Search billions of records on

Private Thomas Gulledge (.1769....1823)

Some information supplied by


(aka College, Colledge and Gulledge) was born circa Mar 1765, Gibraltar. It is not confirmed who his parents were, but it is possible he was the son of Thomas GOLLEDGE, a
soldier based in Gibraltar at that time and his wife, Elizabeth.
Very little is known of Thomas’ early life. His occupation prior to 1787 is described as a Patten Maker: a clog maker or a person who made wooden shoes to fit under normal shoes to protect from wet, muddy ground. Coincidentally, several other GOLLEDGE ancestors were involved with shoe making, especially as Cordwainer’s (maker and seller of boots and shoes), including Thomas’ brother George (link not confirmed). As such there is a possibility that the family name itself is derived from the Old French word “Galoche” or perhaps the Middle English word “Galoge” which means “a kind of footwear”. This is supported by an entry in the Assizes Rolls of Worcestershire, 1221 which records a Richard GOLACHE as well as the Fleet of Fines, Lincolnshire, 1256 which records a Godfrey GALOCH. The nearest modern equivalent would be “Galoshes or Goloshes” (a pair of waterproof overshoes). Although galoshes as we know (or knew) them appeared in the 19th century, the term itself is considerably older. When “galosh” first entered English in the 14th century, it usually referred to a wooden sandal or clog (although “galosh” was also applied to almost any kind of shoe). “Galosh” comes from the French word “galoche,” which is probably related to the medieval Latin “galopedium,” meaning “wooden shoe.” One authority believes that the ultimate source was the Latin “gallica,” a short form of “Gallica sole a,” or “Gallic sandal.” From this reasoning it is
possible that the GOLLEDGE name may mean ‘a maker or seller of boots’. However, there are other possibilities. The name GOLLEDGE and all it’s variations probably originated in the West Country, ie Somerset, Wiltshire, etc. For example, situated in Welles, Somerset is a manor house called Gollage Farm which dates back at least to the mid 1500’s. The manor is built on a small hill and is adjacent to what was once the site of a major Roman road that ran through the South and West of England. The hill is called Gaul Lege, literally meaning ‘the camp (or edge) of the Gauls.”                                                 
                                              The road is no longer there, but Gaul Lege is still reserved as a public thoroughfare, and is used as a bridle path today. Therefore the surname GOLLEDGE and it’s derviative’s may have originated from the original name of the area, ie the camp (or edge) of the Gauls. On July 1787, Thomas appeared at the Old Bailey in London charged with stealing. He was sentenced to seven years transportation and spent the next two years in Newgate jail. At that time, overcrowding of the prison system was a major problem. As a ‘temporary’ solution,
derelict old sailing ships moored on the Thames River, known as the ‘hulks’ were used. Thomas was sent with other convicts in late March 1789 to the “Dunkirk” hulk at Plymouth. His age was
given as 20. Aboard the hulks, prisoners, working in ironed-gangs, laboured in cleaning up the River Thames and building docks and wharves. In the “1811 Report of the Select Committee on Penitentiary Houses”, which inquired into conditions and management of the prison hulks, it was shown that prison system had continued to be corrupt, with many officers taking personal advantage of the sources of labour under their command. The daily ration for those on board the Woolwich hulks in 1812 was ‘beer and other extras to the total of from 2d. to 4½ d.’ depending upon the convict’s rating in the workforce. Those with particular skills, such as shoemakers and tailors were set ‘ship’s
duty’, keeping the shoes and clothes of others in repair (Johnson 1957:39). After enduring 28 months in these conditions, Thomas was embarked with 601 other prisoners from Portsmouth, England on November 1789, aboard the Neptune, one of the boats of the Second Fleet. He was to be transported to the newly established NSW penal colony. He is listed as Thomas COLLEGE.
                                                           The fleet comprised six vessels which left from Portsmouth, England between July 1789 and January
1790. The Lady Juliana, the first to leave, carried more than 220 women convicts, mostly London prostitutes. She was reported to have become a “floating brothel”. The Guardian, a man-of-war converted to a store ship, left in September but hit an iceberg near the Cape of Good Hope
was forced to jettison her supplies. Three transports, the Surprize, Neptune and Scarborough, left in December 1 the last, the main store ship Justinian, did not sail until January, 1790. Unlike the First Fleet, where 48 people died en route, transporting the convicts was in the hands of private contractors. There was no government supervision, and the contract system meant that payment was made on the number of convicts coming on board, not how many arrived in the new colony. Ships’ masters sold the food meant for the convicts. As a result of starvation and squalid conditions, the death rate on the Second Fleet was the worst in the history of transportation. Of the 1000 convicts who boarded the ships, 278 convicts died on the voyage. Of the remainder, nearly 500 landed suffering from scurvy, dysentery and fever. Of the 602 convicts who boarded the Neptune, 158 were to die on route. Upon landing, 42 were able to crawl over the ship’s side; the rest
were carried, and eight out of every ten died at Sydney Cove. The Sydney Cove Chronicle on the 30th June,1790 reported the arrival of the convict ships under
the headline: “At last the transports are here - DIABOLICAL CONDITION OF THE CONVICTS THEREON - 278 died on the fearsome journey to Sydney Cove”
“The landing of those who remained alive despite their misuse upon the recent voyage, could not fail to horrify those who watched. As they came on shore, these wretched people were hardly able to move hand or foot. Such as could not carry the upon their legs, crawled upon all fours. Those, who, through their afflictions, were not able to move, were thrown over the side of the ships; as sacks of flour would be thrown, into the small boats. Some expired in the boats; others as they reached the shore. Some fainted and were carried by those who fared better. More had not the
opportunity even to leave their ocean prisons for as they came upon the decks, the fresh air only hastened their demise. A sight most outrageous to our eyes was the marks of leg irons upon the convicts, some so deep that one could nigh on see the bones.” (As a result, the ship’s Master, Donald Trial and Mate were charged with causing their deaths, but disappeared before they could be brought to trial.) To make matters worse, the Colony was in a state of desperation. It was approaching its third winter and the harsh climate, severe food shortages and illness had taken their toll.                                                                 
                                                     With famine threatening to wipe out the fledging colony, the food and stores aboard the Second Fleet ships was long anticipated. Unfortunately, the store ship, the Guardian, had been wrecked enroute, the remaining ships carried little food and worst of all, had 1006 more convicts, as well as the men and families of the recently formed NSW Corps. Thomas arrived in Sydney on the evening of 28 June, 1790 and disembarked the next day. According to an newspaper article written in 1990 by Barbara HALL, a descendant of Thomas, he was “wracked with fever and dysentery, and what little flesh hung from his skeleton was covered with ulcerated sores and crawling with lice... he had spent the past eight months chained in the putrid,
dark hold, lying in the accumulated vomit and human excrement of hundreds of other convicts...After their arrival) weak and stricken with illness the unfortunate convicts had no clothes, bedding
or shelter. They spent the cold July nights lying on the grass with one blanket between four people... many did not survive.” Thomas was apparently assigned to Richard ALCORN (the father of his future son-in-law) until he became a freeman. In 1800, six years after the expiry of his sentence, Thomas enlisted as a Private in the 102nd regiment of the NSW Army Corps. The Corps was a unit of the British Army founded in 1789 especially for service in New South Wales. It was also known as the Rum Corps, due to its monopoly on the liquor trade in the early colony. The Corps was not considered a rewarding part of the army for career purposes and it is thought that either many ex-convicts were coerced into the Corps to keep regiment numbers up or they joined to be sure of getting a meal. The latter being the more likely for two reasons. One, the early settlement would have had very little paid employment for freed convicts, and although they could have applied to the government for assistance, enlisting in the Corps might qualify them for a land grant at a later date. Secondly, severe food shortages and starvation was a major problem in the very early years. This was due to a combination of factors; lack of regular food supplies from England, poor soils at the initial settlement at Sydney Cove, little useable equipment and tools combined with a limited knowledge of the climate contributed to extremely poor crops. Severe rationing of food occurred until the early 1800’s. The regimental paylist for that period records Thomas being paid 13 shillings for 12 days service. Thomas’ enlistment is also recorded in the “Description & Succession Books (Regimental) NSW Corps 1808-1816. His rank is given as a Private. In this document Thomas is described as aged 43 and 6 months of age; 5' 7” tall, dark complexion, gray eyes, light brown hair and thin visage. His place of birth is Gibraltor, Kingdom of England. His time of servitude is recorded as 7 years, 355 days. (The date of this muster was the 1st September, 1808 which further supports his birth date as
1765 and his age at trial as 22.)
                                                        In 1806 Thomas had been living with Elizabeth ROANS, a convict who had arrived on the Experiment in 1804. It is not known what happened to Elizabeth, but four years later, Thomas married Mary GOW (nee GRIFFITHS) on the 6 March, 1810 at St Phillp’s Church, Sydney. Mary was probably born in Ireland, c 1772-74. She arrived in Sydney Cove 15th February, 1806 aboard the Tellicherry as a “five in one” wife, aboard the boat ex Cork, Ireland. . She accompanied her first husband John GOW who had enlisted in 19th June, 1805 at Eire, Ireland as a Private with the 102 Foot Regiment (the same regiment as Thomas). He was paid on arrival in Sydney, and the pay list for that date records him receiving £2 1 shilling 9 1/2 pence for 59 days work. (The buying power of £1 in 1800 would equal £28.86 by 1998 standards.) John died ten months later, leaving Mary with their four month old son, John GOW (aka GOLLEDGE). The church in which Mary and Thomas were married, St Phillip’s, had its foundations laid on October 7, 1798. From 1802, the new colony was divided into 2 parishes. St Phillip’s, Sydney and St John’s, Parramatta. Their choice of church indicates they were living in Sydney. On the marriage certificate, Thomas is listed as Private, 102nd Regiment, Sydney. (From the June-September quarter of 1809, the NSW Corps became known as 102nd Regiment.) Mary signed her name with a mark. Several weeks after their marriage, and following the withdrawal of the 102nd regiment from NSW, Thomas transferred to the incoming 73rd Regiment as a Private on the 24th April, 1810. The 73rd Regiment had previously been stationed in India and was the personal regiment of Governor Macquarie which accompanied him to NSW. It replaced the NSW Corps which was recalled to England after a tour of duty of 18 years, mainly due to its involvement in monopolies and their part in the rebellion against Governor Bligh on January 26, 1808. Three years after his transfer, Thomas moved to Windsor where he is recorded in the Windsor Ration Book 1812-22, a list of civil authorities, military, free people and prisoners who were receiving government rations. He arrived in Mar 26, 1813 with his wife Mary and children John Gullidge, Charles, Thomas and Isaac. John Gullidge was Mary’s son by her fist marriage, John GOW. The child Charles that is mentioned is presumably Charlotte, as Charles was not born until 1822. Another daughter, Mary Ann is entered as being put on rations 23 Sept 1816 at the age of twelve months whilst Jemima who was born three years after Mary Ann, was never listed.
                                                             The Veterans Company, which had been formed from former NSW Corps members who had at least 20 years of service was disbanded in 1823 . His discharge paper records his age as 60, his general conduct as ‘very good’. Thomas signed his name Golledge on the discharge papers.
 Following his discharge, Thomas was offered a grant of 100 acres of land by Governor Thomas Brisbane on the 29th October, 1823. On this grant he is recorded as Thomas Gulledge with a wife
and seven children. There is no record that he accepted this land grant. The following year, on the 6th October, 1824 Thomas was appointed watch house keeper at Windsor and lived at 71 ??? Street, Windsor, next to the Catholic Chapel and Burial ground. (Which was still a residential address in 1993.) Two years later, in 1826, Thomas was appointed a police constable in the District of Windsor. He would have been 51 if his birth date of 1765 is correct. However, two years later, in the 1828 Census, the following information is recorded: “Gulledge, Thomas age
48. Freed by servitude “Neptune” 1790. Protestant. Constable Windsor. (It is possible that Thomas was a young looking man for his age who put his age lower to get the position of Constable.)
The couple’s children included: Charlotte (1808), Thomas (1811), Isaac (1813), Mary Anne (1815), Jemima (1818) and George (1821). George is mentioned in a newspaper report as one of the young cornstalks of the colony, growing to a height of 6’1" in his early teens. On 13th June, 1832, Thomas was discharged and was awarded a British Army pension (source quoted in book: WO120 volume 35 page 360), rate of pay 1s. 1d per day. aged 69 yrs, Private 23 yrs service, born Gibraltar, no occupation, conduct very good. Pensions were paid to enlisted men or
 other ranks,’ often abbreviated to ‘ORs’ - privates, non-commissioned officers, and warrant officers below the ranks of commissioned officers. As a rule the pensions were paid for the lives of the pensioners, although in some instances they were paid for a specified period, especially when a regiment was disbanded. Pensions could be stopped for misconduct or conviction of a crime. Any ‘violence or outrage’ towards the officer paying the quarterly pension could be grounds for taking away the pension. On the death of the pensioner, the pension ceased - there were no benefits for surviving widows or children. The daily amount ranged from 5 pence to 3 shillings, with a shilling being a fairly typical amount by the mid-century.
                                                      Thomas and Mary spent their last years with their daughter’s family (Charlotte) at Patrick Plains, near Singleton, NSW. (Singleton was named after Benjamin SINGLETON, the father-in-law of their daughter, Jemima). Thomas died on 14 October 1836 aged 71 although an obituary notice in the Sydney Herald on the 27th stated that he died at Darlington (near Patricks Plains) aged 90. His service in the 73rd regiment was also mentioned. Charles Golledge, a great grandson of Thomas, claims that Thomas was buried on the ALCORN property. It is not known how he came about this information. The property referred to may have been called either ‘Pulluminbra’ or “Glenn ridding”. Beryl McMILLAN was told that that he ‘was buried on the hill at Darlington’- that being the parish of Darlington across the river from Singleton. Mary died ten years later aged 71 on 4th March, 1846 at Patrick's Plains, NSW. She was buried two days  later at the Whittingham Cemetery. She is buried with her son, Isaac. There are no headstones.
Family Members, Military records  ,Pay rolls, Pay Musters, Cemetery Records, Church Records & General Muster Records, Mitchell Library ,Sydney Australia
The information is intended for short Historical value only,
E- mail address
Refer to Home Page
© Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
Last revised: Sunday, 06 June 2010 10:13:02