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Details for the convict Sarah Lester (1803)

Convict Name:Sarah Lester
Trial Place:Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Trial Date:2 December 1801
Sentence:7 years
Arrival Details
Arrival Year:1803
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There are currently 2 researchers who have claimed Sarah Lester

  • Researcher (4393)
  • Researcher (Susan Austin)
Claimed convict


Sarah Lester who married to become Sarah Tomlinson was born in 1779 in in the city of Bristol in south west England. However, Sarah clearly made her way to London and fell on hard times and thievery to supplement her wages as a domestic servant. Interestingly she seems to have been brought before the court at the Old Bailey (aged 22). Once for stealing from her employer and then later for shoplifting in (so in April and then December 1801). She was found guilty on both occasions and sentenced to death, but in a later sentence she is given seven years’ transportation and then held in a Middlesex Gaol until her date of transportation. Curiously she seems to be been relaesed to commit her second offence after the death sentence!

In September 1802 she was loaded aboard the prison ship HMS Glatton. HMS Glatton was a 56-gun fourth rate of the Royal Navy. She was launched as an East Indiaman, on 29 November 1792 by Wells & Co. of Blackwell. The Royal Navy bought her in 1795 and converted her into a warship. She served in the North Sea and the Baltic, and then as a transport for convicts to Australia. She then returned to naval service in the Mediterranean. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars the Admiralty converted her to a water depot at Sheerness. In 1830 the Admiralty used her as a breakwater and sank her at Harwich.

The Sydney Gazette reported the arrival of the Glatton:
“In her way the Glatton put into Rio de Janeiro to refresh. She left England with 270 Male, and 135 Female Prisoners-seven of the former, and five of the latter died; she also brought upwards of 30 Free Settlers, Eight Pieces of Heavy Ordnance, and a quantity of Ordnance Stores. The day before she got into the Cove 100 weak people were taken out, and put on board the Supply, 50 of the most ailing were soon after sent on shore to the General Hospital, where every attention was paid them. Their complaints were slightly scorbutic, of which they are recovering very fast. Utensils for brewing and hops were also sent on the Glatton”. A brewery was later set up at Parramatta

Sarah would eventually marry a fellow transported convict Robert Tomlinson in 1805. Sarah and Robert had two daughters Ann (born 1806) and Phoebe (1809). Interestingly both daughters would eventually marry sons of transported convicts (the Mobbs brothers) - all from the Parramatta area. Their daughters went on to produce many children bearing the Mobbs surname.
Submitted by Researcher (4393) on 4 July 2015

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Research notes

There are currently no research notes attached to this convict.


  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/1, p.325

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