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Thomas Pearce

Thomas Pearce, one of 338 convicts transported on the Coromandel and Experiment, November 1803

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Pearce
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1742
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 10th March, 1831
Age: 89 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 14 years

Crime: Stealing lead
Convicted at: Leicester Assizes
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Coromandel and Experiment
Departure date: November, 1803
Arrival date: 7th May, 1804
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 337 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 352
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

Ken Nolan on 5th January, 2014 wrote:

Thomas’s occupation was a wire worker

Phil Hands on 12th June, 2017 wrote:

Thomas was 61 years old when he was tried and convicted at the Leicester Assizes on 23rd March 1803 for Stealing lead from different churches in Leicester, sentenced to transportation for 14 years.
Left England on 4th December 1803.
Ship:- the ‘Coromandel I’ sailed with 200 male convicts on board, there were no reported deaths during the voyage.
Arrived on 7th May 1804.

Thomas’s wife, Mary Ann, was 28 years younger than he, born in 1770 and showing remarkable courage and loyalty, she decided that she too would make the journey to NSW as a free settler, accompanying her on the ‘Experiment I’ were her son and a daughter (Maria) who are not named on the shipping list.

The Coromandel and the Experiment were to leave England at the same time, the former with male convicts and the latter with 130 female convicts, also wives and children of the prisoners on board the Coromandel.

The Experiment set sail from England on 4th December 1803 but she ran into a violent gale in the Bay of Biscay, and lost her main mast. She limped back to Cowes for repairs, which took almost a month and sailed again on 2nd January 1804, thus Mary Ann would end up arriving on 24th June 1804, seven weeks later than Thomas.

The 1806 Muster shows Thomas as a Government Man Overseer and Mary Ann as “married, one legitimate daughter, Came free”. On the 1806 Muster, a girl Pearce is present but not a boy. Now thought to be Charles and Maria (aka Mary Ann). Perhaps the boy died enroute or soon after arrival. Thomas was 73 when a son William was born in 1815.

On 16th January 1810, Mary Ann wrote a memorial to the new Governor “... to specify to your Excellency that she has by her industry purchased a frame of a house with a small allotment of land from a man named Thos Harper, resident of Parramatta for the sum of Eighty pounds Sterling, sixty of which your Petitioner paid in hand”.

Thomas received a Ticket of Leave, valid for the District of Parramatta, on 8th August 1810, seven years and four months after his trial.
In 1810 he was made Constable and principal overseer of Cornwallis Farm, Hawkesbury. In the 1811 Muster, Thomas is recorded as “Landholder in the Colony” and on 6 March 1811 was on a list of persons who had obtained beer licences in February at Parramatta.
At the time of the 1814 Muster, he was recorded as “Convict off Rations, Tinker and Dealer”. On 31st January 1815, he was free.
From 3rd September 1815 to 29th January 1817 he was a juror at inquests for Bartholomew Cooney, John Cunningham and Owen Dalton, held at Parramatta.
He appears as ‘Pierce & Peirce on records. In 1816 he had become an “Emancipated Landholder, Parramatta” and in 1818, the Muster Records show him as a “Labourer”.

On 19 April 1817 he was the Publican of the Rose & Crown, Parramatta and was on a list of persons licensed as publicans for 1817, at Parramatta.
He is again listed as Pierce. He was on a list of persons receiving an assigned convict on 21 May 1822 at Parramatta. (Again as Pierce.)
The 14 year lease on their plot of land would have run out in 1824 and on 4th October, he addressed a Memorial “To his Excellency Sir Thos Brisbane, ....will be pleased to locate such quantity of lands as Your
Excellency may consider him deserving of”.  It was replied to on 7th April 1825 with Thomas Pearce as on a list of persons who have received orders for grants of land. The Pearce family moved to Liverpool.

Thomas died at Liverpool on 10th March 1831 aged 89 years.
Mary Ann also died at Liverpool (as Mary Ann Pierce), on 25th October 1838, aged 68. She had spent 34 years in NSW, (half of her life).

Convict Changes History

Ken Nolan on 5th January, 2014 made the following changes:


Ken Nolan on 5th January, 2014 made the following changes:

date of death 10th March, 1831, gender, crime

Phil Hands on 12th June, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1742 (prev. 0000)

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