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Orphan Number: 1566
Orphan: Thomas DOWDELL
Father:DOWDELL, William
Mother's ship:Sir Robert Seppings
Father's ship:London
Age when admitted:
Date admitted:16 Nov 1864
Date discharged:
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to:
Remarks: father listed as Dowdall on convict record - parents dead - unsure whether admitted to Queens Orphan School
References: SWD26/7, 27

This orphan has been claimed by: Mathew Dowdell McPherson

Thomas Dowdell was listed within Rev. Arthur Devenport's correspondence (see below) pertaining to the children of William Dowdall (Convict - ship London) and Mary Petty , when William Dowdell was gravely ill and expected to die. Francis Joseph Dowdell (son of William and Mary Dowdall) was listed as Thomas Dowdell in error. This possibly occurred because William Dowdall was listed on his death certificate as Thomas Dowdell and the error resulted from this. The family were living in extreme poverty in a court off Murray Street Hobart when Mary Dowdall nee Petty successfully applied for relief. Her son Francis Joseph Dowdell and daughter Elizabeth Dowdell were placed in the Queen's Orphanage prior to Mary's death in 1866. Another daughter, Ann (later Annie Agnes Blades and noted below as 'an infant at the breast') was placed in the care of a Mr Davey of Launceston at age three or four prior to or following her mother's death. Later, Annie returned to Hobart and reunited with her sister Elizabeth. She married John George Blades on 6 October 1883 at 287 Liverpool Street Hobart (home of Rev Simmons). She died at Hobart on 7 January 1902.

CITY POLICE COURT.- Police Magistrate Tarleton sat at the City Court yesterday, and ordered Ann Blades, who had been drunk and incapable the previous day, to pay 5s in, default seven days.
The Mercury
2 Jul 1891

CITY POLICE COURT. - The Bench was occupied yesterday by His Worship the Mayor. John Sullivan, for being drunk and incapable, Lewis Lyons, for being drunk and disorderly, and Annie Blades on a like charge, were each fined 5s. or seven days. The offences were committed on Saturday night in Murray and Liverpool streets. The Court then rose.
19 Jan 1892
The Mercury

Annie Blades, an old offender, for having made use of obscene expressions in Melville-street on Sunday, was fined 5s., or in default seven days.
The Mercury 17 Apr 1894

City Police Court - Mr. Bernard Shaw, Acting Police Magistrate, and Mr Thomas Bennison, J P , presided at this Court yesterday. Anne Blades pleaded guillty to being drunk and incapable in Murray street, and was fined 5s , or, in default, seven days.
The Mercury
Thursday 9 August 1894

Blades - On Tuesday, January 7, 1902, 
Ann Agnes Blades, wife of John George Blades, aged 38 years and 3 months. The funeral will leave her sister's residence, 232 Liverpool-street, at half-past 2 o'clock This (Wednesday) Afternoon, for Sandy Bay Cemetery. Friends respectfully invited to attend. Sydney and Melbourne papers please copy.
8 January 1902
The Mercury


Correspondence pertaining to Mary Dowdell (nee Petty), her children Francis, Elizabeth and Ann Dowdell, prior to and following the death of William Dowdall at General Hospital Hobart on 11 November 1864.


20 September 1864

Hobart Town

20 Sept 1864


A man named Dowdell is ill and likely to die in the General Hospital. His wife and three children the youngest an infant at the breast are kept from starving by the Benevolent Society and other charitable aids. The woman wishes to procure admission for one or both of the elder children into the Queen's Asylum as a temporary refuge during their father’s illness for longer maintenance if he should die. They are living in a court off the West side of Murray St between Warwick and Patrick Street.

I made this application at the instance of Mrs Dowdell

I remain Sir

Yours faithfully

Arthur Devenport

The Assistant Colonial Secretary



20 September 1864

Referred to the Inspector of Police for enquiry and report

B Travers Solly

20 Sept ’64


23 September 1864

This man [William Dowdall] is suffering from chest affection and is not likely to be able to work for months even if he recovers

Geo Turnley

Sept’ 23 – 1864


26 September 1864

Form of Application for Admission of Children into the Queen’s Orphan School.

Name of Applicant – The Mother

ResidenceMurray Street

Police Office, Hobart

Sept 26th 1864

Application for Admission of the under-mentioned Children into the Queen’s Orphan School.

Names.                                     Ages.                            By whom baptized.

Frances (sic) Dowdell                          10 next Nov                Father Dean

Elizabeth         “ “                                 7                                  Father Woods

Mother cannot give exact date of birth


Religion – Roman Catholic

Name of Father – William Dowdell

Residence – in General Hospital

Ship to the Colony and date of arrival – London 2nd 1851

Whether arrived Free or Bond – Bond

Civil Condition, Free by Servitude, Conditional Pardon, or Ticket-of-Leave – Conditional Pardon

Date of Freedom or Pardon – 4th Oct 53

Trade or Occupation – Miner

Maiden Name of Mother – Mary Petley (sic)

Residence – Murray Street

Ship to the Colony and date of arrival – Sir Robert Seppings 1852

Whether Free or Bond – Bond

Civil Condition, Free by Servitude, Conditional Pardon, or Ticket-of-Leave – Conditional Pardon

Date of Freedom or Pardon – 24 April 1860

How Employed – Attending her family


Before the Application can be entertained, the following additional information in support therefore must be supplied; viz. – condition of the Parents or Parent as regards their means, the cause necessitating the Application; also whether the Parents have any more Children dependent upon them for maintenance, and if so, their names and ages.

The Applicant in this case has been in receipt of Benevolent Aide about six weeks. She has an infant aged 12 months in addition to the children named in the Application. The Father has been in Hospital two weeks and his health is very bad as will be seen by the attached certificate

The Hon”

The Colonial Secretary

Wm A Catley

28 Sept 64

(Copy of these papers to Supt 2d – 2/11/64)


5 October 1864

The Governor declines to sanction the admission of these Children at present, the Benevolent Society is affording temporary relief and it will be time enough to sanction their being received as a permanent Curther upon the Public Revenue when their father is taken from them should that be the sequence of his illness

James Whyte

5 Oct 64


7 October 1864

Colonial Secretary’s Office

7 October 1864


I beg to inform you in reply to your letter of the 20th ultimo requesting the admission of the Children named in the Margin (Francis Dowdell, Elizabeth Dowdell) into the Queen’s Asylum that the Governor declines to sanction their admission at present. The Benevolent Society is affording temporary relief and it will time enough to sanction their being received as a permanent curthew on the public revenue, when their father is taken from them should suche be the sequence of his illness

I have the honour to be


Your Obedient Sevt.

B Travers Solly


7 October 1864

The [illegible] decision as herein stated to be noted and the papers returned to me

SS [Sandford Scott]


Mr Catley


24 October 1864


The man Dowdell died in the Hospital on the 11th last His widow is in extreme poverty. I therefore renew the application formerly made on her behalf for the admission of her eldest to the Queens Asylum

Arthur Devenport

24 Oct 64


26 October 1864

Referred with the former papers to the Comptroller General the child if admitted will be a half and half charge

B Travers Sully

26 Oct 64



27 October 1864

Convict Department


The Governor approves of the Child named in the Margin (Name: Francis Dowdell, Age 10 years, Religion R. Catholic) being admitted in to the Queen’s Asylum, at the expense of the Imperial Government. To the extent of the half the cost of his maintenance

W Naith


Comptroller-General’s Office,

27 October 1864


7 November 1864

Hobart November 7 1864


By some mistake an application not made by the Revd Mr Davenport for the admission of one child only or another of one or two into the orphan school one only has been admitted Francis Dowdell. The father died lately. The mother has two more children one at the breast. She cannot properly maintain herself and her small children – I therefore beg that the second child – named in the margin (Elizabeth Dowdell, 7 years) may be admitted into the orphan School or an allowance given weekly towards the support of her two children not with her.

Your obt Servant

??? Hall ????


15 November 1864

Letter received Dr Hall for admission of the other child



15 November 1864

Convict Department.


The Governor approves of the Child named in the Margin (Elizabeth Dowdell, Age 7 years, Religion: R. Catholic) being admitted into the Queen’s Asylum, at the expense  of the Imperial Government. To the extent of one monies of cost of maintenance.



Comptroller-General’s Office,

15 Nov. 1864


15 November 1864

Referred memo the former papers to the 27/10/64 Conptroller General – the younger child if admitted will be chargeable for the Imperial and Colonial funds conjointly

B Travers Solly

15 Nov 64


15 November 1864

Approved half chargeable to Imperial funds

W Nairn

Conptr General

15 Nov 64

16 November 1864

An order for the admission of the 2nd child herewith send me a copy of Dr Halls letter and Memo therein.

Sandford Scott



([illegible] 17-11-64)


16 November 1864

The Governor approves of the admission of this child [Elizabeth Dowdell] into the Queens asylum

James Whyte

16 Nov 64



*Letter to Assistant Colonial Secretary, Hobart, 20 September 1864, 7 October 1864, 7 October 1864, 7 November 1864, 16 November 1864

*Application for Admission To Queen’s Orphanage School, Hobart, 26 September 1864, 15 November 1864,

*Letter from Convict Department, Hobart, 7 November 1864


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