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Ann Davis, one of 262 convicts transported on the Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander, January 1787
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||23rd November, 1789
life span was 60 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 3
||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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Eric Harry Daly on 15th January, 2013 wrote:
Ann Davis the wife of William Davis was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing 8 pairs of stockings the value of 8 shillings on 26 Apr 1786, she was transported for 7 years on the Lady Penrhyn.
The first woman to be hanged in Australia was Ann Davis who was executed on 23
November 1789. She was about 30 years old
Ann was found guilty of stealing clothing and goods from the house of convict Robert
Sidaway, who co-habituated there with Mary Marshal. Davis was in the habit of calling
by and smoking a pipe with them.
When they were away on November 14 she gained access through a window. After
upsetting a tub of water in the house, she made off with her booty; it was later found in
When the prisoner claimed to be pregnant and thus that she could not be executed, the
court ordered a trial by matrons. The jury of matrons was the most important function
that women performed in eighteenth century courts
“On her condemnation she pleaded pregnancy, and a jury of venerable matrons was
empanelled on the spot to examine and pronounce her state, which the forewoman, a
grave personage between sixty and seventy years old, did by this short address to the
Court “Gentlemen, She is as much with child as I am .”’
Sentence was accordingly passed, and she was executed .
Sydney Cove. Nov 23 Ann Davis has been hanged, the first woman in the colony to be
“turned off” by the executioner. On 23 Nov 1789 James Freeman’s (the executioner)
worst moment may have come when he killed Ann Davis the first woman executed in
Australia. Found drunk a week later he was punished with 100 lashes.
Robin Sharkey on 7th December, 2016 wrote:
David Collins, in his ‘An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales [Volume 1]” wrote of her, at page 103, as she was to be executed:
“... acknowledging at that fatal moment which generally gives birth and utterance to truth, that she was about to suffer justly, and that an attempt which she made, when put on her defence, to criminate
another person, (a woman whose character was so notorious that she hoped to establish her own credit and innocence upon her infamy,) as well as her plea of pregnancy, were advanced merely for the purpose of saving her life. She died generally reviled and unpitied by the people of her own description. “
Convict Changes History
Eric Harry Daly on 15th January, 2013 made the following changes:
alias1, date of birth 1759, date of death 23rd November, 1789, gender, crime