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Johnson, Thomas (1805–1867)

Thomas Johnson, a farmer's labourer, was born on 22 June 1805 in Isleham, Cambridgeshire, England, the third of 10 children of Thomas Johnson (1782-1851) and Sarah Deacon (1784-1870). Found guilty of burglary Thomas was sentenced to life transportation. He arrived in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) in January 1824; his age was given as 16. In 1825 he was sent to New South Wales on his first assignment to work for ? in Bathurst.

In 1826, he was back in Tasmania and assigned to Mr Stocker, who provided a hut for him to live in on his property at Dairy Plains near Deloraine. Dolly Dalrymple came to live with him; they were married on 29 October 1831. He was granted a conditional pardon in January 1835.

In August 1836 Johnson received a further seven-year prison sentence for receiving stolen wheat. He was released from prison by 1841 and was granted a conditional pardon in January 1847. They moved to the Mersey River region in northern Tasmania in 1845, and with the acquisition of the tenancy over the Frogmore Estate, they began to prosper. Thomas purchased 500 acres (202.3 ha) south-west of Frogmore, where he built the family home, Sherwood Hall. He became the owner of two hotels (the Native Youth Inn at Sherwood and the Dalrymple Inn at Ballahoo), a coalmine (the Alfred colliery) and a timber exporting business. The family became one of the largest landholders in the district.

After Dolly's death in 1864, Johnson married Maria Emma Bourne in 1865. He died on 3 December 1867 at Port Sorrell.

Additional Resources

  • death notice, Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas), 7 December 1867, p 4

Citation details

'Johnson, Thomas (1805–1867)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/johnson-thomas-29842/text36940, accessed 12 December 2019.

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