Thomas Fowler and Susan Bishop Moss
Great Great Grandparents
Thomas Fowler, born about 1822, Woolwich, England [b] to William Fowler and Elizabeth
Williams [d] Possible baptism Thomas William Fowler born 23rd May 1822 christened 16th
June 1822, at St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich, Kent.
Seamans Ticket: Thomas Fowler born Woolwich Kent May 1823[sic] was issued with seaman's
ticket number 196980 on 3rd May 1845. At the time he was 22 years old, a cook and steward.
He could write. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall with dark brown hair and eyes and a dark
complexion. He had a scar on his left eyebrow. He first went to see as a boy. When
unemployed he resided in London.
Thomas' occupation is given at various times as mariner  cook  miner [1857 &
1863] [b] and ship steward  At the time of his death, his occupation is listed as cook. He
is listed as the cook at the Criterian Hotel [corner of Barker and Mostyn Street, Castlemanie]
in 1855 [f]. The Maryborough hospital has a record of admission for Thomas aged 43, a miner
from Avoca on 14th December 1865. Cause unknown.
Susan Bishop Moss: born 27th January 1819 and baptised 1st December 1821 at St John's
Wapping [entry 951 source ref x089 158] London, England, daughter of William Moss and
Elizabeth Bishop. A possible sighting of Susan in the 1841 census is at Limehouse Causeway,
Stepney with mother Elizabeth, a widow of independent means. It appears Susan could read
and write as she was the informant on son William's birth registration, signed her name and
wrote her place of residence. Photo of Susan below.
Marriage: Thomas and Susan were married on 26th May 1845 [after banns] at the Parish
Church St Anne, Limehouse, Middlesex. Both are recorded as being of full age and residing in
Limehouse. Thomas' occupation is mariner. Fathers are listed as William Fowler, carpenter
and William Moss, mariner. The witnesses are William Fowler and Susannah Sprengald. Both
Thomas and Susan signed the certificate. The minister was E H Hunter.
Immigration: Oral history suggested that the Fowlers arrived on a ship that had been
wrecked, but for many years I was not able to find them in any shipping records. A notation in
the Maryborough Hospital records suggested that a man named William Fowler had arrived on
the Pysche but this proved to be too early. Finally I found a reference to a ship named the
Grecian that ran aground on a sandbar in October 1850 after arriving from England. A
steerage passenger named Mrs Fowler and two children are mentioned in newspaper reports.
Thomas and Mrs Fowler are also named in a letter of thanks from the passengers of the ship to
South Australian Register dated 15th October 1850
LOSS OF THE BARQUE "GRECIAN."
IT is our painful duty to announce the disastrous intelligence of the stranding and probable
total wreck of the fine barque, of 518 tons, above named, and late so ably and successfully
commanded by Captain Hyde. The Grecian sailed from the Downs on the 15th June, and,
having arrived in our waters, anchored outside the Lightship on Sunday afternoon about 5
o'clock. It was blowing with terrific force from the south-west at the time, and although, as we
are told, Captain Hyde had two anchors out, one of 70 cwt and the other of 90 cwt., they both
dragged until the ship was driven up to the bar and grounded. Gradually she heeled over and
came down on her broadside, so that at 4 o'clock on the following morning (yesterday) the
starboard gunwale was under water and the sea breaking over the ship. There was now no
alternative but to take to the boats, and, with one exception, all the passengers and crew got
clear of the ship. The lamented exception is a Mr Leslie, who it is supposed went below and
could not get up in time to join those who effected their escape in the boats, as nothing was
seen of him. It is barely possible that he may have escaped, but it is feared not. The Steam-tug
went down to the wreck yesterday morning with Captain Lipson and several hands, and our
shipping reporter accompanied them. They found the ill-fated ship on her beam ends with her
masts in the water. Our reporter and others went over her, but found no traces of any one on
board. A quantity of luggage was collected and brought away, and on passing Torrens Island
they picked up Captain Hyde, the ladies passengers, and some of the crew, whom they
brought up to the Port. The other passengers and sailors, in two of the boats, reached Port
Gawler, whence they have since arrived at Port Adelaide. There was a small mail on board, but
there was no time to save anything. The following is a list of the cabin passengers : — Mrs
Hyde, Mrs and Miss Wigley, Mrs Knox and four children, two Misses Knox, Dr Brendt, and Mr
Box. The steerage passengers were Mr Leslie, Mr Anstey, Mrs Fowler and two children. The
officers and crew were 25 in number. The cargo is a general one of very considerable value,
and although fully insured, as is the ship, the loss will occasion serious disappointment to
many of our expectant merchants and consignees. We understand Capt. Hyde and the ladies
passengers arrived in town late last night; but we are unable to give more than the above
outline of this most unfortunate disaster, deeming it better to furnish a detailed statement to-
morrow than to give publicity to the many reports that obtained currency in town during last
evening. Certainly such a hurricane has seldom or never been experienced in this colony, and
the known prudence and caution of Captain Hyde, as well as his acknowledged experience,
lead us to believe that nothing which energy and seamanship could accomplish would be
wanting upon so trying an occasion. Such an unfortunate occurrence is perhaps the more to
be deplored, inasmuch as the voyage, although somewhat longer than usual, is believed to have
been remarkably exempt from very stormy weather until the ship approached our land on
Saturday and Sunday last. The last dispatch from the Port, received at a late hour last night,
announced two arrivals, the Northumberland, from London and Plymouth, and a German ship,
with emigrants. At the closing of that despatch Mr Leslie was still missing.
A further newspaper report can be read HERE:
South Australian dated 24th October 1850
To Captain Geo. Hyde Port Adelaide, South Australia, 17th October, 1850. DEAR SIR- We, the
undersigned, being the passengers by the barque Grecian, from London to this port, cannot
allow the present occasion to pass without rendering to you our united and cordial thanks for
your unremitting kindness and attention to us during the voyage, and we sincerely
sympathize with you on the loss of the vessel at the moment of our arrival in the colony.
Having been witnesses of the difficult and dreadful circumstances upon that occasion, we
think it right to express our high approbation of your conduct. Our lives depended upon the
presence of mind and personal courage which you so conspicuously displayed upon that trying
We are, Dear Sir, Yours very truly, NathL A. Knox , Ann Jane Knox, Henrietta Knox, Sydney
Knox, Nath'l A Knox jnr, William Knox, Charles J. Anstey Richard Box, jun. For Messrs
Fowler, Thomas Fowler; Sarah Wigley, Maria C. Wigley, Rose Maony .
The Fowlers lived in South Australia for one to one and a half years before moving to Victoria.
Their children include: [a]
Susan Fowler, born London, probable birth June Q. 1847, Poplar Middlesex - twin [e]. Died
20th March 1863 at Avoca, aged 16.- reg 103/1863 [g] Cause of death was Dropsical Effusion
[fluid build up an/or retention foten around an organ such as the brain or due to heart failure
or kidney disease] which she had suffered from for three weeks. Her death certificate states
she had spent 1 1/2 years in Adelaide and 12 years in Victoria
Elizabeth Fowler; probable birth June q 1847 Poplar, Middlesex - twin. Died June Q 1847,
Poplar, Middlesex [e]
Thomas William Fowler; probable birth March Q 1849, Poplar, Middlesex. Married Mary Ann
Elizabeth Fowler; died before 1857. [d]
Ezeareaner Jane Fowler; born Forest Creek about July 1853, died 8th March 1855 aged 18
months at Forest Creek. According to her death certificate [reg 1919 1855] cause of death was
1) Teething 2) Dysentry [?] which lasted about 11 days.
Ellen [Nellie] Fowler, born 1855, Castlemain, Victoria [recorded as Towler]. Died 1862 at
Castlemaine, aged 6 [a]
William Fowler, born 12th October, 1857, Dunolly, Victoria. Married Jane Race Wardell - My
Susan Fowler, born and died unknown. This may be an error. She is only mentioned on death
certificate of mother Susan. Would have to have been born after 1863 when elder daughter
William's birth certificate also mentions three children who are deceased - probably the two
Elizabeths and Ezeareaner.
Thomas Fowler died in Avoca, [Charlton?] 11th October 1878, aged 56 [ref 1878/10266] Cause
of death was general dropsey which he had been suffering for about one month. Thomas was
buried on 12th October in the Avoca Cemetery by Rev J A Bell, according to the Episcopalian
Susan Bishop Fowler died on 14th November 1900 at Charlton Victoria aged 82 years and 10
months [Ref 1900/12302]. Cause of death was heart failure. Susan was buried on 15th
November 1900 in the Church of England section of the Charlton Cemetery [number 169,
interred 1st November 1900??] Co-incidentally the undertaker was David Wardell, daughter-in-
law Jane's father.
[a] Victorian BDM database
[b] Birth Cert William Fowler
[d] Death Certs of Thomas and Susan
[e] Free BMD Online UK
[f] Death cert Ezeareaner Fowler
[g] Death Cert Susan Fowler 1863
[h] Marriage Cert Thomas Fowler & Susan Bishop Moss
Right: Susan Bishop Fowler, nee Moss on left with son
William, daughter-in-law Jane and two grandchildren.