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Thomas McLean (c. 1769–?)

Thomas McLean (c.1769- ) and his brother Francis (c.1768- ) both labourers, were tried twice at Surrey, once for the theft of a large amount of clothing and the second time, on 11 August 1784, for escaping from gaol. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation. The brothers were sent to the Justitia hulk in October 1785 before embarking for New South Wales on the Alexander in January 1787, arriving in the colony in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Thomas McLean married (as Thomas McLain) Margaret Bunn on 16 March 1788. He left the colony with his brother before the end of 1791 at the expiration of their sentences. Thomas's wife remained in the colony.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 232-33

Citation details

'McLean, Thomas (c. 1769–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 27 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • MacLean, Thomas

c. 1769

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: jail escapee
Sentence: death
Commuted To: 7 years
Court: Surrey
Trial Date: 11 August 1784


Occupation: labourer


Left the colony: Yes