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Sarah Tillett

Sarah Tillett, one of 120 convicts transported on the Canada, March 1810

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Sarah Tillett
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Essex (Colchester) Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Canada
Departure date: March, 1810
Arrival date: 8th September, 1810
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 121 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 5 (4)
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

Robin Sharkey on 7th April, 2019 wrote:

Sarah Tillett was transported for seven years after being tried in early October 1809 at the Essex Quarter Sessions at Colchester. She arrived in NSW on the “Canada” in 1810. Her age was not recorded on the ship’s indent.

In the 1814 NSW Census she was recorded as living with Henry Austin in Sydney, being off the stores and mustered in Sydney. Henry Austin was Irish and had arrived in 1806 on the Tellicherry, aged only 16 or 17.  In the 1814 Muster, Mary Austin, a convict arrived in 1813, also resided with Henry Austin, as a servant. It’s likely that Sarah Tillett was in a relationship with Henry Austin since she was recorded as “lives with” him. Henry would then have been aged about 25. Presumably Sarah was his age or younger.


In 1817, Sarah grabbed an opportunity to return to England on a free passage on the brig ‘Kangaroo”. She had been freed herself for a year.

The government brig “Kangaroo” was being sent by Governor Macquarie back to England, he believing the brig inadequate for its purpose and that its commander, Captain, Charles Jeffreys, was incompetent and lazy. Macquarie wrote in his diary on 29 January 1817:
“I have ordered Lt. Jeffreys not to engage to take any Passengers Home but such as may have my permission, it being my intention, in pursuance of Orders received from the Secry. of State – to send Home in the Kangaroo as many Persons as she can conveniently accommodate who have lately become free by their Sentences of Transportation having expired.”

In the Sydney Gazette of 1st and 8th February 1817, the Governor’s secretary advertised that the ‘Kangaroo’ was being sent back to England with Despatches, and “that Passages will be provided for fifteen Women of the above Description [i.e. former convicts who have obtained their freedom by Servitude]; but none need apply who shall not produce written Testimonials of their decent and orderly Conduct in this Country, subscribed by the Clergyman and Magistrate of the District wherein they reside ...” Applications were to be received by the 15th February.

As it turned out, only eight women were sent, not fifteen. Acceptance of Sarah’s application as one of the few lucky women indicates that she was of reputable behaviour and was known to her local clergyman (despite having lived with Henry Austin).

On 5th April, the Sydney Gazette recorded:
“The persons to whom a passage to the mother country has been humanely granted by Government, embarked yesterday morning on board His Majesty’s brig Kangaroo; as did also this forenoon a small party of the 46th Regiment, who had obtained leave to return to Europe.”

A Judge Advocate’s list of 5th April included Sarah Tillett, certifying that there are no detainers lodged against them, all about to leave in “Kangaroo”.

Finally, her name appeared as one of 8 women listed as having obtained Certificates of clearance to leave the colony.

She sailed on ‘Kangaroo” on 9 April 1817.
Henry Austin, aged 28,  married in Sydney to someone else a few months later in September 1817.

Maureen Withey on 16th September, 2020 wrote:

Tried 2 Oct 1809, from Indent.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 16th September, 2020 made the following changes:

gender: f

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