Convict Histories

Francis Tutton (alias John or Thomas Tutton) (1834 – ?) (Reg. No. 3490)

By Irma Walter, 2020.

Little is known about Francis Tutton. He was described as a groom when convicted on 17 July 1851 at Winchester in Hampshire, of stealing a horse with saddle and bridle, the property of William Adams of Boarhunt.[1] His crime was recorded under the name of ‘Thomas Tutton’, sentenced to ten years’ transportation.[2] No previous convictions have been found against him under either name.

On arrival at Fremantle onboard the convict ship Adelaide on 18 July 1855, Francis Tutton was described as a groom, 21 years old, unmarried, height 5’6½”, dark brown hair, grey eyes, an oval face, a fresh complexion and middling stout, with a scar on left thumb.[3]

From 7 November 1855 he entered the service of MW Clifton at Australind, as a footman at £15 per annum. [Clifton mostly referred to Tutton in his Journal as ‘John’, and on one occasion as ‘Thomas Tutton’.] Francis served in several roles at Clifton properties and apart from a couple of drunken bouts he appears to have been a trusted servant. Between 19 January 1856 and on 16 March 1857 he was employed as the cook, then as a cattle man at £1/5/- per month. On 19 October 1857 Clifton recorded that he had paid off ‘Fra. Tutton’, but on 27 April 1859 he wrote that Tutton had brought in a bull and on 24 June was back in his employ as ‘odd man’. He served as a personal messenger for Clifton and also brought in sheep and cattle for slaughter. On 25 October 1860 Clifton decided that John (Francis) Tutton should be replaced by David Furie, but by 11 December that year Clifton had re-engaged Tutton at £20 per annum. In February 1861 a row broke out when several employees including Tutton became drunk. Clifton wrote that he was very angry and had them taken down to the Lock-up on 15 February.[4]

On 24 September 1859 his Conditional Pardon was signed.[5] In 1861 Francis Tutton’s name appeared in a WA Government Gazette list of ‘RETURN of Ticket-of-Leave Holders whose Original Sentence of Transportation has expired during August, 1861.[6]

No further details of Francis Tutton’s life have been found. It appears likely that he may have left the Colony as soon as he was able.

[1] Hampshire Chronicle, 19 July 1851.

[2] England & Wales Criminal Registers, Hampshire 1851.

[3] Convicts to Australia,

[4] Phyllis Barnes, JMR Cameron, HA Wills, et al, The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840-1861, Hesperian Press, Victoria Park, WA, 2010.

[5] Ibid, 4 October 1859, p.5.

[6] WA Government Gazette, October 1, 1861, p.131.