Thomas Freeman: Minding the Store

By David Morgan

Supported by a Create NSW Arts and Cultural Grant – Old Parramattans & St. John’s First Fleeters


I shall forbear to trouble you with a recital of [my] miserable and distressed situation, wanting every necessary, and, from having no appointment, deprived of procuring a single pound of sugar.

— Thomas Freeman[1]

The Captain’s Clerk

The signal comes from the lead ship in the convoy: ‘Enemy in sight.’ Standing on the quarterdeck of the Royal Navy ship as it opens fire are the captain, the first lieutenant, the master — and the captain’s clerk. What is the clerk doing there? Certainly, running a ship requires a considerable amount of paperwork; part of his job is to prepare the documents the captain has to present to the Admiralty at the end of a voyage and also to copy out his correspondence. But as well as doing the captain’s clerical work, it is the clerk’s job to stand by on the quarterdeck if the ship goes into combat, taking notes on the action while remaining cool under fire.[2]

Whether or not Thomas Freeman, captain’s clerk on HMS Sirius, ever saw action, he definitely found himself in situations on land in New South Wales and on Norfolk Island that exposed him to privation, conflict and chaos. For several years after 1788, the colonies were still unable to grow enough food to support themselves, and as a storeman he was responsible for safeguarding and distributing the supplies on which the colonists depended. He would find himself on the front line dealing with people who had been transported unwillingly to an alien environment and were living in constant fear of starvation. In doing so, he proved himself to be a steady man on whom the Governor could rely.

There are few details about Freeman’s early life. When he first appears in the historical record in 1786 as an able seaman on the third-rate, 74-gun ship HMS Ganges, he was already about 44 years old.[3] Having been discharged from the Ganges by order of Admiral Hood, he joined HMS Sirius as the captain’s clerk on 25 October 1786.[4] This was a major promotion for Freeman. A captain’s clerk was the only clerical worker recognised by the Naval Regulations and had quite high status; the role came with an office on the quarterdeck or upper deck on most ships and remuneration equal to that of a higher-ranking Midshipman (officer in training) or a Master-at-Arms (senior non-commissioned officer).[5] Naval Regulations required a purser to serve some time as a captain’s clerk, so clerks were often men working their way up to higher rank.[6]

Freeman was aboard HMS Sirius, the flagship of the First Fleet, when it left England on 13 May 1787 under the command of Captain John Hunter and carrying Governor-designate Arthur Phillip. The Sirius arrived at Botany Bay on 20 January 1788 but, within days, this location proved unsuitable for settlement, so Port Jackson was chosen instead. Freeman arrived there with the rest of the fleet on 26 January.[7]

Deputy Commissary at Port Jackson

With the First Fleet at anchor in Port Jackson, a campsite needed to be set up on shore and stores taken off the ships so the vessels could be returned to naval service. Home Secretary Lord Sydney’s original 1786 plan had anticipated the amount of stores the fleet would need, which included not only food but clothing and the tools needed for building and farming. There would be ‘provisions equal to two years’ consumption…issued from time to time, according to the discretion of the superintendent, in the expenditure of which he will, of course, be guided by the proportion of food which the country and the labour of the new settlers may produce.’[8] Erecting a stores tent that was secure from theft and the elements was, therefore, a high priority task on arrival. The responsibility for this task fell to Commissary Andrew Miller but, as this proved to be more than a one-man job, Freeman came ashore on 1 February 1788 from the Sirius to (unofficially) take up the post of Deputy Commissary.[9] The length of time it would take for confirmation to come from London meant that he was taking on the responsibility of the role without the security of knowing he was to be paid for his work.

First Fleet convict woman, Ann Smith, Surgeon Arthur Bowes Smyth, Journal, Voyage to Botany Bay, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, St John's First Fleeters
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Arthur Bowes Smyth’s sketch of a First Fleet female on the Lady Penrhyn (1788), likely a convict woman and possibly Ann Smith specifically. Smith gave Commissary Miller and Deputy Commissary Freeman trouble and was mentioned on the same page the sketch appears as disappearing from camp ‘as she had often declared She w[oul]d,’ a week or so after landing. Entry dated 14 February 1788 in Arthur Bowes Smyth, A Voyage to Botany Bay, 1787, By ABS, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, (1787), n.p. Courtesy of National Library of Australia.
The Commissary and his Deputy had to face all the usual duties of storekeeping in very trying circumstances, since the troublesome convict population was almost totally dependent on the stores they managed. Problems soon arose for Miller and Freeman when tools, which were issued daily and returned each evening, were lost, stolen or deliberately concealed from the storekeeper, chiefly because of the convicts’ unwillingness to work.[10] As early as 5 February 1788, too, Miller and Freeman had a difficult ‘customer’ when they went on board the Lady Penhryn with Mr. Shortland the Navy Agent to issue ‘Slops of every kind’ to all the women and children ‘previous to their landing’ the next day.[11] Ann Smith was ‘an old offender’ who had been repeatedly tried at the Old Bailey before finally being transported for petty larceny, and ‘always behaved amis during the Voyage [sic].’[12] So, when Commissary Miller presented her with the slops and noted ‘the very indifferent Character she bore & how little she merited’ this clothing and bedding made from coarse cloth, which was usually issued to sailors, Ann ‘throw’d ‘em down on the deck & wd. not have anything [sic].’[13] Ten days later Ann Smith ‘eloped from the Camp, as she often, when on board, declared she wd. as soon as she was landed.’[14] She was never seen again. Judge Advocate David Collins noted nine convicts had escaped and attempted to join La Pérouse’s ill-fated ships L’Astrolabe and La Boussole, which had arrived off Botany Bay on 24 January, sailed on 10 March, and would also disappear.[15] However, William Bradley recorded that on 12 February a Sirius boat had noticed ‘4 Convict Women straggling about the Rocks one of whom made her escape into the Woods and no doubt perish’d.’[16] It was not until December 1789 that a piece of linen, ‘said to have formed part of a petticoat which belonged to Anne Smith [sic]’ was discovered near Rose Hill.[17] Given the choice between living ‘on the stores’ at Sydney Cove under convict discipline and almost certain death in the bush, she chose the latter.[18] Of those who did stay, there were some who would not wait for what Freeman and Miller would issue to them. On 27 February 1788 Thomas Barrett, ‘a most vile Character,’ was executed ‘for stealing bread, pork &ca. &ca’ from the public store, a crime Collins described as ‘in its tendency big with evil to our little community…rendered still more atrocious by being perpetrated at the very time when the difference of provisions, which had till then existed, was taken off, and the convict saw the same proportion of provision issued to himself that was served to the soldier and the officer.’[19]

The Barrett episode would have made Freeman, Miller and the colonial authorities keenly aware of the important role the storekeepers played in preventing the colony descending into what Bowes Smyth claimed was already ‘a scene of Anarchy & Confusion.’[20] After all, a completed, fully secure storehouse likely would have prevented Barrett’s crime and subsequent execution. Any further delays in fulfilling their duty as storekeepers would have undoubtedly come at the cost of even more lives. Nevertheless, while a ‘covered in’ new storehouse was fit to serve as a makeshift space for divine worship by April 1788, it was still ‘not sufficiently completed’ to admit the earthly goods that would physically sustain the colonists.[21] Moreover, there were threats to the stability of the one hundred feet by twenty five feet (30.48m x 7.62m) structure. Though it was ‘constructed with great strength,’ Collins was ‘pained’ to note its ‘reedy combustible covering’ given the ‘livid flames that had been seen to shoot over every part of this cove.’[22] Whether these flames were the result of Aboriginal fire practices or convicts setting fires—convicts, including John Martin, would suffer flogging for lighting a fire in their hut to keep warm that winter—the authorities were clearly concerned about this threat to the stores. Within a month, the large store-house was completed, ‘a road [was] made to it from the wharf on the west side [of Sydney Cove], the provisions were directed to be landed from the victuallers, and proper gangs of convicts placed to roll them to the store.’[23] The storekeepers finally had a secure place to house the items that were so vital to the colony’s survival.

Map of Settlement at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales, 1788, Francis Fowkes, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, St. John's First Fleeters, First Fleet
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. ‘Provision Store Houses’ are marked ‘F’ on western (upper) side of Sydney Cove. ‘Store House for Bale Goods’ is marked ‘R’ and ‘T’ and the ‘Commissary’s Marquee’ is marked ‘S’ on lower (eastern) side near wharf. Francis Fowkes and Samuel John Neele, Sketch & description of the settlement at Sydney Cove Port Jackson in the County of Cumberland taken by a transported convict on the 16th of April, 1788, which was not quite 3 months after Commodore Phillips’s landing there [sic], (London: Published by R. Cribb, No. 288 High Holborn, 24 July 1789). MAP NK 276. Courtesy of National Library of Australia.
It is hardly surprising, then, that when Governor Phillip wrote to Lord Sydney about the progress being made in the colony on 16 May 1788, he singled out Freeman as one of the key people he was relying on:

Two people, who are farmers [Henry Edward Dodd and William Broughton], and the clerk of the Sirius [Freeman], are employed in cultivating ground, and in the store, as likewise a smith [Walter Brodie] that superintends the convict smiths. As the granting these people any land would at present draw their attention from the public service, I have promised that their situation should be presented to your Lordship.[24]

Britain was setting up a new society in New South Wales, one which had to become self-supporting. This required land to be occupied and worked. Given that granting land to emancipists (freed convicts), free settlers and military officers would therefore soon become routine, the fact these men could not be spared to receive grants shows how indispensable they were to Governor Phillip. The Governor was in a race against time, as the stores were limited and resupply was uncertain. Food could be locally grown, making Dodd and Broughton’s work urgent, but in the meantime he was depending on Brodie to maintain the tools and Freeman to protect the stores from theft and the elements.

‘…miserable and distressed situation…’

Freeman was to spend the next two years in Sydney, during which he would see both the colony and his own career put in dire peril. In response, he showed himself to be a man of great initiative.

Though still officially an officer on the Sirius, Freeman stayed in Sydney as storeman when it sailed for the Cape of Good Hope in October 1788 to pick up more food for the colony, a voyage that took over seven months.[25] Disaster was to follow. Having sailed with HMS Supply for Norfolk Island on 6 March 1790, the Sirius was wrecked on the reef while landing provisions there, leaving its crew stranded on the island for almost a year.[26] David Collins wrote of the ‘general melancholy’ in Sydney when the Supply returned alone with this ‘unwelcome intelligence’ on 5 April and stated that ‘when the Supply came to an anchor in the cove every one looked up to her as to their only remaining hope.’[27]

HMS Sirius (1788), Melancholy loss of the Sirius, Norfolk Island, First Fleet, St. John's Cemetery Project, Old Parramattans, First Fleeters, St. John's First Fleeters, Parramatta
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. George Raper, The melancholy loss of H.M.S Sirius off Norfolk Island March 19th 1790, (1790), PIC MSR 14/1/5 #PIC/3312/1. Courtesy of National Library of Australia.

Freeman, too, was now ‘stranded’: an officer without a ship and a colonist without land in a colony that appeared to be on the brink of starvation. He did not suffer in silence. Encouraged by Governor Phillip, he lost no time in writing directly to Evan Nepean, Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, seeking a new appointment. His disappointment and desperation—clearly shared by the whole colony—are apparent:

On account of the unfortunate loss of his Majesty’s ship Sirius on Norfolk Island, and from the melancholy prospects and situation of this colony, Governor Phillip is under the necessity of dispatching his Majesty’s armed brig Supply to Batavia, by which opportunity I have the honor of acquainting you I am well, and that his Excellency desires me to say he is in hopes by this time that some appointment is fixed on for me from my first landing. I am present under Mr [John] Palmer, late purser of his majesty’s ship Sirius, appointed Commissary (until his Majesty’s  pleasure is known) in the room of Mr. Miller, who resigns on account of his poor state of health, and comes home from Batavia with Lieutenant King, who is charged with his Excellency’s dispatches. I shall forbear to trouble you with a recital of [my] miserable and distressed situation, wanting every necessary, and, from having no appointment, deprived of procuring a single pound of sugar.

I have, &c.,

THOS. FREEMAN[28]

In July, Governor Phillip acted, writing to Home Secretary William Grenville on 14 July 1790 that he was sending Freeman to Norfolk Island as Deputy Commissary of Stores and Provisions, and asking for pay commensurate with his position.[29] His service was being recognised and rewarded. But on Norfolk Island, Freeman would face even greater challenges, because if Port Jackson was small and isolated, his destination would prove to be even more so.

Norfolk Island: ‘an exact emblem of the infernal regions’

The founding of a settlement on Norfolk Island as well as at Botany Bay had been part of King George III’s instructions to Governor Phillip in 1787. Motives for establishing the Norfolk Island settlement included harvesting the flax plant growing abundantly on the island, which could be made into cloth ‘not only…for the convicts and other persons who may become settlers, but from its superior excellence for a variety of maritime purposes, and as it may ultimately become an article of export.’[30] Another reason was the need to prevent the island being occupied by ‘any other European power’[31] — a reference to France’s apparent ambitions in the Pacific, as evidenced by La Perouse’s voyage.[32] The fact that the island was well watered and had fertile soil also made it attractive, as it was assumed a settlement there could grow food and quickly become self-supporting and, even more optimistically, would supply the mainland with produce.[33] Thus, a party from HMS Supply under Lieutenant Philip Gidley King had landed there on 4 March 1788, little more than a month after the First Fleet’s arrival at Sydney Cove.[34]

On 1 August 1790 Freeman left for Norfolk Island on the Second Fleet convict ship Surprize to take up his post as Deputy Commissary.[35] Collins noted Freeman was aboard the ship along with thirty-five male and one hundred and fifty female convicts as well as ‘a person of the name of Wentworth, who, being desirous of some employment in this country, was now sent to Norfolk Island to act as an assistant to the surgeon there, being reputed to have the necessary requisites for such a situation.’[36] This was D’Arcy Wentworth, travelling with his convict ‘sea wife’ Catherine Crowley and, by the journey’s end, their newborn son William Charles, who would go on to become a prominent explorer, author, barrister, landowner, and statesman.[37]

The Surprize and the Justinian arrived at Norfolk Island on 7 August 1790 and let down their anchors off Cascade Bay. Norfolk Island had no harbour, so provisions could only be unloaded by boat while the weather was calm, and it was not until 17 August that an attempt was made to land people. Marine Lieutenant Ralph Clark, who was already on the island, saw what happened to a boat carrying six female convicts and a child to shore: ‘Just as the Boat was coming into the passage a Surf Struck the Boat and nearly filld her as well as forced the Boat on the Reef — the next Sea that came Struck the Boat again and She parted in the middle when every body in the Boat was floating about in the Surf in the Sight of near five hundred people within a few Yeards of us and we could give them very little assistance the Tide running too Strong.’[38] Two seamen, three female convicts and a child were drowned, as was a male convict who attempted to go from shore to assist them. ‘[It] was a Shocking Sight to See So manny of our fellow creatures Strugling for life and we only able to give them very little Assistance and that little at the Risk of our own lives[.]’[39] Freeman had arrived on a small, nearly inaccessible island that was even more of a ‘natural prison’ than New South Wales. The drownings as well as the earlier wrecking of the Sirius likely weighed heavily on his mind. It had only been during an earlier lull in the weather on 8 August that Clark had been able to go out to the ships in a small boat and return with letters, one of which informed him that, ‘The Governor has been pleased to appoint Mr. Freeman to be Depute Commissary for Norfolk Island — as Such he Supperceeds me as Keeper of the Public Stores and Majr. Ross has order him to be obeyd a Such and immediatly to take into his charge all the Stores & Provisions [sic].’[40]

George Raper, The Settlement of Norfolk Island, May 1790, St. John's Cemetery Project, St. John's First Fleeters, Old Parramattans
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. View of Norfolk Island after the wreck of the H.M.S. Sirius when the settlement were at 1/4 allowance. George Raper, The Settlement on Norfolk Island, May 16th 1790. SV8/Norf I/4 / FL541331. Courtesy of State Library of New South Wales.

Freeman would remain on Norfolk Island for the next two years where, in addition to the difficulties of safely landing either people or provisions, he faced the same problems that had confronted him on the mainland: limited supplies and an unwilling convict work force. Settling down to his duties, Freeman was assigned a servant: John Gerwalt (a.k.a. Gervalt, Gewalt, Gualt), a Second Fleet convict serving a life sentence.[41] Gerwalt was a Swede, aged nineteen when he was convicted at the Old Bailey on 13 December 1786 for stealing ninety pounds in banknotes and more than fourteen pounds in coins, and sentenced to death.[42] The sentence was commuted ‘on account of his apparent sorrow’ as well as his being well behaved and knowing no one in England.[43] But by the time he reached Norfolk Island, after more than four years in the convict system, his behaviour had deteriorated and Freeman had to deal with the result. On 5 March 1791, Clark recorded that Gerwalt got into trouble over a series of thefts from the store, together with James Strong, a First Fleeter:

a  nother attemp[t] made on the Store last night but from the Vigilance of  the  Sentinal the[y] were prevented from breaking in —— the[y] got of but left three Flour bags behind —— all the people were musterd and order to look at the Bags to See if they know them when two of the women [who] owned them Said that they had lent them to Gualt Mr. Freemans Servant when Majr. Ross order him in irons when Soon after he confessed that the[y] had been lent to him which he at first denied and Said that Strong a nother Convict that works in Mr. Freemans Guardian [garden] had borowed them from him Yesterday morning and that he was the person who had attemped to break open the Store last night and last Saterday night when Strong was also order into Irons —— there attempting to break the Store will not hang them but I hope Majr. Ross will give them a hearty  floggen —— ther was Some body else but the[y] will not inform who the[y] were [sic].[44]

Two days later, Gerwalt and Strong were both given one hundred lashes: ‘when there backs are well,’ wrote Clark, ‘the[y] are each to Receive two hundred lashes more one hundred at Charlotte Field and the other at Cascady [sic].’[45] Gerwalt received seventy lashes at Cascade on 4 April 1791, was put in irons for robbing Freeman on 17 July, and on 11 September was brought into the main settlement after having escaped.[46] Within a year, Gerwalt was dead.[47] Clark’s diary records a long series of floggings and placing in irons of both male and female convicts for insolence and theft from Freeman’s stores right up until Clark’s departure from Norfolk Island. By contrast, the settlement was also beginning to flourish. On 6 November 1791, for example, Chaplain Richard Johnson, recently arrived from the mainland, baptised thirty-one children.[48]

At this time, when Lieutenant Governor King returned to Norfolk Island from England, he was unhappy with what he found. Under the command of Major Robert Ross of the Marines, there was ‘discord and strife in every person’s countenance, and in every corner and hole of the island, which you may easily conceive would render this an exact emblem of the infernal regions.’[49]  While ‘the crops, both publick and private, w[ore] a most promising aspect,’ there was also ‘a general murmuring and discontent at Major Ross’s conduct [which] assailed [King] from every description of people on the Island.’[50] King received ‘a representation signed by 158 convicts’ alleging ‘the impossibility of their being able to maintain themselves within the prescribed time, viz., to be clear of the publick store in March, ’92.’ King acknowledged that ‘Major Ross’s ideas in setting that plan on foot was the most laudable, and an end much to be wished for’ but, based on his own observations and understanding he judged it was, indeed, inconceivable that ‘more than twenty men at the farthest c[ould] possibly maintain themselves for three months independent of the stores.’[51] There was also the problem of ‘the loss of a very material book of the accounts,’ which would have made Freeman’s job in keeping track of the stores and detecting any thefts even more difficult. King abandoned Ross’s plan.[52] By September 1792, the population on Norfolk Island was 1,115. Freeman was responsible for maintaining 812 of these people from the store as they ‘d[id] nothing towards maintaining themselves,’ according to a letter King wrote to Governor Phillip.[53] King further stated that he had shared this information ‘to give your Excellency an idea of the small progress we have made since being on a reduced ration,’ adding there had been robberies ‘of so daring a nature’ that ‘examples’ would have to be made.[54]

In the meantime, news of Freeman’s ‘miserable and distressed situation’ reached London—albeit after a very long delay caused by the time it took for Governor Phillip’s letter of July 1790 requesting Freeman’s official appointment and remuneration to be delivered to the Home Office. Freeman had already been Deputy Commissary at Port Jackson for two and a half years and Deputy Commissary on Norfolk Island for seventeen months when Home Secretary Henry Dundas replied to Governor Phillip on 10 January 1792:

It was understood here that the principal duty under the Commissary had been executed by Mr. Zachy Clarke, and under that idea, the appointment of Deputy-Commissary of Stores and Provisions on Norfolk Island has lately been given to him; but as Mr. Freeman’s services appear to be equally necessary in the same capacity in New South Wales, the Lords of the Treasury have consented that he shall have a similar allowance for his services there from the time he was first employed.[55]

Almost another nine months would pass before this intelligence reached the colony. Upon receiving it, Governor Phillip confirmed in his reply, dated 2 October 1792, that Mr. Z. Clarke would relieve Freeman as Deputy Commissary of Stores and Provisions on Norfolk Island and Freeman would return to the mainland to resume his former role as Deputy Commissary at Port Jackson.

Return to Port Jackson

Governor Phillip knew how lucky he was to have had men ‘on whom some dependance can be placed [sic]’ serving him as commissaries in the earliest days of a colony comprised of thieving convicts. Apart from the convicts’ propensity to steal the supplies, it was common for commissaries to succumb to the temptations of the store themselves, as Phillip well knew. Yet Andrew Miller was, according to Phillip, ‘so unlike the Commissary’ in this respect ‘he has lost his health, and in three years has never made three shillings…He has for three years discharged the trust reposed in him with the strictest honor and no profit, for you know his pay was only ten shillings a day.’[56] Now Freeman, too, had proven himself to the Governor as a man on whom ‘dependance’ could be placed. Phillip showed his gratitude by pressing the Home Office to appoint additional Commissary roles for each of the settlements with adequate remuneration for them, declaring that, given ‘the description of people who form this colony,’ the ‘expence attending these appointments is, I am sorry to say, very trifling when compared with what has been hitherto lost from the public stores [sic].’[57] The Home Office agreed, as a letter from Permanent Under-Secretary John King in Whitehall on 3 April 1793 confirmed: Freeman’s annual pay was set at £91/5/0, and ‘Arrears of Salary’ since July 1790 gave him an extra £90.[58]

While Freeman’s personal financial distress was nearing an end, though, Port Jackson Commissary John Palmer’s finances remained seriously ‘deranged’ — he too had been a victim of the fallout of the wrecking of the Sirius three years earlier. Palmer’s misfortune, however, presented Freeman with another opportunity to receive a promotion. Palmer was seeking leave to return home to ‘settle his accounts,’ which, he argued, could not ‘easily be done should the leave of absence…be refused him.’[59] As Phillip had left for England on 10 December 1792, it was Lieutenant Governor Francis Grose who wrote to Dundas on 31 May 1793 that ‘it would be [an] injustice not to state [to] you that the deputy is a person very capable of doing the business of commissary in [Palmer’s] absence. Should Mr. Palmer be gratified in this request, Mr. Freeman, the deputy, has consented to do his duty.’[60] Palmer was finally able to leave for England in 1796.[61]

Thomas Freeman, First Fleet, Deputy Commissary, Under Commissary, St. John's Cemetery Project, St. John's Cemetery Parramatta, Old Parramattans, St John's First Fleeters
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. The grave of First Fleet Deputy Commissary Thomas Freeman in Section 4 Row J No. 2 at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. CC-BY-4.0. Photo: Michaela Ann Cameron (2019).

Freeman, however, did not live to take over the Commissary’s role. It is not clear when he returned from Norfolk Island, or why he was at Parramatta when he died on 25 October 1794, but there would have been work for a commissary there as well as at Sydney because, as Grose noted in February 1793, the colony was still on a ‘reduced ration’ five years after it had been established.[62] While we do not know many details of Freeman’s final years, he was important enough for Collins to record his passing: ‘He was in his fifty-third year, and in this country ended a life the greater part of which had been actively and usefully employed in the king’s service. His remains were interred in the burial-ground at Parramatta’ [St. John’s Cemetery] on 2 November, ‘and were attended by the gentlemen of the civil department residing in that township.’[63]

Sacred to the Memory, Thomas Freeman, Deputy Commissary, First Fleet, St. John's Cemetery Project, St. John's First Fleeters, Old Parramattans, St. John's Cemetery Parramatta
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Detail of the inscription on First Fleet Deputy Commissary Thomas Freeman’s grave at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. CC-BY-4.0. Photo: Michaela Ann Cameron (2019).

The picture of Thomas Freeman that emerges from the record is a man of ambition, discipline and integrity, but much else about him remains a mystery. We do not know about his life before he left England at what was, for the time, an advanced age, never to return. Whether there was someone he loved, or whether he threw all his passions into his work remains a mystery, as no evidence has survived of any personal relationships he might have had, although relations between convict women and officers were commonplace. Nor was the cause of his death recorded. All we can do is remember that he impressed his superiors as a man on whom they could rely to be firm but fair when the colony was most at risk from starvation.


CITE THIS

David Morgan, “Thomas Freeman: Minding the Store,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2019), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/thomas-freeman/, accessed [insert current date]


References

Primary Sources

Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892).

Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf, accessed 1 May 2019.

David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798).

David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, (Melbourne and London: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, n.d.).

Arthur Bowes Smyth, A Voyage to Botany Bay, 1787, By ABS, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, (1787), National Library of Australia.

Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914).

Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1979).

Secondary Sources

Gordon W. Beckett, The Government Store is Open for Business: A Review of the Commissariat in Colonial NSW 1788–1835, (Gatton, Queensland: Colonial Press, 2012).

J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006).

Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St John’s, (Parramatta: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991).

Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989).

Merval Hoare, Norfolk Island: An Outline of its History 1774–1968, (St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1969).

Brian Lavery, Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793–1815, (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989).

Garry Wotherspoon, “HMS Sirius,” Dictionary of Sydney, (2010), http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/hms_sirius, accessed 26 Apr 2019.


NOTES

[1] Thomas Freeman, “Mr. Thomas Freeman to Under Secretary Nepean, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, New South Wales, April 16th, 1790,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), pp. 331–32.

[2] Brian Lavery, Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793–1815, (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989), pp. 113, 199.

[3] “FREEMAN, Thomas (c1742–1794),” in Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 136. The Royal Navy’s ship rating system, in operation from the 17th to the 19th centuries, classified ships from ‘First Rate’ down to ‘Sixth Rate,’ largely based on the number of guns they carried. First Rate ships had a minimum of 100 guns and carried a crew of over 850, while Second Rates had 90–98 guns and a crew of 750. The smallest of the ‘rated ships,’ Sixth Rates were more lightly armed frigates, with 22–28 guns, and a crew of about 150. Smaller still were the ‘unrated’ ships including sloops and cutters. “Rated Navy ships in the 17th to 19th centuries,” Royal Museums Greenwich, https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/rated-navy-ships-17th-19th-centuries, accessed 25 April 2019. J. J. Colledge, revised by Ben Warlow, Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present, (London: Chatham, 2006), p. 111. The HMS Ganges was built in 1782 and was acting as a guardship in 1786 when Freeman was a seaman but it later became a prison ship. In this capacity, it made a voyage from Portsmouth to Sydney in 1796–97. See Jen Willetts, Free Settler or Felon? https://www.jenwilletts.com/convict_ship_ganges_1797.htm, accessed 26 April 2019.

[4] “FREEMAN, Thomas (c1742–1794),” in Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 136.

[5] Brian Lavery, Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793–1815, (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989), pp.139–40, 326–27.

[6] The purser was a warrant officer, responsible for the provisioning of his ship with food, clothing, heat, light and bedding. The way pursers were paid meant they had the opportunity to enrich themselves – or become bankrupt. A First Fleeter who served in this capacity was Christopher Palmer. See David Morgan, “Christopher Palmer: Perils of a Purser,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2019), https://stjohnscemeteryproject.org/bio/christopher-palmer, accessed 4 July 2019.

[7] After leaving Cape Town in November, Governor-designate Phillip transferred from the HMS Sirius to HMS Supply, which led a squadron of swifter ships going ahead to Botany Bay. Garry Wotherspoon, “HMS Sirius,” Dictionary of Sydney, (2010), http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/hms_sirius, accessed 26 Apr 2019.

[8] Thomas Townshend, “Lord Sydney to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, Whitehall, 18 August 1786,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales¸ Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1889), p. 15.

[9] Arthur Phillip, “Governor Phillip to The Right Honorable W. W. Grenville, 14 July 1790,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 190. The position was often also referred to as ‘Under Commissary’ in official correspondence.

[10] Gordon W. Beckett, The Government Store is Open for Business: A Review of the Commissariat in Colonial NSW 1788–1835, (Gatton, Queensland: Colonial Press, 2012), pp. 55–56.

[11] Entry dated 5 February 1788 in Arthur Bowes Smyth, A Voyage to Botany Bay, 1787, By ABS, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, (1787), n.p., National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-233345951. Transcript of the c.1790 “fair copy” held at the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales also available at http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/a1085.html, accessed 28 April 2019.

[12] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0), 30 August 1786, trial of ANN SMITH (t17860830-49), https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?div=t17860830-49, accessed 15 May 2019; Entry dated 5 February 1788 in Arthur Bowes Smyth, A Voyage to Botany Bay, 1787, By ABS, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, (1787), n.p., National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-233345951. Transcript of the c.1790 “fair copy” held at the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales also available at http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/a1085.html, accessed 28 April 2019.

[13] Entry dated 5 February 1788 in Arthur Bowes Smyth, A Voyage to Botany Bay, 1787, By ABS, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, (1787), n.p., National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-233345951. Transcript of the c.1790 “fair copy” held at the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales also available at http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/a1085.html, accessed 28 April 2019.

[14] Entry dated 14 February 1788 in Arthur Bowes Smyth, A Voyage to Botany Bay, 1787, By ABS, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, (1787), n.p., National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-233345951. Transcript of the c.1790 “fair copy” held at the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales also available at http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/a1085.html, accessed 28 April 2019.

[15] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), pp. 8–9, accessed 11 June 2019.

[16] Entry dated 12 February 1788 in William Bradley, A Voyage to New South Wales, December 1786–May 1792, (compiled c.1802), p. 82, Safe 1 / 14 / FL1614839, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. Transcript online, http://purl.library.usyd.edu.au/setis/id/brajour, accessed 11 June 2019.

[17] Annotation by L. F. Fitzhardinge in Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1979), p. 107; David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 91, (Melbourne and London: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, n.d.), accessed 15 May 2019.

[18] See David Collins’s accounts of two soldiers who disappeared in the bush from Rose Hill in April 1789 for another example of the dangers of wandering off: ‘From that settlement, early in the month, two soldiers of the detachment doing duty there were reported to be missing; and, though parties had been sent out daily in different directions to seek for them, yet all was unavailing. It was supposed that they must have lost their way in some of the thick and almost impenetrable brushes which were in the vicinity of Rose Hill, and had there perished miserably. They had gone in search of the sweet tea plant already mentioned; and perhaps when they resigned themselves to the fate which they did not see how to avoid, oppressed with hunger, and unable to wander any farther, they may have been but a short distance from the relief they must so earnestly have desired.…The extreme danger attendant on a man’s going beyond the bounds of his own knowledge in the forests of an unsettled country could no where be more demonstrable than in this.’ In December a tinder box known to have belonged to the men was found six miles (10 km) from the settlement, along with the piece of linen thought to have belonged to Anne Smith. David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, (Melbourne and London: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, n.d.), p. 55 and David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 91.

[19] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), pp. 9–10.

[20] Entry dated 12 February 1788 in Arthur Bowes Smyth, A Voyage to Botany Bay, 1787, By ABS, Surgeon Lady Penrhyn, (1787), n.p., National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-233345951. Transcript of the c.1790 “fair copy” held at the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales also available at http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/a1085.html, accessed 28 April 2019.

[21] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 25.

[22] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 25.

[23] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 29.

[24] Arthur Phillip, “Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney, 16 May 1788,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914) p. 35, n. 32 p. 722.

[25] Garry Wotherspoon, “HMS Sirius,” Dictionary of Sydney, (2010), http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/hms_sirius, accessed 26 Apr 2019.

[26] Arthur Phillip, “Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney, 11 April 1790,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 167.

[27] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 105.

[28] Thomas Freeman, “Mr. Thomas Freeman to Under Secretary Nepean, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, New South Wales, April 16th, 1790,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), pp. 331–32.

[29] Arthur Phillip, “Governor Phillip to The Right Honorable W. W. Grenville, 14 July 1790,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 190.

[30] “Instructions from King George III to Governor Phillip, 25 April 1787,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 13.

[31] “Instructions from King George III to Governor Phillip, 25 April 1787,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 13.

[32] “[The] British and French Governments were extremely jealous of one another, and the presence of a French expedition in southern waters may have suggested to the British Government the possibility of competition in colonisation.” “Commentary on Despatches,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), note 1, p. 711. British colonisation was still in its infancy after the loss of the American colonies — this was the beginning of the “second British Empire.”

[33] Merval Hoare, Norfolk Island: An Outline of its History 1774–1968, (St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1969), pp. 3–13; “Instructions from King George III to Governor Phillip, 25 April 1787,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 13.

[34] Phillip’s choice of King as leader of the party to Norfolk Island was due to his being “a very steady, good officer. He, too, is cut off from all society, and is in a situation that will require patience and perseverance, both of which he possesses, with great merit in the service as an officer.” Arthur Phillip, “Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney, Sydney Cove, July 1788,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 67.

[35] “FREEMAN, Thomas (c1742–1794),” in Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 137.

[36] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 130.

[37] Michael Persse, “Wentworth, William Charles (1790–1872),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wentworth-william-charles-2782, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 30 April 2019.

[38] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), p. 200, http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf, accessed 1 May 2019.

[39] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), p. 200, http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf, accessed 1 May 2019.

[40] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), pp. 197–200, http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf, accessed 1 May 2019.

[41] “JOHN GERWALT, Vessel: Scarborough,” New South Wales Government, Indents First Fleet, Second Fleet and Ships, Series: NRS 1150; Item: [SZ115]; Microfiche: 621, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).

[42]  Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 04 July 2019), 13 December 1786, trial of JOHN GERVALT (t17861213-1), https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?div=t17861213-1, accessed 16 May 2019.

[43] Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 04 July 2019), 13 December 1786, trial of JOHN GERVALT (t17861213-1), https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?div=t17861213-1, accessed 16 May 2019.

[44] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), p. 241, http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf, accessed 1 May 2019.

[45] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), p. 241, http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf, accessed 12 June 2019.

[46] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), pp. 247, 271, 282, http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf, accessed 1 May 2019.

[47] The cause of his death is not recorded. Cathy Dunn, “Second Fleet Deaths on Norfolk Island,” Australian History Research, https://www.australianhistoryresearch.info/second-fleet-deaths-on-norfolk-island/, accessed 1 May 2019.

[48] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787–1792, (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003), p. 296, http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/clajour.pdf,  accessed 1 May 2019.

[49] Philip Gidley King, “Lieutenant-Governor King to Under Secretary Nepean, Norfolk Island, 23 November 1791,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), p. 562.

[50] Philip Gidley King, “Lieutenant-Governor King to Under Secretary Nepean, Norfolk Island, 23 November 1791,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), p. 562.

[51] Philip Gidley King, “Lieutenant-Governor King to Under Secretary Nepean, Norfolk Island, 23 November 1791,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), p. 562.

[52] Philip Gidley King, “Lieutenant-Governor King to Under Secretary Nepean, Norfolk Island, 23 November 1791,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), p. 562.

[53] Philip Gidley King, “Extract from a letter to Governor Phillip from Lieutenant-Governor King, dated Sydney, Norfolk Island, 19 September 1792,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), pp. 658–59.

[54] Philip Gidley King, “Extract from a letter to Governor Phillip from Lieutenant-Governor King, dated Sydney, Norfolk Island, 19 September 1792,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), pp. 658–59.

[55] Henry Dundas, “The Right Hon. Henry Dundas to Governor Phillip, 10 January 1792,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 330.

[56] Arthur Phillip, “Governor Phillip to Under Secretary Nepean, Sydney Cove, 13 April 1790,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), p. 328.

[57] Arthur Phillip, “Governor Phillip to the Right Hon. Henry Dundas, Sydney, New South Wales, 2 October 1792,” in Alexander Britton (ed.), Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. I, Part 2: PHILLIP, 1783–1792, (Sydney: Charles Potter Government Printer, 1892), p. 643.

[58] John King, “Under Secretary King to the Governor, Whitehall, 3 April 1793,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 418.

[59] Francis Grose, “Lieutenant-Governor Grose to the Right Hon. Henry Dundas, Sydney, 31 May 1793,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 439.

[60] Regarding the date Governor Phillip departed the colony for England see despatches to and from England during the administration of Lieutenant-Governor Grose in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 403. For Grose’s endorsement of Freeman as Palmer’s replacement, see Francis Grose, “Lieutenant-Governor Grose to the Right Hon. Henry Dundas, Sydney, 31 May 1793,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 439.

[61] Margaret Steven, “Palmer, John (1760–1833),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/palmer-john-2533/text3437, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 2 May 2019.

[62] Francis Grose, “Lieut.-Governor Grose to the Right Hon. Henry Dundas, Sydney, New South Wales, 16 February 1793,” in Frederick Watson (ed.), Historical Records of Australia: Series I: Governors’ Despatches to and from England, Vol. I, 1788–1796(Sydney: The Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament, 1914), p. 415.

[63] David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. I, (London: printed for T. Cadell Jun., and W. Davies in the Strand, 1798), p. 397; Thomas Freeman is buried in Section 4, Row J, No. 2. See Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St John’s, (Parramatta: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991), p. 189.

© Copyright 2019 David Morgan