Hi Guest!
Contribute to this record

Elizabeth Bull

Elizabeth Bull, one of 99 convicts transported on the Mermaid, 15 February 1828

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Elizabeth Bull
Aliases: Elizabeth Cooper
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1814
Occupation: Milliner
Date of Death: 21st January, 1877
Age: 63 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Larceny from a person
Convicted at: Middlesex (Westminster) Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Mermaid
Departure date: 15th February, 1828
Arrival date: 27th June, 1828
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 99 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 313 (158). State Archives NSW & Tasmania, Convict Pardons (HO 10/56). Libraries Tasmania, Death Record (NAME_INDEXES:1501383, Resource: HSD145/1/1 Jan 1877)& Description List (CON19-1-13, Image:446)
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.

Did you find the person you were looking for?

If Elizabeth Bull 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 Elizabeth Bull?

Contribute to this record

Community Contributions

Anonymous on 28th June, 2011 wrote:

Arrived in Van Dieman’s land. Married James Cooper.

Shane Poulson on 10th August, 2012 wrote:

Elizabeth is an ancestress of my mother Earla Joan Cooper (Poulson) and my aunt Marcia M Cooper (Ellingworth).

Shane Poulson on 20th September, 2014 wrote:

Father was Obadiah Bull and mother was Ann Horn. Elizabeth was baptised 3 Jun 1807 St Leonard’s Church Shoreditch London. She died in Hobart Tasmania.

Shane Poulson on 20th September, 2014 wrote:

1851 Last child born. 1853 May 30 Hobart Quarter Session Stealing a watch 7 Years transportation. Husband James disappears. 1856 assigned to Washmore - Richmond. Remarried Feb 9 1857 Samuel Howlet. 1858 March 9 Ticket of Leave. 1860 Sept 18 Ticket of Leave revoked. 1875 March 3 Police Office Newtown 2 months for Larceny. Died in General Hospital under the name Cooper as a labourer’s wife.

Shane Poulson on 3rd April, 2017 wrote:

Baptised 3 Jun 1807 St Leonard’s Church Shoreditch London.
Married secondly Samuel Hewlett on 9 Feb 1857, who later died 30 Aug 1897.
Her trial 13 Sept 1827 Police No. 131, gave her trade as a straw bonnet maker and referred to her as a prostitute because of her crime. She and Maria Johnson were drinking with Alexander Jordan and got him drunk and stole a watch, seals, a pocket book and ‘money notes’.
She arrived in Hobart in Feb 1828 aged 20. She was charged on Nov 20th for being in the company of one James Cooper at Robinsons public house between 9 and 10 on night of the 19th Nov. by December 16th she’d married him.
She became notorious. In 1841 she had regained a Conditional Pardon but with Servitude and became free in 1846 after which they had 3 more children two of whom survived.Their last child was born in 1851. But in 1853 May 30 Hobart Quarter Sessions she was sentenced to 7 years Transportation for stealing a watch. At this time we believe James Cooper left the scene. His son Benjamin was married in Creswick Victoria on 30 Mar 1863 at age of 30. Perhaps James joined his son in going to Victoria. There is no evidence that he had died before Elizabeth remarried as yet.

Shane Poulson on 3rd April, 2017 wrote:

To support the idea that the Cooper family was distancing itself from Elizabeth’s notoriety we find that her son James Cooper had married a free immigrant Catherine Daley on 30 June 1860 at St Joseph’s Hobart after they had had a son Thomas in May 1858. But they had changed their name to Naylor when their second son was born in April 1861. In 1858 she was given a Ticket of Leave but in 1860 Elizabeth had had her Ticket of Leave revoked again. It could be assumed she was an embarrassment.

Shane Poulson on 26th October, 2018 wrote:

We have since discovered that Elizabeth’s father was NOT Obadiah Bull. He did have a daughter Elizabeth of comparable age. However, it was discovered by another researcher that his daughter Elizabeth was living, a married woman in London at the time of his death long after this Elizabeth Bull had been transported. Evidence was found in Obadiah’s Will.

Iris Dunne on 28th October, 2018 wrote:

Elizabeth Bull from ship Mermaid, received Pardon No.2349 in 1840, Trial: September 1827

Description List: Elizabeth Bull, No.131, Aged 20

Elizabeth Bull from ship Mermaid, Also known as Elizabeth Cooper died 21 January 1877 in Hobart General Hospital, Admission Date: 15 January 1877, Aged 63, Remarks: Inquest
https://librariestas.ent.sirsidynix.net.au/client/en_AU/all/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fNAME_INDEXES$002f0$002fNAME_INDEXES:1501383/one?qu=elizabeth&qu=Bull&qf=NI_SHIP_FACET Ship+(Names+Index) Mermaid Mermaid

Noela Bull on 20th June, 2020 wrote:

Elizabeth was NOT the daughter of Obadiah Bull and Ann Horn. The last will of Obadiah Bull mentions his youngest daughter Elizabeth who married Frederick Edwards. Frederick was the executor of the will. She is named as Elizabeth Edwards in the will. DNA confirms the descendants of Obadiah Bull do not match any Cooper descendants thus far.

Maureen Withey on 20th June, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 20 June 2020), September 1827, trial of ELIZABETH BULL MARIA JOHNSON (t18270913-375).

ELIZABETH BULL, MARIA JOHNSON, Theft > pocketpicking, 13th September 1827.

1962. ELIZABETH BULL and MARIA JOHNSON were indicted for stealing, on the 12th of September , 1 watch, value 5l.; 2 seals, value 1l.; 1 watch-key, value 10s.; 1 pocket-book, value 2d.; 1 handkerchief, value 6s.; 4 sovereigns; 1 penny; one 5l. Bank note; one 5l. promissory note, and one other 1l. promissory note, the property of Alexander Jordan , from his person .

MR. PRENDERGAST conducted the prosecution.

ALEXANDER JORDAN. I live in Nelson-place, City-road, and am a cook . On the 12th of September, I was returning from Fulwood’s-rents, and was getting towards a state of intoxication - a friend accompanied me as far as the House of Correction. I remember after that being in company with one or two females - I will not swear there were two. I remember afterwards being told I was robbed. I remember being in a house where there was a piece of work.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. Were you not quite in a helpless state of drunkenness? A. I was going that way. I know my money was safe about half-past ten o’clock. I do not remember being at an oyster-shop or seizing any persons there.

MARY BISHOP . I live at No. 7, Charlotte-street, Sadler’s-wells . On the night in question, within ten minutes of eleven o’clock, I was sitting in my parlour, and heard two females talking with a man. I knocked at my window, and said, “I don’t approve of such language, and if you don’t go away. I’ll give charge of you.” I soon after heard the watchman, I went to the door, and saw two females, and a gentleman in light trousers. Johnson who sat on his left hand took a watch out of his fob, and gave it to the one on his right - she then took something dark, which looked like a purse or pocket-book, and gave that to her; she then took something, which looked like a ribbon or chain and gave her. Johnson lives within three doors of me, I knew her well - the other had a light dress on; she went to Mrs. Hart’s oyster-shop - Johnson followed, and left the gentleman within thirty yards of me. Mrs. Green called to me and said, “You saw that done, why don’t you tell the gentleman where to go.” I called the watchman, and pointed the house out. Mrs. Green fetched the gentleman and told him, that was where the women were gone - the watchman had got to the door by that time. I am certain the women who went into the shop are those who had been with him; but I will not swear to Bull’s person.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you married? A. Yes - my husband is a bricklayer. I have lived there nine months; the street is infested with loose women - I frequently drive them away.

SARAH HART . I live at No. 1, Charlotte-street, and keep an oyster shop. On the night in question, about eleven o’clock, the two prisoners came into the shop; I was in the back room at supper; I went to them - they wanted a piece of fish; they gave me a penny-piece and a halfpenny for it, and one penny-piece fell on the floor; I took the candle to look for it, and the prosecutor ran in and seized me by the throat; I called Watch! the watchman came in, and said, “You are mistaken, these are the parties youwant;” and caught hold of the prisoners; they said what did he want with them, he might search them; the shop door was closed; the watchman was looking about, and a voice through the door said, “Look into the fire-place:” the watchman looked, and found a pocket-book there; I found a silk handkerchief; they searched every where, but found nothing more; the next day but one I found this Irish penny-piece on the floor; no women had been into the shop except the prisoners - the handkerchief and pocket-book could not have been there before they came; my sister was in the parlour.

Cross-examined. Q. How long had you kept the shop? A. Not three weeks; I let my first floor to a female, who says her husband is in Scotland - she was in bed at the time; I shut up immediately the prisoners were taken away; I was taken to the watch-house, and detained till morning, and taken to Hatton-garden, on account of the pocket-book and handkerchief being found in my house; I said they might search me; I was liberated - I do not know whether I was bailed - I do not know the meaning of it; they had not been a minute in the shop when the prosecutor came in; the handkerchief was near a basket - I pawned my ring after I left the office - I did not give any of the money to the prisoners.

SAMUEL WILD . I am a jeweller, and live in Wynyatt-place; I saw a crowd round the oyster-shop window; I looked in, and saw the two prisoners, two watchmen, a person in his shirt-sleeves, and a woman: I saw Bull take something from her breast and put it towards the fire-place - I believe she put it into the fire-place, but there was a dreadful crush at the time so that I could not see distinctly; I said nothing, but a person in a blue coat, at my side, tapped at the window, and said, “Look into the fire-place;” there was a great crush, and we were pushed away.

Cross-examined. Q. How many people were outside? A. Thirty or forty; Bull was sitting in a chair, near the window, with her back or side towards me.

WILLIAM EDWARDS . I am a watchman. I was on duty, and was called by a woman; I went directly down to Hart’s, and saw the prosecutor holding Hart and her sister; I went out, sprung my rattle, and got assistance; the prosecutor said he was robbed of his watch; I took the prisoners to the watch-house: I did not see what happened in the shop, as I went back to see if any thing was in the yard.

Cross-examined. Q. You found the two sisters in the prosecutor’s hands? A. Yes; I said they could not be the people, as I knew the prisoners to be loose characters.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. Had you a particular reason for going backwards? A. Yes; as Bull appeared to come in from the back yard.

JOHN BATES . I am a watchman. I was on duty, and went to the shop, just as I was calling eleven o’clock; I saw Johnson there, and Bull came in as if from the yard; I searched her, and in her bosom found a purse, with a half-crown and two shillings in it; somebody knocked at the window, and said, “Look into the fire-place:” and the man in his shirt sleeves took this pocket-book from there - I saw it lay there when the person called out; I do not know who the man in the shirt sleeves was.

Cross-examined. Q. Whether he put it there, you do not know? A. No; I do not know where he lives - he came to the watch-house, but did not give his name; here is the handkerchief which Hart found.

WILLIAM BROWN EDWARDS . I am an officer. I have an Irish penny-piece which Mrs. Hart gave me - I cannot find who the man in his short sleeves was.

ALEXANDER JORDAN . This is my handkerchief; it has my name on it - the pocket-book is mine; there was one 5l. Bank note, and a 5l. and 1l. country note in it. I lost four or five sovereigns and a watch; I had an Irish penny in my pocket for some months - I know my purse was safe at half-past ten o’clock. I had been to pay a bill for fish.

MARY BISHOP . I am certain Johnson was one of the women - I am certain Hart was not the other woman, for I knew her well; I believe Bull to be the woman, but am not positive - Hart is a very different stature; they were sitting on the ledge in front of my window.

DINAH GREEN . I live nearly opposite Bishop. I saw her at her door; she said she thought some females had robbed a gentleman - Bull had been with me just before, and asked me for a pair of scissars; she then went up to Bishop’s door, and I saw her come up the street with a gentleman in a blue frock coat, and light trousers - there was another female with them; they went to the corner of the street, then left the gentleman, and went into the oyster-shop - I did not lose sight of them; Bishop spoke to me directly they went down the street - I did not see them do any thing to him.

BULL - GUILTY. Aged 19.


Transported for Fourteen Years .

Maria Johnson was also transported on this ship.

Convict Changes History

Shane Poulson on 20th September, 2014 made the following changes:

gender: f

Shane Poulson on 20th September, 2014 made the following changes:

occupation, crime

Shane Poulson on 3rd April, 2017 made the following changes:

convicted at, date of birth: 1807 (prev. 0000), gender: f

Shane Poulson on 28th October, 2018 made the following changes:

date of birth: 0000 (prev. 1807)

Iris Dunne on 28th October, 2018 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 313 (158). State Archives NSW & Tasmania, Convict Pardons (HO 10/56). Libraries Tasmania, Death Record (NAME_INDEXES:1501383, Resource: HSD145/1/1 Jan

Iris Dunne on 28th October, 2018 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1814 (prev. 1824)

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