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Thomas Hughes (c. 1762–1831)

Thomas Hughes (c.1762-1831) was found guilty on 20 February 1783 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a gelding. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation to America. Hughes was among the prisoners who mutinied on the convict transport Mercury in April 1784. Recaptured, he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk in June 1784. He was discharged to the Friendship in March 1787 and arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

He may be the Thomas Hughes who received a 30 acre grant of land at Bulanaming in February 1794 and was self supporting by October 1795. By 1806 he was employed on Daniel Smallwood's farm in the Hawkesbury district. He was recorded as a landholder in 1825. Hughes's age was given as 66 in the 1828 Census and he was working for Mary Cawthorne on the Wilberforce farm she had inherited from her partner William Field, a fellow Mercury transportee.

He may be the Thomas Hughes who was buried at Sydney on 10 December 1831; his age was given as 70.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 183

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'Hughes, Thomas (c. 1762–1831)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1762
Berkshire, England


9 December, 1831 (aged ~ 69)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years