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William Dean

William Dean, one of 298 convicts transported on the Hilsborough [Hillsborough], October 1798

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Dean
Aliases: Deane
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 9th November, 1776
Occupation: House servant
Date of Death: 7th November, 1847
Age: 70 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Stealing money
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Hilsborough
Departure date: October, 1798
Arrival date: 26th July, 1799
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 298 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 248
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 9th June, 2014 wrote:

The Legend of ‘Lumpy’ Dean’
He was a huge man (over 6’ tall and weighing 22 stone) with a huge sense of humour and the ability to laugh at himself but it was no laughing matter for youthful William Dean when he was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey. He was 16 and employed as a servant at a house in Cavendish Square, London, when he found a £20 note in his master’s jacket and put it in his own pocket. Instead of hanging he was transported to New South Wales which turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.
After spending several years on the hated floating hulks in London he arrived at Port Jackson aboard the hell-ship Hillsborough in 1799, aged 23. Twelve years later he received a ticket-of-leave and was self-employed as a tanner.
Elizabeth Hollingsworth, transported for stealing two £1 notes from her employer, was assigned to him. The couple formed a relationship and married at St John’s Church of England, Parramatta on Christmas Day 1806. They already had one child, the first of eight with another on the way.
In 1817 William Dean received two grants from Governor Macquarie. One was of a 100 acres, south of the Western Road and west of Eastern Creek. The other was of 50 acres, north of the Western Road and west of Eastern Creek. He was later given a further 50 acres in the area.

Deane, who, on land near the Presbyterian Church at Rooty Hill, grew grain, which he had milled into flour at Parramatta.
This flour was exported to India, and it is from this fact that Rooty Hill is said to have derived its name. The word “Roti” was the name written on the bags of flour, and is an Indian word meaning “bread” or “flour’.

In 1820 he was living on the Western Road near the turnpike almost 10 miles from Parramatta. By this time his enormous bulk earned him the nickname of ‘Lumpy’ Dean but in spite of his size he was energetic and enterprising and had built a home for his wife and seven children with extensions for an inn. He also grew wheat and raised cattle.
The role of Mine Host of The Bush Inn suited him admirably and customers were drawn by his jovial personality. He later changed the name to The Corporation Inn a facetious reference to his girth. The inn was a seven hour journey by coach from Sydney and travellers often stayed over to enjoy the warmth and hospitality. When the Western Road was extended, traffic increased and so did the family fortune. The 1828 census shows William Dean as the owner of 220 acres with 100 cattle and eight horses.
‘Lumpy’ Dean was 78 when he died, a wealthy man and a generous advocate for the education of the poor. Hundreds turned up for his funeral. In spite of his bulk it is said he could still dance the Sailor’s Hornpipe as good as anyone half his age.
The family home, Hollingsworth House on the Western Road, built by convicts in 1817 was occupied by the Learmonth family, descendants of William and Elizabeth Dean, when it was acquired by the Department of Main Roads and demolished in 1960 for the construction of the Great Western Highway.
A few items associated with ‘Lumpy’ Dean remain today, in particular a giant cedar chair especially made to accommodate his larger-than-life size and personality. Today William ‘Lumpy Dean is remembered in the suburb of Dean Park.

Bruce pike on 28th March, 2016 wrote:

I hold the lumpy dean chair having purchased it from the auction of lord mcalpines au collection also a scotch glass which is oversize but 1 of a few

Denis Pember on 15th December, 2016 wrote:

William and Elizabeth had 8 children, born between 1805 and 1823.

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
Page 119…
[Ref D0620] Dean, Elizabeth, 51, FS, Experiment, 1803 7 years.
[Ref D0612] Dean, William, 52, CP, Hillsborough, 1799, Life, Bush Inn, Melville. 220 acres, 100 cleared, 42 cultivated, 8 horses, 100 cattle.
[Ref D0613] Dean, William (jnr), 23, born in colony.
[Ref D0614] Dean, Thomas, 17, born in colony.
[Ref D0615] Dean, Sarah (jnr), 19, born in colony.
[Ref D0616] Dean, Mary, 15, born in colony.
[Ref D0617] Dean, Elizabeth, 13, born in colony.
[Ref D0618] Dean, Ann, 9, born in colony.
[Ref D0619] Dean, Martha, 5, born in colony.

Denis Pember on 15th December, 2016 wrote:

The Old Bailey Trial of William Dean:
(http://www.oldbaileyonline.org) t17970220-41
20th September 1797
WILLIAM DEAN was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 6th of September , a silver watch, value 40s. four muslin neck handkerchiefs, value 2s. two linen shirts, value 5s. a cotton pocket handkerchief, value 6d. a pair of worsted stockings. value 4d. a pair of corderoy breeches, value 10s. a toilinet waistcoat, value 8s. and a man’s hat, value 5s. the property of John Farrant ; a pair of men’s leather shoes, value 12d. the property of Edward Bright , in the dwelling-house of John Maddocks .
EDWARD BRIGHT sworn. - I live at Hendon; I am a gardener : The prisoner lodges at Hendon , in the same room with John Farrant , in the house of John Maddocks ; I lost a pair of buckles and a pair of shoes last Wednesday was a week, in the morning, I had seen them on Tuesday night, in the kitchen; I saw them the same day that I lost them, on William Dean ‘s feet.( Robert Cooper , a constable of union-Hall, produced a pair of shoes and buckles, which were deposed to by Bright).
JOHN FARRANT sworn. - The prisoner lodged in the same room with me, he is a gardener; I accidentally met with him in Kent-street, with the shoes and buckles upon his feet, about four hours after Bright missed his property.
Q. Do you know whose they were? - A. I do not know any further than when Bright came in, he said, they were his; he was with me in pursuit of the prisoner.
Q. What time in the morning did the prisoner go out? - A. I cannot say, I was asleep; I awoke about half after five o’clock.
Court. (To Bright). Q. How came you to go to Kent-street? - A. We went in pursuit of him.
Q. Did you ever hear of his being there before? - A. Yes.
The prisoner did not say any thing in his defence.
GUILTY of stealing, value 10d. (Aged 37).
Transported for seven years .
Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice ROOKE.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 9th June, 2014 made the following changes:

alias1: Deane, date of birth: 8th November, 1777 (prev. 0000), date of death: 8th November, 1847 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

Jessica Giggins on 2nd February, 2020 made the following changes:

date of birth: 9th November, 1776 (prev. 8th November, 1777), date of death: 7th November, 1847 (prev. 8th November, 1847)

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