Convict Histories

Thomas Clegg (1823 – ?) (Reg. No. 1606)

By Irma Walter, 2020.

On 6 March 1851 Thomas Clegg was convicted at Wakefield in Yorkshire, of larceny. Due to a previous conviction he was sentenced to ten years’ transportation.[1] His previous conviction on 7 July 1849 was one of stealing a pig’s head valued at one shilling.[2] At the time of the 1851 census he was a prisoner in Wakefield House of Correction, described as a 28-year-old weaver, born at Todmorden in West Yorkshire.[3]

He was received onboard the convict ship Dudbrook from Dartmoor Prison.[4] The ship left Plymouth on 22 November 1852 and arrived on 2 February 1853 at Fremantle WA.[5] Clegg was described as single, 5’4”, with brown hair, grey eyes, a thin face, fair complexion, proportionate in build and was pitted with small-pox.[6]

His convict record in WA shows frequent admissions to the Prison Hospital with various complaints. He was put to work for short periods at Freshwater Bay or at North Fremantle.

Clegg also spent a brief period at Bunbury soon after receiving his Ticket of Leave on 7 February 1854. In 1857 he was briefly employed by Marshall Waller Clifton at Australind before being admitted to hospital. The following is a summary of his convict record in Western Australia:

27 March 1854 – Sent up from Bunbury. Scrotal hernia. On 30th – Discharged to Depot.[7]

12 March 1855 – Admitted to hospital from North Fremantle – Ophthalmia and boil on hip. 23rd – Discharged.[8]

7 February 1857 – Engaged by Marshal Waller Clifton as ‘Cattle Boy’ at £6 per month plus rations.[9]

26 March 1857 – Admitted to Hospital.[10]

18(?) July 1857 – Received back in prison from Freshwater Bay Invalid Depot, re-convicted of insubordinate and mutinous conduct. Sentence – Forf (forfeiture?) Ticket-of-Leave.

8 December 1857 – again on Ticket-of-Leave.[11]

3 August 1857 – Admitted from Punishment Cell for casual Medical treatment for eruption on lip – poultice.[12]

21 September 1857 – Thomas Clegg, RCP – Discharged from Hospital & recommended by Surgeon as Invalid for North Fremantle.[13]

19 November 1857 – Re-convicted prisoner – discharged to North Fremantle.[14]

25 January 1858 – Clegg, Ticket-of-Leave to Freshwater Bay.[15]

20 August 1858 – Conditional Pardon to Comptroller-General for Signature.[16]

27 August 1858 – Conditional Pardon recommended by Comptroller General.[17]

July 1860Received his Conditional Pardon in July 1860.[18]

Nothing further is known about Thomas Clegg. No record of his death in Western Australia has been found.


[1] England & Wales Criminal Registers, Yorkshire 1851.

[2] Yorkshire Quarter Session Records, Wakefield, 1850-1851.

[3] 1851 Census,

[4] Convict Department Superintendent Orders 1850 – 1854 (SO1 – SO3)

[5] Convicts to Australia at

[6] Western Australian Convicts at

[7] Convict Department, Medical Journal by Patient (M18)

[8] Convict Department, Medical Journal by Patient (M3)

[9] P Barnes, JM Cameron, HA Willis, The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840-1861, Hesperian Press, Carlyle, WA, 2010, p.527.

[10] Convict Establishment Receipts & Discharges (RD1 – RD2)

[11] Convict Department, Re-convicted Prisoner Register (R10)

[12] Convict Establishment, Casual Sick Registers (CS4 – CS5)

[13] Convict Establishment Medical, Hospital Occurances (M2)

[14] Convict Establishment Receipts & Discharges (RD1 – RD2)

[15] Ibid.

[16] Convict Department Registers (R28/38-39)

[17] Convict Department Registers (128/38-39)

[18] Fremantle Prison website at