Thomas Beeton (1798 - 1867)
From a well-known family of London goldsmiths, and possibly of Jewish descent, it’s thought Thomas’ real name was Isaac. His aliases were many: Baden, Beaton, Beadon, Beardon, and even Herbert.
A Thomas Beardon was tried at Old Bailey in 1817 for shoplifting, and sentenced to seven years’ transportation. A Thomas Baden was transported on the Lady Castlereagh in 1818, though his offence was not recorded.
Under sentence Thomas was based in Launceston, and appointed ‘constable’, but later was dismissed for ‘neglect of duty’. Once free, he set sail for the islands in Bass Strait, making a life on Gun Carriage Island.
As a Straitsman, for a two-month season each year he would have joined the seal hunt, for oil and fur. For the rest of the year the Straitsmen raised crops and farmed hens, sheep, pigs and goats.