Thomas Eather (Heather) (1764 - 1827)

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Thomas Heather/Eather's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Bexley, Kent, UK
Death: Died in Windsor, NSW, Australia
Occupation: Convict (Highwayman), Convict arrived on the Neptune june 28 1790 in Sydney nsw
Managed by: Lorraine Helen Green
Last Updated:

About Thomas Eather (Heather)

Note:

Thomas Heather was illiterate and apparently the 'H' of Heather was dropped in use. The result was that he and his nephew were both recorded as 'Eather' for their convict records and the name stuck for each.

EMIG 1 Dec 1790 to Sydney, NSW Australia

from ENGLAND on "Neptune"

Despite being born elsewhere, Thomas Heather (soon to become Eather) found employment at Chislehurst, Kent where many of ancestors came from. In October 1787 he was arrested on a charge of having robbed one George Cotton of a silver watch and 50/-. He was convicted on 17 March 1788 and sentenced to be hung. On 18 April 1788, his sentence was commuted to 14 years transportation.

He was held in the hulks and in early 1790 he was shipped on the transport 'Neptune'. This trip of the Neptune is consistently cited as the worst case of convict transportation with numerous deaths and hardship.

From a website -

THOMAS HEATHER, OUR CONVICT ANCESTOR Our ancestors Robert Heather (1710-1780) and his wife, Elizabeth were living in Bexley in Kent when their youngest son Thomas Heather (1764-1827) was born. Thomas had no formal schooling and went through life unable to sign his own name. At the age of 23 years Thomas Heather was working as a labourer at Chislehurst when he was arrested and charged for robbery. Found guilty, he was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to a 14yr sentence. After a year in prison Thomas was moved to the hulks and on 19 January 1790 he sailed from England with the second fleet on the "Neptune". The ship arrived at Sydney Cove on 28 June 1790. The conditions under which the Second Fleet sailed were different from those of the First Fleet. Of the 520 convicts that embarked the Neptune 31% died. Merchants were contracted per convict, the more deaths amongst the convicts en route, meant more surplus food left for sale at the ports visited. The following year Elizabeth Lee (1773-1860), an 18 year old Lancashire lass arrived on the "Mary Ann". She had worked in England as either a domestic servant or a shop assistant and pleaded guilty for stealing from her employer a grey cloak valued at six pence. Elizabeth was sentenced to "be sent and transported to some part beyond the seas for a space of 7 years". The ship, 'Mary Ann' left England on 16 February 1791 and arrived at Port Jackson 9 July 1791. It was the fastest voyage out by a convict ship up to that date, only 9 convicts dying on the way.

Thomas and Elizabeth Heather married within a few months of her arrival in the colony and they had 8 children. Land was granted to Thomas on 1 June 1797. He still had five years of his sentence to complete, but Elizabeth had recently completed her sentence. Thomas was granted a thirty-acre farm named "Eather Farm" situated at Windsor on the Hawkesbury River in NSW. The conditions of the grant were: that he should live on the land for five years; that the land would be free from all taxes for ten years; and that he was to make improvements and cultivate the land deemed fit for naval purposes. They fulfilled these requirements and, in 1803, they sold the farm for eighty-nine pounds.

In 1802, Thomas was granted his ticket-of-leave; then, in 1820, he sought another grant of land and was granted fifty acres. Thomas was living in Windsor as a store keeper during his last years before he died, aged 63 years. Elizabeth passed away in Richmond at the age of 88 years. All of her children lived to at least eighty years of age. She left 157 descendants.

view all 21

Thomas Heather/Eather's Timeline

1764
July 15, 1764
Bexley, Kent, UK

Children
Robert HEATHER b: 11 Aug 1758 in Rainham, Essex, England c: 20 Aug 1758 in Rainham, Essex, England
Thomas HEATHER b: 15 Jul 1764 in Bexley, Kent, England c: 29 Jul 1764 in Bexley, Kent, England
Ann HEATHER c: 12 Jun 1768 in Bexley, Kent, England
Margaret HEATHER b: 1771 c: 4 Aug 1771 in St Paul's Cray, Kent, England
Thomas HEATHER b: ABT 1735 in Kent, England

July 29, 1764
Bexley, Kent, England
1788
1788
Age 23

Event: death, for highway robbery, stealing a silver watch worth 40s. and 50s. in cash Convict 1a Tried 17 Mar 1788 Maidstone Assizes, Kent, England, UK
Event: 14 years Convict 1b Tried Apr 1788 Maidstone Assizes, Kent, England, UK

1790
January 19, 1790
Age 25
Portsmouth, Gloucestershire, England
June 28, 1790
Age 25
Port Jackson, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
June 28, 1790
Age 25
Sydney Australia - 'Neptune'
1791
1791
Age 26
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
1793
April 18, 1793
Age 28
Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
1795
April 29, 1795
Age 30
Parramatta, New South Wales ,Australia
1797
June 5, 1797
Age 32
Rickabys Creek