Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Mary Anne III (1) - 1839

Embarked: 143 women
Voyage: 115 days
Surgeon's Journal: yes
Previous vessel: Gaillardon arrived 22 October 1839
Next vessel: Barossa arrived 8 December 1839
Master J.C. Hillman
Surgeon William Bland
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
Hunter Valley prisoners and passengers of Mary Ann

One hundred and forty-three female convicts, 23 children and six free women and children were embarked on the Mary Ann at Woolwich between 19th June and 1 July 1839.


The Mary Ann departed Woolwich 17 July and from Falmouth 1st August 1839. They touched at Santa Cruz for just a few hours.

Surgeon William Bland

William Bland kept a Medical Journal from 4 June to 18 November 1839.

The Voyage

William Bland kept an unusually detailed account of the women's daily routine.....

At 6 o'clock in the morning let up the two cooks and mess women out of the prison and generally speaking as many of the prisoners as choose to avail themselves of the liberty granted them. About 1/2 past seven, the main prison door was opened and all came on deck with their beds and blankets neatly rolled up and tied to keep them so and stowed away in the nettings. After which they wash and clean their persons and at 8 o'clock all breakfast on deck.

Two well behaved hard working women were appointed as Matrons, one over the fore and the other over the after prison, and under their direction, one woman by turns out of each mess began at 9 o'clock to clean out the prisons fore and aft, in and beneath the sleeping berths and the water closets, in the dry and hot weather we used sand and water, with pieces of old blankets to scour the decks and all the wood work such as tables benches etc. The Nurse having had the Hospital cleaned out generally before this time, when the morning visit was made and the wants of the sick attended to in wet or damp weather, the decks and other parts were dry rubbed only, and all other means taken to preserve from damp below. About tea, all, except the sick were sent upon deck, the prison doors were locked, in order to their being well aired and dried, windsails being down the hatchways and to keep them clean. In the meantime the children and adult school assembled on deck while the others were employing themselves with patchwork and knitting, until twelve when all went to dinner, soon after which time juice was served out to every one, calling them by number and drinking it at the tub in presence of the steward. Those neglecting to drink it had no wine afterwards. Their allowance of wine was afterwards served out in the same manner. School and work again succeeded as before and tea followed about 4 o'clock. The prison door was opened between five and six that the beds might be replaced in the berths and finally the prisoners were all locked up a little after six o'clock having almost invariably a clean and dry prison and berths to sleep in.

The same routine was gone through every day when the weather permitted. Two days every week were allowed the women for washing clothes, plenty of soap was given for this purpose as well as personal cleanliness and twice a week the sleeping berths were sprinkled over with a solution of chloride of lime but in the hospital it was used daily. On Sundays prayers were read, and no work done except those of necessity and during the whole voyage, very few punishments were necessary, two or three cases of solitary confinement on bread and water, and other minor corrections were had recourse to.

The prison keys were never out of my own possession from Woolwich to Sydney. Rain fell in slight showers, 56 days and snow in four days.

Port Jackson

The Mary Anne anchored in Port Jackson on Sunday 10th November 1839.


On 19th November 1839 the following women were admitted to Newcastle gaol from Sydney, probably straight from the ship, on their way to assignment. In some cases differing places of assignment are recorded-
Sarah Brampton from Buckinghamshire assigned to Mr. Murray Bertha Hutchinson from London assigned to Simon Kemp
Jane Whittle from Glasgow assigned to Robert Tighe
Fanny Cockersill from Staffordshire assigned to Mr. J. Williams
Kitty McEwen from Lanarkshire - Assigned to Mrs. Perry
Ann Dingwall from Aberdeen Assigned to Richard Lang
Mary Hinds from DMary Hinds from Derby assigned to Mr. Dawson
Catherine McMullan from Greenock assigned to Mr. Brown
Jannet Bell from Dundee assigned to William Sparke
Sarah Bramford from Buckinghamshire
Bertha Hutchinson from London
Jane Whittle from Glasgow
Fanny Cockersill from Staffordshire assigned to J. Williams
Kitty McEwen from Lanarkshire
Mary Gibs from Aberdeen assigned to Mr. Jackson
Emma Capenhurst from Leicestershire assigned to Major Crummer
Elizabeth Kennalt from Norfolk assigned to William Brooks
Mary Barnes from Lincolnshire assigned to Mr. Rees
Jane Hamilton from Isle of Wight assigned to Rev. J.J. Smith
Ann Dingwall from Aberdeen
Ellen Bain or Turton from Inverness assigned to Major Sullivan
Jane Atkinson from Durham assigned to Colonel Snodgrass
Ann Barrow from Yorkshire assigned to D. Bendall
May Ann Kayle from Isle of Man assigned to Rev. Cowper
Mary Hinds from Derby
Margaret Blackwood from Fifeshire assigned to Rev. J.J. Smith
Mary Blackwood from Edinburgh assigned to Major Crummer
Janet Anderson from Glasgow assigned to Col. Snodgrass
Elizabeth Ford from Edinburgh assigned to John Kingsmill
Agnes Brown from Dumfries assigned to J. Cumming

Five ships transported female convicts to New South Wales in 1839 the Margaret, Planter, Whitby, Mary Anne and Minerva. A total of 727 female prisoners arrived in the colony in 1839.

Scottish Prisoners

Only two of the above ships brought women convicted in Scotland - the Planter and the Mary Ann. There were sixty-eight women convicted in Scotland who came by the Mary Ann. Many were convicted of stealing clothing or blankets the previous winter. Man robbery and receiving stolen goods were also repeated offences. There were few violent crimes committed by females in Scotland. Sessional Papers printed by the House of Lords reveal that this was a common pattern throughout Scotland in the year 1839. Mary and Margaret Blackwood, two sisters from Edinburgh were sentenced to 7 years transportation for the crime of coining in 1839. According to the Mary Ann indents, their sister Jane Blackwood was transported on the Planter.

Although most gave their occupations as nursery maid, kitchen maid or house maid, some had other skills and occupations - Margaret McKenzie was a dressmaker and Anne McClone, Rachael Wilson and Margaret McCol were needlewomen. Isabella Sutherland was a plain cook.

Other Mary Ann prisoners convicted in Scotland included:
Janet Anderson
Helen Bain
Janet Bell
Jane Booth
Agnes Brown (Fellows)
Martha Christie
Mary Cowen (Patterson)
Euphemia Dewar
Ann Dingwall
Ellen Donaldson
Elizabeth Ford
Janet Gallacher
Mary Gibb
Mary Anne Griffin
Isabella Hannah
Catherine Henderson
Elizabeth Little
Mary Livingstone (Adamson)
Elizabeth McAlister
Mary McAniny (Carmichael)
Elizabeth McBride (Turner)
Mary Ann McCash
Ann McColl
Esther McGreavy
Catherine McDeade
Mary McDonald
Euphemia McDonald
Jemima McDonald
Frances MacDonald
Catherine McEwen
Helen McFarlane
Jane MacFarlane
Catherine McKinnon (Purcell )
Marian McKinnon
Agnes McKenzie
Margaret McKenzie
Agnes McLean
Betsy McLusky
Catherine McMillan
Helen McNeil (from Ireland)
Isobel McPherson
Ann Mackay or Miller
Rosanna Maughan
Catherine Manson (Paterson)
Mary Miller(Young)
Margaret Mitchell
Mary Moor (alias Elizabeth Smith)
Margaret Munro
Margaret Nicol (Crow)
Catherine Nugent
Mary Quin (McLeod)
Isabella Rae
Ann Reid (McLean)
Margaret Reid
Fanny Richardson (Docherty)
Janet Riddell (McCubbin)
Catherine Ross
Ann Russell
Grace Soutar (Imrie)
Mary Stewart (alias Divine; alias Eliza Boyle)
Isabella Sutherland or Anderson
Grace Taylor or Logan
Harriett Thompson or Goodfellow
Ann Urquart
Jean Whittle
Rachael Wilson [1]

Notes and Links

1). The next convict ship to transport female prisoners convicted in Scotland was the Surry in 1840

2). A Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language

3). Select here to find more about Hunter Valley prisoners and passengers of Mary Ann


[1]. Convict Indents. State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12189; Item: [X642]; Microfiche: 739

[2]. Newcastle Gaol. Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930. State Archives NSW; Roll: 136

[3]. Journal of William Bland. UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. The National Archives, Kew, Surry