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Joseph Owen (c. 1719–1790)

Joseph Owen (c.1719-1790), who was listed in some records as Thomas Owen, was found guilty on 12 March 1785 of receiving stolen goods (five linsey aprons, woollen stockings, and a bedgown) from Mary Davis/Davies at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. At the age of 65 he was sentenced to 14 years transportation and was sent to the Dunkirk hulk where he behaved 'very well'. He arrived in Sydney aboard the Friendship in January 1788. Ralph Clark noted that he had no trade, was aged 60 and was born in Shropshire.

Owen lived with John Turner at Port Jackson. He was not capable of looking after himself. On 12 May 1790 he fainted at the store while waiting for his provisions and died at the hospital the next day. His stomach was found to be empty.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 271

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Citation details

'Owen, Joseph (c. 1719–1790)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Owen, Thomas

c. 1719
Shropshire, England


13 March, 1790 (aged ~ 71)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

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
Convict Record

Crime: receiving stolen goods
Sentence: 14 years
Court: Shropshire
Trial Date: 12 March 1785