Thomas Bates was born circa 1772 in Harwich, Essex, England, United Kingdom and died 17 December 1836 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes.

  • 7 May 1788 - Old Bailey, London - sentenced to 7 years transportaion for stealing odd pair of boots
  • 30 June 1790 - arrived Sydney NSW as a convict aboard "Neptune" in the 2nd Fleet. The "Neptune" was also known as the ‘hell’ ship of the Second Fleet, almost one third of the convicts on board died. The chaplain of the Colony, Reverend Johnson witnessed a terrible scene: The landing of these people was truly affecting and shocking; great numbers were not able to walk, nor to move hand or foot. Upon their being brought up to the open air some fainted, some died on the deck, and others in the boat before they reached the shore. When come on shore many were not able to walk, to stand, or stir themselves in the least, hence some were led by others. Some creeped upon their hands and knees, and some were carried upon the backs of others.
  • 12 May 1800 - Thomas Bates, now an emancipist (former convict from the Neptune, 1790), is 27 and his bride, Ann, is 16 years old. Ann’s father, the widower Michael Griffin, a 3rd Fleet soldier in the NSW Corps, is 50 years old. Reverend Richard Johnson (1753-1827), the first minister in the colony, is officiating. Ann’s brothers Nathaniel, 12, and Thomas, 9, (both Drummers in the NSW Corps) and younger sister, Lydia, 6, are also attending the wedding. Witnesses were Harry Parsons, a First Fleet Marine, and Phoebe Walton, a 7 year convict who arrived on the Indispensable in 1796.
  • 23 August 1800 - enlisted in the NSW Corps in Sydney - now a soldier
  • 9 May 1806 - posted in Sydney when daughter Lydia born
  • 1 September 1808 - description: dark complexion, light brown hair, a round face and grey eyes, 5'4" (162.5cm)
  • 14 December 1808 - stationed in Port Dalrymple (Launceston), Tasmania when daughter Maria born
  • 17 July 1809 - leased 13½ rods of land in Back Row, now Sussex Street, Sydney for 5s a year
  • 1810 - transfered to 73rd regiment (replacement for NSW Corps which was renamed the 102nd)
  • 1814 - transfered to 46th regiment (replacement for 73rd Regiment)
  • 1817 - retired from army rather than transfer to 48th (replacement for 46th) after serving in army "upwards of 17 years")
  • 3 July 1820 - applied for a land grant, describes his army service, mentions he arrived on the "Neptune" in 1790 but does not mention that he arrived as a convictt, mentions his wife & (then) six children. William Cowper describes him as "an honest and industrious man". John Piper describes him as "always well conducted".
  • 1822 - worked as a Carter
  • 1 November 1825 - Boat Builder of Back Street - On list of persons liable to serve as jurors in the district of Sydney
  • 1828-1836 - Bates Lane, Cockle Bay, now Darling Harbour. In 1828, aged "53" he had land cleared and cultivated, three horses and seven cattle.
  • 17 December 1836 - died, buried in the Old Devonshire Street Cemetery. His tombstone read in part: "Sacred to the memory of Mr Thomas Bates, late of the 102nd Regt. of Foot, aged 64 years. He was a faithful man and feared God above many."

  • His son Nathaniel went to New Zealand with his brother-in-law, George Green, became a whaler and had 3 wives (Moari and half-Maori) and 31 children. (George Green, the husband of Maria Bates, moved his family to New Zealand and he died there. Maria moved back to Sydney.)

  • His children Maria and William Bates married siblings George and Mary Ann Green in

  • His daughters Martha and Sarah Bates married brothers Joseph Richard and George Clayton


Offspring of Thomas Bates and Ann Griffin (1784-1864)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Lydia Bates (1806-1867) 9 May 1806 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 6 April 1867 Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia John Stewart (1802-1877)
Maria Bates (1808-1896)
William Bates (1812-1871)
James Bates (1814-1841)
Ann Bates (1817-1901)
Nathaniel Bates (1819-1887)
Martha Bates (1823-1849)
Sarah Bates (1826-1884)

Changes of surname by daughters:

  • Lydia Bates married John Stewart in 1825
  • Maria Bates married George Green in 1830
  • Ann Bates married Jonathon Piper in 1835
  • Martha Bates married Joseph Richard Chayton in 1845
  • Sarah Bates married George Clayton in 1845


Footnotes (including sources)