Thomas Freeman (c.1742–1794)

THOMAS FREEMAN is one of St. John’s First Fleeters. He came to the colony on board the First Fleet flagship HMS Sirius (1788) as captain’s clerk, but on arrival in the colony served as Deputy Commissary, initially under Commissary Andrew Miller at Port Jackson. He served in the same capacity on Norfolk Island for around two years then resumed his role on the mainland. Eventually, he made his way to Parramatta where he died in 1794 of unknown causes.

Timeline

  • Born: c. 1742
  • Able seaman: 1786, HMS Ganges
  • Appointed Captain’s clerk: 25 October 1786, HMS Sirius
  • Sailed with the First Fleet as Captain’s Clerk: 13 May 1787, HMS Sirius
  • Arrived at Botany Bay per HMS Sirius: 20 January 1788, Botany Bay, Colony of New South Wales
  • Arrived at Sydney Cove per HMS Sirius: 26 January 1788, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales
  • Came ashore to serve as Deputy Commissary to Commissary ANDREW MILLER: 1 February 1788, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales
  • Went aboard Lady Penrhyn with Commissary Miller to distribute slops to convict women: 5 February 1788, Lady Penrhyn, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales
  • Convict THOMAS BARRETT executed for stealing from the public store both MILLER and FREEMAN were minding: 27 February 1788, Sydney Cove, Colony of New South Wales
  • Storehouse completed: May 1788, Sydney Cove, Colony of New South Wales
  • Wrote to Under Secretary Evan Nepean: 16 April 1790, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales
  • Governor ARTHUR PHILLIP informed Home Secretary WILLIAM GRENVILLE that FREEMAN was being sent to Norfolk Island as Deputy Commissary of Stores and Provisions: 14 July 1790, Sydney Cove, Colony of New South Wales
  • Departed for Norfolk Island per Surprize: 1 August 1790, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales
  • Arrived at Norfolk Island per Surprize: 7 August 1790, off Cascade Bay, Norfolk Island
  • Governor Phillip stated that FREEMAN would return to Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales as Deputy Commissary: 2 October 1792
  • Home Office confirms THOMAS FREEMAN’s appointment, remuneration and ‘Arrears of Salary’: 3 April 1793
  • Died: 25 October 1794, Parramatta, Colony of New South Wales
  • Buried: 2 November 1794, Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta), Colony of New South Wales

Burial Location

  • Section 4, Row J, No. 2, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

Related Content

Thomas Freeman: Minding the Store (2019)

By David Morgan

Abstract: Thomas Freeman was captain’s clerk on HMS Sirius when he arrived in New South Wales in 1788. After coming ashore he acted as under-commissary in the colony, issuing supplies of food, clothing and tools from the stores which had come in the First Fleet. In 1790, he went from Sydney to Norfolk Island, where a satellite colony had been set up, and again served as commissary overseeing stores in the isolated settlement. He returned to the mainland shortly before his death at Parramatta in 1794. Read more >>  

Multimedia

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Judith Dunn, Parramatta Cemeteries: St. John’s (Parramatta: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991), p. 189.
  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), pp. 136–37.

Lists

# First Fleet

# Came Free

# Ship: HMS Sirius (1788)

# Burial Year: 1794

# Grave: marked