1814 Thompson (convict)/Earle

MATTHEW PEARSON THOMPSON (1780 – 1849)

The first of my husband John’s ancestors to arrive in Australia was Matthew Pearson Thompson who was his 3x Great Grandfather. He was a convict and arrived 1814.

Matthew was born in Slingsby, North Yorkshire 12th January 1780. On the 2nd February 1809 he married Ann Earl (b 08/06/1780) at St Mary’s Newington, in Southwark.

St Mary’s Newington, Southwark

Their first child, William Pearson, was born 2 April 1809. A girl, Frances (Fanny) was born Kennington Cross, London 18/10/ 1810. Fanny is John’s 2x Great Grandmother.

By 1813 Matthew was a merchant’s clerk, employed by Sir Robert Burnett, Robert, Charles and John Burnett. The Burnetts were grain merchants and owners of a distillery near Vauxhall Bridge, London. Today Burnett’s London Dry Gin is manufactured in the US.

In 1813 Matthew was charged at Lent Sessions, Surrey with stealing money from his employers Sir Robert Burnett KT and others over a three-year period. He was sentenced on 29 March 1813 to transportation for 14 years. In the documents he was described as a merchant’s clerk, aged 33, 5 foot 5 inches height, dark/pale complexion, hazel eyes, Protestant from York. He sailed on the ship General Hewitt to arrive in Sydney 7 Feb 1814. Interesting to note that Frances Greenway was a convict aboard that ship too.

His wife, Ann and son, William Pearson, arrived on the Broxbournebury on 28 July 1814. Fanny was left in London. She would have been just three years old.

It is likely that he had letters of introduction as not only did his wife and child get free passage, but immediately upon his arrival he was appointed schoolmaster at the Government Charity School in Pitt Town. He was given a school residence, 30 pounds in salary and then in 1818 was promoted to assistant to the teacher at Wilberforce (a much more important school) where he stayed until receiving his ‘ticket of leave’ in 1822.

Census of 1828 shows him as aged 47, Free by servitude, farmer of Lower Portland Head with his wife Ann (aged 45) and children William 20, Elizabeth 13, Matthew George 8, Jane 6 and Thomas 3. In 1830 he was granted a further 200 acres for help in capturing bushrangers (possibly Jack Donohoe and his gang) – this was along the Boree swamp in Auburn Parrish.

When local government came to the Valley Matthew Pearson Thompson was one of the three Valley men appointed to the seven-man District Council for Wollombi and McDonald. He was a keen supporter of the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society.

He died on 10 March 1849 and is buried in the Old St Albans burial ground, his wife Ann, who died 17 Aug 1868 is buried with him.

The family story continues with Fanny Maund, Matthew and Ann’s eldest daughter who was, by 1849 a widow. Fanny arrived in Australia just months after her father died.

Frances Thompson Maund

Fanny was the mother to Isabella McDonald Maund and this is where the story continues.

Isabella’s story