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Jane Bridge

Jane Bridge, one of 108 convicts transported on the Mary Ann, November 1822

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Jane Bridge
Aliases: Sarah Jane, Sarah
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1802
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Possession of forged bank note
Convicted at: Lancaster Assizes
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Mary Anne
Departure date: 25th December, 1821
Arrival date: 20th May, 1822
Place of arrival New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 108 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/4, Page Number 130; England Criminal registers, Lancashire 1821, 1819, 1814) NSW SR - Colonial Secretary Index, Convict Ship indents, Musters of Convicts 1822, 1828 Census. UK National Archives, summary of "Mary Ann" surgeon’s journal REF: ADM 101/52/1/3
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

Robin Sharkey on 3rd February, 2015 wrote:


Sarah Jane was a young Protestant Englishwoman whose father had already been convicted in Manchester in March 1819 for receiving counterfeit money (Death sentence commuted to life) and sent as a convict arriving January 1820 on “Prince Regent”.

Sarah Jane was then herself before the Lancaster Criminal Court at the Lent Assizes (March/April), 1821 two years after her father.  She was charged as “JANE BRIDGE” with Receiving Counterfeit bank notes. Guilty, 14 years transportation. (per England Criminal registers, Lancashire 1821)
She arrived per “Mary Ann” on 2 May 1822, probably aged only 20 years. On arrival she was sent to the Female Factory which was at Parramatta.

“Mary Ann” transport ship:
UK National Archives, summary of surgeon’s journal REF: ADM 101/52/1/3
“Folio 7: Bridge; disease or hurt, headache and pain in the side, torpid bowels. Put on sick list, 21 January 1822. Discharged ?”
“Folio 20: J Bridge; disease or hurt, fixed acute pain in the right hypochondrium. Put on sick list, 5 March 1822. Discharged ?”

NSW 1822 Muster - Sarah Bridge per “Mary Ann” Sentence: 14 years, Female Factory, Parramatta. [probably aged 20 yrs based on 1828 Census-stated age]

1822 Alphabetical Muster. Sarah Bridge, convict per “Mary Ann”, 14 years, daughter to Charles Bridge of Parramatta.
Mary Bridge, Convict per “Friendship” in 1801, 14 years, was recorded as Wife to Charles Bridge, Parramatta.  However Chalres had married her in NSW, she was not Sarah Jane’s mother.?
CONVICT FATHER - CHARLES BRIDGE per “Prince Regent” arriving January 1820, Life, GS to Dr Harris at Parramatta in 1822.  He was a grocer in Lancaster and in July 1817 (Sarah Jane was probably only 15) he’d got a one year sentence at Lancashire relating to counterfeit money. He’d have been out of jail in July 1818 but he was convicted again the following March 1819 and given the Death sentence for receiving counterfeit money (rest illegible). Obviously this was commuted to LIFE, arriving January 1820. Obviously married Mary in NSW, not Sarah Jane’s mother.

* Sarah had arrived May 1822 and in 1823 gave birth to a son named Edward Higgs (year estimated from 1828 Census in which Edward Higgs her son is aged 5 yrs)
* This may be the reason she agreed to marry Catholic Irishman Matthew Finnegan, who was more than twice her age.
* Permission for him to marry was given on 1st August 1823.
* Finnegan was old - estimated at 50 years, and in fact had a wife and six children in Ireland when he was transported in 1810 on “Providence” for carrying arms in Dublin. (per his own prisoner petition, National Archives, Dublin).
* However the marriage may not have happened as Matthew Finnegan, (at 1822 Muster residing at the Tollgates at Parramatta) DIED in 1823.
* No registration of birth of the child Edward. Likely HIGGS fathers could have been:
(i) John HIggs, living in Parramatta in 1822 with a ticket of leave, then aged about 33 (mature and experienced enough to turn a young girl’s head?); from Gloucester arrived 1815 on “Marquis of Wellington”; in 1823 he was a publican in Parramatta (he’d .  married in 1822 to Esther Hewitt from the Factory)
(ii) George Higgs, aged 23 in 1822, a hawker from Manchester,  7 yrs per “General Stuart” arriving New Years Eve in 1818. Perhaps mutual youth likely to bring them together?

Sarah Jane, after the death of Matthew Finnegan, had been assigned to William Grose, a shoemaker of Parramatta. However, in September 1824 he had her up before the Parramatta magistrates charged with “drunkenness in her service”. She was returned to the Factory.  Recorded as “SARAH”

1825 MARRIAGE (NSW BDM 416/1825 V1825416 8 )
On 15 September 1825 1825 Sarah (illiterate) married James Howarth, a coachman at his marriage, (signed) in Sydney at St Phillips. Recorded as “SARAH JANE”.  They had in common their Lancaster birth place; he was aged 46 based on ship indent or 38 based on 1828 census age, and she was 23.

James Howarth per “Indefatigable” arrived 1815 aged 35
Recorded at his trial and on ship’s indent as “HAWORTH” but thereafter in NSW as “Howarth”
A waggoner from Lancaster found guilty of “horse stealing” 15 March 1814 and given the death sentence.  Obviously commuted -LIFE transportation.
By 1822 he had a TL and was a coach maker in Parramatta and also leased a small plot of land at Parramatta

In 1828 she is recorded as “JANE”
1828 Census the Howarths lived on the Sydney Road in the Concord return district, and had 2 workers, one Came Free and one was FbyS, both Labourers.
Edward Higgs, son of Jane Howarth, was aged 5 years.  No other children recorded

Possibly this birth is to them:
1838 Registered birth of Sarah Howarth to James and Sarah (NSWBDM 1115/1838 V18381115 22)

Convict Changes History

Robin Sharkey on 3rd February, 2015 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/4, Page Number 130; England Criminal registers, Lancashire 1821, 1819, 1814) NSW SR - Colonial Secretary Index, Convict Ship indents, Musters of Convicts 1822, 1828 C

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