Edges of Empire Biographical Dictionary

 

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A

  • Aarons, Rachel

    Rachel Aarons (1790?-1866)

    by Lucy Frost

     

    Rachel Aarons was born in Hamburg, Germany, about 1790 to a family named Schlasinger or Schleissmyer. By the time of her trial at the Old Bailey on 12 September 1821, she had moved to London and was married to Joseph Aarons, born in Holland. Whether the couple met in the Jewish community of London, or had married somewhere on the Continent, there were three daughters under the age of 5 on the day the parents were arrested for theft.

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  • Allen, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Allen (1816?–1869)

    by Leonie  Mickleborough

     

    Elizabeth Allen, alias Eliza Brown, Elizabeth Brown and Elizabeth Carter, was born about 1816 in Gibralter [sic], Spain, at a time when Gibraltar was one of the strategic bases outside England where British regiments were serving, as Spain was a British dependency at the time.

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  • Almond, Rosanette

    Rosanette Almond (1793?-1854)

    by Don Bradmore and Judith Carter

     

    Rosanette Almond, a 44-year-old wife and mother, was convicted at the Kesteven Quarter Sessions, Lincolnshire, England, on 19 October 1837 of stealing ‘a pair of cord trousers and various other articles of wearing apparel’ and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. After imprisonment for some months in Lincoln Castle, she was put aboard John Renwick which sailed from Woolwich on 25 April 1838 and reached Port Jackson on 31 August.

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  • Anson, Hannah Mary

    Hannah Mary Anson (1821?-1891?)

    by Keryn Rivett

     

    Hannah Mary Anson, also known as Grace Ada Ville, was once convicted as Ada Alice Hickley. She claimed she was born in Madras, India and was convicted of larceny at the Old Bailey, London on May 6 1850 and sentenced to 7 year’s transportation. She reached Tasmania on 7 March 1851 aboard the Emma Eugenia. Hannah was freckled with brown hair and blue eyes. She stood 5 feet 1 inch (154.94 cm) tall, and according to the Surgeon’s Report, she was ‘bad’.

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  • Armstrong, Catherine

    Catherine Armstrong (1792-1871)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Catherine Armstrong was born Catherine Goldsmith, in St Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. It is believed that her birth date was 10 April 1792 and her parents were Henry Goldsmith (1755-1811) and Mary Mason (1759-1832) who had been married in Rhode Island in 1779. Henry was Assistant Commissary General, first in Nova Scotia and then in New Brunswick. It is also uncertain how many children were in the family, with numbers ranging between ten and fifteen. According to her death notice, Catherine was the third daughter.

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  • Atkins, Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Atkins (1823-1895)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    When 23-year-old Mary Ann Atkins appeared before the Stafford Quarter Sessions on 29 June 1846 on a charge of stealing money from Samuel Perry in the Staffordshire Potteries, it was noted that she had previous convictions. Indeed, only a year earlier, on 19 July 1845 Mary Ann was sent to prison for six months for larceny, and four years before that, at the time of the Census in June 1841, Mary Ann was not at home with her mother and siblings, but was residing in the County Prison at St Mary and St Chad, Staffordshire, where she was spending twelve months after being found guilty on a charge of theft. Committing such offences once or twice might bring time in the local prison, but a third time called for more severe punishment, and she was sentenced to 7 years in Van Diemen’s Land.

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B

  • Beck, Matty

    Matty Beck (1811?-1847)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Matty Beck, domestic slave and later convict, was born in Barbados in about 1811. The Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies, 1812-1834, list 28 Matty Becks in Barbados, but only one was born in the right time period. This Matty Beck first appeared in the Registers in 1817, described as a six-year-old domestic slave owned by a William Swan. She was one of only eight slaves owned by Swan and remained in his household until 1823 when he gifted his slaves to Harriet Husbands Swan. Matty was still in this household in 1834, so the Swans had controlled her world for the first 24 years of her life.

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  • Beveridge, Margaret

    Margaret Beveridge (1810 - 1852?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Margaret Beveridge was born in Lower Canada, now Quebec, in 1810. She was 5 feet 3 and a half inches (161.29 cm) tall. Her complexion was ruddy and freckled and she had dark brown hair and brown eyes. The surgeon on board the Competitor described her as having a good countenance. She was convicted at Kent Assizes on the 16 August 1827 for house breaking and was transported for life. She was one of 99 female prisoners and 20 children on board the Competitor, with John Stewart as Master, when it left London June 13 1828. They had been held together at Newgate Prison in London prior to their departure.

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  • Bombay, Louisa

    Louisa Bombay (1800?-1853)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    On 18 May 1835, Louisa Bombay, aged 25, was charged with stealing 21 sovereigns belonging to Robert Girling three days earlier. Appearing at Ipswich Quarter Session, Suffolk on Tuesday 30 June 1835, she was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years at Botany Bay. She was remanded at the Borough Goal. The offence was listed as ‘Larceny from the Person’, also known as ‘man robbery’. Louisa was removed from the Borough Goal on Tuesday 15 September 1825 and sent to Woolwich for transportation on board the Henry Wellesley which was due to leave Woolwich on 23 September 1835. The Surgeon was Mr R Wylie. It did not leave until 9 October, but news arriving in Australia suggested the Henry Wellesley was bound for Hobart Town. Other reports gave New South Wales. It arrived at Sydney on Sunday 7 February 1836.

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  • Bone, Mary

    Mary Bone (1827?-1896)

    by Deborah Norris

     

    Mary Bone was born in France, about 1827. At the time of her birth the city of Paris was being rebuilt from a medieval town to a grand city. How, why and when Mary, her brother Robert and sisters Catherine and Jemma left this newly developing city and travelled to the British Isles has proved difficult to ascertain, as personal names were not included on census returns in France until 1836. At some point the family split, brother Richard living in London, whilst Mary and her sisters resided in Edinburgh. On 12 March 1849, before the Edinburgh High Court, Mary received a sentence of 10 years’ transportation to Van Diemen’s Land.

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  • Botibol, Esther

    Esther Henrietta Botibol (1834?-1910)

    by Susan Ballyn

     

    The family name Botibol is, without doubt, of Sephardic origin. Just a casual search reveals the name as extant during the eighteenth century in London, registered in the Bevis Marks Synagogue, and also among the Sephardim in such centres of diaspora as Menorca, Gibraltar and Tangier. When she was growing up, Esther Botibol belonged to the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardic community in London, whether she was actively religious or not.

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  • Boulter, Jane

    Jane Boulter (1805?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    At the Worcester Sessions Monday on 19 April 1830, Richard Boulter, Jane Boulter his wife, and Thomas Taylor, were sentenced for stealing 16/- from a person at Kidderminster. Richard Boulter and Thomas Taylor were both sentenced to transportation for 14 years and were sent to New South Wales on board the convict ship Burrell. Jane Boulter, with a previous conviction, was also transported for 14 years, but sent to Van Diemen’s Land on board the America.

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  • Boyde, Margaret

    Margaret Boyde (1810?-1885)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Margaret Boyde or Boyd was born in America (sic), Halifax Nova Scotia in about 1810. She was convicted in County Down, Ireland on 5 April 1847 for pledging bedclothes and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. She had a previous conviction for selling fowls and served four months. Margaret was one of 144 women on board the Kinnear, under the captaincy of Robert Heard with John G Williams as surgeon. The Kinnear arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 7 October 1848 after a voyage of 113 days during which five women died. Williams reported her behaviour as exceedingly good. He had seen her twice during the voyage. The first time was on 9 September 1848 for catarrh (a two-day complaint) and the second time was four days later for a prolapsed uterus from which she was discharged 17 days later.

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  • Brown, Catherine

    Catherine Brown (1805–?)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Catherine Brown was born about 1805 in Gibraltar, Spain, one of the areas where British military were stationed, and where some of the personnel were permitted to take their wives. In 1826 Catherine was living in Scotland, where, on 18 March, at the Trial Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh, Catherine, Margaret Bower and Grace McKenzie (or MacKenzie), were found guilty of the theft of £90 from Robert Campbell.

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  • Brown, Johanna

    Johanna Brown (1811-1869)

    by Babette Smith

     

    Johanna Brown was born in Portugal about 1811. Very likely she was the daughter of a soldier, one of the rank and file of the British army which was based there as part of a long campaign to reverse Napoleon’s conquest of Europe. The war against the French kept the British in Portgual and Spain until 1815. Along with other families of soldiers, Johanna would have spent her childhood following the army as it forced the French back. When the war ended she was repatriated to England with one or both of her parents.

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  • Brown, Margaret Mawcourtney

    Margaret Mawcourtney Brown (1814?-?)

    by Deborah Norris

     

    Born in Paris, Margaret Mawcourtney or Mary Mawcourtney or Margaret Courtney arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 20 October 1835. Margaret appeared at the Central Criminal Court in London on 6 April 1835 charged with theft. More specifically ‘stealing, but not from the person’. She had been co-habitating for four or five months in Whitechapel, as if husband and wife, with a like minded gentleman, Mr Doyle and prior to this liaison Margaret had been living ‘on the town’ for three months.

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  • Brown, Maria

    Maria Brown (1824?-?)

    by Deborah Norris

     

    Maria Brown (aka Burdell) stood trial on 14 March 1848 in the Middlesex Sessions. Maria denied evidence to the contrary that this was her fourth conviction for stealing to no avail. On this her final appearance before a court in England, she was sentenced to 7 years’ transportation for the crime of stealing a pair of boots. Having spent her last four years ‘on the town’, life for this single mother of a young son was set to change.

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C

  • Carroll, Martha

    Martha Carroll (1822?-1855)

    by Colin Tuckerman

     

    Martha Carroll was born in America. Her maiden name was Dunlop. At the time of her arrest, Martha’s mother, three sisters and one brother named John Dunlop were still in America. Her brother in America was serving with the 7th Regiment of Foot, so perhaps Martha’s father and husband may also have had some connection to that Regiment.

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  • Cassidy, Sarah

     Sarah Cassidy (1825- ?)

    by Colleen Arulappu

     

    Sarah Cassidy was born in the East Indies and brought up in Derry. At the time of her birth there were two British Regiments which had been transferred from serving in Ireland to India and as married soldiers were able to take their wives, Sarah was probably the child born there of Irish parents. Sarah was a very short girl with a freckled face and she had seven sets of initials interspersed with hearts, a cross and dots(for kisses) tattooed on her arms. When she arrived in Hobart her mother, Sarah, was alive in Belfast, her brothers Richard and Thomas and her sisters Joanna and Theresa; however Joanna, who gave her native place as Derry, had been transported the year before on the Waverley.

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  • Christie, Catherine

    Catherine Christie (1798?-1845?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    Catherine Christie was aged 40 when she arrived in New South Wales on the Margaret in 1839, having been convicted of ‘stealing fowls’ at her trial in Mayo, Ireland on 12 April 1838. She was an unmarried laundress who gave her place of birth as Jamaica. Catherine had a previous conviction of six months and was consequently transported for 7 years. She had brown hair, grey eyes and a ‘dark sallow & freckled’ complexion. In addition, Catherine had ‘Lost four front teeth in [her] upper jaw’, there were scars on her nose and forehead, and the nail of her middle finger was ‘disfigured’.

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  • Clarke, Eleanor

    Eleanor Clarke (1808?-?)

    by Don Bradmore and Judith Carter

     

    Eleanor Clarke, a married woman with two children (one male, one female), was convicted at the Old Bailey, London, on 26 February 1838. Court records show her surname as Clark.

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  • Clarke, Eliza

    Eliza Clarke (1819?-1850)

    by Dianne Snowden

     

    Eliza Clarke or Sanfern thief, prostitute and convict housemaid, was born in Victoria, Cordoba, Spain. Nothing is known of her early life until she was tried in the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in July 1838: she was found guilty of stealing a brooch (which she pawned) as well as a small amount of money, two sheets and two blankets. Her sister was living in the house where the theft occurred. Eliza was sentenced to two months in prison. Nearly three years later, in March 1841, Eliza again appeared in the Central Criminal Court, charged with stealing a sheet, valued at 3/-. In court, a witness testified:

    I keep a house in the Almonry at Westminster. The prisoner and a soldier came to the house about eleven o’clock in the evening, on the 20th of February, and staid about a quarter of an hour—they were shown into a bed-room—in five or six minutes after they were gone, I missed the sheet—I went in pursuit of the prisoner, and found her that night—this is the sheet.

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  • Clayton, Charlotte

    Charlotte Clayton (1811-?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    In May 1835, 23-year-old Charlotte Clayton was acquitted of ‘Larceny from the Person’ at the Central Criminal Court in London. Two years later, however, she was not so lucky. In April 1837 Charlotte was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing a sum on money, including five sovereigns and three half-sovereigns, from Peter Elisha, a straw salesmen who lived in Bethnal Green. A police constable heard Clayton and Elisha arguing after midnight about whether or not Clayton had stolen money from his pocket. Constable Jones noted that the location where they were arguing was ‘within twenty yards of a brothel’. Charlotte arrived in Sydney on the second sailing of the Henry Wellesley in 1837, sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. The indent recorded her trade as ‘Needlewoman (good)’ and stated she had no prior convictions. Charlotte was described as 25 years old, born in London, 4 feet 10 ¾ inches tall (149.23 cm) with an ‘Olive’ complexion, black hair, and dark brown eyes. The indent also noted that she was ‘Half cast’.

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  • Cooper, Jane

    Jane Cooper (1813?-1873)

    by Colin Tuckerman

     

    Jane Cooper stated she was born in Lisbon Portugal. Her parents were recorded on her death record as Thomas and Mary. Cooper was single, Catholic and a servant. She was described as stout, of fair complexion with dark brown hair and grey eyes. She was unable to read.

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  • Cooper, Mary

    Mary Cooper (1813?-1846)

    by David Boon

     

    Mary Cooper was born about 1813 in Portugal. To date no definite details of her birth or father have been located. It is thought that Mary’s mother was Jane Darling as this was the name listed on the registration of death of her sister, Sarah, which also recorded that Sarah was born at sea. Given these details it would seem likely that Mary travelled with her family back to England about 1814 as her sister, Sarah, is recorded in a study by C.L. Anderson as having been born at sea at that time. Given these dates and locations it seems a strong possibility that Mary’s father was involved in some way in Wellington’s peninsular campaign, with the family returning to England sometime after the war ended in April 1814.

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  • Cooper, Mary

    Mary Cooper (1813?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    On Saturday 16 April 1836, the York Herald reported that, ‘Richard Bulmer (29), John Harrison (16), Mary Cooper (22), Catherine Gale (22) and Ann Sergeantson [sic] (22) were charged with having feloniously stolen a quantity of woollen cloth, webs and pieces of silk handkerchiefs, ribbons, cotton handkerchiefs, cotton sheets, silk shawls, and a variety of other goods from the dwelling house of James Longmuire, linen and woollen draper, of Middleton, in Teesdale, in the county of Durham.’

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  • Cooper, Sarah

    Sarah Cooper (1814?-1864)

    by David Boon

     

    Sarah Cooper is recorded in a study of Lincolnshire convicts by C. L. Anderson as having been born at sea, most likely as her parents and older sister, Mary, were returning from Portugal, which is where Mary was later recorded as having been born. Given these details it is likely that Sarah’s father was involved in the peninsular campaign which ended in April 1814, but no details of his identity have been located. Her mother was listed on Sarah’s death registration as being Jane Darling.

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  • Costello, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Costello (1807–?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Elizabeth Costello was born in New Brunswick, Canada in 1807. She was tried at the Central Criminal Court, London on 14 September 1826 for feloniously receiving ‘part of the same goods, well knowing them to have been stolen’. Her co-accused, Joseph Dickinson, was indicted for stealing on 24 August, nine napkins, value 4/-; five towels, value 2/-; two jackets, value 6/-; and four aprons, value 4/-, the goods of William Colley. During the trial, Elizabeth was described through questioning as ‘a woman, in the family way, named Carrotty Bet’.

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  • Couronne, Constance

    Constance Couronne (1824-1891)

    by Cassandra Pybus

     

    Constance Couronne arrived in Sydney on Brig Dart arrived in Sydney from Port Louis, Mauritius, on Wednesday 10 July 1834, one of two female prisoners from Mauritius. The other was her older cousin Elizabeth Verloppe. The Sydney Herald further reported that these two females had been ‘convicted of an attempt to poison their mistress’. They were barely more than children: Elizabeth was fourteen and Constance was ten, making her one the youngest female convict to be transported to New South Wales. She was described on the indent as ‘black’ and her trade was said to be ‘Embroiderer & needlewoman’.

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  • Cummins, Eliza

    Eliza Cummins (1812?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    When Eliza Henrietta Cummins, also known as Cummings or Cumming, arrived at Hobart in 1845 she told the officials that she was aged 33, had a sister named Ann, and had been born in Jamaica but was brought up in England. Her mother’s name was Sarah. And so, with this meagre information we ask who Eliza Henrietta Cummings was.

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  • Curtis, Jane

    Jane Curtis (1816?-?)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    According to Jane Curtis’ convict conduct record, she arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1844, her ‘proper name’ was Leonora Crosby and she was born about 1816 in Gibraltar Spain. In the 1800s, Gibraltar was one of the strategic bases outside England where British regiments were serving. Soldiers were permitted to take their lawful wives in the proportion of six to every 100, and in making the selection, those of the ‘best character and most likely to be useful to the Troops were first chosen’.

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D

  • Daley, Mary

    Mary Daley (1826?-1872)

    by Kristin Leeds

     

    Mary Daley née Wood was a ‘much freckled, blue eyed, brown haired, fresh faced’ young Irish women who, whilst raised with her siblings John, Henry and Ellen in County Kerry Ireland, was noted on her convict records as having been being born in America. Whilst nothing as yet can be determined of her early American life, Mary appears from her British records as a spirited, young woman who offered strident defence of her crimes rather than contrition.

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  • Davies, Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Davies (1807?-?)

    by Susan Ballyn

     

    Mary Ann Davies, whose birth place was Spain according to the description list, was tried in Leeds on 13 October 1832, found guilty of stealing money from the person, and sentenced to 14 years’ transportation. The gaol report copied onto her convict conduct record said that she had already served a sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment after being convicted at the Leeds Boro Sessions in 1830. She ‘has been connected’, said the gaol report, ‘with a number of Bad characters at Leeds’.

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  • Davis, Ann

    Ann Davis (1808?-?)

    by Colleen Arruluppu

     

    Ann Davis also known as Mary Ann Davis was born in Spain. In the Old Bailey, London in 1831, Ann Davis faced a charge of stealing a purse containing five sovereigns, six half crowns, eight shillings and two sixpences, the property of Robert Dixon Esq, a lawyer who lived in Chancery Lane. He said that as he walked home late at night Ann Davis ran across the road and grabbed him violently by the arm, held on for twenty or thirty yards until he reached his house where he discovered his purse was gone. Ann Davis ran into the nearby courts, but as she ran back she was confronted by Mr Dixon. He took his purse from her but the sovereigns were not there and Ann was taken to the Police Office. She told the police that she did not even have the price of a glass of gin, but silver coins were found in her possession. Ann Davis swore that ‘the man put the five shillings in my hand and said he wanted to speak with me – I would not comply with him; he called the police man and gave charge of me.’

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  • Davis, Harriet

    Harriet Davis (1805?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    When twenty-three-year-old Harriet Davis appeared before the Sergeant Arabin at the Old Bailey on 11 June 1829 she was facing a charge of stealing one half-sovereign, and one half-crown , belonging to Thomas Wright, on 16 May.

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  • de Roocke, Eliza

    Eliza de Roocke (1798?-1850)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Eliza de Roocke was born near Portsmouth, Hampshire. Sometime before 1813, she arrived in the Cape Colony, South Africa, with her husband Peter. By 1830, Eliza a ‘wash woman & needlewoman’, was a widow with two young sons and a teenage daughter. In October 1830 Eliza, along with her daughter, was charged with receiving stolen property, and with stealing many articles from the homes of her clients who were well connected members of Cape society. The two had no previous convictions, and the crimes were out of character according to references and letters of support held by the court.

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  • de Roocke, Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina de Roocke (1813?-1871)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Wilhelmina de Roocke was born in Cape Town around 1813. By 1815 the Dutch had formally passed sovereignty of the Cape Colony to the English. When Wilhelmina was 17 years old she was employed as a live-in needle woman. This position was in the service of the Attorney General of the Cape, Anthony Oliphant, in the elite Camps Bay area. Wilhelmina’s live-in position with one of the most prestigious families in the Cape was considered very good, and certainly would have removed the burden from her widowed mother of providing for another mouth.

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  • de Saumarez, Melorina Florentina

    Melorina Florentina de Saumarez (1827?–1876)

    by Alison Alexander

     

    Nineteen-year-old Melorina Florentina de Saumarez stated that her father, now deceased, had been a colonel of artillery, commanding a regiment; her mother and brother were in Paris; and she herself had received a superior education. The Saumerez were certainly a notable family in Guernsey, but since Melorina later stated that her real name was La Lausse, her relationship with them sounds doubtful. In 1846 she was arrested in England, in such exciting circumstances that the event was widely reported, with one journalist thrilled by her fashionable clothes and her magnificent black hair. Wholly unconfined (ladies never wore their hair unconfined in public), it flowed over her shoulders down to her waist.

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  • de Thoreza, Adelaide

    Adelaide de Thoreza (1806?–1877)

    by Lucy Frost

     

    Adelaide de Thoreza was born in Madrid about 1806. For some reason, perhaps connected to the unsettled state of Spain, she left her homeland (with or without her family) for England. As a young woman she was in the service of a London dressmaker when she was arrested on 28 April 1829 on a charge of stealing sheets belonging to her mistress. On 17 June 1829 she was tried at the Old Bailey and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. On 20 July 1829 she sailed on the Lucy Davidson bound for New South Wales.

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  • Deans, Eliza

    Eliza Deans (1819?–1879)

    by Trudy Mae Cowley

     

    Eliza Deans was described by the convict authorities as a ‘Woman of color’ with thick lips, a black complexion, black hair and brown eyes. She stated both at her trial and upon arrival in Van Diemen’s Land that she was born at Long Island in America. Yet, when she married in 1855, Eliza stated she was born in the West Indies and that her father, Mr Dean, was a West Indian planter and that she could not remember her mother’s name. It is likely that Eliza’s mother was a West Indian slave and that she was born circa 1819.

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  • Develin, Ellen

    Ellen Develin (1819?-1877)

    by Mary Johnson

     

    Ellen Develin was reputedly born in India when her father, John Develin, was an Irish soldier serving with the East India Company. On the family’s return to Ireland their daughter was brought up in Dublin. Nothing more is known about Ellen until 22 October 1840 when at the age of 19 she was tried at Antrim Assizes on a charge of stealing linen. Ellen was convicted and sentenced to 7 years’  transportation. Later, when asked about any prior convictions, she would say that she had been imprisoned once before for six months, and once had been acquitted on a charge of stealing a trunk box. On 12 August 1841 she left London on the Mexborough. Although the ship was plagued throughout the voyage by frequent tempests and water seepage, Ellen maintained good health and according to the surgeon superintendent, was ‘well behaved’. Once the Mexborough arrived in Hobart  on 26 December 1841, about half the women—including Ellen—were transferred to another vessel to sail up the coast to Launceston.

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  • Diamond, Sarah Ann

    Sarah Ann Diamond (1826?-1913)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    When the Grand Jury was sworn in at Bolton Quarter Sessions on Thursday 1 April 1847 the Court Recorder, Robert Baynes Armstrong, noted that most of the cases involved property ‘not of much value’ and that most of those due to appear had minimal education, and that there were fewer females than usual although the total number, twenty-eight, was higher ‘but this is trifling, particularly when we take into consideration the number of persons out of employment and the dearness of provisions’.

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  • Doomean, Catherine

    Catherine Doomean (1822?-?)

    by Don Bradmore and Judith Carter

     

    Catherine Doomean was 19 when, on 28 June 1842, she was convicted at Westmeath, Ireland, of stealing a shirt and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. It was not her first offence; she had been imprisoned twice previously: on one occasion for two months for the theft of eggs, and on another for 48 hours for drunkenness.

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  • Durrant, Ann

    Ann Durrant (1793?-?)

    by Colleen Arulappu

     

    Ann Durrant, alias Brown, alias Mrs Smart, was born about 1793 in the East Indies and brought up in Aberdeen, Scotland. Ann was sentenced to 14 years’ transportation on 17 April 1827 in the Aberdeen Court of Justiciary for housebreaking and theft of money and jewellery. Robert Simpson, alias Robert Smart, alias John Duncan, was charged with her. The pair had faced three similar charges previously. The judgement stated they had wickedly and feloniously broken into and entered a dwelling house by violently forcing a window. They were reputed to be common thieves who stole and received stolen goods. Ann Durrant was apprehended in Dundee with some of the stolen articles.

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  • Dyason, Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Dyason (1822?-1849)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Born at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa about 1822, Mary Ann Dyason had two brothers, Robert and Joshua, and three sisters, June, Eliza, and Sarah. She was 5 feet 1 inch (154.94 cm) tall with light blue eyes, light brown hair, and fair complexion, Protestant, and had learnt to read and write.

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E

  • Emery, Margaret

    Margaret Emery (1818?-?)

    by Lucy Frost

     

    Margaret Emery was born in Gibraltar about 1818. Nothing recorded on the description list suggests a Spanish parent—her complexion was fair, her hair light brown and her eyes light grey. Her height, 5 feet 2¼ inches (158.11 cm), was just slightly above the average for convict women. Whoever her parents were, they did not afford Margaret a stable home life or provide her with an education or trade. By the time she was 15 she was living in the English port of Liverpool, and working as a prostitute. ‘Four years on the town’, she said in January 1838 when she reached the colonial port of Hobart. ‘Bad’, said the gaol report she brought from Liverpool, ‘in prison very often’.

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  • Esmon, Johanna

    Johanna Esmon (1802?-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Johanna Esmon, ‘woman of colour’ and convict, was born in Barbados in the British Caribbean. On 20 January 1836, aged 34, she was tried in Demerara (now Guyana) on the north coast of South America. For most of her lifetime, Demerara had been a British colony and it is probable that she moved from one British colony to the other because she was a slave.

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  • Evans, Catherine

    Catherine Evans (1794?–?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Catherine Evans was born in Newfoundland. By the time of her conviction in 1843, she was living in Leeds, Yorkshire.

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F

  • Ferris, Catherine

    Catherine Ferris (1805?-1850?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    In June 1829, John Macartney, a soldier in the 27th East India regiment, accompanied Catherine Ferris to ‘a house of ill-fame, in Whitechapel’ after leaving India House to walk home in the middle of the afternoon. Catherine and Macartney had a drink of gin together before lying down on the bed. A few minutes later, Catherine leapt up and raced out of the room, stealing a money bag which contained ‘fifty-six silver Spanish dollars’ that Macartney had recently brought back with him from Calcutta. After a search of the premises, only sixteen of the silver coins were recovered. In her defence, Catherine said, ‘I saw him with many more dollars, but they were never in my hands; I got out at the foot of the bed … I certainly stopped away to save myself from prostitution’. During Catherine’s trial at the Old Bailey, a police officer referred to her as ‘Kit Creole’ and said that she was known by that name as she had previously lived with a Creole. ‘Kit’ was not, however, described as Creole and her physical appearance was not mentioned during the proceedings.

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  • Fitton, Catherine

    Catherine Fitton (1811?-?)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Catherine Fitton was born about 1811 in Gibraltar, but by age twenty came to be living in Scotland, where on 29 March 1831 she, along with Jess Holmes (or Mathieson) and George Holmes (or Holme ) was convicted at the Edinburgh Court of Justiciary of stealing and receiving money, the property of Robert Ballantyne. It wasn’t the first time Catherine had appeared before the authorities, having been imprisoned four times at Bridewell for drinking.

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  • Forrest, Janet

    Janet Forrest (1816–57)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Janet Forrest, born in Gibraltar, Spain in 1816, was the daughter of Samuel Forrest who was born in the Parish of Carluch [sic] (Carluke), Lanarkshire Scotland in 1784. At the time of Janet’s birth, and also the birth of her sister Catherine in 1819, Samuel was serving in the Garrison Staff of the 26th Foot Regiment in Gibraltar, having served in the Cameron Highlanders in Portugal. The regiment had left Lisbon on 27 May 1812 and arrived in Gibraltar on 4 June.

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  • Gallacher, Sarah

    Sarah Gallacher (1816?-?)

    by Colette McAlpine

     

    Although she was born in France about 1816, Sarah Gallacher was raised with her four brothers and three sisters in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland the home of the poet Robbie Burns.

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  • George, Janet

    Janet (Jessie) George (1829?–1915)

    by Joyce Purtscher

     

     Although we know from the Scottish 1841 Census that Jessie George was born in Aberdeen, she was always referred to as a mulatto and that fact isolated her and gave her a foreignness that dogged not only her, but her descendants. DNA Testing of a fourth generation descendant indicated that Jessie was 50% African. No trace of Jessie George’s father has been found, nor any trace of her parents’ marriage or relationship. The parents of her mother, Esther McKenzie, were John McKenzie, a soldier in the Aberdeenshire Militia, and Christian Munro. Because her grandparents on both the McKenzie and Munro sides have traceable Scottish heritage, it would be fair to say that Jessie’s father was a full-blood African, though whether he had been a slave in America or the Caribbean is impossible to know.

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  • Gottlieb, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Gottlieb (1812?-?)

    by Ralph Crane

     

    Elizabeth Gottlieb was born in Kensington, London, but brought up in Calcutta. A member of the Church of England who could both read and write, she appears to have worked as a governess before her appearance before the bench in Calcutta on 31 December 1842. At the time of her trial she was already a widow, and had no living relations. She was convicted of stealing jewellery (‘They were 2 rupees’) from a Miss Mathieson and sentenced to transportation for 7 years with six months probation. She left Calcutta aboard the Tenasserim, a 230-ton Calcutta-registered barque trading between India and Australia, on 22 January 1844. The ship departed Madras on 13 February, before arriving in Hobart on 13 April 1844, departing ten days later for Sydney. Transportation orders show that as well as several steerage passengers, the ship conveyed seventeen convicts to Van Diemen’s Land from India: Elizabeth Gottlieb and nine male convicts from Bengal, together with seven male convicts from Fort St. George (Madras).

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  • Grant, Mary

    Mary Grant (1818?–1878)

    by Lucy Frost

     

    ‘On the coast of Portugal’, said Mary Grant when asked her native place upon arrival in Hobart aboard the Atwick in January 1838. With her fair complexion, sandy hair, and grey eyes, she bore no obvious signs of Iberian parentage. The British fondness for the fortified wines of sherry and port may explain why her mother was on the Portuguese coast when Mary was born about 1818. British merchants, some in long established businesses and others as opportunistic traders, imported the immensely popular wines of varying qualities and pricing. Whether they were wealthy merchants with substantial warehouses along the wharves of Oporto, or were fly-by-night traders with no permanent base in Portugal, some undoubtedly took English-speaking servants with them, and Mary’s mother might well have been one of these. Perhaps she was on a trading vessel, which might explain why Mary was described in the Hobart Town Gazette as ‘native of the Ocean’ when she first absconded in Van Diemen’s Land. Whatever the circumstances of her birth, an early connection with alcohol would have been very appropriate.

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  • Gresley, Rosa

     Rosa Gresley (1830?-1861)

    by Deborah Norris

     

    Rosa Gresley, also known as Rose Giesley and Rosa Grisby, was born in France, stood trial twenty years later, was convicted of larceny and then sentenced to 10 years’ transportation. She departed London onboard the Aurora and arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 10 August 1851. Was she the daughter of a British sailor who spent time in France? How and when did she come to live in London? Though these are intriguing questions, they are likely to be questions with no answer. For now, Rosa’s story for begins with her apprehension by police and appearance before a magistrate in England.

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  • Groyne, Ann

    Ann Groyne (1803?-?)

    by Colleen Arulappu

     

    Ann Groyne, also known as Ann Gwyn, was born in Sicily about 1803. Ann was convicted on 8 September, 1830, at the Pembroke General Sessions, on a charge of stealing money for which she received a life sentence. She had no previous convictions. She was 5 feet (152.40 cm) tall with a ruddy, freckled complexion, light brown hair and grey eyes; she had two sets of initials tattooed on her upper left arm: T.C.T.P. and A.W.R.L. Ann gave Sicily as her birth place. At the time, the second part of the Napoleonic Wars had begun and there were strong British naval forces in the area and British army occupation of the island. She gave her occupation as a maid of all work.

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  • Haines, Margaret

    Haines, Margaret (1805–?)

    by Deborah Norris

     

    The resident surgeon at Millbank Prison stated that Margaret Haines was a malingerer and unaffected by any disease. Indeed, following embarkation from Woolwich, this convict woman, according to Dr Samuel Donnelly, Ship’s Surgeon, ‘soon recovered the use of [her] right knee joint by the use of stimulating liniments…’ Additionally, once in Van Diemen’s Land, Margaret Haines was anything but a malingerer, chalking up an impressive list of colonial offences over a period of four and a half years.

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  • Hall, Mary

    Mary Hall (1809?-1839)

    by Don Bradmore and Judith Carter

     

    Mary Hall, lady’s maid and needlewoman, was charged with ‘stealing a jacket’. At the Quarter Sessions, Maidstone, Kent, England, on 29 June 1837, she was found guilty of ‘larceny from the person’ and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. After nearly ten months in the county gaol, she was put aboard John Renwick which sailed from Woolwich on 25 April 1838 and reached Port Jackson on 31 August. 

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  • Hampton, Sarah

    Sarah Hampton (1823?–?)

    by Deborah Norris

     

     Sarah Hampton appeared before the Worchester City Quarter Sessions on 17 October 1842 and was found guilty of stealing a cloak from a dwelling house. This was not her first offence, as three months earlier she had stood accused of stealing a handkerchief. Accordingly, on 5 February 1843 Sarah left London on board the Margaret to begin her sentence of 7 years’ transportation. For Sarah the journey to Van Diemen’s Land was long and apparently frustrating, as her character onboard was noted as ‘quarrelsome’, a trait that she continued to display as she fought the system that attempted to reform her. Sarah had been ‘six months on the town’ at some time before her sentencing, but what else could have made this young 19-year-old woman who had been born in France so defiant? In answering this question, there were at least two of events in Sarah’s earlier life that are worthy of investigation and consideration.

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  • Harris, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Harris (1806?-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Little is known of Elizabeth Harris’s early years, except that she was born in Boston, Massachusetts in the early years of the nineteenth century. Her father, a mariner, was master of the traders Triton and Paragon that sailed between Boston and Liverpool, so his wife must have travelled with him on some of his voyages. However, given that Elizabeth was living in Liverpool in the 1820s, it is likely that her background was English, not American.

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  • Harris, Jane

    Jane Harris (1806?-?)

    by Susan Ballyn

     

    Whether Jane Harris was born in Spain or not remains a mystery though it is stated clearly on her description list. Her forays into the world of petty crime began at the age of 16 when in January 1822 she was aquitted of larceny at the Dorset Assizes. In April 1824, aged 18, she was again tried for larceny at the same court; this time she was convicted and sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment. Undeterred from her life as a thief, she appeared again at the Assizes in October 1826, now aged 20, but was acquitted. Pushing her luck seven years later, she committed larceny again, was tried for a fourth time at the Dorset Assizes on 18 July 1833, was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. It is difficult to believe that between 1826 and 1833 she had not continued to thieve given a criminal record which had begun at a very early age.

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  • Harvey, Rose

    Rose Harvey (1814?-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Rose Harvey, a Bermudan ‘woman of colour’ and convict, was 22 years old when she was convicted of stealing spirits. Almost certainly a newly emancipated slave, she was tried on 4 November 1835 at Hamilton, Bermuda, the same day as Peter Brangman, a ‘man of colour’. Both were sentenced to death, a sentence that was commuted to transportation for life to New South Wales, and sent to England on board His Majesty’s Ship Vestal.

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  • Heather, Mary

    Mary Heather (1806?-?)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Mary Heather was 16 years old when she was convicted of stealing a one quart pot valued at 1/– at the property of Richard Balls, a publican in Upper Grosvenor Street, London. She was seen acting suspiciously in the street by John Boston, who then apprehended her. Mary was tried at the Old Bailey on 3 July 1822 and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation for the crime of Grand Larceny. 

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  • Henry, Anne

    Anne Henry (1817-1848)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    Anne Henry was tried in Dublin City on 19 April 1837 and arrived in Sydney on the Sir Charles Forbes in 1837, convicted of the felony crime of stealing a watch and money. Anne gave her place of birth as Dublin and said she was a ‘Thorough servant and plain cook’. She was 20 years old, single and had no children. In the handwritten manuscript indent for the Sir Charles Forbes, she was described as having black hair, black eyes and a ‘Creole’ complexion; however, the annotated printed copy stated she had a ‘Copper color’ complexion, ‘Black and woolly’ hair, black eyes, and also remarked that she was ‘Half cast’.

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  • Herbert, Eliza

    Eliza Herbert (1825-?)

    by Lyn Horton

     

    Eliza Herbert was 21 years of age when she arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 29 August 1846. She was convicted of larceny, having stolen a hat and handkerchief and was sentenced to 10 years’ transportation. Eliza gave her proper name as Pleasant Tidyman and native place as Germany. Her parents were Edward and Elizabeth Tidyman and her siblings were Edward, James, William, Martha, Susan and Elizabeth. Her first conviction was for stealing and she was given a two year sentence. At this trial she gave her name as Eliza Smith.

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  • Hone, Maria

    Maria Hone (1799?-?)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Maria Hone, or Hoane or Sloan, arrived in Port Jackson, New South Wales, aboard the convict ship Edward on 26 April 1829 after being convicted of stealing money at County Roscommon, Ireland. She was one of 174 female prisoners on board, of whom three died during the 115-day voyage. There were also fourteen children of convicts and 23 free settlers making the journey. Maria was well behaved during this time.

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  • Horsnick, Caroline

    Caroline Horsnick (1828-?)

    by Lyn Horton

     

    Appearing before the Central Criminal Court in London on 10 May 1852 were German woman Caroline Horsnick (alias Cramer) and her accomplice, Joseph Strassuer.  Caroline pleaded guilty to stealing three bracelets, eight rings, other articles and some money.  Aged 23 at the time of this offence, she had previously had a clean record. Because of the nature and value of the crime and because they pleaded guilty, Caroline and Joseph were sentenced to 10 years’ transportation.

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  • Hunn, Susan

    Susan Hunn (1832?–?)

    by Susan Ballyn

     

    Susan Hunn turns out to be as elusive in Van Diemen’s Land as she had been slippery on the streets of London’s East End. Her life of crime comes vividly alive in the Old Bailey court records, but her conduct record in Van Diemen’s Land shows no colonial offences, nothing. She just seems to disappear into thin air, no record for departure from the colony, no marriage record, no record of children born to her, no death record. She is, however, a fascinating young woman, born apparently in Spain, but very much at home on London’s most crowded streets, and no stranger to its courts.

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  • Hunt, Mary

    Mary Hunt (1812?-?)

    by Lyn Horton

     

    Mary Hunt was tried at the Quarter Sessions in Bath, Somerset, England on 18 April 1850 for stealing a handkerchief. Previously she had stolen silk and dolls, earning sentences of one and three months respectively. She was transported for 10 years aboard the Emma Eugenia to Van Diemen’s Land. She gave her native place as Heligoland, Germany. Heligoland consists of two islands off the German coastline in the North Sea. Mary was a widow and brought a fifteen-month-old baby girl, born in 1848 and named Mary Ann, with her. The father of the child was John Jarvis. Apparently, a mother of four, she left behind a son, John William Jarvis and another daughter, Annie Louisa Jarvis whose father was Thomas Hunt. Mary’s brother John and sister Ann also lived in Bath.

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I-K

  • Jackson, Ann

    Ann Jackson (1817?-?)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Although born in South America in about 1817, Ann Jackson, whose real name was Maria Donaldson, was raised in London where she married Robert Donaldson. They lived at 1 Tavistock Street, in that city, and had one child together. She was a short woman at 4 feet 9½ inches (146.05 cm) tall , had dark brown hair, hazel eyes and fair complexion, and her freckled nose was inclined to the right.

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  • Johnson, Mary

    Mary Johnson (1807-1838)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    Mary Johnson was tried and convicted of robbery at the Portsmouth Borough Quarter Sessions at Southampton in January 1832. The Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle reported that ‘the following prisoners were tried and sentenced:—Mary Johnson, J. Evans, and Mary Evans, for robbing their ready-furnished lodgings … —seven years transportation each’.  Mary arrived in New South Wales on board the Fanny in February 1833. The indent described her as a married but childless housemaid from Sussex. She was 26 years old and had brown hair, grey eyes and a ‘Fair and freckled’ complexion.

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  • Jones, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Jones (1814?-?)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Elizabeth Jones was a native of Isle of France (Mauritius), born in about 1814, and although it is not known when or why, by 1827 she was living in London and working as a cook for a family there. On 30 June 1838, she found herself caught up in a scheme to swindle a gullible and vulnerable newcomer to London out of her money and possessions.

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  • Jones, Sarah

    Sarah Jones (1810 – ?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Sarah Jones was born in 1810 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and was transported on the Sovereign in 1829 which was under the captaincy of William McKellar. The ship’s surgeon was George Fairfowl. The ship was carrying 119 convict women and had left Downs on 23 April 1829, arriving in Sydney on 3 August 1829, a relatively fast journey of 102 days.

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  • Kearney, Catherine

    Catherine Kearney (1819?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    On Saturday 5 November 1842 the Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser of Dublin carried the following report:

    Deplorable Distress – Two young women, named Catherine Kearney and Jane Dunn, were charged by Constable 18 A with having broken some lamps on the South Circular-road on the previous night. The constable stated that on taking the prisoners into custody they stated that what they had done was with the object of getting themselves into prison, where they would be supplied with food, as they were in a state of utter starvation, not having tasted food for a considerable period before, and they determined on having recourse to breaking the lamps.

    In reply to Mr. Porter, the wretched prisoners stated that at one time they had been respectably connected, and so far as character was concerned, they had maintained theirs unstained; and wishing still to preserve them, they deemed it better to become guilty of the offence for which they had taken up than to do worse. They were actually starving, although they will earn their bread, but they could not obtain any employment.

    Mr. Porter said that the case was a most melancholy one, and, under the circumstances, he would send them to Bridewell for one month.

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  • Kelly, Mary

    Mary Kelly (1792-1848)

    by Deborah Norris

     

    On 17 August 1842 the Hope arrived from Dublin after four months of sailing. Amongst those onboard were 139 convict women, all set to begin a new life in Van Diemen’s Land. Accompanied by her 12-year-old son, William Thomson, Mary Kelly (alias Campbell or McCampbell), stated she was 44 years old. It had been six months, almost to the day since Mary stood before a magistrate at Antrim, Ireland, convicted of larceny for stealing geese and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. Mary’s partner in crime, 40-year-old Jane McIihair, was also onboard the Hope. Whilst there is some discrepancy about Mary’s age, as records show her age as 50 years old on arrival, it seems surprising that on this voyage at least, there were seven other middle-aged women of 50 years or over.

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  • Kensell, Theresa

    Theresa Kensell (1821?-1889)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    On 14 April 1852, Theresa Kensell was tried at Surrey Quarter Sessions, Newington, before J. E. Johnson, Esq, and a Bench of Magistrates. Theresa, 31, Edward Conolly, 38, and Robert Edwards, 43, had been indicted for stealing a silver watch from the person of George Wyatt, at Lambeth. Theresa had previously spent twelve months in prison at Vauxhall, and on the new charge she was found guilty and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. Edwards was transported for 10 years, and Conolly was given three months’ hard labor.

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  • Knowling, Ann

    Ann Knowling (1810-?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Ann Knowling or Knoling was born in Lower Canada (now known as Quebec) in about 1810. She was convicted 20 October 1834 at Yorkshire Quarter Sessions of man robbery or stealing money.

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L

  • La Grange, Louisa

    Louisa La Grange (1817?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    Louisa La Grange was one of the most fascinating and talented of female convicts to be sent to Van Diemen’s Land. She was born in France around 1817 to a family that had connections among the aristocracy of Paris and was well acquainted with the literary and musical circle of Delphine Gay and her husband Emile de Girardin. It would appear that, around 1840, Louisa married a person known as the Baron Mirabello who took her to London, acquired what money she had, and soon abandoned her.

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  • Le Brun, Jane

    Jane le Brun (1800?–65)

    by Alison Alexander

     

    Jane le Brun was born in from Jersey. By 1836, when she was aged 36, she was married, and she and her husband had three children. She had committed one prior offence a robbery, for which she served six months in prison.

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  • Le Grange, Adelaide

    Adelaide Le Grange (1806?-1833)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    On Sunday 6 November 1831, twenty-five-year-old Frenchwoman, Adelaide Le Grange went into the York Hotel in Albemarle Street, London, and told the hotelkeeper, Charles Crawley that she had just arrived from France and was looking for a room for the night. Crawley recognised the woman as having been a lady’s maid for the family of a Mr. Cadogan, and provided her with a room. She had no luggage and stayed until Thursday 10 November when Crawley asked her to leave due to ‘some circumstances’ with which he was not satisfied.

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  • Le Noble, Maria

    Maria le Noble (1811?–?)

    by Alison Alexander

     

    Maria le Noble lived in Jersey, where she and her husband Pierre ran a brothel, ‘a detestable haunt of vice’ called Mulberry Cottage. She had one previous conviction for receiving stolen goods. After a riot at the brothel in 1846, two policeman were sent there to make inquiries and take Maria and her husband to gaol to await the trial. When they announced this, Maria became excited and rushed on one with a knife, which she plunged into his abdomen. ‘I’m a dead man!’ he exclaimed, but in practical French fashion he had the presence of mind to change his will in his wife’s favour before he expired.

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  • Le Sage Louisa

    Louisa Le Sage (1792?-?)

    by Colleen Arulappu

     

    Louisa Le Sage was born in Bretagne, France about 1792. Louisa was tried at the Old Bailey on 7 September 1794 for feloniously stealing a silver watch, value 2P. a metal watch key, value 1d, a black mode clock, value 10s, a dimity petticoat, value 2s. 6d. and two cotton shawls, value 5s, from the house of James Brocke. Louisa had been working as a maid in the house and when the articles were missed the police were called. Louisa was questioned in French, her lodgings searched and some items found there and more at the pawnbrokers in the Borough. Louisa said that she had known the Mr Brocke, the master of the house, before she met the lady and that he had given her the watch. Another servant girl gave evidence against that statement. A jury made up of half-English and half-foreign members found Louisa guilty and she was sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. She arrived in Sydney Cove on 30 April 1776 aboard the Indispensible.

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  • Lemaire, Eugenie

    Eugenie Lemaire (1815?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    On 9 May 1836 23-year-old Frenchwoman, Eugenie Caroline Lemaire, was convicted of ‘Larceny in a Dwelling House’ and sentenced to transportation for life. She and another woman, who was never brought to trial, were accused of stealing 59 yards of lavender silk from the shop of William King. Eugenie’s accomplice, her husband Alexandre Julien Duchene, was convicted of ‘Receiving Stolen Goods’ and sentenced to fourteen years. At the Marlborough Street Police Court, the press described them as ‘very fashionably dressed foreigners … believed to form part of a gang of foreign swindlers who have for a long time committed the most expensive depredations upon the jewellers and silk-mercers at the west end of town.’

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  • Leslie, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Leslie (1786–?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Elizabeth Leslie, transported for 7 years on the Sovereign in 1829 for stealing stuffs (24 yards of moreen) or shop lifting, was born in either 1784 or 1786. Her trial was at the Old Bailey on 23 October 1828. There is some confusion about her place of birth. According to her convict indent and her certificate of freedom, she was born in Edinburgh. Her ticket of leave, however, gives her place of birth as Quebec, America (sic). It is possible, therefore, that she was born in Quebec and raised in Scotland.

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  • Lloyd, Charlotte

    Charlotte Lloyd (1808?-1838)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Charlotte Lloyd, who was born at the Cape of Good Hope, Africa, was aged 24 when she was sentenced to death for housebreaking/larceny on 6 September 1832 at the Middlesex Gaol Delivery. This was her first conviction.

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  • Lomas, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Lomas (1818?–1891)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Elizabeth Lomas was born in Newfoundland, Canada in about 1818. By 13 July 1836, she was in London and tried at the Old Bailey for stealing a shawl, ring, gown and other items, the property of Elizabeth Morran and was transported for 7 years. At her trial her age was given as 18.

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  • Lowe, Louisa

    Louisa Lowe (1801?-?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    In May 1830 Louisa Lowe was tried at the Old Bailey for stealing a sovereign and some shillings from Archibald Jefferson, who had gone with her to a lodging near the White Lion at Shadwell. Her defence was, ‘I treated him with liquor at the public-house—I met him; he asked me to go home, and gave me 3s. for the bed.’ She denied stealing the money but was found guilty and transported for 7 years.  Louisa arrived in New South Wales on the Lord Liverpool in April 1831 with 87 other female convicts. She was 30 years old and said she was born in Jamaica. She also stated she was married and had no children. Louisa had brown hair, hazel eyes, and a ‘ruddy fair freckled’ complexion. On the line underneath her name was written the alias ‘Everson Gambier’. The printed annotated indent also contained a note not present in the original handwritten version: ‘Two brothers named Lowe, coming out’.

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  • Mackay, Helen Elizabeth

    Helen Elizabeth Mackay (1819?-1888)

    by Ralph Crane

     

    Helen Elizabeth Mackay, governess and child killer, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the daughter of Ellen Mackay, and the sister of John Mackay (per Templar). She worked in Leicester as a governess before moving to Calcutta in 1850 to join her widowed brother, a teacher with the protestant Church Missionary Society. Along with her brother, she was tried in the Supreme Court, Calcutta on 8 December 1851, charged with the killing of her young niece, Helen Mackay. Specifically, the siblings were indicted for having ‘feloniously made divers assaults with a whip and hempen cords, giving her [Helen] mortal wounds and bruises in different parts of her body, of which she died on the 9th October,’ and for ‘contriving and intending to starve and murder the child.’

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  • Magerman, Mina

    Mina Magerman (1808?- ?)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Mina Magerman was born in the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, in an area that was known by the colonial authorities as Cafferland. She was a Khoikhoi, native to South Africa. The Khoi people were one of the groups referred to as Khoisan, but they were known as Hottentots by the colonial authorities.

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  • Malhomme, Emme Felicite Gabrielle Chardonez

    Emme Felicite Gabrielle Chardonez Malhomme (1814­–1886)

    by Lynn Lamble

     

    Marie Gabrielle Felicite Malhomme née Chardonnet was born on 8 January 1814 in northeast France, the fourth child and first daughter of a miller and his wife. What happened to this seemingly prosperous landowning family over the next decade, and why their eldest daughter became a servant in England remains a puzzle, but by December 1835 the daughter now known as Emme Felicite Gabrielle Chardonez Malhomme was employed in the London home of Thomas Edwards, tailor, draper and livery-stable keeper.

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  • Malone, Ellen

    Ellen Malone (1821?-1894)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Ellen Malone was born about 1821 in the West Indies to parents James and Eliza Riley, but was raised in Dublin, Ireland. There, she married John Malone and had two children by him before he died about 1841. Ireland was about to endure the Great Famine and with two children and no husband Ellen would have found it difficult to make ends meet. She was convicted several times, including once for theft for which she received a two-month sentence, before appearing before a magistrate on 1 March, 1844 at Dublin City, charged with stealing a cloak and shawl. She was convicted and sentenced to transportation for 7 years.

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  • Mary Jane

    Mary Jane (1816?–1857)

    by Lucy Frost

     

    Mary Jane was born into slavery on the West Indian island of Barbados. In 1834, after colonial slavery was abolished, those who had been slaves became ‘apprenticed labourers’. Two years later, on 17 December 1836, a local newspaper reported that ‘Mary Jane, apprenticed labourer, was charged with a most brutal assault on the person of the infant daughter of her master’. The evidence against her ‘was wholly circumstantial’, and at 5 o’clock, the jury adjourned without reaching a verdict. Next morning, they found her guilty. The Chief Justice, in passing ‘the awful sentence’ of death, ‘observed to the prisoner, that it was her master’s intention to petition the Governor for a mitigation of the sentence’.

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  • Maw, Mary

    Mary Maw (1787-?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Mary Maw, born in 1787 in Newfoundland, Canada, was transported for 7 years after her trial in York Quarter Sessions on 30 April 1827 for petty larceny—stealing 21 yards of print. She had several previous charges laid against her, but it is not clear if any of them resulted in imprisonment and at least for one she was acquitted. She stated that her husband was at Bradford and it is probable that her four children remained there with him. Mary travelled on the Sovereign which left London 14 July 1827, captained by William McKellar and with Robert Malcolm as ship’s surgeon, arriving in Hobart 20 November 1827, a journey of 129 days.

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  • McBarnett, Beatrice

    Beatrice McBarnett (1811-1859)

    by Colette McAlpine

     

    The jailors in Edinburgh found Beatrice McBarnett ‘bold and intriguing’. She was tall, dark and dignified, the daughter of Alexander McBarnett, a wealthy slave owner from St Vincent in the West Indies. Beatrice was born at Grenada.

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  • McCart, Rose

    Rose McCart (1806?-?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    In 1837 two sisters were transported to New South Wales on board the Sir Charles Forbes, departing Dublin in August and arriving in Sydney the following January. Rose McCart was 31 years old and said she was born in the West Indies. Her younger sister, Mary McCart, age 30, said she was born in Fermanagh, Ireland. Rose had brown hair, grey eyes and her complexion was ’Brown, freckled, and a little pockpitted’. Mary had brown hair and blue eyes, her complexion was ‘Dark pale’, she had lost three teeth and had a ‘thick’ nose. If the convict indents are correct and Rose was born in the West Indies in about 1806 and Mary was born in Ireland in about 1807, then presumably their mother must have travelled from the West Indies to Ireland during 1806 or 1807.

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  • McCormack, Helen

    Helen McCormack (1807–?)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Helen McCormack was born in Gibraltar Spain about 1807, at which time her father Donald, who was born at Wick, Cathness, Scotland, was serving in Gibraltar in the 2/42nd Regiment of Foot. Donald entered His Majesty’s Regiment on 25 June 1793 at the age of 19, and served 21 years and 122 days. On 4 October 1814 he was ‘wounded at Burgos in the head’, and ‘rendered unfit for further Service’ Private Donald McCormick [sic] was discharged. He was ‘about’ forty years old, 5 feet 8 inches (172.72 cm) tall with brown hair, grey eyes a fresh complexion and ‘by Trade a Labourer’.

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  • McGee, Helen

    Helen McGee (1812—?)

    by Susan Ballyn and Lucy Frost

     

    When Helen McGee arrived in Sydney on board the Buffalo on 5 October 1833, the ship’s indent gave her native place as Portugal.She sailed with her mother Catherine Ross (born in Gibraltar), although they were convicted in separate trials and for different offences. One of her three brothers, Charles (born in Glasgow), had already been transported to New South Wales. This peripatetic family shared one place in their unstable lives: Edinburgh, Scotland, the scene of their trials for petty crimes.

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  • McGilp, Susan

    Susan McGilp (1810?-?)

    by Colin Tuckerman

     

    Susan McGilp was born in the East Indies. Her father, a British soldier, and mother were both dead by 1826 when Susan was arrested in Edinburgh for housebreaking.

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  • McHugh, Betsy

    Betsy McHugh (1831?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    Elizabeth McHugh was known to her friends as Betsy and was born around 1831 at Gibraltar. It is not known what circumstances led her parents to being on the island at that time and in 1851 when, at the age of twenty, she claimed that her four brothers Robert, Thomas, Bartholomew and Richard, and two sisters Martha and Mary were still living at her ‘native place’, it is uncertain whether this meant they were still at Gibraltar or perhaps in England, or even Ireland.

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  • McKay, Ann

    Ann McKay (1819?-?)

    by Alison Ellett

     

    Ann McKay was born in Jamaica in about 1819, but why her family was there is unknown.

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  • McKenna, Catherine

    Catherine McKenna (1834?-?)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Catherine McKenna (alias Catherine Murray and Catherine Blair), whose name was Catherine Docherty,  and who had, about January 1851, assumed the surname of her uncle, John McKenna, ‘a dealer in old clothes and crockery-ware’ at 77 Saltmarket Street, Glasgow, was born in Gibraltar, Spain about 1834. Catherine’s father Jacob was in the 64th Regiment, and she had two brothers Jacob and William and a sister Mary. At the time Gibraltar was a key base for the British and due to its strategic location, played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56.

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  • McKenzie, Janet

    Janet McKenzie (1817 –?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Janet McKenzie was born in Quebec, America (sic). She was convicted at the Edinburgh Court of Justiciary 24 February 1840 for ‘theft, habit and repute’ and was transported for 7 years because of her own confession. She had previous convictions. On 23 June 1837, as Jess McKenzie, she was found guilty of stealing a pair of carpet shoes, a hymn book and an old almanac from Margaret McGregor and for this, she served three days in Bridewell prison. On 9 August 1837 she was found guilty of stealing a twilled bed sheet from Robert Meikle and served thirty days in Bridewell and on 18 May 1839, again as Jess McKenzie, she was again found guilty of stealing several pairs of shoes and a dust shovel from Alexander Lumsden and Ann Polson and spent another twenty days in Bridewell.

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  • McLoughlin, Biddy

    Biddy McLoughlin (1817?–?)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Biddy McLoughlin was born about 1817 in Gibraltar on the southern coast of Spain, where Irish militia had been since 1778, as Spain was a British dependency at the time. On 29 July 1839 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 22-year-old Biddy was convicted of ‘Robbery of Money’ and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. Able to read and write, Biddy was single, a child’s maid, of the Catholic faith, and was 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm) tall with a fresh complexion and brown hair.

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  • McRae, Margaret

    Margaret McRae (1828-1867)

    by Darryl Massie

     

    Margaret McRae was born in 1828, the daughter of a soldier in the Scottish 92nd Regiment of Foot based in Jamaica. By 1832 her family had relocated to Edinburgh, and eleven years later she appeared to reject the relative security of being a “daughter of the regiment” and embarked on a life of petty crime.

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  • Mears, Mary

    Mary Mears (1808?-?)

    by David Boon

     

    Mary Mears was born about 1808 on the Isle of France which is now known as Mauritius. No details of her parents or precise date of birth have been located. While her gaol report lists that she was single her conduct record lists that she was married with one child and that her husband, William, was at Christchurch which was then part of the county of Hampshire but became part of Dorset in 1974. It is not therefore known whether Mears was her maiden or married name.

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  • Middleton, Maria

    Maria Middleton (1809 - ?)

    by Darryl Massie

     

    Maria Middleton was born in 1809 in Belize, the then capital of the British Honduras. Maria and her family were slaves owned by Mary White, a wealthy landowner. In 1816 Maria’s household included her mother Cretia, her father Bryan Middleton, a 40-year-old mahogany cutter; Kitty aged 13; and Mary aged 3.

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  • Mitchell, Marian

    Marian Mitchell (1803?-1863)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    Marian Mitchell (also known as Mary or Maria Mitchell) arrived in New South Wales on the Planter in 1839, having been sentenced at the Old Bailey to 10 years’ transportation for stealing money. The London Morning Post, reporting on her trial, described her as ‘Maria Mitchell, a black woman, about thirty years of age’. The indent of the Planter recorded that Marian was a married 25-year-old Roman Catholic laundress with one male child. She was born in Martinique and had a black complexion, ‘Black and woolley’ hair and black eyes. The indent also described Marian as a ‘woman of color’.

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  • Montague, Eliza

    Eliza Montague (1794? -1858)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    Eliza Montague was indicted at the Old Bailey for stealing a handkerchief in April 1830. She denied the charge but was found guilty and transported for life. The indent of the Kains, which arrived in Sydney in March 1831, recorded Eliza’s surname as ‘Montague or Watkins’ but she did not use the surname of Watkins after she disembarked. Eliza was 36 years old and married, but had no children. She had red hair, brown eyes, a ‘sallow freckled’ complexion and was born in Martinique in about 1794. Martinique, in the French West Indies, was the scene of several battles between the French and British, as a result of which the British occupied the island in 1762-63, 1794-1801 and 1809-16. Eliza appears to have been born in Martinique just before or during the second period of British control of this Caribbean island so highly prized for its sugar plantations.

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  • Moore, Sarah

    Sarah Moore (1795?-1838)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Born in Gibraltar about 1795, Sarah Moore found herself in London in 1836, destitute and desperate for food and shelter. On the morning of 28 September she had been arrested for vagrancy and told the sitting Magistrate she was forced to do so as she had no money to pay for lodgings. She explained how she had applied for relief under the Poor Law Act in her parish but was refused. She was set free after being admonished by the Magistrate but later the same day was again arrested, this time for deliberately stealing a watch with the intention of being imprisoned, so desperate was her situation.

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  • Morris, Louisa

    Louisa Morris (1775?-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Although Louisa Morris was born in Philadelphia, no trace of her life in America has been found. The first mention of her in the official record is on 18 July 1829 when she was tried at the Middlesex Gaol Delivery and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation for stealing from the person. This was not her first offence: previously she had served three months in a house of correction. She had also been tried and acquitted on the charge of receiving stolen goods.

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  • Morrison, Catherine

    Catherine Morrison (1819?–46)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Catherine Morrison was born in Gibraltar, Spain, in about 1819. She might have been the daughter of John Morrison who served in the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), the 26th Foot and 90th Light Infantry, which served in Gibraltar between 21 August 1817 and 26 September 1821.

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  • Moss, Amelia

    Amelia Moss (1813?-1837)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    On 31 December 1832, Amelia Moss was convicted of ‘Larceny from a Person’ at the Epiphany Session of the Bristol Quarter Sessions. The local newspaper reported that Amelia Moss and Ann Stiles were transported for 7 years ‘for stealing money to the amount of £8 and upwards from John Nurse’. They arrived together in Sydney Cove on board the Buffalo in October 1833. Ann Stiles was a 17-year-old ‘Nurse Maid’ with a ‘Fair Ruddy’ complexion, ‘Light Sandy’ hair and ‘Hazel grey’ eyes. Amelia Moss was a 20-year-old housemaid, unmarried and with no children. Although she was born and tried in Bristol, Amelia was described as having a ‘Copper Color’ complexion that was a ‘little pock pitted’, as well as ‘Black Woolly’ hair and ‘Dark Chestnut’ eyes. She also had ‘thick’ lips and several sets of letters or initials tattooed on both of her arms.

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  • Muir, Ann

    Ann Muir (1813?-1887)

    by Dianne Snowden

     

    Ann Muir, thief, and convict cook and housemaid, was born in Cadiz, Spain. How she ended up in Edinburgh, where she received her 7-year sentence of transportation in 1840, remains a mystery. The first record of her in Edinburgh was in September 1834, when she was charged with theft. Little details of this offence or her sentence are known.

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  • Myers, Annette

    Annette Myers  (1823?-1879)

    by Margaret Lindley and Colette McAlpine

     

    Annette Myers or Meyers was born in Paris about 1823 to an unknown or unnamed mother. She spent the first ten years of her life as a foster child in Brussels. When she moved to England in about 1840 to the home of the man she thought of as her uncle, the lawyer Francis Myers, and his childless wife Jane, she spoke little English, but she was proficient as a lady’s maid and needlewoman. At the time of the 1841 census, Annette was living at 7 Chester Street, Grosvenor Place, London, the home of Sir Frances, in the capacity of female servant.

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N-O

  • Newman, Julia St Clair

     Julia St Clair Newman (1813?- 1864)

    by Margaret Lindley and Colette McAlpine

     

    Julia St Clair Newman, the daughter of Margaret Newman and an unnamed father, was born in Trinidad in the West Indies between 1813 and 1818. Her father sent her to a French boarding school and supported both Julia and her mother until a change of circumstance in the early 1830s. She was perhaps of Creole origin: she had black hair and brown eyes, and her complexion was described as ‘swarthy’.

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  • Osborne, Ann

    Ann Osborne (1822-?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Ann Osborne, who also used the given name Catherine and the last name Michan (her proper name), Mechan and Millen, was born in New Brunswick, Canada in about 1822. However, at the time of her 6 May 1850 trial at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) her birth was estimated as 1813. She was tried, along with Patrick Burke, for stealing a small oil painting and frame and was transported for 7 years, as she also had a prior conviction and eight month sentence dating from March 1849. The indent lists several other prior convictions and sentences.

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P-Q

  • Paterson, Margaret

    Margaret Paterson (1815?-1860)

    by Susan Ballyn

     

    On her arrival in Hobart, Margaret Paterson told the authorities that she was born in Spain but brought up in Glasgow where she was tried for larceny on 7 January 1845, found guilty and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. She declared that her parents John and Margaret, together with her siblings John, William, Mary, and Louisana, were living in Glasgow. She belonged to the Church of Scotland, could read and write and was married to John Kerr who remained in Argyleshire. At her trial, Margaret declared that ‘she is 29 years of age, wife of John Kerr, weaver and resides in the Red Row of Calton near Glasgow’. The trial records reveal that Margaret and John resided in the house of James Gibson, also a weaver from whom Margaret stole two blankets.

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  • Payne, Sarah

    Sarah Payne (1813?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    The circumstances that led to Sarah Payne being born in Portugal around 1813 are unknown, as is the name of her parents, but at some time she married Joseph Payne who was two years older.

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  • Peggy

    Peggy (1812?-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Twenty-four year old Dominican and ‘woman of colour’ Peggy, mother of one, was tried at the Dominica Grand Session of Peace on 3 February 1835. Her original sentence of death for the murder of her husband was commuted to transportation for life and she was soon on her way to England, en route to New South Wales. It is impossible to know what happened to the daughter she left behind, a child now deprived of both its mother and father.

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  • Pollard, Ellen

    Ellen Pollard (1811?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    Ellen Pollard was born in Calcutta sometime around 1811, but returned to England and on Friday 19 July 1831, aged eighteen, entered the service of Mary and Abraham Regier in Pauls Head Court, London. By the following Monday Mary Regier noticed a watch missing and enquired about it with some lodgers. Overhearing the conversation, Ellen Pollard left her dinner and walked out. Mrs Regier later went to Guildhall to lay a charge against Ellen of stealing the watch and a handkerchief.

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  • Powell, Ann

    Ann Powell (1785?-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Fifty year-old black Jamaican Ann Powell’s problems with the law began on 27 November 1834 when apprenticed labourer Rochester Cole stole 50 pounds (23.5 kilograms) of coffee from the large ‘Mount Pleasant’ plantation owned by Miss Frances King. It was alleged that William Mullings, a free man, and Ann Powell, a free woman, received the coffee knowing it was stolen. Mullings was described at Ann’s trial as her ‘sweetheart’, but it is unclear whether he lived with her at ‘Paradise’, part of her son Thomas Burton’s property, ‘Euston’. From the evidence of Miss King’s manager, it appears possible that Mullings was the culprit, not Ann Powell. She claimed to be unaware that several coffee bags marked ‘Mount Pleasant’ were found in an outhouse behind her house. Besides, when Miss King’s manager arrived at ‘Euston’ with a policeman, Mullings ran off down a gully and got away. Then there was a witness who said he gave the coffee to Mullings on behalf of the thief, Rochester Cole, and Ann Powell was not there at the time. To further muddy the situation, Ann Powell’s son, Thomas Burton, grew small amounts of coffee on the property, so it is possible that the coffee found at the house had been grown by them, as Burton claimed, and was not stolen at all.

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  • Price, Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Price (1829?-?)

    by Libby Prescott

     

    Mary Ann Price was born at sea in about 1829. The convict records give her native place as the East Indies. They also give her mother as Margaret and her brother as James. Her father’s identity is not mentioned, but he may have been in military service in India. Mary Ann spent little time in the East Indies, instead growing up in Glasgow.

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  • Priscilla

    Priscilla (1786-1806-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    For at least twenty years prior to her entry into New South Wales as a convict, Priscilla was a slave on Oliver Herring’s Paul Island Estate in Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica. It was a large sugar plantation with over two hundred slaves, nearly all of whom worked in the fields. Priscilla, however, was one of Paul Island’s twelve domestic slaves.

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  • Quinn, Mary

    Mary Quinn (1810?-1889)

    by Colleen Arulappu

     

    Martinique was invaded by the British in 1809 in response to disruption of their trade routes. One of the regiments was the 74th Battle Axe Company of the Royal Artillery, which had been formed in Ireland. Mary’s father could have been a soldier in the battle. Mary was 5 feet 3 inches tall (160.02 cm) with a fair complexion, brown hair and freckles. She was from a large family of five girls and three boys; she was married and her husband, John, was a glassmaker in Armagh, Ireland. They had four children.

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R

  • Reardon, Margaret

    Margaret Reardon (1820?-1890)

    by Liz Rushen

     

    Tried in Auckland on 1 September 1848 for perjury, Margaret Reardon was the only woman to be transported to Van Diemen’s Land from New Zealand following the introduction of transportation from that country in 1841.

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  • Robb, Susan

    Susan Robb (1823 - ? )

    by Deborah Norris

     

    The Gilbert Henderson departed Woolwich in November 1839, en route to Van Diemen’s Land.  When the expectant 17-year-old Susan Robb boarded the ship in London just eleven days before Christmas on 14 December 1839, she was seven months pregnant. She was one of the 189 convict women who sailed for 132 days to serve out their sentences of transportation. Nine babies were born on this voyage under the supervision of ship’s surgeon Sir John Hammett. Seven infants survived.

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  • Robinson, Mary

     Mary Robinson (1809?-?)

    by Don Bradmore and Judith Carter

     

    Mary Robinson, a married woman of 33 and a cook by trade, was indicted at the Old Bailey, London, in 1842 with stealing a number of household items, including a bottle of wine, two yards (1.8 metres) of linen fabric and some bundles of wood, to a total value of ten shillings and seven pence. At her trial on 25 June, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. 

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  • Ross, Catherine

    Catherine Ross (1779—?)

    by Susan Ballyn and Lucy Frost

     

    According to her convict records Catherine Ross was born in Gibraltar in 1779. By 1801 she was living in Edinburgh, Scotland, where on 17 March she married a labourer named Charles McGee. They had at least three sons and one daughter. The eldest son, about whom nothing is known, was probably born during the first seven years of Catherine’s marriage. The family had moved to Glasgow when Catherine’s son Charles was born about 1808. In 1812, they were in Portugal when her daughter Helen was born, suggesting that perhaps Charles senior was employed by the British during the Peninsular War. The family may have been in Edinburgh when the third son Andrew was born about 1818, and it was in Edinburgh that Catherine and two of her children were tried before the High Court of Justiciary and sentenced to transportation.

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S

  • Sances, Sophia

    Sophia Sances (1791?–?)

    By Cheryl Griffin

     

    Sophia Sances, a Sephardi Jew, was part of a Jewish minority, descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. Around the time of her birth, Amsterdam’s Jews were struggling to survive and the poor were actively encouraged to leave for the colonies. It is likely that Sophia Sances was one of the four hundred Sephardi ‘despachos’ (dispatched people) who made their way to the West Indies in this way.

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  • Sanderson, Christian

    Christian Sanderson (1790?-?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    Christian ‘Sanderson or Saunders’, a woman with black hair, black eyes and a ‘Mulatto’ complexion, was convicted of robbery from a person in July 1833 at the Edinburgh Court of Justiciary and sentenced to 14 years’ transportation. Christian was not, however, born in Africa or the Caribbean. She was a widowed 43-year-old laundry maid born in Leith, Scotland who had a previous conviction of two months’ imprisonment. In addition to apparently having a mixed African-European ancestry, she also possessed several distinguishing features: ‘Nose large. Small Dark Mole on same. Another on left Cheek. Lost canine Teeth in Upper Jaw. Scar on Upper Lip, same Hairy.’

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  • Shaw, Margaret

    Margaret Shaw (1794?-?)

    by Dianne Snowden

     

    Margaret Shaw convict nurse, midwife and laundress, was born in the East Indies. Nothing is known of her circumstances in the East Indies, how she came to be born there or when she left. By 1840, she was living in London: on 14 September 1840, in the Central Criminal Court (popularly known as the Old Bailey), she pleaded guilty to a charge of larceny (stealing a coat valued at 10/-). Margaret proclaimed, ‘I was never convicted before’. A widow aged 46 with eight or nine children, she was transported to Van Diemen’s Land for 7 years. Her children did not accompany her and nothing is known of their lives once their mother had been transported.

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  • Simpson, Ann

    Ann Simpson (1815?-?)

    By Steve Rhodes

     

    Ann Simpson was born in Portugal in about 1815 around the time of the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Nothing more is known of her life until 18 October 1832 when she found herself in the dock of the Old Bailey, charged with the larceny of various items of clothing and personal belongs of Jane Hambilton. It transpired that Jane had befriended Ann and allowed her to stay at her house whilst her husband, Charles Hambilton, was at sea. This arrangement lasted about one month when Jane awoke to find all of her possessions and Ann gone.

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  • Skulding, Sarah

    Sarah Skulding (1800 - ?)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Sarah Skulding was born about 1800 in Upper Canada, now known as Southern Ontario, in what was then the centre for colonial government of the territory of Canada.

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  • Smith, Ann

    Ann Smith (1815?-?)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    On 22 April 1851, Ann Smith was tried at the High Court of Justiciary in Ayr, Scotland, for the crime of the theft of blankets from a Mr Campbell. She had prior convictions for house-breaking and stealing beef for which she had received prison sentences of 12 months and 60 days respectively, so when she was found guilty of the most recent crime the magistrate had no hesitation in sentencing her to transportation for 7 years.

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  • Smith, Ann

    Anne Smith (1822?-?)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Anne Smith was born in South Africa around 1822. How she happened to be living in Lancashire in the 1840s we do not know; however, the records tell us that in September 1845 she was tried in Salford, near Manchester, at the Lancaster Salford General Sessions, for stealing shawls and a dress.

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  • Smith, Catherine

    Catherine Smith (1802?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    Catherine Smith was born in Bengal around 1802, but no more is known of her until she appeared at the Salop Assizes in Shropshire on 15 November 1832 on a charge of ‘false pretences’. She was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation.

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  • Smith, Marie

    Marie Smith (1800?–1851)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    Mrs Caroline Bernard was well known for the advice she gave to parents—one of her best known books being The Parent’s Offering, published in 1813 and intended as a companion to Marie Edgeworth’s 1796 The Parent’s Assistant. Perhaps needless to say, Caroline Bernard’s advice was also well known among English governesses. One such governess was Mademoiselle, or Madame, Dalmas, whose first name has been variously given as Julie or Caroline, and may have been both.

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  • Sparrow, Eliza

    Eliza Sparrow (1795-?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    Eliza Stoddart and Joseph Sparrow were married at the Church of St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, in January 1824. Ten years later Eliza was charged with bigamy, after she was accused of marrying John Shepherd while her first husband was still alive. Eliza told the court that she had been separated from Joseph Sparrow, with whom she had one son, for eight years. The charge having been proved, Eliza was sentenced to 7 years’ transportation and arrived in Sydney on board the Buffalo in October 1833.  She was 37 years old, could read and write, and was a ‘Nursery Governess’ born in Barbados. The indents described Eliza as ‘genteel looking’ with a ‘fair ruddy’ complexion, auburn hair and hazel eyes. Eliza left her first husband, Joseph Sparrow, behind in London when she was transported, along with their son Joseph Sparrow Jnr, also known as Joseph Mortimer Sparrow. Joseph Sparrow did not remarry and remained living in St Martin in the Fields where he raised their son on his own.

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  • Staines, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Staines (1821?-?)

    by Lyn Horton

     

    Elizabeth Staines was tried on 15 October 1849 in the Quarter Sessions in Sussex, England for stealing 13/6 from William Cushford. Elizabeth had previously been sentenced to fourteen days for stealing a cloak. She arrived in Van Diemen’s Land aboard the Baretto Junior on 25 July 1850.

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  • Sue

    Sue (1811?-?)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    A twenty-five year old Bermudan ‘woman of colour’, a newly emancipated slave, Sue was brought before the Bermuda General Assizes on 4 November 1834 and found guilty of robbing her mistress of money. She was sentenced to transportation for life to New South Wales.

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T

  • Taylor, Maria

    Maria Taylor (1811?-?)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Maria Taylor was aged 25, married with a son and two daughters, and working as a housemaid and general servant by the time she appeared at the Newcastle Upon Tyne Assizes in Northumberland on the 27 July, 1836, charged with stealing money from the person. She was found guilty of the crime and received a sentence of transportation for 7 years. The convict ship Sarah and Elizabeth departed 16 December, 1836 with 98 female convicts on board, two of whom died during the voyage, and arrived in Port Jackson, NSW on 23 April, 1837.

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  • Thomas, Ann

    Ann Thomas (1791?–1856?)

    by Alison Alexander

     

    Ann Thomas was born in Paris in about 1791. At some stage she came to England and married a coachman, and in 1841 she was living with him in Exeter, aged fifty. She was tried for obtaining goods under false pretences, and sentenced to 14 years’ transportation. ‘A French woman’, was noted on her record, the only evidence of any Frenchness.

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  • Thomas, Mary

    Mary Thomas (1798–?)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Mary Thomas (or Crosby) was born in Gibraltar, Spain about 1798, at a time when the British government had military personnel stationed there to stop enemy ships accessing the Mediterranean Sea.

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  • Thompson, Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Thompson (1802?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    There were numerous women named Mary Ann Thompson living in Lancashire during the 1820s and at least seven of these people came before the courts. At the Salford Michaelmas Quarter Sessions, a Mary Ann Thompson was acquitted of an unspecified crime. On 16 January 1826 a Mary Ann Thompson was found guilty of larceny from a person and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation. She left England on board the Grenada on 1 September 1826. On 6 December 1826 another Mary Ann Thompson was found guilty of larceny, and having a previous conviction was sentenced to 7 years.

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  • Tinne, Maria

    Maria Tinne (1776?-1831)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Maria Tinne, a woman of mixed race, was 55 years old when she appeared before the Demerara and Essequibo Court of Criminal Justice on 15 February 1830. She was tried on the same day as Sophia Sances, a Dutch woman charged with forgery. The nature of Maria's crime is unknown, but it likely that the two women being there together that day was coincidence rather than their being partners in crime.

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  • Trevelian, Matilda

    Matilda Trevelian (1829-1904)

    by Deborah Norris

     

    Matilda Trevelian was born in France in 1829 and two years later was living in the seaside town of Weymouth at Dorset, England. We do not know why they moved, but perhaps it was to enable Matilda’s father, Job Trevlyon, to gain employment. Matilda’s mother Ann, siblings Edward, William, John, Marianne and Elizabeth all travelled to England, where Matilda and Edward were both christened on 18 September 1831 in Dorset, perhaps an indication that they were the youngest children. Living in a seaside town sounds quite idyllic, but for Matilda life seems to not have been all that easy. By the time she was 19 years of age, Matilda had been convicted of larceny and joined 168 other women on board the convict transport ship Tory, bound for Van Diemen’s Land. The Tory set sail from London on 30 April 1848 and arrived in Hobart Town on 6 August 1848.

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U-V

  • Vantileur, Caroline

    Caroline Vantileur (1804?–?)

    by Alison Alexander

     

    Caroline Vantileur (her maiden name is unknown) was born in Bordeaux in about 1804. She came to England as a girl, aged about 10. When still in her teens she married Charles Vantileur, and travelled about the Bristol district with him, selling earthenware. However, she left him, and in March 1824 was arrested in Windsor with another young woman. They were charged with stealing a gold watch worth £5 from a dwelling house, and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation.

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  • Verloppe, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Verloppe (1821?-1874)

    by Cassandra Pybus

     

    Elizabeth Verloppe arrived in Sydney on Wednesday 10 July 1834, on the brig Dart from Port Louis, Mauritius, one of two female convicts on board.  She was 12 years old and was transported with her younger cousin Constance. They were two of the youngest convicts to be transported to New South Wales. The Sydney Herald reported that these two females were slaves who had been ‘convicted of an attempt to poison their mistress’ (see entry for Constance Coronne). Their supposed victim, Madame Morel, was not Elizabeth’s mistress, as she belonged to the widow Geffroy, and had been rented out to Morel to learn needlework. Many Verloppes were listed as the possessions of the Geffroy family, including a woman and three children with ages ranging from five to eleven, who were probably Elizabeth’s mother and her other siblings. Elizabeth was described on the indent as ‘black’ and her trade was described as ‘Laundress and needlewoman’.

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  • Vizard, Mary

    Mary Vizard (1808?-1839)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Mary Vizard, an impoverished mother of three, described as a house servant and plain cook, was apprehended for housebreaking/larceny on 1 January 1838. At her sentencing in the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, Middlesex, London she was sentenced to transportation for 14 years.

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  • Wallace, Julia

    Julia Wallace (1824?-?)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    Julia Wallace was 24 when she was transported for stealing wearing apparel in Dover. She was tried at the Kent Quarter Sessions, England on 23 June 1848, and sentenced to 7 years for her crime. Previously she had been incarcerated for 2 months for a similar offence.

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  • Wallace, Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Wallace (1829–?)

    by Leonie Mickleborough

     

    Mary Ann Wallace, the daughter of a British serviceman, was born in Gibraltar, Spain in 1829. According to the GRO Regimental Birth Indices, Mary’s father was Robert who was serving in the Royal Engineers in Gibraltar at the time. However, according to Mary Ann’s convict conduct record, when she was asked for her father’s name in 1847, she said his name was George.

    On 30 November 1846 at the Manchester Quarter Sessions, Mary Ann, a house maid, was found guilty by prosecutor Lydia O’Neale of stealing a dress and a pair of boots, the property of Bridget Kelly, and was sentenced to 7 years’ transportation.

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  • Walsh, Elizabeth Bridget

    Elizabeth Bridget Walsh (1810?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    At a quarter past nine on the morning of Tuesday 22 October 1839 Lord Wharncliffe took his seat on the Bench of the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions at Sheffield. There were numerous charges to be heard, and he hoped things would get off to a good start. On the previous day the court was delayed for several hours when a juror decided to attend to important banking business rather than come to court. Lord Wharncliffe was most annoyed. Nevertheless, the first case was easy. Eliza Bromley, a woman ‘of loose character’, was accused of stealing some money from one of her clients while he was ‘associating with her’. But ‘loose’ Eliza pointed out that that Thomas Hurst had been very drunk at the time and probably lost his money somewhere else. Besides, the offence had allegedly occurred in July 1838, some fifteen months earlier. The jury quickly found her not guilty.

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  • Ward, Clara

    Clara Ward (1796?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    Clara Ward was originally tried at Fort William in Bengal, India, on 21 December 1810, and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation to Botany Bay. It is not clear on what charge she was being tried, but she was imprisoned in the ‘Jail at Calcutta’ until arrangements could be made for her transportation.

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  • Watson, Matilda

    Matilda Watson (1821?-1877)

    by Colin Tuckerman

     

    Matilda Watson was born in North America but stated she had been brought up in Edinburgh. Her maiden name was Rose but had been a widow for six years. Matilda Watson was tried for the crime of theft, habit and repute at Giles Street, Leith and sentenced to 10 years’ transportation. She had previously been charged on sixteen occasions for drunkenness.

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  • Weldon, Sarah Ann

    Sarah Ann Weldon (1790?-1838)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    After being convicted of stealing a piece of curtain and silk handkerchiefs, the property of John Rupert, lodging-house keeper in the Long Brackland, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England, 46-year-old Sarah Ann Weldon (alias Sarah Ann Watson) was transported for 7 years to New South Wales on board the Elizabeth arriving at Port Jackson on 12 October, 1836.

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  • White, Ann

    Ann White (1814?-1852)

    by Kay Buttfield

     

    In March 1838, 24-year-old Ann White was sentenced at the Somerset Assizes to 10 years’ transportation to Van Diemen’s Land for stealing a watch from the person of Thomas Venn.

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  • White, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth White (1797–1852)

    by Maureen Mann

     

    Elizabeth White was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in about 1797. She was charged with ‘man robbery’, probably stealing from the person, and was transported for life after a trial at the Surrey Quarter Sessions on 17 March 1834. She arrived in Sydney on 1 December 1834 aboard the George Hibbert which left Downs on 27 July 1834, a voyage lasting 127 days. The ship’s master was George Nathaniel Lovesay and the surgeon was John Tarn. All 144 female convicts reached their New South Wales destination.

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  • Williams, Celia

    Celia Williams (1810?-1837)

    by Cheryl Griffin

     

    Twenty-five-year-old apprenticed labourer Celia Williams (also referred to as Celia Marshal in her trial papers), a ‘woman of colour’, was tried in her native Jamaica on 6 January 1835 and sentenced to transportation for life for theft. Using ‘force and arms’, she had stolen cash and personal property belonging to Isaac Henry Bravo, who was staying at Miss Pole’s lodging house, quite probably at Montego Bay, the capital of St. James Parish. The goods were later found in her room at ‘Catherine Mount’, a plantation in St. James Parish.

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  • Williams, Eliza Downe

    Eliza Downe Williams (1800?-?)

    by Steve Rhodes

     

    Despite claiming to be 36 years old at the time of her conviction, Eliza Downe Williams (nee Griffiths) was closer to 46. She was born in about 1800 in Long Hill, St Elizabeth, Jamaica, the daughter of John Griffiths, and had a brother Henry, a captain in the 77th Regiment (East Middlesex – Duke of Cambridge’s Own), and a sister Catherine Ann.

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  • Williams, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Williams (1813?-1854)

    by Colin Tuckerman

     

    Elizabeth Williams was born in Ceylon. She had lived with John Bradford in for ten years and had five children with him, only one of whom was still alive. In 1848, she was arrested for stabbing Bradford and was sentenced at the Worcester Assize to 15 years’ transportation.

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  • Williams, Maria

    Maria Williams (1799?-?)

    by Jan Richardson

     

    In October 1828 Maria Williams, a barmaid, was accused by Henry Millman, a ‘chop-house keeper’, of stealing four tablecloths from his dining room. She pleaded her innocence, but was convicted of ‘pledging’ at the Old Bailey and transported for 7 years, arriving in Sydney in August 1829 on board the Sovereign. Maria was born and tried in London. She had a ‘Dark p[ock] pitted’ complexion, black hair and dark brown eyes. She gave her age as 30 and said she was married, but had no children. Maria could not read or write and, according to the indent, had no previous convictions. The Middlesex criminal register for October 1828, however, noted that Maria had been ‘In Newgate before.’ Also on board the Sovereign was another Maria Williams, a 19-year-old dressmaker born in Manchester who had a ruddy, freckled complexion, sandy hair and hazel eyes. She had a large scar on the left side of her neck and the letters ‘FWCMR’ tattooed on her right shoulder. The younger, fairer Maria, a pickpocket with two previous convictions, was sentenced to transportation for life.

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  • Wilson, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Wilson (1807-?)

    by Alison Ellett

     

    Elizabeth Wilson was born in 1807 in Lisbon, Portugal. When she was convicted at the Hereford Assizes on 23 March 1840, for stealing one sovereign from the person she said she was married with one child. She had a previous conviction for assault and for her second offence, she was sentenced to transportation.

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  • Wilson, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Wilson (1822?-?)

    by Douglas Wilkie

     

    On Thursday, 1 December 1842, the Edinburgh newspaper, Caledonian Mercury, reported that 20-year-old, ‘Elizabeth Wilson, or Smith, and Rosina or Rosanna Burns, were convicted of theft, aggravated by being habit and repute thieves.’ Smith was sentenced to 7 years' transportation, and Burns to fifteen months imprisonment.

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  • Wilson, Jane

    Jane Wilson (1820?–1871)

    by Trudy Mae Cowley

     

     According to her convict records, Jane Wilson’s proper name was Jane Mercamp, she was born in Paris, France, and she was brought up as a cook by her father. She could read and write imperfectly, was 4 feet 11½ inches (151.13 cm) tall, stout made, of fair complexion, but deeply pockpitted, and had brown hair, a retreating forehead, hazel eyes and thin, light brown eyebrows.

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Referencing:

 

The Edges of Empire biographical dictionary entries follow the example of The Companion to Tasmanian History, edited by Alison Alexander and published by the University of Tasmania in 2005.  Wherever appropriate, at the end of a Companion entry comes “Further Reading”. This refers the reader to the published sources actually quoted in the entry or to published sources of direct relevance.

 

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