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Lucas


Norman’s paternal great grandmother, Amelia Sophia Stace (nee Lucas) was born in Hobart to Richard Lucas and Elizabeth Fawkner, both from pioneer families of Tasmania and Norfolk Island. Her grandfather Thomas Lucas (Norman’s great great grandfather) had been a marine on the First Fleet which landed in Sydney in 1788 and later emigrated to Norfolk Island and then Tasmania.

Her grandfather John Fawkner had been a jeweller in London before being convicted and transported to Tasmania. His wife Hannah Pascoe Fawkner paid her own passage to travel with children Elizabeth (Amelia Sophia’s mother) and John Pascoe Fawkner (Amelia Sophia’s uncle). John Pascoe Fawkner later went on to co-found the city of Melbourne.

 

Amelia Sophia Lucas

 

b. 9 Apr 1820 in Hobart Tasmania (to Richard Lucas and Elizabeth Fawkner)

m. 20 Oct 1841 to Thomas Hollis Stace, Pontville, Tasmania (age 21)

Emigrated to New Zealand 1853 (age 33) aboard the schooner ‘Munford’ with father-in-law Thomas Alfred Stace (age 73), mother-in-law Charlotte (age 55); husband Thomas Hollis Stace and five children.

In 1869 received an inheritance from her uncle, John Pascoe Fawkner, who co-founded Melbourne with John Batman. d. 24 Dec 1894 in Wellington, New Zealand (age 74)

 

 

 

 

Richard Lucas

b. 20 Dec 1794, Norfolk Island (to Thomas Lucas and Ann Howard). Born two months after his parents arrived in Norfolk Island. 

Emigrated to Tasmania in 1808 (age 14). Family re-located as part of evacuation of Norfolk Island.  m. 25 Jul 1821 (age 21) to Elizabeth Fawkner. She had two children by a previous marriage with Thomas Green. Her brother was John Pascoe Fawkner who co-founded Melbourne in 1835. Held 100 acres of land at Strangford, Tasmania d. Jan 1862 in a horse accident (age 68) 

 

                 

Thomas Lucas – First Fleet marine

b. 2 Oct 1760 in London, England (to John Lucas and Alice Catherine Westcott)

Became a Freemason in 1784, initiated into the Freemason Lodge of Temperance, London. His Masonic Apron is at the Freemason Lodge in Hobart.

Emigrated to Sydney in 1788 (age 28) as a Marine aboard the ‘Scarborough’ in the First Fleet.

Emigrated to Norfolk Island in 1794 (age 34) on the store ship ‘Daedalus’ with Ann Howard (a convict, not married) and their child Thomas. She had their second child two months later, just as her 7-year convict sentence expired. 

m. 17 Aug 1801 to Ann Howard (age 40). They already had four children.

Emigrated to Hobart Tasmania in 1808 (age 48) aboard ship City of Edinburgh, in last group of settlers to leave Norfolk Island. Granted land at Brown’s River near Kingston, where they are recognized as the first settlers. Thomas Lucas had 530 acres, the largest holding in Van Diemen's land at the time.

d. 29 Aug 1815 (age 56) buried in St David’s Cemetery in Hobart. At his funeral the Masonic Lodge performed their ceremonies over him, as a brother mason.

 

Thomas Lucas: A marine on the First Fleet to settle Australia 

Talk given by Mr. N.E.  Stace in 1989 to the Northern Rivers  (New South Wales) Chapter of  the Australian Fellowship of First Fleeters

Thank you for the opportunity to tell the members of our Chapter something about my First Fleet Ancestor,  Thomas Lucas.

My aim is to show how the lifetime of this man,   born obscurely 230 years ago, reflected the great events which shaped the world we live in today.  At the same time I will try to relate how Thomas made his way in the world.

Let us now look at the man:  who was he?;  who were his parents?;  how was he brought up?  Well, we have to admit we don’t know FOR SURE.  There’s been a lot of research over the years,  and still there is no hard evidence, no certificate linking his enlistment in the Marines with his parents,  and so on.

However there is a lot of evidence to consider: for example his gravestone at St. David’s Park in Hobart in Tasmania:-

THOMAS LUCAS, a marine settler, who came from England with His Excellency, Governor Phillip, at the first forming of the Territory of New  South Wales,  Who died 29th August, 1815 (aged 56 years).  ANN LUCAS, wife of the above, who died 10th June 1832; aged 74 years.

This puts his birth in 1759, and a survey of British records for that year (and also for 1760, since the marine records show 1760 for his birth year) has disclosed several tantalizing clues.  He may have been the son of a Devonshire farmer, he could have come from Kent, or from Kingston-on-Thames, or from Plymouth.  

I’m inclined, personally, to think none of these is correct:  most probably, Thomas was born into a French Huguenot refugee colony, which had flooded into London about 70 years earlier. (In 1685 Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Nantes, thereby stripping from French Protestants all civil and religious liberties.  In the subsequent upheavals and massacres  the survivors fled from France,  many to England where their skills led to a rapid development of the textile industry).

On May 10 1758, Antoine Lucas, a bachelor, and Louisa Renoir, a spinster, were married at St Clement Dane’s Church by the curate Isaiah Jones.  The witnesses were Gille Vivien and Thomas Ferrion.

Nine months and 14 days later, on 24 February 1759, Louisa was delivered of a son at the British Lying-in Hospital.  She was 31 years old, and was discharged on March 22: it must have been a difficult birth to call for a stay of 4 weeks.  The baby boy was baptized Thomas on February 25.  I think he grew up to be my marine forefather.

I was informed some years ago, by one of his descendants, Miss Dulcie Lucas, a Hobart historian, that Thomas told his son that his father had been a silk merchant in London.  The two had quarreled, and Thomas joined the Marines “....to see the world”.  There is also evidence at the Hobart Masonic Temple of his mason’s apron dated back to four years before he left London.   I think we have the right man.

The Thomas Lucas we know certainly had been well brought up.  In Norfolk Island he was recorded  (after his discharge) as a “painter and glazier”,  and thus had been taught a trade before becoming a marine.  Also at a time when many were illiterate, he could write.  Many records exist of his firm clear signature.

Although his early years are not in clear focus, Thomas suddenly comes sharply into our view on Tuesday February 27 1787.  On that day he was in a detachment of marines (1 captain,  2 lieutenants,  2 sergeants,  2 corporals,  26 privates and 1 drummer) which boarded the “Scarborough” transport .  This ship of 420 tons was 5 years old, and was skippered by Captain John Marshall.

A few days later on March 4, 184 convicts were taken on board:  subsequently the number was increased to 210. English jails were bursting, but the Fleet was not yet ready to go to New South Wales,  and several months went by before it sailed on Saturday May 12, 1787.

Let us turn our attention, for a moment,  away from our Thomas on the “Scarborough”, and look at the convoy of 11 tiny ships setting out from England to colonise an utterly unknown land,  a whole new continent, 8 month’s voyage from home.  On board were 568 male and 191  female convicts plus 13 children;  206 marines with 27 wives and 19 children;   20 officials and servants:  a grand total of 1044 persons.  Also there were about 300 ships’ crew who would return with their vessels.

Looking back,  we can only marvel at the sublime assurance,  the self-confidence,  the sheer barefaced gall of the British  politicians  and officials who conceived, planned and directed this enterprise.  It’s quite clear they were sure of the outcome  --- it would succeed,  and succeed it did.

Back now to Thomas.  He was one of a “mess”, a small group of 6 to 8 men who drew common rations which they prepared and ate together.   We have an excellent record of this “mess”,  as one member kept a daily diary,  and at last we get a first glimpse of Thomas the man.  It’s what the diary doesn’t say  that gives us the clue: in the eight months’ voyage he was mentioned only once, having  “..fallen down the aft hatchway”. He didn’t get the “stripes”(i.e. wasn’t flogged) for being drunk,  for insolence,  for theft,  for  fighting,  for disobedience,  for “unsoldier-like behavior”.   Many others were.   Thus we can say that our Tom was a wellbehaved and sensible man who kept out of trouble,  who didn’t make enemies,  and who went through the dull daily routines of watch-keeping and sentry duty, day and night for eight long months.

How dull it must have been!   We today who fly to England in one day,  and complain of even one hour’s delay,  can have no idea of the deadly tedium of being cooped up in a tiny ship, with a hundred or more others.   No wonder some of the marines misbehaved!   But Thomas didn’t.

After the long slow voyage came the excitement of landing,  first at Botany Bay and then at Sydney harbour,  right where the city now stands.  The fleet anchored at 6 in the evening on January 26 1788, now celebrated each year on Australia Day.

On shore the marines were camped in tents in two companies:  Thomas was under the command of Captain Shea.   Here we lose sight of him as an individual ---  he is just another man in a scarlet uniform.   Thus he would have been standing to attention at the first Church Parade on February 3, attended by all officers, marines and male convicts.

What was life like for a marine private in the first few years?  The short answer is  “Not very hard”  Their commander Major Ross was adamant that the marines were not to be supervisors of convicts,  but to be a guard against enemy attack.   Thus we can see Thomas going through the time-passing routines which all soldiers use between wars:  sentry duty day and night in wet weather and dry, polishing boots and buttons, cleaning weapons, daily parades,  collecting rations and so on.

Exceptions were likely to be brutal and shocking, as when six marines broke into a food storehouse and were caught.  The diary of a fellow marine records their hanging in simple, moving words.

However on June 3 1790 one event did have a happy ending.  Seventeen months after landing, with food running desperately short, and no word from England, suddenly a sail was seen!  It was the “Lady Juliana”, arriving after a ten-months voyage, bearing bad news and good:  the bad news,  a storeship the “Guardian” loaded with critically needed food and supplies had been lost after hitting an iceberg off the cape of Good Hope.  The good news; on the “Lady Juliana” were 226 female convicts.

One of these was a spinster,  Anne Howard,  my great-great-great grandmother.  Her crime?  She was the nurse to the the wife of Mr John Reader of St Giles-in-the Fields, London, and had been found with  “...a corded dimity petticoat (3 shillings), 2 muslin aprons (2 shillings each), and one child’s lace cap (10 pence)”.  Tried at the old Bailey on 12 December1787, she was found guilty of stealing,  and sentenced by Judge Recorder to seven years transportation.  We shall see how the sentence changed her future life, and ultimately changed it for the better --- you can decide when you hear her story.

When she landed Anne would have been 28 or 29 years old:  the records are confused.  Indeed from her tombstone she may have been 32.

Thomas and Anne lived together unmarried,  and on December 29, 1791 son was born, to be baptised Thomas by Reverend Richard Johnson.

The Norfolk Island connection

All this time, each marine had to face a decision:  at the end of his term of service, should he return to England,  or should he stay and receive a free grant of land?  Initially, very few were prepared to accept discharge in the raw new colony, but as time went on more were willing to stay.   Thomas could have returned at the end of 1792, but the records show that he decided to remain in Australia.   In April 1792 he volunteered to join the “New  South Wales Corps” as a corporal for a five year term,  after which he would be given a free title for a farm.

This decision shows another aspect of Thomas’ character.  He had a child, and his de facto wife had an unexpired sentence:  many of his fellow marines thought nothing of deserting their women and children.   But Thomas chose to stay: he was a loyal man.. 

In 1794 on September 26,  Thomas,  Ann and young Tom were shipped  to Norfolk Island on the storeship “Daedelus” as part of a relief detachment.   Eight days after sailing from Sydney, Ann and the boy were landed,  but rough weather delayed unloading the soldiers for another  week. Those of you who have been to Norfolk will know how difficult and dangerous landing can be, even today.   There is no harbour,  and open boats have to come over the coral reef through heavy surf.

In my mind I can see the little family,  thankful to be reunited  -- Thomas in his scarlet uniform,  Ann 6 months pregnant,   and the toddler young Thomas.  I can see them walking together up the beach to their new home, the subtropical paradise of Norfolk Island.

On December 20 Ann gave birth to a fine boy I can say this because he is my great-great grandfather!).   A few days earlier Ann’s 7-year sentence had expired, and she was no longer “subject to the Kings’ authority”.  Thomas, of course was still a soldier and had to wait for another two and half years for his discharge.  I’m sure they both looked forward to the magic date of April 6, 1797 for on that date he was to be paid off.

In passing,  it’s interesting to note his last pay:  for 103 days he received two pounds eleven shillings and sixpence,  which equates to three shillings and sixpence a week,  or sixpence a day.   He was also granted 60 acres of land, and now we see another side of Thomas:  he was a good farmer.   I’ve actually stood on what was his farm;  it’s rolling country close to the modern airport terminal.

Some of the discharged marines found their lives as independent farmers to be harder than they expected,  but our Thomas did well and prospered.   Many records exist of his selling wheat, maize and pork to the Government stores.

All this time, the two lived together unmarried,  producing two more sons,  making four in all.  Each of these boys are shown in Norfolk Island records with the surname “Howard”,  but this was sorted out,  in a kind of way,  when at last an ordained minister came to the island.  And so on Monday August17, 1781 after a defacto relationship of 11 years and four sons, Thomas and Ann became legally wed.

 

The marriage register is interesting.  It bears the groom’s usual clear strong signature (seen many times on receipts from Government stores);  on the other hand,  Ann and the two witnesses “made their marks”  ie they couldn’t write.

So Thomas,  Ann and family settled into their life on this beautiful and fertile island,  with its superb climate.   I like to think their life was happy and peaceful.  It was, for sure, full of hard fruitful work.   However it had to come to an end, for the governments in Sydney and London decided to close down Norfolk Island, and to move everyone to the newly settled, much larger, island of Tasmania.

 

 

Right: Thomas Lucas and Ann Lucas (nee Howard) are honoured at St David’s Park, Hobart. 

 

 

 

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