Participant at the Battle of Vinegar Hill
Area Settled :
enrolled as sergeant in the NSW Corps in 1789. He was
promoted to Quartermaster in 1790. He sailed on the
frigate HMS "GORGON" under the command of
Captain Parker. It was part of the Third Fleet and left England on 15-3-1791 with 31
male convicts aboard. It arrived at Port Jackson on
21-9-1791. Governor Phillip
recommended Laycock for a vacant rank of Ensign in April
1792, but this was refused because he already held a
commission. when Deputy Commissary Thomas Freeman died in
November 1794 Lieut-Governor Grose appointed Laycock to
In 1796 Laycock was involved in the shooting of John Boston's pig and was ordered to pay damages, along with other members of the Corps charged with the offence. He resigned as Deputy Commissary in December 1800 but retained his position as Quartermaster.
He had been granted 80 acres at Parsley Bay, later the site ofVauclause House, in February 1793, 100 acres by the upper part of the harbour in September 1795, 160 acres at Liberty Plains in May 1799, and twoother grants of which no records survive. By 1802 his total acreage was 1655 acres.
He was praised for his part in putting down the Castle Hill uprising in March 1804, when he led a detachment of soldiers to Major George Johnstons aid in his encounter with the rebel leaders, and later was a member of the court-marshal which tried the rebels.
Quartermaster Sergeant Thomas Laycock of the NSW Corps was a career soldier before joining the Corps with the rank of Sergeant, just four days after Francis Grose was given the Warrant to raise the Corps. He served eleven years, the last five as Sergeant, in 2nd Troop Horse Grenadier Guards. Tall men were preferred in the Grenadiers for their ability to hurl grenades further than average so at a reputed height of 6 feet 6 inches, mounted on a fine house and resplendent in the Horse Guards uniform, Thomas must have cut a very dashing figure. When the Household Cavalry was reorganised in June 1788 the 2nd Troop was disbanded and its soldiers pensioned off.
Historical Records of New South Wales, vols 2-5; Historical Records of Australia, series 1, vols 1-6; manuscript catalogue under T. Laycock (State Library of New South Wales)