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Daveny, Thomas (c. 1759–1795)

Thomas Daveny (c.1759-1795) was an able seaman when he arrived at Sydney aboard the Sirius in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. From January 1788 to March 1791, he was employed in the colony as superintendent of artificers. From April 1791 he was employed as director of convicts employed in cultivation at Toongabbee.

Daveny married Catherine Hounsom on 17 July 1791. Their two-week-old son Thomas died in November 1791. He received a 100 acre grant of land at Toongabbee in 1791.

Daveny was dismissed from his job as superintendent after intervening in a brawl at the Toongabbee Farm in July 1794 between the Chief Watchman William Joyce (who was a convict and received a broken jaw as a result of the brawl) and John Love a soldier in the NSW Corps. Daveny, who intervened on behalf of the soldier, was accused of behaving improperly and tyrannically. Daveny felt the disgrace keenly and was said to have retired to his farm, brooding and drinking himself to his death. On 3 July 1795 he visited a friend in Sydney and was left to lie for several hours in what was thought to be a drunken stupor. He was buried on 11 July 1795 at Parramatta.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 95

Citation details

'Daveny, Thomas (c. 1759–1795)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/daveny-thomas-30697/text38041, accessed 22 September 2021.

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