Thomas Dalley was born in Newnham in 1753. On 28 March 1787, at the age of 34, he was sentenced to be transported for seven years. After spending three years on the hulks, he was transferred to the Matilda of the Third Fleet which departed on 27 March 1791 and arrived on 1 Aug 1791.
Below is an extract from the Correspondence of Governor Philip to Lord Grenville regarding the state of health of the convicts of the Third Fleet:
Governor Phillip to Lord Grenville
Sydney, New South Wales
November 5 1791.
Of the convicts mentioned by your Lordship to be sent out, 1,695 males and 168 females have been landed, with six free women and ten children. It appears by the returns from the Transports that 194 males, 4 females and 1 child died on the passage; and, although the convicts landed from these ships were not so sickly as those brought out last year, the greatest part of them are so emaciated, so worn away by long confinement, or want of food, or from both these causes, that it will be long before they recover their strength, and which many of them never will recover.
Your Lordship will readily conceive that this addition to our numbers will for many months be a dead weight on the stores.
The surgeon’s returns of this day are: “Under medical treatment and incapable of labour, 626 … 576 of whom are those landed from the last ships”.