Thomas Velvet Ned BREWERTON , 1836

Convict uniform as punishment
Given names
Velvet Ned
Also known as
Charles /DYSON/

Please read the email from Irma Walter and contact me, link below, if you can assist. Thanks.


Stole the watch of Charles Barclay in Farrington Street, London.


Irma Walter sent the following email on 30 May 2019:

"Hello Stuart I am currently writing up the story of a convict Thomas Brewerton, a notorious burglar sent to Western Australia in 1866 on the Corona. He escaped in 1874 while on ticket-of-leave, going to South Australia & then Victoria, before being brought back to WA. He went again to Victoria in 1881 and became well-known over there as the burglar “Velvet Ned”, using many aliases. Before he left WA it appears that Brewerton was associated with a woman named Nora Doyle (Kent) and had children with her. (I don’t know which was her maiden name.) The birth of a boy, Lewis Albert Brewerton was registered in 1880 to father Thomas Brewerton and mother Norah Kent.[1] Another boy named Walter Milett, aged about nine, was brought before the court charged with vagrancy -

The boy stated that his father (a carpenter) had run away some time ago, and that his mother died last week, Mr. Leake : No! I know better than that. The mother, Nora Doyle, is a prostitute at Fremantle and the father, 'Velvet Ned,' once an Imperial prisoner, is now doing ' time ' in Victoria. After consulting with his colleague — Mr. Leake said: Well, my boy, we must go through the farce of sentencing you to three months' imprisonment, with hard labour, as a rogue and a vagabond. Mr. Dale will no doubt take care of you until we hear from the Governor, to whom your case will be reported, as to what is to be done with you. No doubt you will be sent to Rottnest, where you will be kindly treated and taught a trade. The Court then rose.[2]

[This may have been the same unfortunate child who had been in the court two years earlier, charged with vagrancy. At that time it was said that his mother couldn’t manage him and it was recommended that he be sent to a reformatory school.[3] A Lewis A. Brewerton was married to Norah Murphy at Victoria Plains in 1913.[4]]

Looking further into this family it all became very confusing. Norah Kent Doyle had married a George (or Georgii) Millett (or Mellett) in Geraldton in 1876. The confusing part is that I have now found that Norah was probably Honoria Doyle, whose son Gualterius Thomas Mellett was christened in 1878 at Fremantle. This boy was later known as Walter Thomas Brewerton, who was living at Moora WA when he got off a charge of rape in 1914. The other son born Lewis Albert Brewerton in 1880 and registered to Norah and Thomas Brewerton, was christened by parents Norah and Georgii Mellett on 2 June 1880 as Ludovicus Albertus Mellett. He later was manager of the farm at the New Norcia Catholic Mission. A girl born in 1872 Mary Rose Brewerton was baptised in Perth as a Catholic in 1883.

Why I have contacted you is that another child Elizabeth Mellett is on your website, with parents named as George Mellett and Nora Kent. Elizabeth was born 20 September 1876 at Geraldton and became a ward of the state at a Roman Catholic Orphanage (perhaps New Norcia, seeing that you have her marrying there in 1897. The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians online has recorded both Norah and George Mellet as ill and destitute in 1887 and were removed from a Mrs Donelly’s house & taken to the Poorhouse.

Sorry that this is so confusing. I probably lost your interest in the first few lines! It’s a shame that the BDM index in WA is so inadequate. If you know any more about this family I’d be grateful. You may know something about the nationality of Georgii Mellett.

Regards Irma Walter Australind Western Australia"


Kevin Wall included in an email dated 3 June 2016:

"Nora did not she meets a convict Thomas Brewerton (Ticket of leaver, wife & daughter in UK) & moves in with him & (I guess) to camouflage things takes his name & gives Elizabeth the name of Rose Brewerton. They had a son Louis Brewerton & his birth certificate records ILLEGITMATE & things fell apart again as Thomas & Nora both vanish"