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Thomas Slater

Thomas Slater, one of 200 convicts transported on the Earl Spencer, May 1813

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Thomas Slater
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1781
Occupation: Plasterer and tiler
Date of Death: 27th April, 1829
Age: 48 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Coining
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Earl Spencer
Departure date: May, 1813
Arrival date: 9th October, 1813
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 98
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

Beth Kebblewhite on 26th September, 2019 wrote:

Thomas Slater [alias Adock] (c1781-1829), was tried (twice) at Middlesex GD [see trial record below] on 28 Oct 1812 & given a 14 year term. He travelled to NSW on the ship Earl Spencer which arrived on 9 Oct 1813. He was a plasterer, native of Norfolk, aged 32, 5’9 tall, dark ruddy complexion, black hair & brown eyes. CP – 920. Thomas received his CP on 31/01/1818. (Source: SRNSW Copies of Conditional Pardons Registered; Reel Number: 774; Roll Number: 149; Volume Number: 4/4430)
1812 – Trial #1 - THOMAS SLATER, Royal Offences > coining offences, 28th October 1812.
879. THOMAS SLATER was indicted, for that he, on the 22d of June, feloniously, and without lawful excuse, had in his custody and possession, a certain forged bank-note, for the payment of 1 l.
To this indictment the prisoner pleaded
Transported for Fourteen Years.
Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.
1812 – Trial #2 - THOMAS SLATER, Royal Offences > coining offences, 28th October 1812.
880. THOMAS SLATER was indicted for feloniously forging a bank-note for the payment of 1 l.
SECOND COUNT, for disposing of, and putting away, a like forged note, with intention to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.
THIRD and FOURTH COUNT, for publishing and uttering as true, a like forged 2 l. note, with the intention;
And ANOTHER COUNT, for like offence, to defraud Joseph Jones.
Mr. Solicitor General, counsel for the prosecution, declining to offer any evidence, the prisoner, of this charge, was
Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Chambre.
Source: Old Bailey on-line http://www.oldbaileyonline.org

c1815 - No record of marriage found for Elizabeth Griffiths, however, she apparently began a relationship with Thomas Slater.
Children born to Thomas Slater and Elizabeth Griffiths:
• Sophia SLATER (as ADCOCK) born circa 1815 or 23/01/1817? Sydney (bap V1817-789-7 & St Philip’s Church of England, Sydney NSW: Church Register - Baptisms;  L ref: Reel SAG 90; Vol Entry# 789), died ?
• Esther SLATER born c1819 (bapt, 1824 St Luke’s Church of England, Liverpool NSW: Church Register - Baptisms; ML ref: Reel SAG 92; Vol Entry# 197), marr 1844 Sydney to John Craddock, died ?
• Margaret SLATER born 22/02/1822 Sydney (V18225725 1B as SLATER & V182- 2424-8 as ADCOCK & St Philip’s
• Church of England, Sydney NSW: Church Register - Baptisms; ML ref: Reel SAG 90; Vol Entry# 424), marr 1842 Sydney to William Bryden, died ?
• Susan SLATER (as ADCOCK) born 01/07/1827 Sydney (bap V1827173 11/1827 & St Philip’s Church of England, Sydney NSW: Church Register - Baptisms; ML ref: Reel SAG 90; Vol Entry# 235), died ?
1817 - Thomas SLATER petitioned for a TOL to Gov Macquarie with a letter signed by William Cowper, CP written. (SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Petitions Fiche 3181; 4/1853 p306)
1822 Muster:
No record found for Elizabeth & children.
Thomas SLATER, CP, Earl Spencer, 14 years, Liverpool (A19317)
1823-1825 Muster:
Elizabeth GRIFFITHS, FS, Broxbornebury, 7 years, wife of J Slater, Liverpool (23124) & spouse – Thomas SLATER, CP, Earl Spencer 1813, life, carpenter, Liverpool (40397) & children – Sophia 8 (or 9), Margaret 3 (or 4) & Esther 2 – all BC & listed under Griffiths & Slater
1828 Census:
Elizabeth GRIFFITHS, 33, FS, Broxbornebury, 7 years, prot, needlewoman to Robert Moore, Cumberland St, Sydney (G1341) [Robert Moore, aged 32, FS, per Neptune 1820, tailor, also Sarah Holmes, 33, FS, servant]
Sophia ADCOCK, aged 12, patient at Lunatic Asylum, Liverpool (A0114) [Note: Only child inmate of the hospital]
Margaret ADCOCK, aged 7, BC, prot., lodger Robert Morris (or Patrick Moore?), Cumberland St., Sydney (A0115) [Note: Appears to be living with her mother]
Esther ADCOCK, aged 4, BC, prot., lodger Robert Morris (or Patrick Moore?), Cumberland St., Sydney (A0115) [Note: Appears to be living with her mother]
Thomas SLATER, 45, FS. Earl Spencer 1813, 14 years, prot, carpenter with Thomas Wenner, wheelwright at Parra (S1126)
1828, 15 December – Thomas SLATER, a free man per ship Earl Spencer, was admitted to Sydney Gaol on 15/12/1828. He was tried at the Criminal Court for “cutting and maiming” on 03/03/1829, found guilty on 06/04/1829 & executed on 27/04/1829. (Source: SRNSW NSW Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930; Series: 2514; Item: 4/6430; Roll: 851)
1829, 5 March – “Supreme Court. Thomas Slater was indicted for an assault on Elizabeth Griffith, with intent to murder, on the 15th of December last. A second count charged the offender with intent to disfigure ; a third count, with intent to disable; and a fourth, with intent to do some grievous bodily harm. Elizabeth Griffiths stated that she is a single woman residing in Cumberland-street, Sydney, and had lived with the prisoner, as his wife, for 14 years, and had seven children by him ; witness was obliged to part from him in December last on account of cruel treatment; on the 15th of December the prisoner came to the house intoxicated, and laid down upon her bed, where he remained two hours; at the end of that time, witness was going out, and awakened the prisoner, requesting him to go to his own lodgings; witness then went towards the door, and thought the prisoner was following, when she received a blow on the back of the head, which knocked her down, and rendered her senseless; when she recovered, witness found herself covered with blood ; the instrument with which the wound was inflicted proved to be a tomahawk, which was in the house. James Boyd, a Sydney constable, stated that in December last, on a Friday, he heard the cry of murder proceeding from the house of Elizabeth Griffiths in Cumberland street ; witness proceeded thither, and found a crowd of people assembled round the door, which was fastened ; witness could not gain admission until he broke open the door, and on entering the front room, found Elizabeth Griffiths lying on the ground, and her head supported by the prisoner’; the ground was covered with blood, and on examination witness found that she had received an incised wound which had also fractured the bone at the back of the head ; the prisoner said she got the wound by falling against the table ; on searching about the house, a small tomahawk with the edge bloody was discovered in another room. Mr. James Cooke, assistant to Dr. Bland, stated that he was called to the house of Elizabeth Griffiths, to examine the wound she had received ; it was a deep incised wound at the back of the head, accompanied with a fracture; witness saw the tomahawk now produced found by the constable ; the edge was bloody, and it was very probably the instrument with which the wound was inflicted ; it was a very dangerous wound, and, had inflammation of the brain ensued would have occasioned death. The prisoner entered into a long detail of various provocations he had received at various times, and called several witnesses, who did not answer.
The Chief Justice minutely recapitulated the evidence, and gave it as his opinion, from all the circumstances, that had death ensued, it would have amounted to murder, and therefore came under the provisions of the 43d Geo. 3, commonly called Lord Ellenborough’s Act, under which the prisoner was indicted. The Jury found the prisoner Guilty. Remanded.” (Source: Sydney Gazette, 05/03/1829, p3)
1829, 10 April – Elizabeth GRIFFITHS made an application for her 2 daughters Margaret (aged 8 years, born 22/01/1821) & Esther (born 1824, aged 4) to be admitted to the Female Orphan School. Elizabeth stated that the girls were children of her and Thomas Adcock (sic) or Slater and that “the father of these 2 children is now in Sydney Jail under the awful sentence of death and your Petitioner is a poor woman and not in a position to provide maintenance and proper education for the abovementioned children.” (Source: SRNSW Female Orphan School Records, NRS 793 [2]; Reel 2777; 1477, Page 001)
1829, 28 April – “EXECUTION. Yesterday exhibited the appalling sight of eight criminals dying by the rope. Their names were William Jems, James Gardener, John Crowther, James Callaghan, John Smart, Peter Riley, William Bowen, and Thomas Slater. Many, indeed the greater portion of them were young men: five professed to be Protestants, and three Catholics. Something out of the common, was expected from Riley and Bowen, both having previously protested that it should take twenty hangmen to hang them. The Sheriff, and a strong guard, were in the yard, and the yard was crowded, as well as the outside of the gaol. The other confines, contrary to the usual custom, were not drawn up in array at one side of the execution yard. This we consider but rational, the frequency of executions rather hardening the heart than otherwise. Riley addressed the concourse very briefly, desiring them to take warning by his unhappy fate. James Gardiner commenced a dying speech, wherein he stated he had been but a week condemned, and had only thirty-six hours’ notice of execution. He was not, he said, prepared to die. He protested it made him happy to think he and his companions had found some people besides the gov. to bury their bodies. He then railed against the jury who had tried him, but was stopped by the Sheriff, who would not allow him to proceed. William Jems merely entreated the good people all around him to take warning. This unfortunate man, we hear, was respectably connected. He had been a soldier in this Colony, and three years ago he was sentenced to be shot, and was actually kneeling on his coffin, when he was reprieved by order of Sir Thomas Brisbane. The other culprits said nothing. All of them, except Gardiner, shewed considerable contrition for the past, and kept their minds directed to the future. When the drop fell; they were all in earnest ejaculation for mercy. The cap came off the head of Crowther, and exhibited a dreadful sight. It also came partially off one of the others. After the execution, the bodies of some were conveyed away by their friends. The rest were removed for interment by Government.” (Source: The Australian, 28/04/1829, p3)
1829 - Thomas Slater was executed on 27/04/1829 at Sydney. No burial record found. (Source: The Australian, 28/04/1829, p3)
1832 - Elizabeth GRIFFITHS aged 40, died at Liverpool at the Lunatic Asylum in 1832. It was said the lady was “insane” & she was buried from St Lukes Anglican on 26/09/1832 by Rev Cartwright. (V1832-1566-16)

From the book “Journey to a New Life…” the story of the ships Emu & Broxbornebury by Elizabeth Hook (3rd ed. 2014). I am the author & can be contacted on hookey5609@yahoo.com.au for further info

Convict Changes History

Beth Kebblewhite on 26th September, 2019 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1781 (prev. 0000), date of death: 27th April, 1829 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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