Joseph Tuzo, Convict, Scarborough 1788

Joseph was born 1769 London England. He arrived in NSW as a convict aboard Scarborough 1788 from a crime he committed at the age of 14 years in 1784.

Crime: Assault and Steal on King’s Highway of John Ansell 26 May last, and putting him in fear and danger of his life and feloniously taking from his person and against his will one walking cane value five shillings, three guineas value three pounds three shillings, and one half guinea value ten shillings and six pence, and three shillings in monies numbered, his property. Tried: Joseph Tuso, Old Bailey, 7 July 1784, age 14 years. Sentence: Death commuted to 7 years transportation to Africa.[1]

Joseph arrived on Norfolk Island aboard HMS Sirius in Mar 1790.

11 June 1790: Sentenced to 50 lashes for neglect of duty along with Charles Repeat.

7 July 1790: Ralph Clark wrote: “Lieut Johnstone came out to inform use that the two Convicts that had absconded the 28 of June from their work were brought in as also Josh Touso who had left his work on Saturday last and that he Supposed that the[y] would be tried tomorrow or next day and that we all Should be Sent for.”

9 July 1790: A General Court Martial was held for the trial of convicts Benjamin Ingram, David Lonkey (sic) and Josh Touso (sic). On the following day all three were sentence to receive each 300 Lashes on their bare backs. The punishment was stealing a fellow convict’s shirt, leaving their work and sheltering in the woods, John Hunter described them as “many of the very worthless characters”.[2]

On 20 Dec 1790 Ralph Clark wrote: “Tuso a male Convict at Charlotte Field left his work today and Run into the woods because I told him I would flog him for Refusing to doe what Mr. Dodge order him —— I hope he will never Return again for he is a great Rascall” and then the following week on  26 Dec 1790: Touso who left his work on the 20 Inst at Charlotte for my telling him that I would flog him for being impertinent to Mr. Dodge gave himself up last night to Mr. Hume at Cascade from whence he was brought last night and put in Irons.[3]

Joseph was back under the whip on 27 Oct 1791 when he sentence and received 100 lashes for disobedience and neglect of duty along with Charles Gray.  As Joseph Tuso he returned to Sydney aboard the Atlantic in Sept 1792.

Once again Joseph found himself on Norfolk Island travelling aboard HM Supply in Mar 1796, Joseph became a member of the “Boat Crew” who helped with the landing of people and provisions from ships at Norfolk Island such as he is recorded for HMS Reliance Nov 1799. Joseph stayed on Norfolk Island until his return to Sydney aboard the Francis in Mar 1802.

Joseph received his absolute pardon in July 1802, Joseph then became a seaman on the Investigator. Joseph Tuz, bachelor, mariner of Sydney married Sarah Ward, spinster of Sydney, 12 March 1810 St Phillips Sydney, the witnesses were William Blake and Mary Blake. (Sarah Ward, Convict, Indispensable 1809. Born 1780. Tried: Middlesex, 26 Oct 1808).

Joseph Tuzo was appointed Constable of Sydney in November 1813 and was on stores as a constable in 1814. 1814 Sarah Ward: Abode: Sydney, wife to J Tuso, off stores.

Joseph and Sarah had separated by late 1814.  As by Nov 1814 Joseph had formed a relationship with Rebecca GOLSBY – GOULBY – GOLDSMITH. Convict, Friends 1811, she also brought her son William on this voyage.

1814 Rebecca Goldsmith: Abode: Sydney, wife to Joseph Tuso, on stores, with two children, on stores.
1821: Joseph received a land grant at Cockle Bay Sydney, after requesting land in July 1820 to help him to provide future support for his family of four children (which included his stepson William Golsby)[4].
1822 Joseph Tuzo: Absolute Pardon. Abode: Sydney, Dealer.
1822 Rebecca Golesby; Free by Servitude, Abode: Sydney, wife of J Tuzo.

Joseph died 4 Oct 1825 Sydney, buried 6 Oct 1825 Devonshire Street Cemetery Sydney. His death notice appear in The Australian, 6 October 1825: “On Tuesday last, Mr. Joseph Tuzo, an inhabitant of this Colony since its first establishment”.

Joseph’s estate included a range of property, such as the three cottages in Prince Street and Fort Sydney. “Each Cottage contains 6 rooms, with a cellar and out-offices, and the convenience of an entrance in Fort-street, nearly opposite the Signal-post; two of the Cottages are now renting at the low rate of £100 per annum”, these were auction off in October 1831 as part of the estate of late Joseph Tuzo.[5]

[1] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17840707-13.

[2] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787-1792 and John Hunter, An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island 1787 – 1792.

[3] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787-1792.

[4] Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 – 1825, SRNSW, Fiche 3023,  4/1824B, No.408, pp.519-22.

[5] HMS Sirius 1790The Sydney Monitor, 19 October 1831, p. 4.

Cite this article as: Cathy Dunn, 'Joseph Tuzo, Convict, Scarborough 1788', Australian History Research,, accessed [insert current date]
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