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National Trust of South Australia


Trenowth, Thomas

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth c. 1806
Place of birth Paul (near Penzance) in Cornwall, England.
Date of arrival 1847
Principal occupation Labourer, quarryman and slate carver
Date of death 1868
Place of decease Willunga, South Australia.

Thomas Trenowth was a labourer, quarryman and slate carver at Willunga. He was born in 1806 and was baptized on 20 April 1806 in Paul (near Penzance) in Cornwall, England. He was the son of Hugh Trenowth (1771-1858) and Mary Tonkin (b 1782). Thomas had one brother, John (1817-1904), and one sister, Mary (1804-1879). Possible spelling variations of Trenowth include Trenouth, Trenowtt, Trenowith or Trenoweth.

Thomas, then aged 22 years, married Elizabeth Edmunds (or Edmonds) on 27 November 1828 at St Buryan, a few miles to the west of Paul, in Cornwall. At the time, Thomas was living in St Buryan. Thomas and Elizabeth had at least six children, some of whom died in infancy. Four of these were:

  • Marianne (or Marianna) was born in 1829 or 1831.
  • Charles (1833-1863)
  • Sophia (1835-)
  • Mary Ann (1839-1896) married Daniel Davis on 2 October 1856 in Adelaide.
  • Ann E (1838 - ) married Edward Cock on 26 December 1861 at the BC Mission House in Willunga.
  • Prudence (1848-1849) died aged 5 months.

Thomas, then aged 41 years, Elizabeth and their three oldest surviving children, Charles, Mary Ann and possibly Ann, arrived in Port Adelaide on 3 April 1847 on board the emigrant barque Phoebe from London and Plymouth. Thomas was listed in the South Australian Register newspaper on 7 March 1850 as a labourer of Willunga when he was a signatory on the declaration of support for Mr John Stephens. The South Australian Register on 15 June 1853 listed Thomas Trenowth as a signatory on a Memorial sent to the SA Governor requesting the deepening of the Outer Harbour at Port Adelaide.

Thomas Trenowth is only known to have carved a single headstone, that of John Mugfer who died in 1854. That headstone survives in the Bible Christian cemetery in Torrens Vale. The stone has T. Trenowth, Willunga carved on the bottom right-hand side.

In 1859, Thomas became a land-owner in the Willunga district when he purchased two Lots: Lot 272 in Section 700 of Survey C from James Bell Williams and Lot 264 of Section 700 Survey C from Bennett John James. A South Australian Certificate of Title (Register Book Vol VIII folio 75) was issued to him.

Thomas Trenowth died, aged 62 years, on 31 July 1868 in Willunga. He was buried on 31 July 1868 in the Willunga Uniting Cemetery and has a slate headstone carved by William Hawken.

Related Articles


  • South Australian Certificate of Title (Register Book Vol VIII folio 75)
Thomas Trenowth, headstone
Thomas Trenowth, headstone

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