 he married Flora McPhee in Victoria. They had three children, David Walter (b and d 1858 in NSW), David Walter (b 1860 in Victoria) and Elizabeth Margaret (b. 1862 in Vic).

Convict Changes History

Veronica Short on 19th March, 2015 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/15, Page Number 144 British Newspaper reports, census 1841, Court reports 1844 (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11

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