Introduction

The life and times of Thomas Arnott (c 1781-1847); early Van Diemens Land "forced immigrant" (convict), sealer, whaler, adventurer and first settler; who arrived aboard the Calcutta, and what is known of his journey through life, and the impact he had in populating the colonies.

The following biographical material is heavily indebted to Julie Skellern and David Brown, and has been enhanced with additional contributions.

In perusing the information provided in these web-book pages, it should be kept in mind, that there are many spelling variations of the Arnott surname used in the various records through this historical period; and may include, but are not limited to - ARNET(T) / ARNIT(T) / ARNOT(T) / HARNET(T) / HARNOT(T) / HARTNET(T) / HARTNOT(T).

The surname spelling of ARNOTT has been used primarily as the name found in the majority of primary source records.

There are four known Thomas Arnott characters, three are convicts, who came to Van Diemens Land during the 19th century -

Thomas Arnott (1781-1847) per ship Calcutta in 1804.
There are no known surviving convict records for this Thomas Arnott. It is believed he would have received his ticket-of-leave after serving 3-4 years of his seven year sentence, approximately sometime during 1804; and he would have been free by servitude after serving his complete sentence by early 1808.

Thomas Arnott (?-?) per ship Asia in 1827.
This Thomas Arnott was married with children, and stated his profession as a "printer to the King" and with his own shop in Wardour Street, Soho, London. 1 He also stated his native place as "Monmouth". 2 Thomas applied for permission to marry on 3 September 1830, to a Caroline Fitzallen, who had arrived on the convict transport ship Persian in 1827, 3 and they were eventually married in Hobart on 2 December 1833. 4 Thomas received his certificate of freedom in May 1834. 5

Thomas Arnott (c1802-?) per ship Emerald Isle in 1843.
This Thomas Arnott, a native of near Northallerton Yorkshire, was married prior to his arrival (wife's name - Catherine and with 4 children), and stated his trade as a "packer"; probably after being a soldier for "14 years - 1st Royal Dragoons". He had a father named Thomas, four brothers named Timothy, Robert, William and John; and one sister named Mary. He received his free certificate in September 1849. 6

Thomas Arnott (c1809-1852), millwright and engineer, married Margaret Gibbon, a convict who had arrived on the convict transport ship Tory in 1848, 7 in Hobart on 27 October 1851. 8 This Thomas Arnott died, reportedly at the age of 45, in Hobart on 4 June 1852 9

SUDDEN DEATHS.- Yesterday morning a poor blind man of the name of Thomas Arnott, suddenly expired in Brisbane-street, from a disease of the heart. 10