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Thomas Limpus (c. 1762–c. 1801)

Thomas Limpus (c.1762-c.1801) was sentenced to death on 10 September 1783 at the Old Bailey, London, for returning from Africa before his 7-year transportation sentence (which had only started in October 1782) had ended. His death sentence was commuted to life transportation to America on 24 October 1783.

Discharged to the convict transport Mercury in March 1784 he joined in the convict mutiny on board the ship. Recaptured, he was again sentenced to death; the sentence was reprieved to life transportation on 28 August and he was sent to the Dunkirk hulk. He embarked on the Charlotte in March 1787 and arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. 

Limpus was sent (as Thomas Lympus) to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. By July 1791 he was maintaining himself on a Queenborough lot, with 40 rods cleared. He received a conditional pardon on 13 September 1796 when he was listed rationed as a settler and was marked dead by 1801.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 221

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Citation details

'Limpus, Thomas (c. 1762–c. 1801)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Lympus, Thomas
  • Limford, Thomas

c. 1762


c. 1801 (aged ~ 39)
Norfolk Island, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: life