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  • ID: I01218
  • Name: Elizabeth Thomas
  • Sex: F
  • ALIA: Betty /Thomas/
  • Birth: BEF. 7 JAN 1771 in Stoke Damerel, Plymouth, Devon, England
  • Death: 29 AUG 1832 in Richmond, NSW, Australia of Age Dementia
  • Event: Convict AUG 1791 14 years - Convicted of Posession of stolen goods
  • Burial: 30 AUG 1832 St Peter's Anglican, Richmond, NSW, Australia
  • Christening: 7 JAN 1771 Stoke Damerel, Plymouth, Devon, England
  • Event: Transported 15 FEB 1793 aboard ship " Bellona"
  • Event: Certificate of Freedom 7 FEB 1811
  • Note:

    Record of Elizabeth's transportation
    Record of Elizabeth's conduct on ship and health upon arrival
    Conduct: "Indifferent" Health: "Very good. Delivered of a male child Sept 13 who has good health."
    Elizabeth's Certificate of Freedom
    Elizabeth's Death Certificate

    BELLONA: sailed 8 August 1792 from Gravesend . Arrived 16 Jan 1793 . {took 163 days) With 17 Females aboard.

    Notes on ship: Bellona

    BUILT: 1782 Thames
    TONS: 472
    ARRIVED: 16 01 1793 NSW
    DEPARTED: 08 08 1792 Gravesend
    DAYS: 163
    ARRIVED: 17(f)
    MASTER: Matthew Boyd
    SURGEON: Richard Clarke

    The Following extracts are from the Library of Australia 1993 publication 'The Second Fleet - Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790' by Michael Flynn, Settlers and Convicts of the Bellona 1793 - a Biographical Dictionary compiled by Megan Martin for the Bellona Muster Committee 1793 - 1993 and published in 1992' and Notes prepared by Jane Ireland and Lorna Spackman for the Baylis Family Reunion held in Windsor Feb 1991.

    Elizabeth, more usually known as Betty Thomas, was the daughter of John Thomas and Susannah Rowden, baptised at Stoke Damerel in Devon on 7 January 1771. On 22 August 1791, at the age of 20, with a Mary Thomas they were convicted at the Exeter Assizes (H.O.11/1) for receiving stolen goods from Mary O' Brian and Robert Rowland. She and Mary were sentenced to 14 years transportation and were initially transferred to the hulk 'Dunkirk' in Plymouth Harbour which was the only hulk to house female prisoners awaiting transportation and which was abandoned for this purpose by 1792. Both Elizabeth and Mary were listed to be transported on the 'Royal Admiral' which sailed in May 1792. Instead Elizabeth and Mary embarked on the 'Bellona' from Newgate on 28 July 1792 with 15 other female convicts and one child (PRO 3554).
    The Bellona finally sailed from Gravesend on 8 Aug 1792. Elizabeth was 7 months pregnant and in indifferent health until 'delivered of a male child' at sea late in the night of 13 September. The ship's log records Joseph's birth and that 'he was frail but stable' with the baby's survival attributable to the fact that a 'Doctor' was on board. Both Betty and the child were in good health by the time the ship reached Rio a month later, (he was 6 weeks old) although the child had 'weak eyes'.
    They arrived in Botany Bay 163 days later on 15 Jan 1793. The ship was under the command of Matthew Boyd with Richard Clarke the Surgeon. Because the Bellona was heavily laden and had met consistently bad weather during her passage, a high percentage of her freight was found to be damaged. Major Grose ordered a strict survey to be made of the cargo as it was unloaded. The survey of the cargo was completed on 6 Feb 1793. It was found there was shortages of flour, pork, rum, wine and molasses. Some duck and brown cloth and hammocks and rugs were rotten. She was discharges from public service and on the 19 Feb sailed from Canton. The Bellona was built in London in 1792 and grossed 472 tons.
    Her son was baptised Joseph Thomas on Christmas Day 1794 in Sydney, together with another son born to Betty on 10 November 1794. This second child, William, was the son of Richard Minifie transported on the 'William & Ann' in 1791.
    Betty received her Certificate of Emancipation on 7 February 1811 6 years after she was entitled to obtain it.
    The information in respect of the hulk 'Dunkirk' was taken from page 165 of the book 'Explore your Family's Past' published by Reader's Digest in 2000.

    According to Thelma Freeman who is well known in VIC for her Baylis research, Elizabeth Baylis, ne้ Thomas, died in Richmond, NSW, and was buried at St. Peters Church of England, Parish of Richmond, in the County of Cumberland although the grave is now unmarked. (ref. St. Peters Richmond - The Early People and Burials, 1791-1855 by Y. Browning).

    A copy of the Certificate of Burial # 1915 Vol. 16 is held and spells her name with the double 's', her abode was Richmond and her age at time of death 60 years. Her ship of arrival is named as the 'Bellona'. The Burial Ceremony was performed by the Rev. Joseph Docker.

    The Parish of Richmond C of E Register of Burials sighted records the above details on Page 7 # 220 and in addition states that she was 'married' although a formal record of her marriage has not been found.

    Father: John Thomas b: BET. 1690 - 1744
    Mother: Susanna Sarah Rowden b: BET. 1710 - 1744

    Marriage 1 John Bayliss b: 20 SEP 1767 in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England c: 27 SEP 1767 in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England
    • Note:

      SOURCE: Len Brown:

      By 1796 Betty with 2 sons, Joseph Thomas and William Thomas, was assigned to John Baylis, (qv) a former nailor from Kingswinford, a soldier in the New South Wales Corps. Their first child, John Thomas, was born on 10 June 1797 and baptized on 13 August, together with William, second son of James Morris and Elizabeth Watts. Another son, Edward, was born in February 1800. Betty's 2 sons prior to her assignment to John were eventually 'adopted' by him and took his family name.

      Sergeant John Baylis was discharged from the Corps in 1803 and granted 200 acres of land on the lower Nepean, between today's Agnes Banks and Castlereagh. By 1806 he and Betty were well established on this farm with 21 acres in wheat, 5 in maize, 2 in barley and a garden and orchard. John also had a horse, some cattle and a number of sheep and pigs. They had lost 300 bushels of grains in the great floods of March 1806 but the farm was doing well enough to support John and Betty, 5 children and 2 assigned convicts(John Barrington per Statton and Thomas Pivett). A third convict (Andrew Simmonds per Coramandel) was victualled from the government stores.

      The floods of 1809 caused more damage and forced John to offer his horse, cart and harness for sale. In Mar 1809 records show produce received from John at Hawkesbury Stores. In 1811 his wheat crop was advertised for sale to meet his debts and in the same year he appears in records as purchasing goods at auction by John Howe at Windsor, sold for the Executors to the Estate of the late Andrew Thompson, as well as goods sold by Messrs. Campbell and Company.

      Despite difficulties, John and Betty and their family seemed well settled at Castlereagh. Betty received her Certificate of Emancipation on 7 Feb 1811 # 216/715 (pages 546/7); she should have claimed it in 1805 at the expiation of her sentence. Prior to Feb 1811 she was usually referred to as Elizabeth Thomas but after that date she was referred to as Mrs. John Bayliss on all documents perused by Thelma Freeman of Toorak.

      In 1810 Lt.-Col. Lachlan Macquarie (Governor Jan. 1810 - Dec. 1821), appalled at the casual attitude to marriage decreed that all persons living in relationships should be legally married as soon as possible. As a result of this proclamation St Philips Church of England, Sydney was booked out for two years for marriage ceremonies. Mrs. Freeman has (as have I) searched the St Philips marriage records to no avail, but Mrs. Freeman has a strong belief that the marriage was early in 1811 possibly as a prelude to Elizabeth claiming her Certificate of Emancipation. In her death certificate she is described as 'married'.

      John and eldest son Joseph, known as Joseph Thomas Baylis, each subscribed 2 pounds towards the Castlereagh School Fund in June 1814 and in the following year Betty's second son, William. also known as Baylis, was granted 40 acres further along the Castlereagh road.

      Governor Macquarie, however, toured the district in October 1815 and was not impressed. He rode from Baylis' farm, the northernmost one of the district to the farms along the eastern bank of the Nepean River and was 'truly concerned to observe that the settlers have not made the smallest improvement on their farms' since he had first visited them in November 1810. No fences, nor enclosures, nor gardens had been made, 'no new houses built or old ones repaired, and the settlers themselves living in the same poverty and sloth as they did then.' (Lachlan Macquarie - Journal of, NSW, and Van Diemans Land)

      In 1817 John Baylis mortgaged William's grant to Elizabeth Powell's companion, Anthony Best of the Halfway House on the Prenatal Road. He also took a mortgage on part of his own farm and in the following year mortgaged the farm adjoining his to the north which he bought in 1815 and which his stepson Joseph was farming. By 1822 John had sold his land and moved with Elizabeth to Richmond where he resumed his trade as a nailor. Living on a farm was not John's life, so he had obtained two blocks of land in the town of Richmond, both in March Street, one on the corner of East Market Street. The 1827 White Survey shows that he had three houses or buildings on these two blocks, but it is uncertain if he had these built or if they were on the land when he moved onto it, and it is not known in which of these three houses he and his family lived.

      Elizabeth's sons also left the Nepean. In 1828 Joseph was a sawyer at Richmond, William was farming at Cornwallis, and John and Edward were at Patricks Plains ( Singleton) where Edward was a blacksmith.

      The 1806 Female Muster shows that Elizabeth Thomas with John Baylis in the Nepean area and five children, 4 males and 1 female 'natural children' - nothing is known of the female child. The 1814 Muster shows John Baylis, 'came on Active, and Landholder, came a soldier.' Elizabeth Thomas, Bellona and wife to J. Baylis Snr., and five children. John Barrington (Glatton) was working for J. Baylis. In the 1816 Muster Elizabeth is described as 'wife to Mr. Baylis'. The Muster of 1823 just shows that John Baylis 'came free' on the 'Active' and was a Nailor at Windsor and in 1825 shows that he was a landholder at Richmond. The 1828 Census shows John Baylis aged 60, CF, 'Active', 1791 Protestant, Nailor and living in Richmond. It also mentions Elizabeth Baylis aged 57, FS, on Batavia (sic) in 1793 for 7 years (sic).

      In 1819 the Rev. Fulton named him as a Juror for the area and in this capacity sat on the 3 inquests in 1822 into the deaths of firstly William Sullivan, secondly Fanny Pantomy and thirdly James Jackson. On 24 Dec 1820 he appears on Stores receipts for supplying pork.

      His stepson, Joseph Baylis died in December 1828 leaving a widow and 2 sons. Betty's other sons were also married with children when she died at Richmond on 29 August 1832. She was buried in the cemetery of St Peter's Richmond with her son Joseph. Her fellow Bellona transportee, Mary Randall, had been laid to rest there 2 months earlier. John Baylis was buried with Betty 3 years later. It has never been verified that Elizabeth and John actually married some descendants are sure it did occur. Others thought that because Elizabeth was sent as a convict to work for John it was something less sincere. John had her buried as Elizabeth Bayliss when she died some three years before him and his step children also took on the name Bayliss, which may suggest that they did get married.
    1. Has Children John Thomas Bayliss b: 10 JUN 1797 in Sydney Cove, NSW, Australia c: 13 AUG 1797 in Sydney Cove, NSW, Australia
    2. Has Children Edward Thomas Bayliss b: 5 FEB 1800 in Richmond, NSW, Australia c: 1 JUN 1800 in St Phillips Anglican, Sydney
    3. Has No Children Female Bayliss b: AFT. 1800

    Marriage 2 Spouse Unknown
      1. Has Children Joseph Thomas b: 12 SEP 1792 in At Sea " Bellona " c: 25 DEC 1794 in St Philips Church of England, Sydney, NSW, Australia

      Marriage 3 Richard Minaphy b: BET. 1721 - 1778
      • Married: BEF. 1794
      • Marriage Beginning Status: Friends
      1. Has Children William Thomas Bayliss b: 10 NOV 1794 in Sydney Cove, NSW, Australia c: 25 DEC 1794 in St Philips Church of England, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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