Name: Thomas Hickmott
Birth: 3 MAR 1793 in Lamberhurst, Kent, England
Death: 23 AUG 1871 in Warrnambool, Victoria
Thomas' subsequent convict file indicates that he served in the British Army, in the 20th Light Dragoons, but does not say when.
Change Date: 19 DEC 2010
We think that Thomas married Jane Froud in Newington in Surrey in 1824 (the record of marriage shows that Thomas was a widower and Jane was a widow. While Jane signed the register, Thomas made his mark).
The Lamberhurst parish records indicate that a Thomas and Jane Hickmott lived initially at Lamberhurst - where their first two children were born in 1825 and 1827 - and then left before returning to the village in around 1833 (when their youngest son Henry was born). Local parish chest records show that the family was lodged in the Lamberhurst Poor House on 31 March 1834. They then comprised: Jane (31), Ruth (7), George (5), William (3), Harriett (2) and Henry (1).
The families of Samuel and Thomas were released from the Poor House the following year and went to live at Tunbridge Wells (in the Windmill Fields area to the east of the town). Samuel seemed to be working for one of his Wibley in-laws whereas Thomas was working for a Mr Mitchell.
Late in 1839 Samuel and Thomas were arrested for stealing three lambs and tried in the Kent Assizes at Maidstone on 2 January the following year. Thomas' convict indent papers describes him as being a ploughman who had served earlier gaol sentences for a number of more serious misdemeanours including poaching and horse stealing (for which he served two years imprisonment). The Register of Indictable Offences at Kent Assizes and Sessions contained on Ancestry.com includes two entries for a Thomas Hickmott born in 1794: 1) on 7 January 1836 he appeared at Maidstone on a charge of 'Rescue of a prisoner charged with felony' and was sentenced to 2 months imprisonment; 2) on 2 January 1840 he was again tried at Maidstone for sheep-steeling and was said to be 'before convicted of felony'. He was convicted and transported for life (the same register shows his brother, Samuel, born in around 1801, was transported for 10 years).
The two brothers, together with a number of other convicted criminals, were marched, probably in chains, from Maidstone to the coastal town of Sheerness where they waited in gaol for the next available convict ship. This was to be the Asia I which was a two masted sailing ship of 536 tons. She had been built at Aberdeen in Scotland in 1819 and had ferried convicts to Australia on eight previous occasions. This time the ship departed from Sheerness on 27 April 1840 with 276 male prisoners. Prior to their embarkation, the brothers would have been thoroughly washed, issued with new clothes and inspected by the ship's superintendent-surgeon a James Wingate Johnston formerly of the Royal Navy to ensure they were fit enough to travel and had no infectious or contagious diseases (Johnston's report indicated that the health of each man was 'good').
The Asia docked at the port of Hobart on 6 August 1840, whereupon Samuel and Thomas and their fellow prisoners would have been issued with a new set of clothes, inspected by either the colonial surgeon or the Port Health Officer, interviewed, and made ready to go ashore. The prison records show that Thomas was taller than his brother, had blues eyes, a dark complexion, black hair and beard, and a tattoo on each arm: on his right, an 'african women holding two hearts' and, on his left, a 'star flag and heart'.
The convict musters for Tasmania shows that Thomas was 'employed in the South Port Party' in 1841, has a Third Clkass Pass and was working for a Mr Turnbull of New Norfolk in 1846, and by 1849 had received his ticket-of-leave. His convict indent papers show that after release from prison in September 1842, he worked with his brother Samuel for both David Jamieson and John Turnbull. After Samuel was pardoned, Thomas continued working for Turnbull and, for a time, for a John Doran also of New Norfolk. During this time, he was convicted and sentenced for a number of minor offences receiving: 24 hours solitary confinement for being in a public house in New Norfolk on 29 October 1846; six days hard labour on 20 March 1847 for being 'out after hours in [the] company of a common prostitute; and, on 2 August 1847, seven days imprisonment and hard labour for being out after hours and in a public house. After his third bout with the law, Thomas either became more respectful for the law or better at not falling foul of it for he received no further sentences and was granted a conditional pardon on 30 March 1852. In 1848 Thomas was the witness to the marriage of his brother, Samuel, to Susan Pickup in the St. Mathews Church of England on 3 January. Like the second witness, Rachel Wilden, Thomas signed the certificate with a 'mark'.
Thomas remained in Tasmania until 1856 when he travelled to Victoria presumably to go to the goldfields. There is some evidence that he may have travelled to South Australia and lived there until at least 1860. He eventually returned to Victoria where he died of 'influenza accentuated by old age' at the Warrnambool hospital in southwest Victoria on 23 August 1871. His death certificate records that he was 77 years old, was born in Kent in England, had been 15 years in Victoria and 17 years in Tasmania, and was 'not married'. He was buried at the Warrnambool cemetery on 26 August 1871.
Father: Thomas Hickmott b: 16 APR 1769 in Lamberhurst, Kent, England
Mother: Elizabeth Wibley b: 12 JUL 1766 in Horsemonden, Kent, England
Jane Froud b: 1796 in Pembury, Kent, England
19 OCT 1824
in Newington, Surrey England
- Thomas Hickmott b: 1826 in Lamberhurst, Kent, England
- Ruth Hickmott b: 1827 in Lamberhurst, Kent, England
- George Hickmott b: 1829
- William Hickmott b: 1831
- Harriet Hickmott b: 1832
- Henry Hickmott b: 1833 in Lamberhurst, Kent, England