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Thomas Goddard

Thomas Goddard, one of 112 convicts transported on the Proteus, 12 April 1831

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Goddard
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
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 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Wilts. Special Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Proteus
Departure date: 12th April, 1831
Arrival date: 3rd August, 1831
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 111 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 86
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 14th November, 2019 wrote:

National Archives - petition.HO 17/50/87


1 individual petition (Susan Goddard, wife) and 3 collective petitions (2 independent ministers of Hungerford and Ramsbury, 7 magistrates and yeomen and 90 people of Ramsbury including the Vicar from when he was in Van Diemen’s Land) on behalf of Thomas Goddard, tanner, convicted at Wiltshire Special Assize, Salisbury in December 1830 for robbery from Richard Church. There is also a letter from Mr Wilks presenting the petition, a request from Mr Palmer asking for permission for Goddard to be allowed to pay for his passage to Van Diemen’s Land so as to arrive a free man, and a character reference from Mr Pelfs. Grounds for clemency: his wife and child have lost their only support, he was with the rioters only one day, he did not intend to do harm, prisoner is very religious, he was there to stop harm being done, previous good character, youth (27), a good husband, father and employer. The magistrates and yeomen recommend that he should not serve less than 7 years as he has three other charges which should be taken into consideration. Initial sentence: death commuted to 7 years transportation. Annotated: permission cannot be granted to pay for passage: nil. HP21
Date:  1831-1835

Maureen Withey on 14th November, 2019 wrote:

National Archives - Medical Journal by Surgeon of Proteus, 6 April - 8 Aug 1831.
ADM 101/62/2/3
Thomas was reported sick by the surgeon on board ship:
Thomas Goddard, aged 28; sick or hurt, homorrhois; put on sick list, 20 June 1831. Discharged 24 June 1831 cured.

Maureen Withey on 27th October, 2021 wrote:

Thomas Goddard and William Taylor were convicted at the Wiltshire Special Commission, which was set up during January 1831, to deal swiftly with those agricultural workers who were arrested after the “Swing Riots”. During November and early December 1830, large crowds of impoverished agricultural workers gathered at night to break threshing-machines, which they saw as taking away their already, very low paid work, reduced further because the land owners were reducing the wages of the men due to decreases in the value of the corn they were producing. They demanded token sums of one or two sovereigns of the landowners if they left the farms.


Thomas Goddard and William Taylor, were indicted for robbing Richard Green of one sovereign, his property, on the 23d Nov.
Richard Church recollected on the day in question a large mob coming to his house, among whom were the prisoners. - Taylor demanded a sovereign, and said they would have a sovereign for every machine that was broken; and if witness did not give it, they would break the windows. Goddard was near enough to hear what Taylor said; gave Goddard a sovereign in consequence of his understanding he was the person to receive it; Goddard was on horseback.  Witness was afraid they would beat his house down; he had no fear of his personal safety.
William Coleman corroborated the evidence of the former witness, and stated Taylor said, “there would be bloody work, and he would have blood for his supper.
Goddard, in his defence, said he went out with the mob, thinking there might be some dissipated men among them, and thought he might save some of the persons property; he did no mischief, and his motive was pure.
Taylor said he asked Mr Church for a sovereign, who said he would give them one when the machine was broke.
—Liddear, a servant of Mr Rowland, of Ramsbury, said that Goddard had done everything in his power to induce the mob to act peaceably, and to disperse; and that the mob got hold of him, and said he should be their foreleader, and demand a sovereign, for they could not get it.  Goddard said to me, that if he had a sovereign about him he would give it to them, to go away quietly.
The Rev. Dr Meyrick, vicar of Ramsbury, had known Goddard ten years; he had always been a good son, a good husband, and a good father, a very industrious and quiet man, and well to do in the world.  Several other witnesses gave Goddard a good character.
The prisoner Taylor, said, instead of blood, he said bread, for he had had nothing to eat for 2 days.  Mr Justice Parke summed up: the Jury found both prisoners guilty.  They were immediately removed from the bar.  We understand that the prisoner Goddard has 1,000 £ in his Banker’s hands.
Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette, 6 Jan 1831.


Tasmanian Convict Conduct Record.  https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON31-1-16$init=CON31-1-16p60
No 751. Thomas Goddard.  Proteus. Tried Wilts, 27 Dec 1830, 7 years.
Transported for Robbery. Gaol report, Unknown.  Married, 1 child. Stated this offence: Receiving a sovereign in Riots. Married, wife Susan Christiana at Ramsbury.
Free Pardon No 166, 3rd Feb 1836.

Tasmanian Description Record.  https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON18-1-18$init=CON18-1-18p179
No 751.  Thomas Goddard, Tanner, 5 ft 3 ½ ins; dark complexion, black hair, grey eyes, several natural brown marks on left arm. Nr Hanningford, Wilts.


Upon arrival, Goddard was assigned to a Mr Crawley but by 1833 he was working for James Hortle, chief district constable, on his property of Quanmby Brook. Goddard stayed on the property until at least the date on which he received his ticket of leave in 1835. He received a free pardon on 3 Feb 1836.
Goddard returned to his home village of Ramsbury, sailing from Launceston on the Norval on 5 June 1836, after its return from Port Phillip.  His wife Susan had died in 1833 during his time in Van Diemen’s Land and in 1837 he married Mary Culverhouse. Their only child died a few weeks after birth in 1838, and Mary died in 1839.  In 1843, Goddard married Mary Lansdown and they subsequently had three children, two of whom died while still very young.  Goddard appears to have remained a tanner by trade, although his eldest son became a shoemaker, employing three en and owning his ship in High Street, Ramsbury.  He died in 1852.

Source:  Bruce Brown’s thesis, (April 2004) “The Machine breaker Convicts from The Proteus and the Eliza”

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 14th November, 2019 made the following changes:

gender: m

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