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Thomas Tilley (c. 1746–c. 1813)

Thomas Tilley, a labourer, Edward Parry, and a third man, were found guilty at Stafford, England, on 27 July 1785, of stealing six pieces of fustian and a flaxen bag. Tilley was sentenced to seven years transportation. Sent to the Censor hulk he arrived in Sydney in 1788 aboard the Alexander as part of the First Fleet. He married Mary Abel on 4 May 1788. Following her death in July he married Elizabeth Tilly on 12 August 1790.

Thomas was granted 30 acres of land at The Ponds in February 1794. By mid 1800 he had 10 acres sown in wheat, 3 acres ready for maize, and owned 16 hogs. In 1802 he sold his land and moved to the Hawkesbury district. In 1803 he is recorded as living with Robert Forrester — he was probably employed by him. No record of a death has been found but Elizabeth Tilley was recorded as a widow living in Sydney in 1814.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 358 and Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 574

Citation details

'Tilley, Thomas (c. 1746–c. 1813)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Gilley, Thomas
  • Tilly, Thomas

c. 1746


c. 1813 (aged ~ 67)
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