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Mary England

Mary England, one of 110 convicts transported on the Northampton, December 1814

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary England
Aliases: Nèe Mary Stackhouse
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1787
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 29th March, 1828
Age: 41 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 58 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: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Northampton
Departure date: December, 1814
Arrival date: 18th June, 1815
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 109 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 191 (97). "Prisoners Letters to the Bank of England" by Deirdre Palk. London Record Society, volume 42. Letter 189
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

Denis Pember on 26th January, 2016 wrote:

MARY ENGLAND was indicted for that she, on the 22nd of September, without lawful excuse had in her custody and possession two forged 1 l. bank notes, she knowing them to be forged ; and
ANOTHER COUNT, that she had one other 1 l. bank note, she knowing it to be forged.
To this indictment the prisoner pleaded;
Transported for Fourteen Years .
First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.

Denis Pember on 26th January, 2016 wrote:

Mary travelled to Sydney on the ship ‘Northampton’. It sailed from Portsmouth on 1 Jan 1815. The master was John O. Tween. The ship arrived in Sydney on 18 Jun 1815. She took with her, her three children: Mary, Rebecca and Charles. They were all taken to the female factory at Parramatta.

Denis Pember on 27th January, 2016 wrote:

In the colony, Mary married Richard Cross (). They married at Parramatta, January 8th 1821.

Mary died in March 1828, prior to the Census being taken. However, Richard is recorded:
[Ref C30350] Cross, Richard, 40, FS, Elizabeth, 1816 7 years. Carter to Geo Payne. living at George Street Sydney.
Her son Charles is also mentioned:
[Ref E0480] England, Charles, 15, BC (wrong!) Apprenticed to Chas Roberts Castlereagh Street, Sydney.
Her daughters:
Mary Ann, married to Henry Gardiner (Convict, Globe, 1819).
[Ref G0179] Gardiner, Ann, 25, Came Free, Northampton, 1814.
Rebecca, married to John Crane.
[Rf C2798] Crane, Rebecca, 21, Came Free, Northampton, 1815. 
John was the son of John Crane (Convict, Earl Spencer, 1813) and Susannah Elizabeth Broom (Came Free - following husband, Mary Ann, 1816).

Robin Sharkey on 30th May, 2017 wrote:

Mary England was taken from Newgate gaol with other convicts there before the middle of November and placed on the “Northampton” as it lay at anchor at Deptford. We know this because she wrote a letter from on board Northampton at Deptford,  on 16th November 1814.

Her letter was to the solicitors for the bank of England, Freshfields, who were the middle men in providing some financial relief to [mostly only] women who the Bank had prosecuted for forging bank notes.

Mary’s letter implied that she had already received some money from the Bank and was now asking for a little more “a trifle” before they sailed. She stated she had FOUR children, however this may have been an error by the other woman prisoner writing the letter for her. She also stated that she had not seen her husband since she had been incarcerated. Since people could freely come and go at Newgate Gaol, this must have been very disappointing to her. It also meant that he had not come to the gaol to give her any goods or financial support.

189. [F25/3/47] Mary England, Northampton transport ship, Deptford, 16 November 1814
“Honored Sir I hope you will pardon the Lirbreity i take in writing to you but it is nothyng but the gratest distress that Obliges me to tack so grate a Lirbirty having three [four written over] Children to maintian uppon what your goodness has pleased to alow me wich i trust your goodness Wil be grate anouf to Alow me a smal trifull as i ham agoin to Leave My Cuntrey with four Children and have not seen my husband since i have bein in Confinedmint win I ham intirley trusting in your Mersey and goodness your humble pertitoner Mary Ingland.”

LETTER IS ANNOTATED: “Mary England is now on board the Convict ship at Deptford. £10; Mr Kaye to pay her £10, with numbers of notes to be paid and date of payment Sunday 20 Nov 1814 with Mary England’s own signature.”

Robin Sharkey on 30th May, 2017 wrote:

The ship had sailed before the 1 January. On 21 December she was recorded as being at Deal in the are of the southern Downs, and it was a week later that she was reported as leaving Portsmouth:

Morning Post, Friday 23 December 1814 page4
“DEAL, Dec 21
The wind at last has shifted from the WSW to ESE and the whole of the outward bound Mediterranean transports, coasters, and colliers, with several foreign vessels, which have been detained in the Downs by the long succession of westerly gales, proceeded this morning down channel with a fine breeze from E.S.E.  …  The Northampton, Captain Tween, came down and sailed with the fleet having 110 female convicts on board for NSW.”

Cally Wrench on 29th October, 2017 wrote:

Mary England, and her husband James, were arrested in London in January 1814 when uttering (circulating) forged Bank of England notes. This was an offence which carried the death penalty. The Bank decided not to prosecute James, who promptly abandoned Mary and their four children and went to sea. Mary accepted an arrangement offered by the Bank; to avoid the possibility of being executed if found guilty, she would plead guilty to possessing the notes rather than uttering them and be transported for fourteen years. Her trial took place at the Old Bailey in February 1814. She was then taken to the grim and insalubrious prison of Newgate, her four young children in tow, there to wait for a ship to be made ready to convey convicts to New South Wales. She was destitute. By April, she had pawned her clothes, her children’s clothes and any small belongings she had. This little family was attempting to exist on the gaol allowance of bread and water, supplemented by what could be bought with the money from the pledged items. They were to remain in Newgate for nine dreadful months. At the end of November, they all boarded the Northampton at Deptford, sailing in January 1815. Behind this tale of misery lies another story of extraordinary benevolence. The benevolent party was none other than the Bank of England, the institution which had ensured their distress. On receiving a letter from Mary in April 1814, pleading her destitution, the Bank’s solicitors arranged to pay her the considerable sum of 10s. 6d. a week until she left Newgate for Deptford. On receipt of a further letter from her on board the ship, they sent her £10 for the family’s needs for their voyage (163, 189).
Her letters, and several hundred more, written by or on behalf of prisoners like her, are transcribed in this volume. They were written from gaols all over Britain, though mainly from London; from hulks lying in rivers and off-shore; or from ships about to depart on their long voyage to New South Wales. The recipients of the letters were the firm of Freshfields, solicitors to the Bank of England; a few were addressed to individual directors or staff of the Bank, or to friends who passed them to Freshfields. The letters, and other pieces dealing with legal matters, were later archived under the title ‘Prison Correspondence’, and have been kept ever since in the Bank of England archive, attracting only passing attention



Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 26th January, 2016 made the following changes:

alias1: Nèe Mary Stackhouse, date of death: 29th March, 1828 (prev. 0000), gender: f, crime

Denis Pember on 27th January, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1787 (prev. 0000)

Robin Sharkey on 30th May, 2017 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 191 (97). "Prisoners Letters to the Bank of England" by Deirdre Palk. London Record Society, volume 42. Letter 189 (prev. Australian Joint Copying Proj

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