Thomas Spencer was born in 1759.
Thomas served in the New South Wales Marine Corps, newly-raised to accompany the First Fleet to establish the penal colony of New South Wales. Arriving as a guard aboard the transport, Scarborough, he served both at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island. At Norfolk Island, he became protector / de facto husband to convict Mary Phillips, who arrived on the island with her son aboard the ‘Sirius’ on 4th March 1790. Thomas and Mary had a daughter, Sarah, born 27th November 1791.
When the corps returned to England in 1791, Thomas took his discharge and remained as a settler in the colony together with Sarah, receiving a grant of land at Richmond, one of the settlements at the Hawkesbury River. Mary ended up at the penal settlements of Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania). Sarah married pardoned convict and now free settler, Charles Hadley in 1812 and settled nearby at Castlereagh, on the Nepean River, in a well-situated home called Hadley House.
By 1806, Thomas was in a relationship with convict, Susan Smith, at Richmond. There does not appear to be any formal registration of a marriage, however, Susan remained with him all his life and was listed as 'widow' afterwards.
Thomas passed away on 3rd February 1821 at Richmond, New South Wales and is buried in the St Peter's Churchyard, Richmond. Thomas’s grave bears a Fellowship of First Fleeters plaque.
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Categories: St Peter's Anglican Cemetery, Richmond, New South Wales | Port Jackson Penal Colony | First Fleet | Scarborough, Arrived 26 Jan 1788 | Royal Marines, New South Wales 1788-1790 | English Soldier Immigrants to Australia | Norfolk Island, First (Colonial) Settlement 1788-1814 | Richmond, New South Wales