Fremantle Stuff > people > Thomas William Mews (1795-1870) and offspring

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Thomas Mews

There were three men in Fremantle, fathers and sons, called Thomas William Mews, born 1795, 1816, and 1842. (The father of the first of those was another Thomas William Mews, born 1768.)

The first Thomas William Mews in the colony >

Thomas William Mews (the first in the colony) was born 1 August 1795 in Christchurch, Hampshire, and died in Fremantle 1 January 1870. He married Mary Elizabeth Bogg 21 February 1814 in Saint Giles, Camberwell, Surrey. She was born 9 July 1797 in Bermondsey, Surrey, and died 2 January 1878 at Lake Thompson, Fremantle [Thomsons Lake Beeliar]. They arrived 14 May 1830 per Rockingham.

Inquirer and Commercial News Wednesday 5 January 1870 p 2 Family Notices
MEWS.- At Perth, on 1st January, 1870, Thomas William Mews, Sen.; aged 74
years; deeply regretted by a large number of relatives and friends. Deceased
arrived in the colony in the ship Rockingham, in May, 1830.

Thomas Mews was a boatbuilder who had premises (and a post office) at Lot 59 Henry St (the second Workers Club site) and also on the southwest side of Arthur Head, as the name of Mews Road indicates. His second daughter Mary Ann married Francis Fraser Armstrong. He arrived on the Rockingham, which was wrecked on arrival on 14 May 1830.

A Family of Shipwrights
The Mews family has been identified with the shipbuilding industry at Fremantle from 1830 to the present day. The first steamer to ply on the Swan River - the Speculator - was built by T. W. Mews, senior. She was partially destroyed by fire, but was repaired and converted into a sailing lighter. T. W. Mews, junior, built some fine vessels, including the schooners Scud, Ione, Star and Comet. He also built the lighters Hampton, Moonlight, Myrtle, and several pearling luggers. T. W. Mews, senior, and his younger sons, Jim and Bob, confined their activities mainly to the building of yachts, fishing boats, and small craft for the Sharks' Bay pearling trade. (F. Hollis, in Hitchcock: 115)

MEWS, Thomas William, b. 1775 [1795], d. 1.1.1870 (Frem), arr. 20.5.1830 per Rockingham with wife, m. 21.2.1814 (Eng) Mary Elizabeth BOGG b. 1797 d. 2.1.1878. Chd. Sarah Hannah b. 1814, Thomas William b. 1816 d. 1906, Mary Ann b. 1819 d. 1886. John Charles b. 1823 d. 1905. Caroline b. 1825, d. ?1861, James Robert b. 1833 d. 1918, Eliza d. 1840. Selected 3,000 acres York. Selected 3084 acres at Lakes Perth. Shipwright with Cox. Built ferry & ran a ferry service in early years Pt. Belches to Mounts Bay. Boat owner & boat-builder with son at Perth & Fremantle. Built Speculator 1st river steamboat. Member of IOOF Lodge. (Erickson)

The second lighthouse built on Arthur Head (1876/1878 - 1905) is to the right. Below is the TW Mews shipyard in Bathers Bay, established between 1840 and 1860. Next to the right is the abandoned building of the Fremantle Whaling Company, demolished in the 1890s. Fremantle Library photo #2034A c. 1890.

The second Thomas William Mews in the colony

This photograph was taken at the back of Lot 59 Henry St, and shows the second Thomas Mews, outside the first Post Office.

MEWS, Thomas William, b. 23.10.1816, d. 2.5.1906 (Frem), son of Thomas William, arr. 20.5.1830 per Rockingham, m. 11.6.1840 Caroline INKPEN b. 1823 d. 17.8.1862, dtr. of James & Lydia, who arr. 15.12.1829 per GiImore. Chd. Ellen Se1ina b. 1841, Thomas Willam b. 1842 d. 1926, Caroline Lydia b. 1845 d. 1927, James b. 1847 d. 1848, Mary Jane b. 1848 d. 1920, Emma b. 1851 d. 1948, James John b. 1853 d. 1930, Julia b. 1858 d. 1936, Robert b. 1860 d. 1941. Shipbuilder at Perth, his shipyards situated at foot of Mt. Eliza. Built Scud, Ione, Star, Comet, Speculator & many lighters for river transport. Employed 3 T/L men 1865, 1873 & 1874. Qualified as a juror in 1860 with £150 real estate. Methodist.

References, links, acknowledgements

Many thanks to Susan Birch, his g-g-g-g-granddaughter, for a very large, comprehensive genealogy of the family of Thomas William Mews (b. 1795) .

Many thanks to Robert Ward for his document of the descendants of Thomas William Mews (b. 1816, the second of the three men with the same name).

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council, source of the photo of Thomas Mews (the second), just above, which would therefore have come from the studios of Charles Nixon.


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