Hi Guest!
Contribute to this record

Richard Cornelius Burrows

Cornelius Burrows, one of 1063 convicts transported on the Neptune, Scarborough and Surprize, December 1789

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Richard Cornelius Burrows
Aliases: Cornelius Burrows
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 13th June, 1767
Occupation: Farmer
Date of Death: 27th February, 1818
Age: 50 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing a sheep
Convicted at: Northampton Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Neptune, Scarborough and Surprize
Departure date: December, 1789
Arrival date: 26th June, 1790
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 1072 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 59 (31)
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.

Did you find the person you were looking for?

If Richard Cornelius Burrows was the person you were looking for, you may be able to discover more about them by looking at our resources page.

If you have more hunting to do, try a new search or browse the convict records.

Know more about Richard Cornelius Burrows?

Contribute to this record

Community Contributions

Rachel Loosemore on 9th March, 2013 wrote:

From The Second Fleet: Britain’s grim convict armada of 1790, pages 182-183:-

“BURROWS, Richard Cornelius

Cornelius Burrows was sentenced to death with Thomas Ward (qv) at the Northampton Assizes of 17 July 1787 for stealing a ewe hoggerel (a year old sheep) belonging to Thomas Shortland and Samuel Hartford of Rothwell, Northamptonshire.  A few days later both were reprieved to transportation for seven years and in June 1788 Burrows was sent from gaol to the Portsmouth hulk Lion, age given as 23.  On 29 November 1789 he was embarked on the Scarborough transport…

After more than a year at Sydney, he was sent to Norfolk Island in September 1791.  He arrived on the 4th and was in trouble about five weeks later on 11 October when Lieutenant Ralph Clark sentenced him to receive 50 lashes ‘for Repeatedly absenting himself from the work he is order(ed to do)’.  Around 1796 the First Fleet convict Elizabeth Cole (b. c1760)... left James Tucker and began living with Burrows.  She bore three children by Burrows: Richard Cornelius (1798), Ann (1800) and John (1803).

By around 1800 Burrows was sufficiently prosperous to be able to purchase a 60 acre farm.  He sold most of the land around 1802 and in 1807 was working 8 acres with five and a half sown in grain, owning 3 hogs and holding 20 bushels of maize in store.  He was also employed by the government and the family received public rations.  They lived in a boarded, thatched house measuring 20ft x 12.  With five children he and Elizabeth were among the first settlers transferred to Van Diemen’s Land in September 1808 where they farmed 40 acres in the Glenorchy area.

In 1809 Burrows was mustered holding 16 acres at New Town (2 sown in wheat); he, his wife, and two children were publicly rationed.  The couple were married at Hobart on 25 February 1810, ‘verifying the old adage better late than never’, commented the Derwent Star (stating that they had lived together for 14 years).  Both signed the register with a mark X.  Burrows drowned on 27 February 1818 when the ferry he operated capsized in the Derwent while carrying 12 passengers.  His burial on 10 March was registered at St David’s, Hobart [aged about 53].  His widow died in February 1821 and was buried with her husband.

Rachel Loosemore on 4th November, 2013 wrote:

From The Hobart Town Gazette, vol. 111-IV, 1818-19, page 2, column a:-

“AWFUL AND MELANCHOLY CATASTROPHE - It is with the most poignant feelings of sorrow we have to relate to our Readers one of the most shocking accidents that ever came under our notice in this Island.  Yesterday a boat, the property of RICHARD BURROWS, sen., who plied the ferry at the Black Snake, left town for the purpose of returning home; in which there were twelve passengers besides the boatman, together with a heavy cart and other luggage belonging to MT PETERS.  It appears, from the intelligence already received, that the boat ran up the river with a strong sea-breeze; and by some accident or other, about MR AUSTIN’S, upset; when, melancholy to relate, the whole of the unhappy souls except one were consigned to a watery grave.  The names of the unfortunate persons are, John Taylor, James Price, John Taylor and his wife Ann Taylor, respectable settlers, and all late of the Royal Marine Corps; Mary Ann Williams, wife of James Williams, settler and district constable at Jerico, with her infant child in her arms; Elizabeth Ashbold, a near relation to the last mentioned sufferer; Mary Smyth, a young woman who only landed a few days ago from the Duke of Wellington; Richard Burrows, the owner of the boat; Joseph Pocock, a shoemaker; Peter Doran, assigned servant to R. Burrows, jnr.; and a fine little girl about 6 years of age, the daughter of Mr William Williams of Macquarie street.  Charles Clarke, the only survivor, was picked up in a most exhausted state, by Mr Austin and John Dacres, a constable; who, on seeing the accident, hastened to the spot.  Thus have twelve fellow creatures been launched into eternity!  When this Paper was put to press, only the bodies of Mrs Taylor, the two children, and Mary Smyth, had been found; which were brought to town.  A Coroner’s Inquest was immediately summoned, and adjourned till Monday, in the hope that, by the exertions of the relatives and others of the persons drowned, more of the bodies might be found.

The melancholy fate of the before-mentioned sufferers strongly points out to persons who are in the habit of proceeding in boats in the Derwent river how careful they ought to be, both in regard of the lives of passengers and the quantity of luggage they receive on board.  When accidents of this kind occur, from the few boats at hand on the river, it is often out of the power of individuals, however humane their inclinations might be, to render any assistance.  We should, therefore, be glad to hear of the Apparatus, recommended by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, being left in some convenient house on the banks of the river.”

From The Hobart Town Gazette, Saturday March 14, 1818, page 2, column a:-

“On Tuesday last Richard Burrows, another of those twelve unfortunate persons who were drowned in the River Derwent on Friday the 27th ultimo, was picked up within a few yards of his own house at the Black Snake, floating on the surface of the water, and brought to town, when a Coroner’s Inquest immediately convened to view the body - Verdict Drowned by Accident.  He was buried the same day, and followed to the grave by his widow, four children, and a number of Norfolk Island settlers.”

jacinta newman on 20th November, 2013 wrote:

drowned in the derwent river tasmania, when the ferry he was operating sunk, along with all the passengers

Convict Changes History

Rachel Loosemore on 9th March, 2013 made the following changes:

firstname Richard Cornelius (prev. Cornelius), alias1, gender, occupation, crime

Rachel Loosemore on 4th November, 2013 made the following changes:

date of birth 13th June, 1767, date of death 27th February, 1818

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