Hi Guest!
Contribute to this record

Joseph Sewell

Joseph Sewell, one of 220 convicts transported on the Lord Eldon, April 1817

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Joseph Sewell
Aliases: none
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1798
Occupation: Farmer
Date of Death: 5th October, 1885
Age: 87 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Bucks Assizes Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Lord Eldon
Departure date: April, 1817
Arrival date: 30th September, 1817
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 219 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 326
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.

Did you find the person you were looking for?

If Joseph Sewell was the person you were looking for, you may be able to discover more about them by looking at our resources page.

If you have more hunting to do, try a new search or browse the convict records.

Know more about Joseph Sewell?

Contribute to this record

Community Contributions

Vivienne Cunningham-Smith on 22nd October, 2012 wrote:

Ref NSW BDM Death Certificate

Lists Joseph as 87 years old occupation Farmer having died at Claremont.

His parents were James Sewell and Hannah Brown. His death was certified by Patrick Sewell of One Tree Hill. His death was registered in Bathurst on
19/10/1885. He was buried on 7/10/1885 at ?? Lumpors or Tumpors Flat by Patrick McMahon. His religion is listed as RC and witnesses to burial were Patrick Sewell and James Gunning. He was born in Hertfordshire England and had been living in the colony for 67 years in NSW. He was listed as married at age 54 to Sarah Hafron. Children of marriage are listed as James aged 30, Henry aged 28, Patrick aged 26, Joseph 23, Sarah Evelyn aged
16, Hannah Charlotte aged 13, John Thomas aged 10 Mary Isabel aged 8,with 2 boys and 3 girls deceased.

Ref: Ancestry Gedcom Source Confidential

From:- Buckinghamshire County Council. County Hall Aylesbury, Bucks.

HP20 1UA. Aylesbury 5000

my Ref; GP12/3 Cc) 20 July 1981.

The following is an extract from the Buckinghamshire Assizes:-
Joseph Sewell’s trial in the minutes of the Court of Quarter Session for Buckingham, Michaelmas Session 1816 (Ref. Q/SM/17).
Court records-

Convicted 9th September 1816 by the Rev James Stuart Freeman, D.D., charged on the oaths of William Budd, William Budd the younger, Thomas Budd, Thomas Butler & Thomas Pearson on a violent suspicion of felony in stealing on Sunday 8th September in the Parish of Iver from the Glocester Waggon where of James Hearns is the Proprietor. 4 glass bottles containing wine & liquors, several whip thongs & lashes, various articles of apparel, a number of copper medals & other effects the property of the said James Hearns as such Proprietor”

“To be transported for 7years. Order drawn”
The Historical Records of Australia contain the report:-

The ship “Lord Eldon,” sailed from London on 4th April, 1817, & arrived at Port Jackson on the 30th of September 1817, a journey of 178 days. The ship sailed via Madagascar, Rio de Janeiro. The “Lord Eldon” was commanded by Captain Jas. Thos.Lamb, & the surgeon was James Bowman. The ship weighed 583 tons & was in service for 7 years. It had 215 male convicts from England guarded by a Detachment of the 46th Regt. under the Command of Lieut. Norman Maclean of the 1st Regt. of Foot, Superintendant on board; the whole of the conficts on board the ship arrived in good health & with out any complaints against Tthe Officers, Guard or Crew.”

Joseph Sewell was assigned to Anna King, the widow of Philip Gidley King who had been the third Govenor of the Colony of New South Wales.

How long in the service of Mrs King is not known, but after having served his sentence & an emancipist - convict who had served his time & was then free - he found his way across the Blue Mountains & was in the employment of Thomas Arkell, the Government Stock Inspector at Bathurst.


Name of Convict: JOSEPH SEWELL
Convict Indent for the ship: Lord Eldon AO NSW Ref 4/4005 4/4423
Port & Date of departure: England 9th April 1817 COD 143
Date of arrival: 30th September 1817 Reel 394
Name: Joseph Sewell
Age: 20
Marital Status:
No. of children:
Native place: Herdfordshire
Trade or calling: Labourer
Where tried: Buckinghamshire
When tried: 17 October 1816
Sentence: 7 years
Former convictions:
Height: 5’6”
Complexion: Florid
Remarks: 1572
Hair colour: Light Brown
Eye Colour: Hazel
Marks or scars:


Master: James T Lamb

Arrived: 30th September

Convict No: 1572
Name: Joseph Sewell
Where Convicted: Bucks Assizes. Quarter Session
When: 17th October 1816
Term: Seven years
Native Place: Herts
Calling: Labour
Age: 20
Heigth: 5ft 6 in
Complexion: Florid
Hair: Lt Brown
Eyes: Hazel

“The Convict Ships 1787-1868”, a history by Charles Bateson has the information:-

“Ship: Lord Eldon 583 tons Built: Shields 1802 Master: James T Lamb Surgeon: James Bowman Sailed: 9 April 1817

From: England via Madiera & Rio Arrived: 30 September 1817 Total Days: 174

Convicts: 221 Males 1 Relanded

1 Escaped prior to sailing
4 Deaths on voyage
215 Males landed Sydney

Bathurst is the oldest settlement west of the Blue Mountains & these were first crossed in May 1813 by Gregory Blaxland William Lawson & William Wentworth. William Cox built the first road across the mountains in 1815. Lawson & Cox both received grants of land in the Bathurst area. Lawson’s grant of 1000 acres was on the Campbell’s River & Thomas Arkell had a purchase of 1000 acre also on Campbell’s River called “Charlton” near the village of Rockley.

16/8/1989 Archives: COD 504

Joseph Sewell:

1822 Musters Ref 18853

Sewell, Joseph, convict, Lord Eldon, 7 years, Government servant,

Employer William Hayes Parramatta. (Hayes, William came free,Ship-Friendship, Occupation overseer Employer, Mrs King, Parramatta.)

Mitchell Library 12/1/1982

Cert of freedom: Sydney Gazette, page 1, 30 Oct. 1823, lists Joseph Sewell as a recipient, among others, of certificates of freedom from the government. This was effective on 29 October 1823.

1825 General Musters - the entry for Joseph Sewell states his place of residence as Bathurst

1828 Census;

Name: Joseph Sewell Free or Bond: Free by servitude
Ship: Lord Eldon Year: 1817 Sentence: 7 yr Religion: Catholic

Age: 30 Employer/Remarks Thos. Arkell at Bathurst. : “Charlton”

Occupation: Shepherd Sheep: 15
Residence: Bathurst

Joseph is listed as a tenant in 1828 Census with 15 cattle of his own.

The 1828 Census of New South Wales shows that Thomas Arkell was aged 53 & came as a free settler on a ship called “Experiment”. Of his 1000 acres, 100 had been cleared, 25 cultivated & he owned 9 horses, 300 cattle & 1000 sheep. There were fifteen people in the employment of Thomas Arkell & Joseph Sewell was one of those & was employed as a shepherd.

How long employed by Thomas Arkell is not known, but only a few years later & the “State Archives” have copies of letters from Joseph Sewell to the Surveyor General regarding land & land purchases.

The first of these letters is:

Bathurst 19th July 1832
To The Surveyor General,


Being desirous to lease the following Sections of Land containing 2560 acres, I request you will obtain the Governors Authority that it may be put up to sale, agreeably to the Regulations contained in the Government order of the 1st August 1831, No 22, vis.

4 sections, containing 2560 acres, situated in the County of Roxburgh, parish not named, bounded on the South by “Davis Creek” near Campbells River”, boundaries on the other quarters not located or measured.

My object is to establish a stock run.

I am free, & arrived in the Colony by the ship Almorah in August 1815.

I have the honour to be,

Your obedient, humble servant,
Joseph Sewell

This letter is handwritten, but not by Joseph Sewell & also refers to the ship “Almorah”. There is no record of a “Joseph Sewell” being on board that ship, so it would appear that this letter had been written by a scribe who had got some of his facts wrong.

A later letter:-

Davys Creek October 16 1832
Respected Sir,

On receiving your letter on Sunday last, the 14th inst, I have taken the first opportunity of answering the same, to state respecting the land in question that it is bounded on the Creek by the West, instead of South stated as in last. `Likewise about 3 miles from Mr Thos. Arkells purchase of 1000 acres on Campbell’s River and about the same distance from Wm. Lawson on Campbell’s River.

It is my wish to have the four sections in a square.

I am,

Respected Sir,
Your Most Obedient, Humble Servant,

Joseph Sewell.

T Mitchell Esq,

Surveyor General,

No futhers letter were found as regards this applicaion regarding land, the next letters being in 1836.

An official form:-

“Application of Joseph Sewell, of this Country, Westmoreland, for permission to purchase land.

Usual place of Residence: Campbells River near Bathurst.

Dated 18th May 1836


Being desirous to purchase the following section of land, I request you will obtain the Govenor’s authority that it may be put up to sale, agreeably to the Regulations contained in the Government Order of the 1st of August, 1831, No 22, viz:-

Bounded on the South by Brisbane Valley and on all other sides by unlocated land, about 5 miles down the Creek - or valley - from Scanwells grant in the Country of Westmoreland.

I am free and arrived in the Colony by Ship “Lord Eldon” from England in the month of October 1817.

I have the honor to be

Your obedient servant,
Joseph Sewell

======================================= To The Surveyor General,

No 504


September 26, 1836

To The Surveyor General,


Being desirous to rent the following two sections of land, I request you will obtain the Governors authority that it may be put up to sale agreeably to the regulations, two sections situated in the County of Westemoreland bounded on the west by Davey’s Creek about two mile up the Creek from Redfern’s purchase of sixty acres. “

Another application, dated 28th December 1836 regarding purchase of “one section of 640 acres ....... about two miles up the Creek by Robert Redfern’s purchase ...... “shows that this man had his heart set on that particular block of land; and at a “Sale of 14 June 1837” it was purchased.

” Lot No 52, Sale of 14 June 1837


Nine hundred and eighty four acres. County of Westmoreland. Parish unnamed. Bounded on the North by a line East one hundred chains and fifty links, commencing at Davis’s Creek, at the North West corner on the East by a line South eighty chains, on the South by a line West one hundred and forty seven chains to Davis’s Creek and on the West by Davis’s Creek to the North West corner aforesaid.”

The price paid for the land was $246.00 and was:-

“Paid 14 June 1837 £ 24-12-0 13 July 1837 £ 221-8-0

£246-0-0 “
And so Joseph Sewell, after several years of trying, eventually became a landowner after nearly twenty years in the Colony.

A “General Muster of Male and Female Convicts in the Colony of New South Wales and Norfolk Island on the 31st December 1837” is interesting in that it list two convicts as having been assigned to Joseph Sewell.

These were:-




In September 1838, “Applications for Assigned Convicts Servants” was made with (5) five being applied for. It is very interesting to note on this application that the property was referred to as “Claremont” and that there were “60 acres under plough ot hoe culture”.

As yet it is not know if any more convicts were assigned to this member of our family.

The first of this Sewell family to be born in Australia was a boy, Jonathon, born 13th February 1836 to Joseph Sewell and Frances Green.

Another son, William Daniel, was born 25th December 1840 to Joseph Sewell and Frances Green.

No record of a marriage between this couple has been found, but there is a record of a marriage between Charles Henry Green and Sarah Heffran (Heffernan?) at Bathurst on 1st April, 1851 with the witnesses being “Joseph and Frances Sewell”.

* Frances Sewell died 13th February 1854 at her brother’s residence (W.R. Green) Parramatta St (Camperdown) After a short but severe illness at the 56th year of her age. (Sydney Morning Herald 14th February 1854.

November 23rd 1852, a daughter Frances Jane was born to Charles Henry Green & Sarah Heffernan of Davy’s Creek, Sponsors were James McCarthy & Frances Green.

A copy of a marriage record from the Registrar General states that Joseph Sewell of Davy’s Creek & Sarah Green of Foster’s Valley were married on the 21st day of July 1854 at Bathurst by John Grant, a Catholic Minister.

Witnesses were Jonathon Sewell of Davy’s Creek & Margaret Foran of Fosters Valley.

The first member of the Joseph Sewell & Sarah Green family was a son James born 28th April 1855. It is believed there were another twelve children born into this family, several of whom died while very young.

The Rockley area was first visited in 1813 by George Evans, who was assistant surveyor, & he had been sent by Govenor Macquarie to extend the discoveries made by Blaxland, Lawson & Wentworth. It is interesting to note that after William Cox had constructed a road over the mountains, in 1815 Lachlan Macquarie travelled to Bathurst taking nine days to do the trip.

The first grant of land in the area was made in 1829 to Captain Watson

Augustus Steel who named his grant “Rocky” after his birthplace in Wilshire,


In 1850, landholders in the area, one of whom was Joseph Sewell, petitioned the Govenor that a township be established & on 22nd July 1851, notification was published in the Government Gazette, & Rockley became a village.

St Partick’s Roman Catholic Church in the village, a church where many of the descendants of Joseph Sewell were baptised, married & buried. It was built in 1870 & of particular interest is a memorial window in the church that was donated by this patriarch.

Education has always been important & a provisional school had been established at a place called “Blossom Hill” between Joseph Sewell’s property & that which had been Thomas Arkell’s but by the 1880’s had passed to Mr Charles McPhillamy. (Arkell’s son in-law)

A letter from the school inspector of the:

“Bathurst District

Memorandum to the Secretary, Blossom Hill Prov. Local Board for

I beg to recommend the following persons as suitable to form a Local Board for the above school.

They are willing to act if recognised. They are all members of the R.C. Church and, by occupation, farmers.

Joseph Sewell
Dennis O’Neail
Daniel O’Neail
Antonie Cavery Bathurst J M Allpass 10.4.80 Inspector “

The following year, 1881, “Application for the Conversion of the Prvl. School at Blossom Hill into Public”’ was made & copies of the pages are shown.

Late 1883, moves were made to relocate the school from Blossom Hill to Charlton on the recommendation of the Assistant School Inspector who noted, “Two families will be slightly inconvenienced by the change, but the majority will be benefited. Mr Pender, one of those former, lives only a mile & a half from Essington Public School, & Mr Sewell, the other, is little more than 2 miles from the same school.

Copies of two more letters from Joseph Sewell to the Department of Public
Instruction “as regards the Blossom Hill & Charlton School”, are as follows, the second letter being written on the day the school near Charlton was burnt down. Also of a letter from the School Inspector as regards the school fire & the teacher at the time.


Blossom Hill

Respecting contemplated removal of School to another site

2nd February, 1884 Sir,

I find that the Inspector of Schools has brought a dwelling down near Campbell’s River & employed a man to take the middle wall down & to fit it up for a school in the place of Blossom Hill School.

Now Blossom Hill School stands on a dividing range about equal distance between Davies or Stony Creek & Campbells River. I know that Mr C. McPhillamy shephards have been complaining that the side from Campbells River to the school is too rough for their children to walk up, now our children will have to walk up to the Ridge & down to the school & up that very hill in the evening that they complain of, that is the children on Davies creek.

Now sir why not place this school in a central position I showed Mr Allpas a very nice spot on the Main Ridge he seemed well satisfied with it but after he & Mr Denice O’Niell had left me it appears that Mr O Niell told him that there was not permanent water there.

Now Sir if the places are examined it will prove that there is permanent water nearer than either Blossom Hill School or the place that the Inspector has bought , the man that he has bought that place off has to use a water cart a great part of the summer I have now myself bought that water cart.

Now sir by moving Blossom Hill School to where I showed Mr Allpas will bring those people from Charlton & the neighbourhood within a mile or so to that school.

There will be a far greater attendance attending the school place there than in any other place & we shall be enable to have better teacher than we have had at Blossom Hill School.

Name: Joseph SEWELL

Sex: M
Birth: ABT. 1796
Death: 5 OCT 1885 in Claremont, Sewell Creek NSW of Senile decay
Fact 1: 30 SEP 1817 ship “Lord Eldon” convict
Fact 2: 21 JAN 1798 Rickmansworth Hertfordshire England
Fact 3: Farmer
Fact 4: 7 OCT 1885 Jumpers Flat, Rockley NSW
Fact 6: 87
Fact 7: 17 OCT 1816 7 years: Bucks Assizes England
Fact 8: d/c

I Have The Honour To Be

Your Most Obedient Servant

Joseph Sewell

To The Honourable The Minister

For Public Instruction:





July 19th 1884

My children informed me that the school at Campbells River was burnt down today.

Now it was a most unwarrantable thing for the honourable Mr Reid to move that school from the tableland down to Campbells River to oblige two servants of Mr Charles McPhillammy they were continually complaining that the hill was too high for their children to walk up now if it was too high for their children to walk up now stands it with our children on Davy’s Creek they have to walk up onto the tableland in the morning & then decend down to the school at Campbells River in the evening ascend onto the tableland again & then ascend dowm home.

I pointed this out to the honourable Mr Reid before anything was done to that school he acknowledged the receipt of the letter & promised to give it his consideration in some few days afterwards I received another letter stating that he considered it an centeral place & would go on with it.

Now how Mr Reid could call that a central place when there is not one pupil, comes from beyond Campbells River & only my family from Davies Creek & I think I must remove them for the bush track they have to follow is awful.

When Mr Allpas was inspector of the schools he went with me & Mr Dennis O’Neill to a spot for a fine place for a central school it would embrace Essington within school distance except one family & they are within school distance of another school only a rough road to it he approved of it but when Dennis O;Neill & he left the place said there was no permanent water although he never attempted to speak of this while we were all three together.

Now I trust that your honour will give this your consideration & cause an examination of this place so that we can have a good school instead of those little bits of things.

I Have The Honour To Be Sir

Your Most Obedent Servant Joseph Sewell

To The Honourable The Minister For Public Instruction:

St Patrick Catholic Church in Rockley has a stained glass window on the west side, & the inscription under the window reads:

“This Window is the Gift of Joseph Sewell

For whom the Prayers of The Faithfully are Desired”


———————————————Joseph was baptised a Baptist but became a Catholic after he came to Australia. His youngest sister Charlotte is said to have come out to Australia looking for Joseph. When she found he had come a Catholic she is said to have become very upset & returned to England where she married Joseph Woolams in Hertfordshire, around 1847. They had a son Charles (born 1848 & a daughter Sarah (born 1850) However

Convict Changes History

Vivienne Cunningham-Smith on 22nd October, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1798, date of death 5th October, 1885, occupation, crime

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