Select here to find out more about John Tucker and
the convicts who were assigned to him at Paterson
John Tucker senior died at Patterson Plains on 23
June 1834, he was described as having been a most
trustworthy officer in the Commissariat Department
He had been appointed Storekeeper in
the Commissariat in
1804 when Newcastle was
established as a penal settlement. He accompanied
Lieutenant Charles Menzies
in March 1804.
His salary for this position was
Tucker was responsible for meat rations for the convicts - they received
fresh meat three or four times a year, or otherwise salted provisions.
The Commissariat Store was not large enough for the settlement's wants
having only air holes about a foot long and five or six inches wide
instead of windows and the floor remained un-flagged which was
difficult to keep clean. Tucker had three assistants to help serve out
provisions to representatives of the convict barracks and gaol every
Saturday and Wednesday.. He remained in the Commissariat
Department (except for a brief interlude when William Sutton held the
1822 when he applied for a colonial
Ensign Cadwallader Draffen;
Lieutenant William Lawson;
Charles Throsby ;
Lieutenant John Purcell;
Lieutenant Thomas Thompson;
Captain James Wallis
had therefore been at the penal settlement throughout the postings of
several Commandants including -
As well as
his pension he was granted land which adjoined that of his son John,
at Patterson's Plains. Here John senior settled with
his wife Ann Vales (Viles) and they raised cattle
and sheep. Twenty three year old stockman
Joseph Charles who had arrived on the Mangles
in 1820 was assigned to the Tuckers in 1824 after
being assigned to John Earle beforehand. Joseph Charles was
still in service to John Tucker four years later
when James Walsh also came to work on the grant. In
1828 John Tucker senior owned 46 head of cattle and a horse as
Perhaps in his retirement from Government duties he had time to reflect
on his long life.
John Tucker had been
convicted almost forty years before on 28
October 1789 at the
Old Bailey for the theft of
various articles from his employer George
Jeremy (with whom Tucker had lived for 6 months).
George Jeremy was a linen draper in partnership with
Henry Small in Tavistock Street. They had missed a
large quantity of linen, cambric, muslin, calico and
handkerchiefs and John Tucker admitted to stealing
the articles. George Jeremy then proceeded to Tuckers parents
residence where some of the goods were produced.
Tucker was charged with stealing the goods and his
father Stephen and step mother Mary with receiving
stolen goods. John tried hard to extricate his
stepmother from the situation he had placed
her. He stated in Court -' I wish to say that my
mother is totally innocent; I imposed upon her, by
telling her I obtained the goods in the city; and
she asked me at different times, how I came by them;
and I always told her that I had bought them; and
she asked me whether I was sure of it, that I came
by them honestly, and I told her that I came by them
honestly; I have nothing else to say.'
John and his step-mother were convicted of the crimes. Stephen
was found not guilty. Mary Tucker was
transported on the
Neptune in 1790. John arrived on the
Active in 1791.
In 1794 John
Tucker married twenty six year old Ann Vales
who had arrived as a convict on the
in 1792. A son John was born to the couple in 1795 and
daughter Charlotte in 1797. Their farm was called 'Surrey Farm'.
Both John junior and Charlotte were to spend
their lives in the Hunter Valley. John ( junior) married
Catherine Flynn when he was just twenty years old however she was
drowned in a boating accident shortly after they were married.
Read an account of the
incident from the Sydney Gazette
He next married Frances Turner in 1818
and by 1828 they were living on 'Albion Farm'.
Charlotte Tucker married mariner
Powell and they settled on a farm up river from her brother John.