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Thomas Parmenter

Thomas Parmenter, one of 174 convicts transported on the Fanny, 25 August 1815

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Parmenter
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1790
Occupation: Doctor
Date of Death: 14th July, 1836
Age: 46 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Bigamy
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Fanny
Departure date: 25th August, 1815
Arrival date: 18th January, 1816
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 173 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 227 (115)
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

Michelle Kaplan on 6th February, 2016 wrote:

Thomas PARMETER married Elizabeth MASSEY at Middlesex, England 12/03/1812 & whilst married to Elizabeth, he married Rachel Martha WOODS at Shoreditch, Middlesex, England 23/07/1814 (his excuse - he believed Elizabeth to be dead).  5 months and 11 days later he married Bridget MITCHELL at Liverpool, Lancashire, England.  (Bridgdet MITCHELL had been a witness at Thomas’ marriage to Martha).  Rachel WOODS brought charges against Thomas for bigamy but it appears that she was only aware of his marriage to Elizabeth MASSEY and not to Bridget MITCHELL as Bridget’s name does not appear in the court documents.  Thomas plead guilty (some say so that his name would not appear in the newspapers)

Michelle Kaplan on 6th February, 2016 wrote:

Thomas PARMETER married Elizabeth MASSEY at Middlesex, England 12/03/1812 & whilst married to Elizabeth, he married Rachel Martha WOODS at Shoreditch, Middlesex, England 23/07/1814 (his excuse - he believed Elizabeth to be dead).  5 months and 11 days later he married Bridget MITCHELL at Liverpool, Lancashire, England.  (Bridgdet MITCHELL had been a witness at Thomas’ marriage to Martha).  Rachel WOODS brought charges against Thomas for bigamy but it appears that she was only aware of his marriage to Elizabeth MASSEY and not to Bridget MITCHELL as Bridget’s name does not appear in the court documents.  Thomas plead guilty (some say so that his name would not appear in the newspapers)

Michelle Kaplan on 6th February, 2016 wrote:

Thomas PARMETER married Elizabeth MASSEY 12/03/1812 at Marylebone, Middlesex, England.
He then married Rachel Martha WOODS 23/07/1814 at Shoreditch, Middlesex, England (his reason – he believed Elizabeth to be dead).  5 months & 11 days after marrying Rachel, he married Bridget MITCHELL on 03/01/1815 at Liverpool, Lancashire, England.  (Bridget MITCHELL was a witness to his marriage to Rachel).  On 12/06/1815 Rachel brought the charge or bigamy against Thomas for being married to Elizabeth.  No mention was made of Bridget.  On the 22/06/1815 Thomas plead guilty at the Old Bailey (some say to keep his name out of the newspapers which could be true as I have been unsuccessful in locating a news article re the charge nor sentence) and was sentenced to transportation for 7 years.  Thomas was one of the more fortunate of our convicts in that he did not have to languish in an English prison cell nor hulk for a lengthy period of time.  Just under two months after receiving his sentence, on 07/08/1815 Thomas was transferred from Newgate prison to the vessel ‘Fanny’ which departed England 25/08/1815 and arrived 5 months and 6 days later on 18/01/1816.  A short time after arrival, Thomas was employed as Assistant Surgeon at the Castle Hill Lunatic Asylum.  18 months after his arrival, July 1817 sees a child (Maria Ann) born to Dr. Thomas PARMETER & Jane MEREDITH (Jane was a fellow convict arriving in January 1816 aboard the Mary Ann).  Jane was shown on census records as Thomas’ housekeeper.  Thomas and Jane produced five known children with one named Harriet dying as an infant.  Thomas received his pardon on 04/06/1818 serving only 2 years 11 months and 13 days of his 7 year sentence.  Although I am sure that Thomas could have returned to England if he had chosen to do so, he remained in the colony, probably as he had a child here with another due about two months after receiving his pardon and also because he could see the possibilities this land had to offer not only him but also his children.  He was a prolific writer both here and in England to the newspapers as well as writing poetry and essays about Australia often using the pen name of “DE QUIROSVILLE”.  After a dispute with Dr. Sutton, the Superintendant of the Castle Hill Lunatic Asylum, both Thomas and Dr. Sutton were both dismissed from their employment.  Thomas then took up private practice in Windsor.  In August of 1820, Thomas broke his right thigh bone in a riding accident & suffered with complications thereafter.  Five years later in 1825 he received a 600 acre land grant which I believe to be in the Patricks Plains area of New South Wales as this is where he was living at the time of the 1828 census.  His ‘housekeeper’ Jane MEREDITH married a neighbour; Walter ROTTON (a free settler) on 30/07/1827 at Warkworth, New South Wales.  It is assumed that as Thomas was not free to marry, Jane would have wanted a more stable and respectable future for herself and her children and Walter was just that – stable and respectable.  The 1828 census reveals that Thomas had 4 convict servants working for him but by 1832 Thomas was prohibited from receiving convict servants for reasons unknown.  He received a further 600 acre land grant in the Hunter region of New South Wales in 1835.  At the age of only 48 years Thomas passed away in July 1836 after suffering for a number of years from the riding accident, the loss of an eye and also palsy of the limbs.  Part of his death notice reads: “he was esteemed as a kind-hearted being, who was never more happy than when he was doing a kind and good act. He had (of course) his frailties, but as to malignity or
resentment, he seemed to be insensible to its influence. He was in this respect kind to a fault, for he knew not that paramount duty to visit the guilty with punishment. He was forgiving to the utmost bounds of Christianity.”  There can be no doubt that Thomas was a romantic but he was also fluent in a number of languages, socialised in high circles in both England and France and he must have been a bit of a con-man to think he could get away with being married to three women at the one time, but he was also a very kind man who was happiest when able to be of assistance to the less fortunate in our society.

Convict Changes History

Michelle Kaplan on 6th February, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1790 (prev. 0000), date of death: 14th July, 1836 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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