Thomas Spencer was 27 years old when he embarked as a marine private on 
Scarborough. He served at Port Jackson as a member of Captain Shea’s company until 4 March 1790 when he was sent to Norfolk Island on Sirius. As Sirius was wrecked there, he remained on Norfolk Island until returned on Supply in May 1791. He settled on a 60-acre lot at Arthur’s Vale and became a successful farmer, able to sell grain to the Government from his 13 cultivated acres. 

He had an association with Mary Phillips a First Fleeter 18-year-old lass who had been convicted for stealing and had been transported for seven years. She, too, had been sent to Norfolk Island on 
Sirius. She gave birth to a daughter, Sarah, of whom Thomas Spencer was the father. This is confirmed in the family prayer book handed down by Susan Smith (later to become Thomas Spencer’s wife) to Charles Hadley who married his daughter, Sarah. 

In 1794 the Officer-in-Charge on Norfolk Island, Lt-Governor King, described Thomas Spencer in the official records as being “a settler of unexceptional character.” As he was receiving commendation for his part in preventing a mutiny of some of the insubordinate soldiers of the NSW Corps, perhaps the word “unexceptional” should be taken in its old dictionary meaning of “not open to criticism, beyond reproach, satisfactory, excellent.”

Thomas Spencer obtained leave to visit Port Jackson in August, 1795. He returned to Norfolk Island on 
Supply in October of the same year. At last he had made up his mind. He sold his land and left Norfolk Island for the last time in April, 1796.  In 1802 he was living on a land grant of 100 acres in the district of Mulgrave Place. He had 16 acres of wheat sown and 12 more acres ready to be planted with maise. He owned sheep, goats and hogs and was able to support himself and a “wife.”  In the 1814 Windsor Muster he is shown as settled on a farm together with a wife, a Susan Smith. She had arrived in the Colony in 1796 as a convict, aged 21, on Indispensable. 

Thomas Spencer continued farming in this district until his death on 3 February 1821, at the age of 61 years. He is buried at St Peter's Cemetery, Richmond NSW. 



Copyright Fellowship of First Fleeters