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Thomas Bushell

Thomas Bushell, one of 280 convicts transported on the Edwin Fox, 24 August 1858

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Bushell
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1834
Occupation: Tailor
Date of Death: 12th September, 1865
Age: 31 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Violence to a surperior officer
Convicted at: Malta General Court Martial
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Edwin Fox
Departure date: 24th August, 1858
Arrival date: 20th November, 1858
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 283 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 303 (153)
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

D Wong on 2nd February, 2016 wrote:

Thomas Bushell was born in Ireland, at 22 years of age he was a soldier serving in Malta – he struck a superior officer and was sentenced to life imprisonment and was sent to Western Australia.

Thomas was 5’ 8 ½” tall, dark complexion brown hair, hazel eyes, middling stout, scar from musket shot right leg.

Thomas was working in the kitchen of the Convict Establishment and on 11/1/1859 he wrecked some kitchen tools which he had used to clean the boilers.  Charged with “willfully destroying prison property” he was committed to the Refractory cells – here he tried to commit suicide using a cord made from the lining of his jacket.  He was then sent to the Lunatic Asylum and put into solitary confinement.

After 4 months in the Lunatic Asylum he was to be transferred back to the Convict Establishment, but hearing of this he tore up his bedding and threatened to kill himself and any warders who came near him.  He was then declared insane again, but too violent for the Asylum and was returned to the Establishment again.

Bushell was constantly in trouble from then on, he made threats of violence, insubordination, refusal to work and absconding.  He was flogged, put in solitary confinement and worked in irons, and was then transferred to the prison on Rottnest island.

9/7/1865: Bushnell was in the Prison bakehouse where he stabbed a warder in the shoulder because the warder had told some prisoners that Bushell had provided information about other prisoners.  Bushnell was charged with ‘malicious injury with intent to murder.’
Bushnell pleaded not guilty, conducted his own defence and claimed to have been urged to attack by the other prisoners, and also that he was drunk at the time.  The warder spoke in defence of Bushell and said he did not believe that he intended to harm him.

Bushell was found guilty and sentenced to death.
12/9/1865: Bushell was hanged for his crime.

Convict Changes History

Zayd on 2nd February, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1834 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1864 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

D Wong on 2nd February, 2016 made the following changes:

date of death: 12th September, 1865 (prev. 1864), occupation, crime

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