Sunday, June 12, 2016
Thomas Bates and Mary Katesby maried life
As there were at least 3 Thomas Bates transported to the colony, it has been difficult to determine which records refer to which Bates. Those that refer to the transport ship Hillsborough, in and around Parramatta where the family lived are the most reliable.
There is little information about Thomas' wife and children, but we do know something of Thomas' occupation and where the family lived.
In 1806 Thomas is listed as a settler in the general muster as owning 50 acres in Parramatta. From these documents we can determine it was a land grant, and in 1806 he had his family, a wife and 2 children, living with him. At this time Parramatta took in a much bigger area than it does today, later documents confirm the family was living in what is now the suburb of Auburn.
The Colonial Secretary's papers record the land grant, and confirm this is (my) Bates from the Hillsborough, and that he is now a Constable at Parramatta.
The Auburn Council website gives us the following information about Thomas and his land grants:
The naming of Auburn
Land grants in the area were made as early as 1806, to Thomas Bates, Thomas Francis and Samuel Haslam. The name Auburn adopted in 1876 and appears to be inspired by Oliver Goldsmith's poem The Deserted Village. The poem describes the English village of Auburn as "the loveliest village of the plain".
The Auburn Local Government Area as we know it today was formed in 1948, when Auburn and Lidcombe Councils merged into Auburn Municipal Council. The boundaries of this municipality were much as they are today.
From this 1806 to 1822 the Colonial Secretary Papers list Thomas Bates' continued employment, with salary and payments as a Constable and Road Constable in Parramatta.
In 1810 the papers show Thomas as " Bates as Patrol for the Roads within the limits of the Town and proximity of Parramatta". More evidence that Thomas was a Roads Constable.
In 1815 Thomas Bates captured the convict John Fitzgerald. The colonial Secretary papers record Thomas as receiving a payment (possibly a reward) for the capture : "Thomas Bates for apprehending John Fiztgerald, a notorious bushranger. PDS10".
By 1822 however, Thomas Bates had fallen from grace, he appears to have been dismissed as a Constable for the crime of assault of one of his neighbours.
Court of Magistracy
Parramatta, July 30th 1822
I have the Honor to inform you that Thomas Bates, District Constable on the Sydney Road was brought before a Branch of Magistratater at Parramatta for Committing a Violent Assault on the Person of Maria Haslem of the Sydney Road, in her own House and was admitted to Bail to take his Trial at the Criminal Court for the same.
The Bench have thought proper to dismiss him from his Situation as Constable for such gross misconduct.
I have the Honor to be, Sir, your most humble servant,
Henry G Douglas. (signature)
[to] Frederick Goulburn, Esq.
By 1825 the last Convict muster where Thomas Bates is listed, shows Thomas, and 3 children, his is still listed as a Constable at Parramatta Road.
One thing to note here, is that the dates of birth of the children do not correspond to the ages listed in this muster. John is listed as 21, Elizabeth as 13 and James as 7 (there is no mention of his wife Mary who died after this date) Other evidence shows that the ages should be 17, 15 & 4.
This is the last document I have been able to find about Thomas Bates from the Hillsborough.
Back to the main story of Thomas Bates