George Rowley and Elizabeth Friend
Anthony Rowley and Mary Dennis
William Friend and Elizabeth Slow
George Rowley (b 1717 Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, m Elizabeth
Friend 1739 Godalming, Surrey)
Elizabeth Friend (b 1716 Godalming)
Elizabeth Rowley (b 1740 Godalming)
George Rowley (b 1743 Godalming, d 1744)
George Rowley (b 1745 Godalming)
Thomas Rowley (b 1747
Kingston Upon Thames, children by Elizabeth Selwyn, d 1806 Kingston
House, Newtown NSW).
Rowley II (b 1794 Sydney NSW, m Catherine Clarkson 1818 Christ
Church, Castlereagh, d 1858 Minto).
John Rowley (b 1822 Minto NSW, m Mary Jane (Jane)
Onslow 1846 Liverpool, d 1909 Pertersham)
John Clarkson Rowley (b 1847 Liverpool, NSW, m Sarah Jane Smart 1874 Beechworth Vic, d 1928
Rowley (b 1875 Yackandandah Vic, m Eircell
Broome 1909 Albury NSW, d 1957 Bethanga)
Mary Rowley (b 1748 Kingston Upon Thames)
James Rowley (b 1753 Kingston Upon Thames)
Thomas Rowleys Origins - Extracts from "A Cameo of Thomas Rowley"
The discussion laid out 20 years ago by Ian Ramage in his Cameo
(reference 1) still stands up well
1.03 Whereas Brian Fletcher in his
entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography gives Rowley's
birth-date as “1748?” - John Ritchie in the index to The Evidence to
the Bigge Reports repeats this - Huntington says “he was born in the
year 1753” and this is implied on his tombstone, erected in 1884, when
the remains were re-interred. Another report sets his birth-date as
1756. Again, whereas Huntington suggests that Rowley “was much better
educated than his brother officers in the Colony”, Fletcher makes the
point that the “singularly poor grammar and spelling in his letters
indicate that he could not have been well educated."
1.035 John Gray, a descendant who has done a
considerable amount of research, suggests that Captain Rowley may be
identical with the "Thomas Rowley", the son of George Rowley and
Elizabeth (nee Friend) who was baptised at Kingston Upon Thames on 24
January, 1747 and I believe that this is likely. Rowley called his
first farm "Kingston Farm" - to honour his birthplace ? - and his
second, "Burwood Farm". Less than ten kilometres from Kingston Upon
Thames are the villages Burgh Heath and Kingswood. Today, "Burwood
Park" in England is operated by the Burbill Estates Co Ltd, no doubt
Burbill being a similar contraction of Burgh Heath and Walton On The
for John Gray's suggestion comes from the close proximity of the
village of Croydon, from which Major Grose came, and the knowledge that
the appointment of the Adjutant was in the personal right of Grose.
The following tree
was compiled by John Gray.
Anthony Rowley - m
- Mary Dennis
at Godalming at
1.06 There were two Rowleys who
arrived in the colony in 1790 as convicts aboard the Second Fleet. On
board the Surprise was William Rowley who was sentenced to seven years
on 23 May, 1787 at the Old Bailey. Thomas Rowley, also sentenced to
seven years - the terms tended to be 7, 14 or life - was transported on
the Neptune. This has led more than one person to entertain the notion
that Adjutant Rowley enlisted for service in New South Wales in order
to watch over his convict son. It is easy then to suppose that Adjutant
Rowley had a wife who was among those who died aboard the ship on which
they came to the colony. (Ian's suggestion of an accompanying
wefe was spot on. Link
1.065 There is a record in the
register of St Philip's of the burial on 20 September, 1822, of Thomas
Rowley, aged 39 years, a corporal in the Marines.
Ian Ramage mentions Burwood Park(1.035 above), but the mention of a
composite name from Burgh Heath and Kingswood distracted me. Geoff
Rowley pointed out Burwood Park is a real possibility.
It existed in Thomas' day as a grand estate. It is now a residential
developement, just as Thomas' farm is now the Sydney suburb of Burwood.
But the website has its history. See History of Burwood Park, Walton
The Grose Connection
To what extent was Thomas friends with Francis Grose, and does that
give any indications of Thomas' origins
Francis Grose was probably born in Wandsworth, and his father was
paymaster of the Hampshire Militia and later captain and paymaster of
the Surrey Militia.
Francis was wounded while serving in the American war of independence
in 1779 (Sources ADB, LDS)
His son Francis was born in 1790 in Portsmouth (LDS), and came to
Australia on the Pitt
Francis was living in Croydon Surrey in 1814 (ADB). - about 12 miles
from Kingston, ie not that close in Greater London. terms. But maybe
close enough if you are wealthy.
Thomas may well have got his Adjutant job on a recommendation from
Conclusion: Given the mobility of Francis and possibly
Thomas, there is nothing to strongly support particular theories of
Rhonda Kroehnert adds to the
picture of the Kingston Thomas
I have found an entry from origins.net -
British Origins re London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850 for Thomas
1762 Rowley Thomas,
son of George, Kingston, Surrey, farmer, to John Dobbs, 7 Dec 1762,
LR : Does This make his connecting with
someone of the social class of Francis Grose any more or less likely? I have no idea
Rhonda : I believe it would have been the usual
for George Rowley to have needed connections or money to get Thomas
John Gray's Article
This is available in full. (Link), but
parts should be restated here
Early researchers placed Rowley's birthplace, or at
least the place where he spent his childhood, as at a "Burwood Farm",
said to be in Cornwall.
These, or other, researchers, also suggested a
connection with one of the prominent Naval Rowley families of Cornwall.
(This was perhaps because of confusion of his final Army rank of
Captain with the Naval rank of Captain.)
Many people over the years have spent much time and
energy in trying to locate a Burwood Farm in Cornwall, or verify the
suggested connection with the prominent Rowley Naval families, both
In recent years my research suggests that he may
have been born at Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey.......... there is an
old established property, Burwood Park, only a few miles from
Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey. There appears to be some connection
with a Thomas Rowley, of Bath, and his nephew Joshua Rowley, and the
sale of a portion of land, adjoining Burwood Park in 1769 to a Mr.
Frederick (whose family held Burwood Park for several generations).
Thomas Rowley's first appointment, to the New South
Wales Corps, was as Adjutant in 1789. This rank is a Regimental
appointment, rather than an Army appointment, and was most probably
made by the first Commandment, Major Grose. Thomas Rowley was shown as
"gentleman" on his appointment, indicating that he had not been in the
Armed Services before.
Major Grose was born at Petersham, Surrey and lived in Croydon, Surrey,
both not far from Kingston-upon-Thames. His grants in New South Wales
he called Petersham and Croydon. It is quite likely that Major Grose
and Thomas Rowley were close friends, because they appear to have lived
fairly close together in Surrey, and because it appears that Major
Grose secured for him his appointment as Adjutant, an act which appears
to have been within his power to implement.
This close friendship could account for his
appointment as Adjutant at 42 years of age when, I understand, nobody
over 39 years was to be appointed to the Corps for service in New South
Possible Births for Thomas in FamilySearch
If we are guided by the Kingston and Burwood
connections, we need only discuss the Kingston family outlined above.
One point though. My Collins Road Atlas of Britain has 29 Kingstons and
another 5 Kingstones. Interestingly, no Burwoods
Searching the LDS around 1753, the date where his tombstone
points gives 44 hits in the period 1751-5, of which 11 appear to be
duplicates. Hard work could eliminate many of these, but it is a
reminder to be wary.
Possible Marriages for Thomas to Elizabeth in FamilySearch
It would seem to me we are looking for two main possibilities. Found in
(1) A marriage not long before
departure from England in July 1791. The couple had no
Elizabeth Allman 1 Jun 1790 Eccleshall, Stafford
(see research notes)
Elizabeth Knott 19 Jan 1791 Stoke Upon Trent,
Stafford, (see research notes)
Elizabeth Suckwell 13 Oct 1785 Chedzoy Somerset
(2) A marriage about 1770, early
enough to have children that could be left, or could have got in
trouble and been sent to Australia
Elizabeth Fox 8 Nov 1772 Saint Clement Worchester
Elizabeth Eyre 1 Jan 1775 Saint Margaret Lothbury
Elizabeth Sutherland 18 Nov1776 St Margaret
We can rule these out if we are lucky, by finding children born in
England after the Pitt departure, or if we are very lucky, a record of
death or census entry in 1841. But these would not necessarily need to
be near Kingston.
Review (Les Rowley)
(1) Thomas' date of birth
See 1.03 above, and photo of the tombstone.
Detail of inscription. (supplied by Glenn
Rowley) This seems to give age 53 years, giving a calculated DOB
between May 1852 and May 1853. This is not consistent with the son of
George and Elizabeth who was christened in 24 Jan 1747.
(2) The Kingston Connection
George and Elizabeth christened their Thomas at Kingston, and he called
his first farm "Kingston Farm".
(3) The Burwood Connection
The second naming coincidence looks to be getting conclusive, particularly with a Rowley
involved in property sales .
But he was not our Thomas (See the discussion in the land sale
this leaves us with a strong case our Thomas came from the
Kingston/Burwood area (90% confident), but not quite so strong a case
that he was the Thomas born in 1747 (70% confident)
(4) The Grose Connection
Inconclusive, but consistent with Kingston
(5) Marriage to Elizabeth
Inconclusive. If you had to pick, you might go for Elizabeth Eyre. but Saint
Margaret Lothbury is 1.2 miles N of the centre of London, ie
not that close to Kingston. My hunch is he married not long before
departure.As I say above, more work is needed on children and
deaths..My Elizabeth Eyre is ratng about 25%.
(6) Miscellany. Very
minor thing, but if Thomas was sentimental enough to name two homes
after where he grew up, you might have expected he would name a son
after his father
Circumstantial but strong evidence our Thomas was born in Kingston. But
his date of birth is a lingering doubt that he is the son of George and
A Cameo of Captain Thomas Rowley – Ian Ramage. 200pps on Thomas and his
Possible Deaths in FamilySearch
One thing against the Knott Stoke on Trent marriage is a death
of Thomas Rowley in Stoke on Trent in 1846 (The 1841 Census has a Thomas Rowley in
Stoke on Trent b about 1791 who could well be a son)
Possible Children in FamilySearch
One thing against the Stafford marriage is
Thos Eowley and Elizabeth son Thomas christened 1796 Weston upon Trent,
Thos Eowley and Eliz son Thos b 18Apr 1799, christened 12 May 1799
Hanley, Stafford, England
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Page last updated - 9 Mar 2007 11
Jan 2011 15 Jan 2010