Hi Guest!
Contribute to this record

Mary Bishop

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Bishop
Aliases: Mary Davis
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1762
Occupation: Housekeeper/cook
Date of Death: 1st January, 1839
Age: 77 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Salop (Town of Shrewsbury) Quarter Session
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 293 other convicts


Primary source: Gillen, Mollie; The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet. Baxter, Carol; General Musters of New South Wales: 1800-02, 1805-06, 1811 and 1814. Sainty, Malcolm and Johnson, Keith; 1828 Census of New South Wales.
Source description:

Did you find the person you were looking for?

If Mary Bishop was the person you were looking for, you may be able to discover more about them by looking at our resources page.

If you have more hunting to do, try a new search or browse the convict records.

Know more about Mary Bishop?

Contribute to this record

Community Contributions

Denis Pember on 21st November, 2016 wrote:

Mary is quite difficult to identify within records.  She appears to have interchanged her surname from Bishop to Davis at will and possibly even used another alias as well. The significant identification is often the name of the transport used - “Lady Penrhyn”.  There were other Mary Bishop and Mary Davis convicts mentioned in records.

Denis Pember on 21st November, 2016 wrote:

Mary Davis (indicted thus) late of Diddlebury, Salop, was charged with breaking into one house and stealing a copper kettle, and into another where she stole a quantity of clothing. She was charged with one Ann Davis (who was found not guilty) and Joseph Owen (First Fleet, ‘Friendship’) who received the stolen goods. Mary was given a sentence of death at Shewsbury, Salop, on 12 Mar 1785. She was reprieved to seven years transportation on 28 Dec 1785 and a year later, on 23 Nov 1786 was ordered to the New Gaol in Southwark and then to Gravesend by wagon for embarkation aboard the ship ‘Lady Penrhyn’ on 31 Jan 1787. Her age as stated as 25.

Denis Pember on 23rd November, 2016 wrote:

On 2nd November 1788, Mary (as Mary Bishop) married one Samuel Day (First Fleet Convict, 1788, “Alexander”).  Mary went to Norfolk Island in 1790 , probably with Day on “Surprize”.  The whole story is further confused by the fact that Day was with a Mary Bolton whilst on Norfolk Island. It is unknown if Mary Bolton was a further alias for Mary Bishop/Davis, this does seem unlikely, because there are later records of both women.
However, whilst on Norfolk, Mary Bishop did give birth to a daughter, Charlotte, possibly the daughter of Samuel Day.  In 1806, Mary Bishop is definitely living at Port Jackson and working at Government House and has an illegitimate daughter.

Denis Pember on 23rd November, 2016 wrote:

1802 Muster: [Ref AE075 page 45] Mary Davis, Lady Penrhyn, living in Sydney, sentence expired, TOL 071.

1805/6 Muster: [Ref A0612 page 19] Mary Bishop, Lady Penryhn, FBS, works at Government House Parramatta.
[Ref C0159 page 153] Mary Bishop, Lady Penryhn, concubine, 1 female natural child.

1811 Muster: [Ref 1532 page 34] Mary Davis, Lady Penryhn, sentenced Shrewsbury, March 1785.

1814 Muster: [Ref 2925 page 67] Mary Davis, Lady Penryhn, Off Stores, Single.

Denis Pember on 23rd November, 2016 wrote:

Both Mary and Charlotte Bishop received grants of land at Bringelly in 1809.
Charlotte later made four ‘marriages’;
1. James Crabb; (Soldier, 73rd Foot). Married 18th March 1811.
2. Richard Shrimpton; (Second Fleet Convict, 1790, Scarborough). Married 9th August 1819.
3. John Pentley; (Convict, 1819, Atlas). Married 1828.
4. Frederick Allsop; (born in the colony, the child of William Allsop Second Fleet Convict, 1790, Surprize and Mary Atherley convict, 1808, Aeolus.
Charlotte had several children to these men; and in 1828 her son Alexander Crabb by her first husband is found living with Joseph Martin, Parramatta, who (we have seen) was the employer of his grandmother Mary Bishop.
Why Mary Davis married Samuel Day in 1788 and did not stay with him, and why she used the name Mary Bishop, remain at this time a mystery. But it is clear that Mary Bishop was in fact Mary Davis of Lady Penrhyn and that she was the Mary Bishop who died at Kurrajong age given as 80 on 1 Jan 1839. As further evidence it should be noted that Charlotte Bishop died (as Pentley) at Kurrajong on 5 Sep 1851 and is buried at St Peters Richmond believed to have been buried in the same grave as her mother Mary Bishop.

Denis Pember on 23rd November, 2016 wrote:

Summary From 1828 Census (Sainty & Johnson):
[Ref B1237 page 50] Bishop, Mary, 63, Lady Penrhyn, 1787, 7 years, Protestant, housekeeper to Jas. Martin at Parramatta.
[Ref C2754 page 106] Crabb, Alexander, 14, BC, Lives at James Martin, Parramatta.
[Ref S0842 page 337] Shrimpton, Charlotte, 34, born in the colony, Protestant, farmer, Wilberforce. 10 acres, all cleared and cultivated.
[S0843] Shrimpton, Mary, 14, born in the colony.
[S0844] Shrimpton, L., 4, born in the colony.
[S0845] Shrimpton, Richard, 2, born in the colony.

Jon Heppell on 28th July, 2017 wrote:

In 1993 the Fellowship of First Fleeters fixed a memorial plaque to the headstone of Charlot Pently [sic] in the cemetery of St Peters Anglican Church, Richmond, to commemorate the life of Charlotte’s mother, Mary (Davis) Bishop, who arrived in Port Jackson with the First Fleet on 26th Jan 1788 and who died at Curryjong NSW nearly 51 years later, on 1st Jan 1839. 1

This the Fellowship did (after considering various conflicting opinions as to the identity of Mary Bishop and her relationship with Charlotte Pentley, née Bishop) on the basis of convincing research by both Dr Mollie Gillen in her acclaimed book “The Founders of Australia” and also by Yvonne Browning, author of “St. Peter’s Richmond: the early people and burials 1791-1855”.2

The confusion over Mary’s identity arises largely from the hitherto unexplained marriage recorded at St Phillips Sydney on 2nd Nov 1788 between a Mary Bishop and convict Samuel Day. Mollie Gillen characterises this marriage as a “considerable complication” to the story of Mary Davis, noting that no Mary Bishop was recorded in any First Fleet document. She further establishes that Samuel Day’s long term wife was Mary Bolton, not to be confused with Mary Bishop, and that Mary Davis (Lady Penrhyn) was undeniably the mother of Charlotte Bishop. Mollie Gillen concludes: “Why Mary Davis married Samuel Day … and why she used the name Mary Bishop … remain … a mystery”.3

However, two things remain certain…
1. The name “Mary Bishop” was in use by someone in the lead up to November 1788.
2. Mary Davies/Davis per Lady Penrhyn was known as “Mary Bishop” for most of her life in the Colony. It follows that Mary Davis assumed the name Bishop soon after arrival in NSW. The logical explanation for this is she had formed a relationship with a male named Bishop soon after arrival. Furthermore, it is conceivable that the Day~Bishop marriage was recorded in error i.e. Bolton being mis-identified as Bishop and that Mary Bishop was never associated with Samuel Day.4 Credibility is added to this notion of “mistaken identity” by the similar circumstances surrounding these two women. Both were named Mary “B______”, were tried for similar crimes on the same day, at the same place, and were transported on the same ship.5 With this in mind, the simplest and most credible explanation for this “mystery” marriage is that it never took place. The question again arises ... why was Mary using the name of Bishop ?? .... a male Bishop lurking ?

According to authoritative sources, there were 3 male Bishops in the First Fleet; 2 were Marine Privates; the 3rd a convict. First Fleet 1788 6, a transcription of the original First Fleet manifest, places Elias (Marine) on Alexander, Joseph (Convict) on Friendship, and Thomas (Marine) on the Supplementary Listing of those who arrived without a record of which ship.  The Fellowship of First Fleeters has Elias on Alexander and both Joseph and Thomas on Friendship.7

Joseph married Ann Dring (Lady Juliana) at St Phillips on Nov 13th 1790 and was settled by 1792 at The Ponds on 50ac.8 Elias married Catherine Smith (Prince of Wales) on Norfolk Island in June 1793.9 The only Bishop for whom there is no conflicting record of marriage is Thomas.

The tracing of land grants, memorials, entitlements and transfers has built a convincing case that Thomas Bishop was at the very least the common law husband of Mary and probably the father of Charlotte Bishop.

to read more ...http://heppellsinoz.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/3/3/11334250/bishop_mary_~_bio_rev.10.pdf

Jon Heppell on 21st September, 2018 wrote:

a detailed biography of Mary Bishop née Davis can be found online through the following link : https://heppellsinoz.weebly.com

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 21st November, 2016 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Gillen, Mollie; The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet. Baxter, Carol; General Musters of New South Wales: 1800-02, 1805-06, 1811 and 1814. Sainty, Malcolm and Johnson, Keith;

Jon Heppell on 21st September, 2018 made the following changes:


This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au