Theophilus Fewtrell/Feutrill

- Private, Neptune, Second Fleet -
My Great x 5 Grandfather

Theophilus Feutrill [senior]
There are two christening records for Theophilus at St Leonard's Bilston, Staffordshire.  The
first is on 4th November 1771 and the second is on 5th December 1772. Both record him as
the illegitimate son of
 Sarah Fewtrell.

Theophilus enlisted in the 102nd Regiment, NSW Corp as a private on 15th August 1789 in
Birmingham. Theophilus was a buckle maker by trade.  He travelled to NSW aboard the
Neptune, part of the Second Fleet which left Portsmouth on 19th January, 1790 and arrived
at Sydney Cove on 28th June, 1790. Theophilus was part of a detachment of troops sent to
Norfolk Island in the
Surprise under Captain Hill in August of 1790. He returned to Sydney
in November 1791.

First Marriage: On 21st June 1795, Theophuilus married his first wife Ann Short, who was
aged about 17. [Ref V1795305 3A/1795 under Fenton and V1795192 4/1795 under
Fentrill]]  The marriage took place at St Phillips Church of England, Sydney. Ann was a
convict, born about 1777 who arrived in NSW aboard the
Kitty on 18th November, 1792 after
being sentenced in Dublin to 7 years transportation.

Theophilus and Ann had two children;

Joseph Fewtrell  [Fewtrell and Fewnis] born 25th October 1794, Sydney.  1794 V1794393
1A/1794 and V1794309 4/1794

Theophilus Fewtrell born and died 15th March 1797, Sydney. V1797806 4/1797 [as Fritrill
or Futrill] Buried Old Sydney Burial Ground]

Death: Ann died four days after the birth of baby Theophus. She was only twenty years old.
[Ref V17971286 2A/1797 and V1797809 4/1797 as Futrill] Ann and her baby were buried in
the Old Sydney Burial Ground on the site of what is now the Town Hall in Sydney.

Second Marriage: Theophilus married Ann Carey on 13th August 1799 in St Phillips Church
of England, Sydney. Both Theophilus and Ann signed their marriage certificate with an X
indicating they could not read or write. However oral history suggests that Ann could read
and write and taught her children. Sons Theophilus and Samuel could both read and write.
At the time, convicts where not expected to be literate and so were often only asked to make
their mark, rather than sign their name.

The Children of Theophilus and Ann:

Theophilus Futrill [1] [unconfirmed] born about 1799 died 1799 [V17991283 2A/1799]
buried March 10 1799 Old Sydney Burial Ground.
Could these entries refer to Theophilus
who died in 1797?

Elizabeth Fentrill,
born 7th February, 1800, Sydney; V1800895 1A/1800 and V1800640
4/1800. Elizabeth Futeril ]sic] died aboard the Buffalo on 6th November 1804.
TNA Adm36/15795, courtesy of Glen Lambert, NSW Corps research project

Theophilus Futrile [2] [unconfirmed] born 1801 [V18011300 1A/1801]  Sydney;  died before
1804 possibly  
[It is possible this entry refers to Theophilus [3] below]

Mary Ann Futrile/Futrell, born 17th April, 1802, Sydney, baptised 5th August 1804.
V18021154 4/1802 and  V18021301 1A/1802 Married
George Smith 16th January 1819.
Port Dalrymple. Died 17th March 1828 aged 26.  

Theophilus Futrell [3] junior, born 18th June 1804, Sydney. V18041153 4/1804 Married
Jane Murphy. My Great x 4 Grandparents

Elizabeth Feutrill, born 1806, baptised  26th February 1811 by Rev Robert Knopwood.
John Tibbs, 3rd August 1824 Launceston, VDL.  Died 18th March 1828 aged 21,
the day after her sister Mary died.

Samuel Feutrill, born about 1809, Port Dalrymple, Tasmania. Baptised 26th February, 1811
Married (1)
Maria Murphy (2) Jane Hogben. Died 20th August 1855   Samuel married Maria
Murphy, sister of Jane Murphy above on 21st June, 1830. They had one child, Amelia born
10th July 1834. Maria died 22nd, September 1834. She was aged about 20. Samuel married
again on 19th January 1835, to
Jane Hogben. Their children were: Mary Ann, born about 22
December 1835; Samuel James, born about 1st November 1837; William Thomas, born 12th
June, 1840; Theophilus, born 23rd, June, 1842; Sarah Jane, born 4th May 1845; John born
11th June, 1847. Jane died 4th June 1857 aged 37.[Died suddenly at the residence of her
father, widow of the late Samuel - Launceston Examiner]

Ann Feutrill born 1812  Died before 1819 as she is not listed on Children of Free Persons at
Port Dalrymple 1819

James Feutrill born about 1813 Baptised 9th March 1814 , Launceston. The Sydney Gazette
of 25th October 1831 carries a report titled "Dreadful Occurrence" which tells how Mr Feutril
[sic] invited a man named Wallace Turner back to the house he shared with his two brothers
where they all partook of wine, leaving Mr Turner intoxicated. He was to share a bed with
James, who awoke in the night to find Turner had grabbed him and stabbed between the
shoulders, drawing the knife down the length of one arm. Turner was finally subdued by
Theophilus and thrown into the street whereupon he proceeded to batter at their door until
he was taken into custody. The cause of the attack was put down to "the demonic effects of
insobriety". James recovered but doubt was held as to if he would regain full use of his arm.
The Sydney Gazette dated 25th October 1831carried an extended version of the same
Dreadful Occurrence: It is our task this week to notice one of the most terrific occurrences
arising from the effects of drinking, that has come under our observation since we have been
in the Colony. On Tuesday last, a man named Wallace Turner, with some companions, came
into Launceston, and were accommodated with lodgings for the night by Mr. Feutril, a
respectable inhabitant. Mr. F had two brothers in the house with him, one of whom, James,
was to sleep with Turner. To treat his friends, Feutril sent for wine ; and the evening being
passed with the utmost convivality, the parties retired to rest. Turner being very much
intoxicated. Towards morning James Feutril was astonished by finding himself suddenly
grasped by his bed-fellow; and, almost at the same instant, Turner exclaimed, "now I have got
you," and inflicted a wound with a clasp- knife upon the unfortunate young man, of the most
dreadful description. The stab was between the shoulders, and the knife drawn over the
shoulder, and down the arm, to the length of fourteen inches. Feutril instantly ran into his
brothel's bed-room, exclaiming he was stabbed, upon which his brother went into the other
room, and there saw Turner standing with the knife in his hand. He called upon him to lay
down the knife, which he re- fused to do, and made towards the elder brother, who, finding
the wretched man in such a desperate state, ran to his gun, and having in vain endeavoured
to keep Turner off, was at length compelled to knock   him down with the butt end of the
piece. Being thus stunned, the wretched man was dragged into the street, and the door
closed upon him ; but such was his desperation, that on recovering himself, he attacked the
door with the most dreadful imprecations. By this time the nature of young Feutril's wound
was discovered, and surgical aid called in: and the constabulary coming up at the moment,
the man Turner was secured and lodged in custody, where he still remains, pending the
surgeon's report. The life of the wounded man is not despaired off; but little hopes are
entertained of his recovering the proper use of his arm. Since the occurrence, Turner has
written to the elder Feutril, stating that he did know what he was about, and expressing the
utmost contrition. Indeed, no cause can be assigned for the assault but the demoniac effects
of insobriety.
Launceston advertiser dated 19th September 1831 carried the following notice:
James FEUTRILL. - We are desired to correct an error which by some means crept into our
account of the circumstance of this young man having been so dreadfully wounded by a man
named Wallace Turner, while under the influence of liquor. The parties were not drinking at
Futrill's house. Turner and a settler named Daley, came there late, the former being
intoxicated, and at the request of Daley, Turner was accommodated with lodgings. We are
happy to add that the young man is likely to get quite over his wound in a few days, under
the skilful treatment of his medical attendants.
James Travelled to Adelaide in the brig Julia arriving 11th January 1846. Possible married to

Elizabeth Neil
on 15th April 1851, Adelaide, South Australia. Died 1889 Maryborough

Thomas Feutrill, born 22nd August 1814, Baptised 11th January 1819 St Johns
Launceston [private researcher] -
NOTE:  Baptisms for St Johns between March 1814 and
November 1819 do not appear to have been indexed at Tas Lincs or filmed at Family
 Died 5th March 1831 aged 17 occupation, wheelwright. [indexed under Fentrill].

Military Service: Details available at Find My Past

1804: Theophilus and Ann and their young family moved to Van Damiens Land [Tasmania]
aboard the HMS Buffalo

December 1808 Theophilus was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

1810: the NSW Regiment was recalled to England and Theophilus who returned to Sydney
with his family transferred to the 73rd Regiment to stay in VDL.

March 1810: returned to Tasmania.

May 1814: Theophilus was marked as a deserter on the Regimental records. The reason for
this is that he was one of  a group of soldiers held back by Lt Col Thomas Davey against
Governor MacQuarie's orders when the 73rd regiment was recalled. Davey was concerned
that bush rangers would pose a threat to the small community while they awaited the arrival
of the 46th Regiment. Theophilus suffered no disciplinary action and records show he was
instrumental in apprehending several bush rangers. Reports show Theo returned to duty on
27th August.

1815: Theophilus and his eldest son from his first marriage, Joseph who was also in the
regiment, sailed to Sydney. The rest of the family remained in Launceston.

August 1818: Theophilus and Joseph sailed to Trincomalee, Ceylon with the 73rd Regiment.

July 1820: Theophilus is discharged home, due to ill health. He is described as 'worn out,
unfit for further service' Description: Aged 48 years, 5'8" tall, brown hair, blue eyes, fair
complexion. Trade: Buckle maker. He signed his discharge papers with an X indicating that
he still could not write.

A Sad Postscript: The following is an extract from Worcestershire Burial Index and was
reprinted in 'The Midland Ancestor; Vol 12/No 6, Dec 1999'
[Courtesy of Hayden Bingham]
Fewtril, Theophilus. Buried 9 May 1821 - St James Anglican, Hartlebury Parish
Worcestershire.  Man unknown was found hanging in a cow house at Waresley, Monday May
7. A discharge from the 47th Regt. Foot dated Vol 5 1820 was found in his pocket with an
allowance of 1/5 a day. Name in Discharge Theophilus Fewtril, Native of Bilston, by trade a
Bucklemaker, served in the army 31 years, aged about 48. Coroners Warrant for burial dated
May 8th.  [Hartlebury is about twenty miles south of Trysull, Staffordshire - Theo's mother's

An Inquest into Theophilus' death was held on the 8 May before Mr Hallan, Coroner:
Yesterday at the Crown Inn Warseley, on view the body of an unfortunate man who was
suspended by his neck by two pocket handkerchiefs to the rafter of a cow house in Warseley
Green in the Parish of Hartlebury. From the state in which he was found it was thought he
must have been hanging for some hours; it appears that the deceased [who was unknown in
the neighbourhood] had been seen wandering about the Green in an apparently desponding
state; there was no money in his pockets nor any other articles except a comb and a pension
certificate in the name “Theophilus Futrell” examined 5th July 1820 from which it appeared
he had served upwards of 28 years in the 73rd and 102nd Regiments. The certificate is
signed Joseph Lynn and the Pensioner is herein directed to reside in Hampton Staffordshire.
In it Futrell is described as being 5 foot 8 inches with brown hair, blue eyes and a fair
complexion. As far as could be ascertained this description corresponded with the deceased,
but the coroner informed the jury that there was not sufficient legal proof before them of the
deceased being the Pensioner therein mentioned, though there was little doubt of it’s being
so.  His clothes comb and certificate are in the hands of the Parish Constable. The jury
returned a verdict that the deceased hung himself being insane.

A Note on the name FEUTRILL. In my reseach I have come across many spelling
variations of Feutrill. Some of them are Fentrill, Futrill, Feutrel, Feutril, Futrel,
Fewnis, Fewtrell, Futrile, Fritil, Futril, Fenton. Many BDM records appear under
several spellings. Theophilus senior used the spelling Fewtrell on his enlistment
papers. However his son, Theophilus junior, used the spelling Feutrill and this seems
to be the accepted spelling in Australia today.

References: Click HERE