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Thomas Jefferies, one of 200 convicts transported on the Albion, 17 May 1823
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 57 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Dorset Quarter Sessions
17th May, 1823
21st October, 1823
|Place of arrival
||Van Diemen's Land
Travelled with 199 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 50
||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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greg petersen on 21st April, 2019 wrote:
Born in Dorset, England, In 1823 14th January transported for poaching, 2nd offence, once before gaoled for three months for poaching. Married, Hulk report “Orderly”.
arriving in Van Diemen’s Land on 21 October 1823 on the Albion, He was sentenced to 12 months in Macquarie Harbour, the penal settlement on the colony’s west coast in June 1824 for threatening to stab a Constable Lawson. August 1825 appointed as watch house keeper and flagellator for Launceston Gaol.
A violent sexual offender, on 25 August 1825 he was fined half of his salary for falsely imprisoning and assaulting a Mrs Jessop.
In October the same year he was fined 20 shillings for taking a female prisoner out of the watch house.
On 31 December 1825, Jeffries and three other convicts, Perry, Russell and Hopkins, escaped from the Launceston Watch House. They robbed the hut of a Mr Barnard, then broke into the house of a settler called Tibbs, about five miles from Launceston. Tibbs’s wife and five-month-old child and a neighbour called Basham were at the house. When they tried to tie the men up, they resisted. In the struggle Basham was shot and killed, and Tibbs wounded. The bushrangers then left, taking Mrs Tibbs and the baby. When Mrs Tibbs could not keep up, Jeffries grabbed the baby and bashed its head against a tree, killing it. The baby’s remains, which had been partly eaten by animals, were discovered about a week afterwards in the bush. Mrs Tibbs returned home on Sunday afternoon, it was likely she had been raped. Mrs Tibbs said that Jeffries was calling himself “Captain”, and dressed in a long black coat, a red waistcoat, with a kangaroo skin cap.
While on the run, the four convicts ran out of food, they then turned on Russell, killed him and ate part of his body.
Hobart Town Gazette of 27th January 1826, when asked what he then did with the remainder of Russell’s corpse, Jeffries said it was cut into steaks and fried up with the mutton from a sheep they stole.
On 11 January 1826, Jeffries shot Magnus Bakie or Baker, a constable from George Town, through the head.
For a brief period Jeffries fell in with Matthew Brady’s gang, but Brady, who was known to be chivalrous to women, could not tolerate Jeffries’ and expelled him, calling him “a de-humanised monster”.
1826 23rd January, Jeffries was finally captured on the bank of the South Esk river near Evandale, by John Batman and his party, he did not put up a fight. When brought to Launceston the population tried to lynch him. Once secure in jail, he told the authorities all he knew of the locations, movements and habits of other bushrangers. This kept him in Launceston until all his fellow bushrangers were caught. Brady was captured a few weeks later by John Batman, aided by information Jeffries had passed on.
Once Brady was caught, both bushrangers were transported under guard to Hobart. Jeffries was hanged on 4 May 1826 at the old Hobart Jail alongside Brady on the infamous six-man scaffold. Brady complained about being executed in such poor company.
1826 4th May Death Record registered Hobart: “Executed for Bushranging and several murders. He killed a child of six months old in the presence of its mother by dashing its brains out against a rock.”
Maureen Withey on 24th July, 2019 wrote:
Not all the information above appears to apply to this Thomas Jefferies from Dorset, re. his being a sex offender and the execution.
His conduct report states he was married with a child, his wife and child living at “Melbourne” near N.P. Dorchester.
Ticket of leave granted Thomas Jefferies , Albion; The Tasmanian (Hobart Town), 18 Oct 1827.
Burial in the parish of St John, Launceston, Cornwall county. Thomas Jefferies, abode, near Launceston; buried 30 Jan 1830 ; ship Albion; age 32; labourer;
Source ; Tasmanian Record. Image 100
Maureen Withey on 24th July, 2019 wrote:
Thos. Jefferies, Emmanuel Martin, Dennis Skinner and John Knight, were convicted under the same statue having been unlawfully assembled, with many other persons, in the parish of Coombe Keynes, in the night-time, armed with guns, bludgeons, and swingels, and sentenced to 7 years transportation;...
Salisbury Journal, 27 Jan 1823
At the Dorset Sessions ..- The following prisoners were sentenced: Transportation, Seven Years: James King, and Geo. Guy, for assembling to destroy game at Kingston Hall; Solomon Green, for poaching; Thos. Jeffries, Emmanuel Martin, Dennis Skinner and John Knight, for a similar offence at Coombe Keynes.…
Bath Chronicle, 23 Jan 1823
Convict Changes History
greg petersen on 21st April, 2019 made the following changes:
source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 50
https://librariestas.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/en_AU/all/search/results?qu=thomas&qu=jeffries (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm
Maureen Withey on 24th July, 2019 made the following changes:
date of death: 1830 (prev. 4th May, 1826)