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James Thodie (c. 1759–1795)

James Thodie (c.1759-1795), alias James Ives a plasterer, was found guilty on 3 July 1782 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing clothing from a dwelling house. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation to America on 7 August 1783. Thodie 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.

Thodie worked as a plasterer at Port Jackson. He was ordered to join the bricklayers work under James Bloodworth through a misunderstanding by David Collins which caused a flurry of icy letters between Major Robert Ross, David Collins and Arthur Phillip.

James Thodie was buried at Sydney on 1 November 1795.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 353

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Thodie, James (c. 1759–1795)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Ives, James
  • Thoudy, James
  • Thodey, James

c. 1759
Middlesex, England


1 November, 1795 (aged ~ 36)
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