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Ann Finnigan

Ann Finnigan, one of 98 convicts transported on the Sarah and Elizabeth, 28 December 1836

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Ann Finnigan
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1790
Occupation: Housemaid
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: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Sarah and Elizabeth
Departure date: 28th December, 1836
Arrival date: 23rd April, 1837
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 97 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/10, Page Number 443 (224)
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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Tony Beale on 25th January, 2021 wrote:

Old Bailey Online (DOB from here)

34. CATHERINE CONNELLY and ANN FINNIGAN were indicted for stealing, on the 31st of August, at St. Giles in the Fields, 1 writingdesk, value 1l. 5s.; 2 brooches, value 30s.; 2 rings, value 15s.; 66 sovereigns, 4 half-crowns, 25 shillings, 23 sixpences, and 1 £10 Bank note, the goods and monies of John Brown, in his dwelling-house.

JOHN BROWN . I kept the White Hart public-house in Drury-lane, in he parish of St. Giles in the Fields. On Tuesday afternoon, the 30th of August, I counted up sixty-eight sovereigns, a half-sovereign, and a £10 Bank of England note, and put it in the bottom part of a writing-desk, which fastened with a brass pin—I places also eight sovereigns in the top part of the writing-desk, and 1l. 16s. 6d. in the open part, under a flap covered with green baize—there were two brooches, two gold rings, and other articles of broken jewellery in the drawer, at the bottom part of the desk, which fastened with a pin—there was also a number of papers, documents of various descriptions, and the copy of a lease in Worcestershire; also the policy of a five-insurance, by the Globe, of the same premises, a paper belonging to the Phoœnix, and a letter from the commanding officer of the Worcestershire cavalry, to which I formerly belonged, and a number of other papers—I took the desk up with me to my own bed-room the last thing at night, and deposited it under the bed, close to the bed-side—my wife was confined at the time, and I slept in the opposite room with my son, who is about eleven years of age—I put it under my own bed—I did not miss it till next morning, at a quarter before ten o’clock—Connelly was in my service at the time—I was called up in the morning, at five o’clock, by the brewers coming—we had finished in the cellar putting the beer down about six or quarter past—when Connelly got up, she went about her work as usual in the back part of the house—I was at my bar-the prisoner Finnigan came in and called for half a pint of porter—she went to the apartment where Connelly was doing her household work at the back part of the premises, and was there from five to seven minutes—she had on a weather-beaten plaid cloak—as she came out she had a bulky appearance, she had not when she came in—she stood and drank her half pint of beer, and paid 1d. for it—she then went out at the door, and I saw no more of her—it was about half-past six when she went out—Connelly feigned illness, and went to bed soon after half-past six, when Finnigan was gone, and my wife sent her up her breakfast—about quarter before ten o’clock I called to the nurse to bring the desk down—she said there was no desk there—I alarmed my wife, and she went into the room—I went up myself—I then went to Bow-street to apply for an officer—two officers came—they examined the pot-boy—there did not appear any thing against him, and they went away—I afterwards applied to Kirkman of the F. Division, and he and I searched about London a long time, but could not find any thing—he examined Connelly, about eleven o’clock, in the bar—he asked her a great many questions—she got into a violent ill temper—he said. “You are telling me a whole tissue of falsehoods”—she had remained in bed, I believe, about an hour, or an hour and a half—but her mistress had been talking to her in the bed-room, or the room where the box was lost from—she came down to the bar about the o’clock or half-past—she appeared so ill we thought she could not be guilty—we went over to the cooperage, and she got her bonnet and shawl, and went off down Holborn—my little boy come and tole me so, and we followed her to Saffron-hill. I persuaded her to go to hospital two or three days afterwards, and she called at my house in a cab in going, and I gave her some warm beer—(we took up a man in Lascelles-court, about a month after, who was discharged,) and Connelly quitted the hospital in consequence of finding she had quitted the hospital, I went over to Ireland, about the 17th of September, to a place called Lavello, in the county of Mayo, by myself—I got assistance, and took Winifred Finnigan and the two prisoners, and conveyed them to Castlebar—I found two brooches in a box, which Ann Finnigan said was her’s with a number of new articles—a handkerchief, gown-piece, brass candlesticks, and men’s wearing apparel, corduroy and cloth, and a number of ladies’ handkerchiefs-and she had also bought a cow there—I found a number of new articles in Connelly’s possession, and fourteen half-crowns in a box in her father’s house at Lavello, but nothing that I had lost—I left them in Ireland, and came back to London—I made and application to the Secretary of State for the Home brooches I found were mine—I went with the officer and found the writing-desk about 150 or 200 yards from the Green Man at Finchley-common—it was in the second field from the Green Man—I also found some papers in a ditch.

Connelly. Can he swear the handkerchief he found at my father’s were mine?—there was a gentleman’s servant came to my father’s, and left some things. Witness. They were in her father’s house—there were four or five new boxes, which had her things rolled up—there is no doubt they were the produce of my property—her mother said it was her daughter’s box—she was present, and did not deny it.

Connelly. A gentleman lodged in my father’s house, he who was turned out, and my father found these things in his box—it was not my box—he did not ask my mother whether it belonged to me—it was not in my room. Witness. There was but one room in the house—there were four or five boxes—all of them had got new things in—the other prisoner was in another house at the time—the mother said the box was her daughter’s—I believe there were two daughter’s in the house—it was a complete hut—the mother said it was Catherine’s box.

Finnigan. Mrs. Finnigan made my child a present of the two brooches some years ago—I never went into his bar, or took half a pint of beer there—I was not well, and never got up till eight o’clock that morning. Witness. I am certain she was at my house that morning before half-past six o’clock—it might be a quarter past.

WINIFRED FINNIGAN . I am fourteen years old next Christmas, I lived with the prisoner, who is my mother, on Saffron-hill—Connelly is my cousin—I am in custody to give evidence. I recollect Connelly living at Mr. Brown’s, at the White hart, in Drury-lane—I went down with my books there—(I sold books in the street)—she asked me how I did—(looking at the desk,), I know that—I saw it at Mr. Brown’s one evening—Mr. Brown was in the bar—Connelly was in the passage with it—she asked me whether I would have it—I said I would not—my mother was at home at that time—while Mr. Brown went down in the cellar to draw some beer, Connelly brought it down stairs; and when Mr. Brown came up, she ran up stairs with it somewhere—I waited at the bar for her—she came down again with a tin can to fetch some water in—she winked her eye at me, and asked me to come out—I went out, and she said, “Why did not you take it”—I said I would not—she said it was a little, work-box she had bought, and she was to have 5s. for 6s. to give me, which the gentleman used to give her in the parlour for fetching gin and run up—I said I would not take it—she told me to tell my mother she wanted to speak to her because she was very ill; and I told my mother so between seven and eight o’clock—my mother went to her about seven or eight o’clock next morning—I saw her going—she told me she was going to Connelly because she was very ill—I do not know what day it was—my mother came back to Saffron-hill, about eleven or twelve o’clock in the day, and brought this box with in a blue bag—I did not see her take it out—I went with her near to Barnet, to the fields, up a little road near a public-house—she opened the box, and I saw about half a hundred sovereigns and five or six shillings, and a lot of papers torn up in it—she almost fainted when she saw what was in it, and cursed and swore to see what my cousin had given her, to hang her—I told her to have nothing to do with it—she said she was very sorry—and I told her my cousin had told me to take it, and said there were drunken people and lodgers in the house, and Mr. Brown would not take any notice, and that there was a women there washing, and Mr. Brown would think it was her who took it—my mother said she was very sorry to take it herself, and if she had known what was in it at first, she would not have taken it—she took the money, and said she would give half to my cousin—she went up the little road, and left the box under a great big tree—she then went into the public-house, and had a pint of porter and some bread and cheese; and then she went into the next field, and left the box in it, it was two or three fields from the public-house—we then returned again to Saffron-hill—I saw Connelly, I think, the following morning, at her lodging-house, in Caroline Court, about ten or eleven o’clock—we stopped there till next morning, and then went to Jane Finnigan’s house, and next morning, my mother, my cousin, and me, went off by the coach to Liverpool—my mother had about 13l. of her own, and she paid for us—I had seen her have money before she got the box—we want from Liverpool to Ireland in a steam boat, and landed about five or six miles from Dublin—we went to Lavella Row, where we came from; and when Mr. Brown came over, we were all put into gaol—my mother had talked of going to Ireland before she had the box—Connelly was not in England at that time, but mother sent for her to go over with her—she was here about a month or two—my mother got her Mr. Brown’s place, and took her back to Dublin when she got the box.

Connelly. Q. Did you see that box in my hand the night you came there? A. Yes—you took it up stairs—I think you brought it down stairs.

Connelly. The box was never up stairs in the day time—Mr. Brown used to take it up at night, and bring it down in the morning.

MR. BROWNS. I always brought the box down in the morning, and took it up the last thing at night—it was down stairs on the evening she speaks of.

Connelly to WINIFRED FINNIGAN. Q. Did you see me bring it down stairs? A. Yes—you had it under your arm—I did not see you come down the stairs with it—you were in the passage at the box into the street? A. No—she offered it to me at the bar door—she followed me to the street door to speak to me.

Connelly. Q. On the morning the money was gone, did I go to the hospital or come home? A. You came home—she was at the hospital, but I do not know how long.

COURT. Q. How long after going to Finnigan’s house did you go to Liverpool? A. Three or four days after—I was not a week in the lodging in Caroline-court.

Connelly to MR. BROWN. Q. Did you send me home in a cab to my lodging, the week before the money was gone? A. yes, because you appeared to be so ill, but I had a doubt it—she seemed to feel very ill in the parlour—I sent a woman home with her in the cab—she came to me again on the Monday, and we took her back—and on Wednesday, the 31st, I lost my writing desk.

Connelly. At six o’clock in the evening there was on officer in the house, and I offered to go down to my own house to search my boxes. Witness. She said so about eleven o’clock in the morning—she had been out in the street before that—she had not an opportunity of going as far as her lodging—she had gone to the cooperage yard—she had not time to go to Saffron-hill—she lodged four or five doors from her aunt—the officer and I went to her lodging but she got there first—we went to ask a question at the cooperage yard, and when we got to No.7, Saffron-hill, we found her sitting down there—I got a letter for the hospital, and she went—she had no means, that I can make out, of conveying the box from the premises before eleven o’clock that day—she had got left my premises before it was missed—she had gone to the cooperage yard for wood to light the fire, but she had not got it then—it was just as she brewers had gone putting down the beer—Finnigan had been there then—she had no opportunity of parting with the box before the brewers left the premises—she went to the cooperage yard about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes after they left—Finnigan came about a quarter after six o’clock—the brewers had gone then—she had the opportunity of bringing it down stairs shout a quarter-past six o’clock, while Finnigan was there.

JANE FINNIGAN . I am the wife of James Finnigan, a labourer, and live in Crown-court, Golden-lane. On the 15th of September, the prisoner Finnigan and her daughter came to my house between twelve and one o’clock in the day—the prisoner asked if I could let her have a bed at my house that night, but if she had a coach to go off that evening by seven o’clock to Liverpool, she should not stop—she asked me if I would go with her to the next coach-office to see if there was a coach going off that night or not—I went with her to the Three Cups in Aldersgate-street—before we went into the office, she stepped back, called me, gave me five sovereigns, and told me to pay for the fare, and take three places for her, her daughter, and her niece Connelly—we went into the office, and asked if there was a coach going off about seven o’clock—the clerk said “No, there was gone till between ten and eleven o’clock next morning”—we paid the five sovereigns for outside places, and returned home—she said I could agree for the places better than her—she slept at my house that night, and left before ten o’clock next morning—Connelly came between seven and eight o’clock that night—they all three slept there.

Finnigan. Q. Did not you give me one of the brooches? A. The night they slept at my house there was a little brooch, which was bought by a little girl at Bartholomew Fair for my baby, and I gave it to little Finnigan—it was a little common brooch—I am quite sure the one produced is not the one—it is nothing at all like it it was as common a thing as could be bought—I thought it might please the little girls—it was a large brass pin with a bit of sealing wax dropped on it.

HENRY FALL . I am an officer of Bow-street. On Thursday, the 4th of November, I arrived at Castlebar, and found the prisoners and Finnigan’s daughter in custody at the gaol there—I received the brooch, which has been produced, without the stone in it, from Short, of the Dunmore police, and the other three brooches I received from the constable of the same place—I took the prisoners into custody, and showed the brooches to the prisoner Finnigan—I asked her if those were the brooches which were found in her box—she said they were, but they ere her own property, and the one which had no stone in it had been made a present to her daughter about two years ago, and the others she had found wrapped up in a small handkerchief, and had had them all there in her possession upwards of two years—I went to Finchley with Finnigan’s daughter—she showed me a field, and pointed out a spot under a hedge—I there picked up some pieces of paper—I got the outside of the writing-desk from Batchelor, and the loose pieces belonging to the inside from Carter.

WILLIAM BATCHELOR . I am a labourer, and live near the Red Lion at Finchley. I found this writing-desk in a field near the Green Man, about thirty yards from the stile, near a bunch of briars—there was nothing but papers in it—it did not appear to be broken open, but the partitions inside were broken—I kept it two or three months, and afterwards gave it to Fall.

WINIFRED FINNIGAN . re-examined. The place Batchelor describes is where I saw the box put.

FREDERICK CARTER . I am a labourer, and live at Finchley. I was going along a road close to Turpin’s oak-tree, near the green Man, about half a mile from the spot described by Batchelor—I there found these pieces of the desk, which I gave to Fall.

JOHN BROWN re-examined. This is my desk, and these papers are part of what were in it when lost—this is my brooch—the one without the stone I have had twenty years—I bought it in the Strand—this one was made a present to my wife—I had it set about eighteen months ago—I will not swear to the that was in Finnigan’s box positively, but the other two I swear to positively—I lost also a desk, containing sixtyeight sovereigns and half-sovereigns, a £10 Bank of England note, and 30s. 6d. in silver.

Connelly’s Defence (Written). There was a row the night before he lost his money—I did not get up till seven o’clock the next morning, having been under the doctor’s hands for a week—I could only sit up to make breakfast—at eleven o’clock master came into my room, and said he had lost his money—they went to my lodgings, but found nothing.

Finnigan’s Defence. Brown brought my child out, and brought her up and down the road, and whispered, and put his hand round her neck—he told her she should never want any thing, and to swear, I left the box in such a place, and it would be all right—this was in Ireland—he and the policeman’s wife told her to say so, and to swear against Connelly—the child was separated from me ever since, and whatever they told her to say the said—the officer would not let any body know he was going to bring us from Ireland—I had money before I knew any thing of Mr. Brown—I sent for Connelly, and she got a good place—I was glad to take her home to her father and mother, and was glad to get home myself. CONNELLY— GUILTY .—Aged 22.


Transported for Life.

Tony Beale on 4th February, 2021 wrote:

New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 Annotated Printed Indentures 1837
From Co Mayo Ireland Widow catholic with 1 female child could read. 4’ 10 1/2” brown freckled and pock pitted complexion. dark brown hair and grey eyes

New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Convicts’ Applications to Marry, 1826-1851
Granted 24/2/1842 Ann Finnigan 48 Bond (life) per ship Sarah and Elizabeth to marry James Harnett 53 ToL (14yrs) per ship Governor ready. Rev John Cross Port Macquarie

New South Wales, Australia, Tickets of Leave, 1810-1869 for Ann Finnigan 45/1379 dated 8/8/1845 Allowed to stay in port Macquarie district. 9/4/1847 altered to Sydney for so long as she remains with her husband James Harnett and in the service of Josh Le Burn Police magistratye letter 46/11548.
Obtained absolute pardon 10/7/1850

Tony Beale on 4th February, 2021 wrote:

New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 Annotated Printed Indentures 1837
From Co Mayo Ireland Widow catholic with 1 female child could read. 4’ 10 1/2” brown freckled and pock pitted complexion. dark brown hair and grey eyes

New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Convicts’ Applications to Marry, 1826-1851
Granted 24/2/1842 Ann Finnigan 48 Bond (life) per ship Sarah and Elizabeth to marry James Harnett 53 ToL (14yrs) per ship Governor ready. Rev John Cross Port Macquarie

New South Wales, Australia, Tickets of Leave, 1810-1869 for Ann Finnigan 45/1379 dated 8/8/1845 Allowed to stay in port Macquarie district. 9/4/1847 altered to Sydney for so long as she remains with her husband James Harnett and in the service of Josh Le Burn Police magistratye letter 46/11548.
Obtained absolute pardon 10/7/1850

Convict Changes History

Tony Beale on 25th January, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1790 (prev. 0000), gender: f, crime

Tony Beale on 4th February, 2021 made the following changes:


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