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Mary Harrison

Mary Harrison, one of 262 convicts transported on the Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander, January 1787

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Harrison
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1753
Occupation: Silkwinder
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 7 years

Crime: Assault
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 293 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 10
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

Anonymous on 18th August, 2011 wrote:

Had a child in New South Wales and had her child baptised in Frindsbury Church, Kent, England
entry in Church book = Johanna HARRISON base born child of Mary HARRISON "born 29 October 1790, New South Wales" baptised in Frindsbury Church, Kent, England 27 August 1793 with actual information above in the parish records.

Ian Harrison on 23rd December, 2014 wrote:

Married George Wittiker (Whitaker) as Mary Harris on 23rd March 1788 at Port Jackson. He was also a convict on the Lady Penrhyn They had at least four children He joined Military in 1794 102nd Regiment NSW. She had a teenage child named Joseph with her on Lady Penrhryn. She may have had a husband in England. She was convicted on prosecution evidence only along with Charlotte Springmore. Source http://fmpro.uow.edu.au/First Fleet/details

D Wong on 7th October, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey:
Violent Theft: highway robbery.
19th October 1785
Reference Number t17851019-57
Verdict Guilty
Sentence Transportation

CHARLOTTE SPRINGMORE and MARY HARRISON were indicted, for that they, on the 30th of September last, in the King’s highway, in a certain public street called Catherine-wheel-alley, unlawfully, wilfully, maliciously, and feloniously, did make an assault upon Susannah Edhouse, with intent to burn, spoil, and destroy her clothes, and did spoil, burn, and deface, a certain garment of her the said Susannah, being one cloth cotton gown, value 10 s. her property, being part of the apparel which she had on her person, and then wore.

A second count, for making an assault on her, with intent to spoil and deface the garments and clothes of the said Susannah, and then and there spoiling and defacing the same.

(The case opened by Mr. Silvester.)


I live in Wingfield-street, opposite Catherine-wheel-alley, at the sign of the Black Swan, a gin shop, and public house, at nine o’clock on Friday the 30th of September, I was crossing the way, the two prisoners were standing together at the usual place, and Mary Harrison and Charlotte Springmore said to one another, there are so many fly whores now it is impossible for a public where to get her living; they said so because I live with two single men, and they said a great many words which are scandalous to mention, and they immediately followed me down the Alley; the prisoner Springmore had chucked something at me before on that evening, and therefore I turned my head over my shoulder, and kept looking behind me; just as I got to the corner I saw Mary Harrison throw something upon me, and out of a cup or small slop bason on the right side of my clothes, and I clapped my gown together; I shewed it to my master, and the gown was burnt very much, my master threw cold water upon it directly; the constable has the gown.
(The gown produced, burned through and through.)

Mr. Garrow, prisoner’s counsel. Are these holes in consequence of that stuff being thrown on? - Yes.

What are you? - I am only servant, I am not mistress.

A little bit of jealousy, I suppose? - I never had any words with them.

Who was it that told you that you could not do any thing to them for burning your clothes in the house? - One of the clerks at Hick’s Hall.

At that time had you made any complaint of any thing being thrown upon you in the street? - No.

This is a gin shop? - Yes.

I am afraid these women consume a great deal of their money there? - What they wanted they had.

Do you remember their coming in on the evening when this happened? - Yes, they followed me in directly.

What did they do with this cup or bason? - Springmore had it in her hand when I came in.

Was Mr. Wawill there? - Yes, he is a tallow-chandler.

Did not you say your own was buret but did not know by whom? - No, I did not, I went to the Justice, and made my complaint, and the women were discharged.

Then Mr. Wawill went to the Justice after? - Yes.

And Mr. Wawill was very angry with the Justice for discharging them? - Yes.

Court. What complaint did you make at first to the Justice? - About this burning my handkerchief on the Monday night before, and on the Friday night following, that was the complaint I made to the Justice.

You went there by the advice of Mr. Wawill? - Yes.

How came you then not to tell the Justice of what they had done in Catherine-wheel-alley, this had happened in Catherine-wheel-alley before you went to the Justice’s? - Yes.

And did you tell the Justice of this that had been done in the Alley when you went? - Yes.

Are you sure of that? - Yes.

Recollect yourself; was not the gown that you have produced burnt in the manner it is by what they did in the house? - No, there were these small holes burnt in the house, but not those large ones; I am clear in that; I had the gown on when I went to the Justice, I told him that some part was burnt in the house, and the remainder in the street at nine in the evening.

Mr. Silvester. Who was the Justice? - Justice Staples in Whitechapel.


I am a tallowchandler in Wentworth-street, Spital-fields; as I was returning home from Whitechapel through Catherine-wheel-alley, about nine, I met Susannah Edhouse with some beer in her hand, and the two prisoners at the bar behind her, I then passed them, and went to the public house where this girl lives, the Black Swan in Rose-lane, which is three doors from my house, and my house is opposite Catherine-wheel-alley, across the road, I went into the bar, and set down with the landlord, and had a pint of beer, and before I drank any of the beer I saw these two girls go out of the tap-room, and in five or six minutes the prosecutrix came in and said the two prisoners had burnt her again, upon which I said, then they burnt you when I passed you, for one of them had a small cup in her hand, the girl came into the bar where I was, and the master took up the gown, and it burnt his fingers, and turned them quite yellow, and I took it up, and it burnt my fingers; I says to the master, sure there is some law for this, or else we shall all be burnt; so I went to Mr. Quarril’s, and he says, go and take them, and keep them as felons; there is no occasion for a warrant, for I have no warrants, or else I would make out one, so an officer came back, and the prisoners were sitting in the Swan tap-room, and they were taken to the watch-house; and the next day at twelve, I went to the Excise-office to pay my duty, and when I returned I saw them at large in the streets, which rather surprised me, and I went up to Mr. Staples and enquired into it, and they were taken up again, and they were committed; when the girl came in and said she was burnt, it shot into my head directly.
Mr. Garrow. You did not see them do anything with the cup? - No.

I have your examination here, in which you positively swore that you saw them throw it? - Upon a second recollection, I said I saw a movement of the hand, which you will see in the second examination.

(Reads his examination.)

“I saw either the said Charlotte or Mary

“throw some liquid out of a cup or earthen

“vessel upon the clothes of the said Susannah “Edhouse.”

How long have you used this gin-shop? - I have used it for beer these four years; the two prisoners stood over there.

They were unfortunate prostitutes, that were great nuisances to you? - Yes.

You wished to get rid of them? - Yes, they have a right to be got rid of.

Certainly, by legal means, but not by bringing prosecutions, which they do not deserve.

Court to Prosecutrix. I think you told me that your head was turned round, and that you saw Mary Harrison throw something upon you? - Yes.

How long since have you recollected that? - The very moment it was done.

But you had forgot it the next morning at the Justice’s? - I said the same words there.


“The said Charlotte and “Mary followed her into the said alley, “and there one of them, which I cannot “say, as they were walking arm in arm, “having a teacup in her hand, threw “something upon her clothes, which she “felt.”

Mr. Garrow to Wavil. This prosecution is carried on by a company of linen-drapers? - It is.

Court. This story is visibly mended, is anybody here that was present at the Justices the first evening? - Andrews was.

- ANDREWS sworn.

I am a constable, I went with the young woman to Mr. Quarril’s, she told her situation, and shewed her gown; he said, there was no occasion for a warrant; she said that these two women she saw in the alley, and that they threw some stuff upon her out of the cup; she first complained that something had been thrown in the house, and burnt several holes, and then she said in the alley afterwards, they threw some stuff upon her.

Did she say that upon your oath? - Yes.

Are you sure of that? - Yes, I was present before Mr. Staples, whon they were discharged.

What did she tell Mr. Staples the first time she was examined before him? - Mr. Staples discharged them on account of there being no evidence.

What story did she tell him? - She told him the same as now, she told him before in the house and in the street.

Mr. Garrow. Wawill was not examined then? - No; this was about twelve o’clock on the Saturday, then they were discharged, then they were taken up again and Mr. Wawill attended.
Jury. Did she say that either of these parties threw it upon her? - She mentioned Mary Harrison , and said they were arm in arm together.


Court to Prisoners. Prisoners, you have been convicted of an offence which is of great malignity and evil consequence to the public, and this being the first instance of a trial of this kind in my remembrance here, and the court having before them persons who stand in that situation you do, for we are now at liberty (though I wished not for it to make any impression on the minds of the Jury before,) to take notice of your very abandoned character and conduct; I therefore think I shall do justice to the public to enforce this law in its severity, and therefore the sentence of the Court is, that you and each of you be transported for seven years to such place as his Majesty by the advice of his Privy Councel shall think fit to declare and appoint.

The following story of George Whitaker and Mary Harrison is from: http://hmssirius.com.au/george-whitaker-convict-alexander-1788-and-mary-harrison-convict-lady-penrhyn-1788/

George Whitaker Convict, Alexander 1788 and Mary Harrison, Convict, Lady Penrhyn 1788
George WHITAKER – WITTIKER – WHITTCAR. Crime: Assault & Steal on King’s Highway. Tried: Maidstone, Kent, 17 March 1785. Sentence: Death commuted to 7 years transportation.

Mary HARRISION – HARRIS. Born 1753, maiden name Mary PERRIN. Trade: Silkwinder. Crime: Assault with acid. Tried: Mary Harrison, Old Bailey, 19 October 1785. Sentence: 7 years transportation.[1] Mary was on rations in Sydney in 1788.

Mary was married to Joseph HARRISON, 22 October 1771 St Dunstan’s, Stepney, England, also aboard the Lady Penrhyn was her 14 year old son Joseph HARRISON – HARRIS.

George and Mary were married as George Wittiker and Mary Harris 23 March 1788 Sydney. They both arrived on Norfolk Island aboard HMS Sirius with their daughter Hannah (born 1788 Sydney), embarking on 5 March 1790, disembarking at Cascade Norfolk Island on 14 March 1790.

Mary’s child Joseph Harrison – Harris, as Joseph Harris he was placed as a servant with John Smith, a constable at Port Jackson on 21 February 1788. As Joseph Harrison he was on ration in Sydney in 1788. He arrived on Norfolk Island aboard HM Supply in February 1789 and worked there as a general labourer. He left Norfolk Island aboard the Kitty for Sydney in March 1793. He returned to Norfolk Island as a seaman aboard the Francis in June 1794.

In December 1791 George was appointed by King as one of four night watchmen stationed at the narrowest pass between the beach of the middle bay and the stream of water abreast of the gate leading to the causeway at Sydney Town.[2]

Mary Harris was on rations until February 1793. In May 1794 George Whitacre was employing by the week freeman Abraham Booze, Convict Neptune 1790, who arrived on Norfolk Island Mary Ann August 1791. In June 1794 Mary Harrison was recorded as free, married, off stores with three children (Hannah, George and Mary) supported by George Whitaker, settler.[3]

On 30 December 1796 as George Whittcar, he received a 10 acre land being Lot 56, being in his procession since 22 July 1792. This land was sold to James Jordon on 9 October 1798, and then sold again to John Barnes 10 July 1800, which today is located at the southern end of Burnt pine before Queen Elizabeth Drive.[4]

In May 1800 George enlisted into the NSW Corps on Norfolk Island with the rank of private. George Whitaker purchased on 4 September 1802, a 30 acres piece of land at Norfolk Island from George Plyer, this been a part of Plyer’s original 60 acre land grant of March 1791 of Lot 41, which today is located north of Cascade.[5]

1801 – 1806 George Whitaker: Private NSW Corps, Norfolk Island.
1805 Mary Harrison, Women from sentences expired, off stores.
George and Mary family left Norfolk Island for Sydney with their two youngest daughters, Jane and Elizabeth aboard the Lady Nelson in May 1806.
August 1806 Mary Harrison: Abode: Sydney, lives with George Whitaker, Soldier as concubine with two female natural children, yet George and Mary were married in 1788.

George was discharged from the NSW Corps in Sydney on 3 September 1806. The family returned to Norfolk Island in December 1806 and were self-sufficient and selling barley and wheat to the stores in 1807. George with a wife and three children appear on the list of settlers with their families who remove to Hobart Town on the terms proposed by Government as stated in the General Order of the 17 September 1807.[6]

However only their daughter Hannah, age 18 years did travel to Hobart aboard the Porpoise in February 1808. No further records for George, Mary and their daughters Mary and Elizabeth were found in the Colony.

Convict Changes History

Ian Harrison on 23rd December, 2014 made the following changes:

gender: f, occupation, crime

D Wong on 7th October, 2020 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1753 (prev. 0000)

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