On 20th December 1833, Thomas Birtles aged 20 & George Whitehurst aged 22, were charged with breaking into the house of John Shaw at Hulme Walfield, near Congleton, Cheshire, England earlier that morning & stealing two silver watches, five sovereigns & other property, and were taken to the lock-up at Congleton. At the Lent Assizes in Chester in April 1834, they were convicted of burglary and a death sentence was handed down. The sentence was later commuted to Life to be Transported beyond the Seas for the term of their respective natural Lives. On 21st May 1834 they were transferred from Chester Castle & conveyed to the Prison Hulk "Fortitude."
Thomas Birtles & George Whitehurst were transported on the Lady Nugent from Sheerness, England on 3rd December 1834 & arrived in New South Wales, Australia on 9th April 1835.
On the Convict Indent of the Lady Nugent, Thomas Birtles was described as being aged 22; he could Read & Write; was a Protestant; single; his occupation was a Tailor, good. His physical description was Height: 5' 6¼"; Complexion: Pale; Light Hair; Grey Eyes; Particular Marks or Scars: Lost canine tooth right side of upper jaw, small raised mole lower part of right side of neck, scar on knuckle of fore-finger of left hand, scar back of left thumb, scar back of right wrist.
On 9th May 1843 he received his Ticket of Leave & was living in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia.
On 30th May 1843, Thomas Birtles, age 29, Ship: Lady Nugent; Sentence: Life; Condition: Ticket of Leave was granted permission to marry Mary Lennon, age 23, Ship: North Briton; an Immigrant; Clergyman: Michael Ryan, Penrith. They were married on 8th June 1843 at Penrith, New South Wales, Australia by Michael Ryan, a Priest of the Catholic Church.
On 30th October 1847 it was recommended Thomas be granted a Conditional Pardon, which was eventually granted on 1st June 1848.
Thomas Birtles died aged 74, on 25th July 1886  at Cardross, Yass, New South Wales, Australia & was laid to rest in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Yass, New South Wales, Australia on 26th July 1886.
↑ 3.03.1England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 database, FamilySearch accessed: 9 September 2017 > Thomas Birtles, 14 Feb 1813; citing Astbury, Cheshire, England, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 0823619 IT 5, 0823620.
↑Australia, New South Wales - Marriage Certificate > 8 Jun 1843. Thomas Birtles & Mary Lennon; New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages Office, Sydney. Personal copy in the files of Vivian Egan.