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Matilda Dyer

Matilda Dyer, one of 120 convicts transported on the Canada, March 1810

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Matilda Dyer
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1776
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Assault and theft
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Canada
Departure date: March, 1810
Arrival date: 8th September, 1810
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 121 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 8. Old Bailey trial reports on line - 20 Sept 1809. NSW SR - convicts' applications to marry 1811.
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

Marilyn Zietsch on 6th January, 2012 wrote:

Married James Marshall 25 Jan 1811. No children that I am aware of.

Robin Sharkey on 4th December, 2016 wrote:

MATILDA DYER was transported on “Canada” for 7 years arriving in 1810. She was tried at the Old Bailey with Ann Kennington for assaulting Benjamin Burd on the street and putting him in fear and stealing a number of bank notes off him. Between Surry St and Temple bar from between 11pm and half-past twelve, he was “knocked downing hustled”. His evidence was that he was “so much stunned at the time” that he couldn’t tell who it was but he thought it was women.

Reported at Old Bailey trials on line - Matter no. 6566 of 20 Sept 1809 [ https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18090920-28-defend254&div=t18090920-28#highlight ]

Mr Burd was a purser in the navy. On 3rd August 1809 he’d been in town (London city) on business and at 4pm had gone to a banking house to receive some bank notes. Then he dined with his brother at 5pm and afterwards went to a coffeehouse in Norfolk Court off Surry Street, where he checked and counted his notes, taking them out of his pocket.

It’s hinted at in the evidence that a Mrs Pike of the coffee house had something to do with the offence against him - she had been “taken up” and a 20 pound note from him stopped by the bank. Perhaps she had worked in together with Ann Kennington and Matilda Dyer and told them that this man had notes on him - the other two women assaulted him in the same street as the coffee house. Because he had collected the notes from the bank that afternoon, he had good knowledge of exactly what notes he had on him. He got the bank to put a stop on all the notes the next day.

Mrs Pike had been taken up” by the officers and Ann Kennington appeared as a witness against her. Pike had acknowledged to the magistrate that she had given a 50 l. note. It seems Mrs Pike was “ discharged that night in consequence of Mr. Pollard [publican] stating that he did not believe she committed the felony …” [per evidence of John Vicker, Worship St officer]

Matilda and Ann started getting rid of the notes.  The publican named John Pollard gave evidence that he knew both Matilda and Ann very well because they were both neighbours [to him]. He claimed in evidence that “I never knew a dishonest act of them ever since I knew them” and so he had no hesitation in giving Matilda change for a 10l note the next day.

Ann asked a man named William Alders, a painter and glazier, to change one of the notes for her - a £50 bank note.When he said no she offered him a shilling to do so, at the bank. He asked her how she had got it - it was a large amount of money for her - and she told him ‘by honesty’. He knew her as a seller of fish and fruit. So Mr Alders wrote his name on the note and went with it to the bank, where of course it was picked up by the clerk as a stopped note.

Matilda Dyer called one character witness and Ann Kennington called three.
Both were found guilty and sentenced to death.
Obviously both were reprieved - to transportation for life

Their ages were recorded on the Old Bailey reports as being 37 for Kennington and 33 for Dyer, but this is not consistent with later statement of ages in NSW. Far more likely they were 27 and 23 respectively - since Ann being recorded in 1828 as being 40 and in 1831 as being born in 1789 (i.e. 42) she would have been about 20 or 21 in 1809. Assume Matilda was there years younger, at about 17 or 18.
The women were tried on 20 September 1809.They both departed England on “Canada” six months later in March 1810.

23 January 1811 January - Matilda Dyer MARRIED James Marshall. (arrived per “Duke of Portland” in July 1807). Both resided at Parramatta.Married at St John’s Church of England at Parramatta by Samuel Marsden. Matilda could sign her name but James Marshall made his mark. Witnesses were John Carey and Elizabeth Cook.

Oct 1814 Muster Matilda Dyer, per Canada (2), Convict, Mustered at Parramatta, Wife to James Marshall, Off stores. James Marshall was listed as a carpenter, mustered Parramatta, off stores.

Matilda Dyer Marshall was dead by 1821 because James Marshall remarried that year. He went on to have three children by 1827 with his new wife.

Convict Changes History

Marilyn Zietsch on 6th January, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1776-00-00, gender f

Robin Sharkey on 4th December, 2016 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 8. Old Bailey trial reports on line - 20 Sept 1809. NSW SR - convicts' applications to marry 1811. (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm R

Robin Sharkey on 4th December, 2016 made the following changes:


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