Convict Histories

Thomas Reydon (c1807 – 1864) (Reg. No. 1690)

By Irma Walter, 2020.

On 23 July 1849 at Liverpool Boro’ Sessions, Thomas Reydon (Royden or Roydon) was convicted of warehouse breaking, and due to a previous conviction of felony, was sentenced to 10 years’ transportation:

Liverpool Mercury, 31 July 1849.

He arrived in Western Australia onboard the convict ship Dudbrook, on 7 February 1853. He was described as a labourer, aged 46, a widower with one child. His physical description was as follows – height 5’7”, dark hair, grey eyes, a long face, fair complexion, of proportionate build, with no distinguishing marks.[1]

He received his Ticket of Leave on 7 February 1853, but in May that year ‘Thomas Roydon, t/l, was convicted of being drunk and neglecting his master’s business. He was ordered to pay cost 3s and return to his employer Mr. Ougden.[2]

From 13 July 1855 Thomas Reydon, known as ‘Old Thomas’, was employed by Marshall Waller Clifton as a general handyman, working in the vineyard and garden, sawing up timber and occasionally carrying messages to Bunbury. On 30 September 1856 Clifton recorded that Dawson[3] and Reydon were very drunk, due to Reyden having stolen three or four bottles of his best brandy. When Clifton confronted them, Dawson struck him violently, so Clifton had the pair taken into custody. On 1 October Clifton wrote that he had dismissed Reydon, but forgave Dawson.[4]

Reydon received his Conditional Pardon on 7 February 1857.[5] No further details have been found, apart from his death recorded at York in WA on 9 August 1864.[6]


[1] Convict Department, General Register (R21B)

[2] Perth Gazette, 13 May 1853.

[3] Edward Dawson, Convict Reg. No. 1772.

[4] P Barnes, JM Cameron, HA Willis, The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840-1861, Hesperian Press, Carlyle, WA, 2010, p.515.

[5] Fremantle Prison Convict Database,

[6] Ibid.