Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ewer's in Colonial NSW

A few previous posts have dealt with Ewer’s in colonial Australia, and thanks to Ron Harper of Australia, Michael Ewer of everywhere and Derek Rogers of Hertfordshire (along with some new bits and pieces I’ve picked up) I’ve been able to expand on this - there's still more to be added but as I find details on each person I'll re-post this. As such, I’ve retained the names and details from my previous post, and expanded it. To learn more of the regimental Ewer’s, I’ll have to find a volunteer at the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) as living in the US restricts my ability to search those archives!

I’ve learnt a great deal more of Edward Ewer now, but that will predominately be saved for another post.

Colonial Ewer’s in Australia:

Thomas EWER, Private, NSW Corps, SAG pay list 1798, recorded receiving land in 1800. ‘Australia’s free coat settlers’ ( notes that he was in the 102nd Regiment (Rum Corps), and returned to England. The 102nd (NSW Corps) was raised in 1789 for service in Australia, and returned in 1810.

Thomas Ewer’s regimental discharge papers reveal a great deal:

HERTFORD, Hertfordshire
Served in New South Wales Corps
Discharged aged 40 after 13 years of service

“His Majesty’s New South Wales Corps whereof Francis Grose Esq. Is Colonel. These are to certify, that the Bearer hereof, Thomas Ewer Private in the Regiment aforesaid, aged forty years, five feet three inches high, fair complexion, fair hair, grey eyes, ? visage, born in the Parish of St Stephen’s in or near the Market Town of Hereford in the county of Hereford Kingdom of England and by Trade a Laborer hath served honestly and faithfully for the Space of thirteen years, but on the reduction of the Corps to the Peace Establishment was discharged therefrom at Sydney on the 24th May 1803 and is hereby discharged, and humbly recommended as a proper object of His Majesty’s Royal Bounty of CHELSEA HOSPITAL. He having first received all just Demands of Pay, Cloathing, &c. from his Entry into the said Regiment, to the Date of his Discharge; as appears by receipt on the back hereof.

Given under my Hand and Seal at Parkhurst Barracks, this fourteenth Day of September 1804.”

So Thomas was born in approximately 1863, and enlisted aged 27 in 1890, served 13 years in the NSW Corps and was discharged aged 40 in 1803/4. It appears that after serving in Sydney, Thomas was discharged in Sydney in 1803 prior to sailing for England, receiving his discharge papers at Parkhurst Barracks on the Isle of Wight.

Thomas’ home county is mis-written as ‘Hereford’ on his discharge papers - the covering leaf states it correctly as Hertford. The St Stephen’s Parish in Hertford covers the Presbytarian and Unitarian Chapel, Dagnall Lane, St Albans (in Hertford), and parish transcripts reveal that Thomas Ewer, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Ewer, was baptised ‘near Tenements’, on 18 June 1762 by the minister Jabez Hirons.

Thomas was the eldest child of Thomas EWER and Elizabeth nee WRIGHT (who were married at St Stephens on 6 Nov 1761, both of parish of St Stephens). Their other children, also baptized under the same church, were George (baptized at Searches Farm, 21 March 1765), Elizabeth (baptized at Searches Farm, 30 Sept 1767), John (baptized at Searches Farm, 27 March 1771), James (baptized at Searches Farm, 1 Jun 1773), Joseph (baptized at Whitehouse Farm, St Stephens, 20 Dec 1775) and Rose (baptized at Whitehouse Farm, St Stephens, 10 Feb 1777).

I have not yet determined whether Thomas had a family in England – there are not births of Ewer’s in Australia during the period of the NSW Corps in NSW. As a side-note, given that Thomas was in NSW during the period in which my ancestor Edward and his siblings were born, he cannot be the Thomas Ewer, soldier, living at Clewer, Berkshire during that period.

William EWER, Private, 73rd Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion. Recorded in 1812 Pay List. The 73rd was sent under Leiut. Gen. Lachlan Macquarie to relieve the NSW Corps, arriving in 1810, and departing in 1814. The NSW Criminal Court records show that William Ewer, along with Joseph Accroid (Akroyd?) and William Grimes were charged with ‘riot and rescue’ on 30 Aug 1813. While the 73rd left in 1814, a William EWER appears on the 1828 general muster having arrived on the Florentia (arrived NSW 1828) as in the employment of the No. 6 Iron Gang – no sentence is entered, nor is a year of arrival. No indication that he remained in Australia.

Joseph EWER, Private, 73rd Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion, just like William EWER. Recorded in 1812 Pay List. 73rd sent under Leiut. Gen. Lachlan Macquarie to relieve the NSW Corps, arriving in 1810, and departing in 1814. No indication that he remained in Australia. Again, SAG records would reveal more.

Nathaniel EWER, married Sarah PARKER in Islington, Middlesex in 1810 and had a son Clement in 1812 (Clement is such a scarce name that Michael Ewer estimates a connection with Clement EWER b 1755 Kensington, Middlesex who married Elizabeth IRLAM and had at least 7 children). Nathaniel appeared at the Old Bailey charged for simple grand larceny (theft) on 21st June 1815. Prior to his conviction, he was an articulator, employed to put skeletons together at St. Thomas and the London Hospitals. In the trial, the codefendant John SILVESTER attested that he was guilty but that he had never met Nathaniel Ewer before, and that he was not guilty. Nathaniel was nevertheless found guilty and sentenced to be transported for seven years. Nathaniel was transported in July 1816 on the ‘Mary Anne’. In court charged with escaping on ‘Hamet’ in 1818. In 1820, he escaped on the ‘General Gates’ with four other convicts including Francis EWER and made their way to New Zealand before being returned (see NZ Historical Records Vol 1). This shows Nathaniel and Francis knew one another. In December 1820 he was recommended for a pardon, by 1822 had been granted a ticket of leave that allowed him to work for himself and was listed in the 1822 muster as a ‘whitesmith’ (a tin and pewter worker) in Sydney. Nathaniel must have thrived in Sydney from here on, as from 1822 the Colonial Secretary Index shows he testified at a Board of Enquiry into the Engineer Department, assigned convicts, and had offered his services to the government as a tin and copper smith. The 1825 muster shows that Nathaniel was a blacksmith, however no subsequent records have yet been unearthed for Nathaniel.

An infant, Thomas R EWER, died in 1817. I do not have the certificate for this child. Any info welcome.

Francis EWER, born 25 Sep 1797, son of Thomas and Jane Ewer, St Sepulchre, London, and a plumber prior to his conviction. Convicted at the Old Bailey (First Middlesex Jury) for breaking and entering a house in St Luke’s, 19th Feb 1817, aged 19 and sentenced to death. Departed for Australia on the ‘Ocean’ in Aug 1818. In 1820, he escaped on the ‘General Gates’ with four other convicts including Nathaniel EWER and made their way to New Zealand before being returned (see NZ Historical Records Vol 1). This shows Nathaniel and Francis knew one another.

On 13th January 1821, the Sydney Gazette reported that Francis Ewer had been sentenced to 25 lashes and transportation for ‘purloining a quantity of lead:

The Sydney Gazette
13 January 1821
At a Bench of Magistrates convened this day at Sydney, Francis Ewer and Robert Ward, prisoners of the Crown, were found guilty of purloining a quantity of lead, the property of the government, and were sentenced to receive 25 lashes each and be transported to Newcastle for two years. Peter Jackson, and Mary Jackson is wife, each possessing the indulgence of a ticket of leave, were convicted of receiving the said lead, knowing to be stolen and sentenced two years to Newcastle’.

He was transported to Newcastle on the 27th of that month. A year later, on the 15th February 1822 the Sydney Gazette reported that Francis had absconded from the Newcastle settlement and he was still considered outstanding on the 29th March when that edition described him as ‘26 yrs old; native of London; 5 ft 8 inches; grey eyes; dark sandy hair; fair ruddy complexion’. However, the Colonial Secretary index indicates that Francis gave himself up under a proclamation of Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane, and he was on a list of convict runaways removed to Port Macquarie per "Newcastle" (and he appears in the 1822 muster as under ‘Govt employ Port Macq’), though he was returned to Sydney to act as witness in a murder trial in December 1822 and may still have been there as there is also correspondence regarding his confinement to the Convict Barracks.

The 1825 general muster again shows Francis to be at the penal colony in Port Macquarie. No subsequent records of Francis have been found, and he does not appear in the 1828 census of NSW. The Port Macquarie settlement was closed in 1834 and convicts were transferred to Norfolk Island.

Edward EWER. Born Clewer, Berkshire, England 1796, died Howick St, Bathurst NSW 20 Sep 1859. Edward was convicted of stealing at the Berkshire Assizes on 28 Feb 1820 and sentenced to hang, but was transported to NSW on the ‘Mary’ (2), departing 28 Aug 1821 and arriving in Jan 1822 and assigned work – in 1822 his muster indicate was working at the Benevolent Asylum. Married Ann EDWARDS in 1825 at Parramatta NSW. The NSW census of 1828 indicates that Edward was a shopkeep in Parramatta, and he appeared in court in relation to a number of matters, including when Alexander Stuart was charged with ‘shooting at Edward Ewer with intent at Parramatta’ in 1829 – Alexander was a servant to Edward Ewer in the 1828 census. Edward was awarded a pardon in Jul 1834, and an absolute pardon in 1841 (after which Edward may have moved to Bathurst). They had 9 children in Parramatta (1827-1839) and the Bathurst district (1843-1848). His wife died in 1854, and Edward died in 1859. His death was noted in the "Bathurst Free Press & Mining Journal" on 21st September 1859 (I’m yet to obtain a copy).

Ann EWER nee EDWARDS, born in colony. Daughter of convicts Rowland EDWARDS and Jan FLETCHER. Married Edward Ewer in Parramatta, 1825. d. Bathurst, 1854.

Edward Jr EWER, b. 1827, Parramatta, first of nine children to Edward EWER and Ann nee EDWARDS. Married Catharine HARAN/AHERN in Carcoar, NSW, 1851 and they had nine children, all born in Bathurst. Confectioner, declared insolvent in 1863, and present in the 1871 and 1878 electoral rolls living in Bathurst. Died 1884 in Bathurst NSW.

Matilda EWER, born about 1813 and convicted in Cambridge on 24 Jul 1840 to be transported for life. She was transported on the ‘Rajah’ which set sail from Woolwich England on 5 Apr 1841 and arrived in Hobart Tasmania later on 19 Jul 1841, aged 27. On this trip, the 180 female convicts produced the ‘Rajah quilt’ ( The 1841 muster describes her employment as ‘Mr Turnbull, New Norfolk’ – there was a James Turnbull, Farmer at New Norfolk, west of Hobart. She applied for marriage with Giles TIMMS (a free person) and this must’ve been approved as the married him in Hobart in 1843. In 1842 she is recorded traveling from Launceston to Melbourne, however given her marriage in 1843 she must have returned. In 1846 the muster notes she has a ticket of leave and In 1847/8 she was granted a pardon in Tasmania, with the comment that ‘There is only one offence, and that of a trifling character recorded against her since she has been in the Colony’. Nothing further is known of her fate.

Richard EWER was born Stoke Poges, Bucks, 26 Oct 1806, the son of William and Sarah. He had 3 children before he was transported and another, Jabez, when he returned. He was convicted at Bucks on 29 Jun 1841 and arrived in Tasmania on ‘Marquis of Hastings’ in 1842. The 1846 muster reveals that Richard had a 3rd Class pass (the lowest of three classes) assigned to Mr Walker of Longford. He departed Tasmania, free of servitude, on ‘City of Melbourne’, 2 Dec 1851. Richard appears in the 1861 England census living in Denham, Bucks with his wife Elizabeth (born Sathall, Middlesex abt 1814) and son Jabez, and again in the 1871 and 1881 censuses.

James Garnet EWER, born abt 1799, arrival date unknown, but the Colonial Secretary letters relating to land reveal correspondence from James Garnett EWER from 1838-1845. Married Louisa HAWKINS in Kelso NSW (essentially a suburb of Bathurst) in 1859. Died in Sydney NSW in 1886. There may be a connection to Edward EWER given that he was living in Bathurst at the time.

Unknown EWER, a Mr. Ewer is shown as an unassisted arrival on four dates between 1847 and 1852, in each case from Moreton Bay (Qld), and is assumed to be a mariner.

I will hopefully expand some of these again in time. Please contact me if you have any information on any of these colonial Ewer’s.


Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,
I am the great great great grandaughter of Richard Ewer, I'm 99% sure its the one you have on your website here as a lot of the details match up. Have you ever heard that his nickname was Charcoal Dick? Have you found out anymore information since your last post?

I live near Reading in the UK but a lot of my relatives come from the Denham, Uxbridge, Middx area.

Claire -

Maxine Douglass said...

Hi Matt,

Thank you so much for putting all this information online. I am adescendant of Edward Ewer, through his son Joseph and then Ivy Ewer.
Until now, I didn't have a lot of information on this line.
I live in Adelaide, South Australia. I am happy to help you with your research, bit it looks like you have a lot more than I do :-)

Maxine -

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,I believe I am the 3x great granddaughter of Edward Ewer who was transported as a convict to Australia in 1821. My uncle sent me lineage info and it seems to track. In googling I found your sites which gave me much more info than I'd had previously - details etc. My g'father was Joseph Clyde Ewer, son of Jeremiah, son of Edward (Jr) who was son of the Edward who was transported. If you have any other sites I can explore or any other info I would truly appreciate it. I cannot imagine the work you've put in. Like you, I was born and raised in Australia and now live in the U.S. Please and thank you for any help.
Lyn Jones

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Anonymous said...

I think the unknown Ewer you mention at the end of your list as an unassisted passenger into Moreton Bay 1847-1852 was James Garnett Ewer, who owned a number of properties on the Darling Downs during that period. The same James Garnett Ewer employed my ancestor, John Fogg, who was a probationary convict transported to Moreton Bay in 1850.
Toni Eaton White

matt said...

Thanks Toni,

I've posted more recent versions of this document where I finally connected up J G EWER with those arrivals in Sydney. I'm currently working on another version with a little more info on JG.


Anonymous said...

My name is Allan Ewer, I am the second of 6 children of Douglas Earl Ewer who is the 1st born of Ivy Mary Ewer and raised by her brother Wellington John Ewer son of Josseph George and Mary Anne Ewer.Descendent of Edward Ewer