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Thomas Cawell

Thomas Cawell, one of 219 convicts transported on the Ocean, August 1815

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Cawell
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

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

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: -
Convicted at: York Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Ocean
Departure date: August, 1815
Arrival date: 30th January, 1816
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 220 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 242
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

Maureen Withey on 28th October, 2020 wrote:

Daring Robbery.  On the evening of Saturday se’ennight, as Mr. Henry Wilkinson, of Scorton, near Catterick, was returning homeward from Northallerton fair, he was stopped within half a mile of his own house by two footpads, who struck him on his head with a bludgeon, knocking him off his horse. The villains then robbed him of his pocket book, containing bank notes to the amount of 45l. Mr. W.‘s cries of murder having brought several persons to his assistance,  he was removed home, and surgical aid being procured, his wounds were immediately dressed. Mr. W. fortunately recognised the robbers, who proved to be his own servants, two brothers named Thomas and William Cawell. They were immediately apprehended, and have since, upon their own confession, been committed to York Castle, to take their trials at the approaching Lent assizes.
Hull Packet, 21 Feb 1815.

Thomas Cawell and Wm. Cawell, for robbing .. Henry Wilkinson, of Scorton, of a pocket book containing notes to the value of 451. and other articles.
Lancaster Gazette, 25 March 1815

The following convicts left York Castle on Monday morning, and are to be delivered on hoard the hulks, near Portsmouth:  … Wm. Cawell, Thomas Cawell, …
Leeds Mercury, 24 June 1815.

Maureen Withey on 28th October, 2020 wrote:

Colonial Secretary Index.

COWELL, Thomas. Per “Ocean”, 1816.

1822 Feb - Petition for mitigation of sentence (Fiche 3214; 4/1864 p.95)
1825 Feb 9 - Re permission to marry at Sydney (Reel 6014; 4/3513 p.357)

Thomas and his wife Jane were tried for receiving stolen property in 1826.

Thomas Cowell, holding a Ticket of Leave, Jane Cowell his wife, and Robert Shaw, were then charged with being receivers of the property stolen from Dr. McLeod’s cart.
Suspicion had been attached to the prisoners, and on the authority of a Magistrate’s warrant, their house situated about half a mile from the spot on which the robbery was committed, underwent a search, where a quantity of wheat in bags was found concealed under the bed-tick; and in another part of the house, some soap and tobacco were found, and positively sworn to, as being part of the property stolen.
In their defence it was stated that the prisoners had saved the wheat from their mess; but this not appearing likely, there being near 6 bushels, the bench ordered the prisoners to he brought up again for further examination.
The Australian, 17 May 1826.

Joseph Locket, Wm. Whyte, Thomas Cowell, Jane Cowell, and Robert Shaw, were again brought up on a charge of robbing Mr. Campbell’s cart.
Mr. Campbell deposed that about six weeks ago, he and his cart were stopped when about four miles from Liverpool by as many men, and robbed of a quantity of tea, sugar, a shirt, some nankeen, oil, a frying pan, and various other articles, besides six dollars in money; the frying pan was a particular one, and sworn to be the very identical pan before the court. The shirt and nankeen were similar to those stolen.
Wm Johnstone, an ordinary constable, deposed that by the assistance of the prisoner, Robert Shaw, he found in the house of the prisoner, Thomas Cowell, the fryingpan produced. It was secreted under some bark, and the piece of nankeen was locked up in a chest.
Robert Shaw, one of the prisoners, stated that on the morning after the robbery was committed, his master being from home, Jane Cowell shewed him a quantity of sugar, tea, oil, some nankeen, a fryingpan, and various other articles, which she affirmed had been sold to her the preceding evening by Locket — the sugar at threepence halfpenny per lb., tea at 2s. 6d. per lb. and the other articles at equally moderate rate; that his mistress secreted the frying pan, which had been identified, where it was afterwards found by the constables, observing that was the only article that could be sworn to.
The prisoners have all been committed for trial at the Criminal Court.
The Australian, 3 Jun 1826.

Joseph Lockett and William White, were indicted for a highway robbery on the person of Patrick Neville, and taking from a cart two bags of wheat, some tea, sugar, tobacco, and soap, the property of Dr. M’Leod, on the Liverpool-road, on the 8th day of May last. Thomas Cowell, was also indicted for receiving part of the above property, knowing it to have been so stolen.  It appeared from the evidence of the prosecutor, Patrick Neville, that he was overseer to Dr. M’Leod, and resided at Cabramatta Creek, within three miles of Liverpool.  That on the night of the 8th of May, between the hours of eight and nine o’clock, as he was retuming from Sydney, together with a Government servant, named Thos. Agnew, driving a team of bullocks in a cart, he was stopped by three men, on the Liverpool road, one of whom collared him, and knocked him down with a stick, when another took from his pocket, eight dollars, and some smaller monies; they also took two bags of wheat, and some tea, sugar, tobacco, and soap, from the cart. This witness also swore, to the best of his belief, that the prisoner, Lockett, was the man by whom he was knocked down.
Robert Shaw, an approver, deposed that he was Government servant to the wife of the prisoner Cowell, who himself is the holder of a ticket of leave; that on the night of the 8th of May, the prisoner Lockett came to the house of Cowell, on the Liverpool road, described to be near the place where the robbery took place, and knocked at the door, which, on being opened by witness, he asked “where Tom was?” meaning the prisoner, Cowell; witness told him that he was in bed, when he took him a few rods from the house and shewed him two bags of wheat, which he said were for Cowell, and went away. Witness then went back and told Cowell, who got up, had the wheat brought into the house, put into other bags, and placed under the bed, and afterwards hid the bags, which at first contained it, under the bark covering of a calf pen, where they were afterwards found by the constables, who searched the house.
Michael M’Namara, a constable, deposed, that he searched the house of the prisoner Cowell, and found the property, which was identified by Patrick Neville. The prisoners called no witnesses, and His Honor summed up the evidence, leaving it to the Jury to say, whether, from the testimony brought forward, they were of opinion that the prisoner Lockett, for there was no case whatever against White, had committed the offence charged against him, and if so, then to enquire how far the prisoner Cowell was guilty of receiving the property knowing it to have been stolen. The Jury, without retiring, returned a verdict of Guilty against the prisoners Lockett and Cowell. White, Not Guilty. The two former prisoners were remanded, and White detained on another charge.

Supreme Criminal Court.  WEDNESDAY, 25th.
This morning the following prisoners were brought up to receive sentence :- Joseph Lockett for Highway Robbery :-Death. Thomas Cowell accessary after the fact to a Highway Robbery-14 Years.  Jane Cowell, accessary after the fact to a Highway Robbery—14 Years.
The Monitor, 28 July 1826.
Thomas was sent to Norfolk Island.

1828 Census index.
Thomas Cowell, per Ocean 1, 14 year sentence, Norfolk Island.

Convict Changes History

Iris Dunne on 9th August, 2020 made the following changes:

gender: m

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