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Thomas DUNN


Thomas DUNN

( late of Castlereagh St, Sydney )

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # ‘ P ‘ 47. Sworn in 29/12/1810

For the purposes of this website ‘P‘ = represents those Police joining Pre 1 March 1862 before the amalgamated of all other Policing Units in NSW. i.e. Mounted Police, Boarder Police, Native Police, Gold Escort Police, Water Police etc.

Ancestor of Retired NSWPF Member Kevin Banister # 16382


Rank:  Chief Constable


Stations: George St, Sydney. Constable.

Sydney 5th District. District Constable.

George St, Sydney. Chief Constable


ServiceFrom  1810  to 1827. Resigned due to ill health (on going infirmities)




Born? ? 1776 in England or Ireland

Died on:  6 April 1832, possibly ???

due to ongoing complications as a result of a snake bite in 1827

Cause: Infirmities

Age:  55


Funeral date:   9 April 1832

Funeral location?

Originally Buried at:  Devonshire Cemetery on 9 April 1832 ( now the site of Central Railway Stn, Sydney )

Re-Buried at: St. James Anglican, Macquarie St, Sydney but other records have him reburied at Botany Cemetery.

THOMAS is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance * NOT JOB RELATED


From Kevin Banister:

Dear people. Below is a bit of a story of one of my ancestors Thomas DUNN. NSW Fallen Police does not only mean those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but those that served and lived and, hopefully, had their story told. If you had an ancestor that served, please tell us the story.

Thomas Dunn is a direct ancestor of one of my mothers sister. Something I will add to my ‘Mums Memories’. He was a copper, as I was. Mum would not have known of this.

THOMAS DUNN was born in 1776 in England or Ireland. In 1796 he was described as: 5ft 8in, dark complexion, dark hair and dark eyes.

At the age of 19 he was a servant for a brewer in King St, Westminster backing onto the Thames. In Sept 1796, he was caught stealing money from his employer and was convicted and sentenced at Newgate Prison on 28/10/1796 to 7 years deportation. He was 20 years of age.

After sentencing, he spent a few months at Newgate before being sent to the Hulks in Portsmouth Harbour on 12/3/1797, where he spent the next 21 months. He sailed from Portland Roads on 23/12/1798 on the ship “Hillsborough” (764 tons) with 300 male convicts aboard, some of whom had typhus.

The Master of the ship was William Hingston who treated the convicts harshly. It arrived in Sydney, after 212 days, on 26/7/1799 with typhus raging on board.

Ninety five of the 300 convicts had died during the voyage and a further 6 died after they landed, Gov. Hunter describing the survivors as “the most wretched and miserable convicts I have ever beheld, in the most sickly and wretched state”. Almost every prisoner required hospital treatment, due to the sickness; the treatment on board where they were kept double ironed and chained together on deck; their bedding which was constantly wet due to the stormy weather; plus being inadequately fed.

After serving his term, Thomas married Rose Bean in 1804. She had arrived in the Colony aboard the ship “Buffalo” in 1799 at the age of 13. She arrived with her parents and siblings as free settlers, her father James Bean having signed up as a builder under a “Terms of Settlement” agreement. James Bean would be contracted to build the Rum Hospital in Macquarie Street in 1811. Rose and her siblings were all born in London.

In 1803, when Rose was 17, she was raped by two Irish convicts who had escaped and attacked the Bean homestead. Thomas Dunn, who may have been assigned to the Bean farm at the time, married her the following year at St John’s Church, Parramatta. Dunn and Bean were both involved in the quashing of the rebellion of Irish convicts at Castle Hill in 1804, known as the Battle of Vinegar Hill.

In the 1806 Muster, Thomas was self-employed and renting 30 acres. He had 20 acres under pasture, growing maize and barley.

In 1810 he was appointed a constable in Sydney, victualled by the Government. He was also a landholder in Baulkam Hills.
In 1814 he received a grant of land.

By 1817, he was a District Constable, paid a salary from the Police Fund.

On Oct 19, 1820, he was appointed a Chief Constable for Sydney and was receiving a wage of 150 pound.

In 1824/25 he was granted 600 acres which he sold in 1830 for 125 pounds sterling.

In the 1828 Census, he was a pensioner on 50 pound a year, living in Cumberland Street. On his retirement, many praised his “exemplary conduct during his time as Chief Constable.”

Thomas died on 6/4/1832 aged 55 and was living in Castlereigh St, Sydney at the time of his death. Rose had died the year before on 5/11/1831. They had 8 children. Their daughter, Margaret, married Walter Butler (son of convict Laurence Butler), and had two children. Margaret would die at the young age of 31 years.




5 thoughts on “Thomas DUNN

  • Funeral was held 9 April 1832. A 200 yard procession of miitary/masons/civillians followed his funeral to the cemetery including a whole array of freemasons in full costume. The end of Thomas’s costume was draped in an apron emblematic of his rank in the Lodge. Following mourners exended 200 yards. Summarized from The Sydney Monitor, 11 April 1832, page 2. Image at

  • Charles Fairlie

    Thomas Dunn is my ancestor too.

  • Adele Cathro (nee DUNN)

    Thomas Dunn was my 4Gt Grandfather.
    Perry McIntyre & myself Adele Cathro jointly wrote a book about him & his first few generations of family.
    He was buried at Devenshire Cemetery on 9-4-1832 Sydney & when Central railway was being built he was moved to Botany Cemetery but during the move his headstone was broken & I do not know where he is buried exactly ; I heard the head stone could of been used to build the wall at botany bay. Only Margaret, his daughter, has been named but his other children were Elizabeth marr. William Pawley, Ann marr. Samuel Butler then William Wright. Margaret marr. Walter Butler, Sarah marr. James Evans, Thomas marr. Matilda Cobcroft (Perrys line), Edward marr. Ann Harper/Hancock) this is my line, Richard marr. Sarah How/e, Rosetta Ellen Marie marr. Frederick Stennett.

    • Thomas Dunn is also the 4x great grandfather of my first cousin Peter Kenneth Dunn through his father Peter Dunn who married my fathers sister, Grace Lorraine Cook.
      as I am a family Historian, Peter Kenneth has asked me if I could help research his family. It would be greatly appreciated if you could possible tell me where I may obtain a copy of your book

    • He is my 6th Gt grandfather. My mother’s name is Meryl Fawcett


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