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Mary Harrison

Mary Harrison, one of 106 convicts transported on the Active, Albermarle, Atlantic, Barrington, Britannia, Mary Ann, Matilda, Salamander and William and Mary, January 1791

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Harrison
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1774
Occupation: Servant
Date of Death: 24th February, 1810
Age: 36 years

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: Stealing
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Active, Albermarle, Atlantic, Barrington, Britannia, Mary Ann, Matilda, Salamander and William and Ann
Departure date: January, 1791
Arrival date: 9th July, 1791
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 1019 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 121 (62)
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 29th November, 2016 wrote:

Mary HARRISON was born in England in 1774. In 1790 she was performing live-in servant duties for the family of Thomas and Catherine WEST at 26 Lower Sloan Street, Chelsea, being employed there for about five months.

Whilst working at the house certain items of haberdashery (silk, thread, cotton, tape, teaspoons, pepperbox, gauze) went missing. Mrs WEST accused Mary, but nothing was found in her room. Mary then left, and went to live with her sister. Mrs WEST was still very suspicious of Mary, and arranged for a search warrant to be obtained for the sister’s house. Constable Thomas HAYLEY executed the search warrant, and the property was located in a box. When the property was found, young Mary did not say anything but fell down crying.

Denis Pember on 29th November, 2016 wrote:

Old Bailey Transcript: http://www.oldbaileyonline.org t17901027- 40. 27th October 1790.
MARY HARRISON was indicted for stealing, on the 30th of June last, three yards of Persian silk, value 12 s. one muslin handkerchief, value 6 d. three ounces of thread, value 12 d. three ounces of cotton, value 18 d. twelve yards of tape, value 6 d. three tea-spoons, value 3 s. a glass pepper-box, value 6 d. a gauze cap border, value 8 d. and two yards of tape, value 2 d. the property of Thomas West .
I am wife to Thomas West , of Chelsea. The latter end of June last, I lost the things in the indictment, from No. 26, Lower Sloane-street ; I missed the Persian about a week before; the prisoner lived with me as a servant , five months and a fortnight; I discovered I had been robbed, and suspected another person who was in the house; and I took her up by what the prisoner told me, and found nothing; the prisoner left me,
See original Click to see original
and went to her sister’s; and I got a search warrant, and in her box I found all the things in the indictment; her box was at her sister’s house; the prisoner said nothing about the box or things.
I am a constable. I found these things in the box; the prisoner was below stairs; she saw the things; we found nothing upon her, nor in her box; but we found the things in her sister’s box, in the prisoner’s apartment; her sister had been at my house.
Court to Hayley. When these things were found, did the prisoner say any thing? - No; she fell a crying directly.
I was at the prosecutor’s house all the time, and I was present at the search; I saw every thing taken out of the box, except the handkerchief, which was found round the sister’s neck; the girl was brought up, and cried very much; the sister took a key out of her pocket, and unlocked the box; she afterwards declared it was the prisoner’s box, and she had lent it to her; the prisoner was by at the time of the declaration: she said nothing before Justice Gordon; the girl declared she had taken the things from her mistress.
Was that reduced into writing? - I cannot tell.
(The Persian and the pin deposed to.)
The prisoner called one witness who gave her a very good character.
Recommended by the jury and prosecutrix.
Transported for seven years .
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron HOTHAM.  Mary aged 16 years.

Mary HARRISON was transported from England on 16 Feb 1791, aboard the ‘Mary Ann’, mastered by Mark MUNROE. This was a 298 ton vessel which was built in France in 1772. It arrived in Sydney on 9 Jul 1791, a voyage of 143 days which was a record at that time for a trip from England to Australia. This included a 10 day stopover at St. Jago for supplies. Of a total 150 female convicts to leave England, Mary HARRISON, was one of 141 that survived the voyage.

Denis Pember on 29th November, 2016 wrote:

In the colony, Mary had a long term relationship with Edward Robinson (Third Fleet Convict, 1791, “Admiral Barrington”). There seems no record of any marriage.
Mary and Edward had 7 children over the period 1794 - 1809.
In the 1806 Female Muster. [Ref C1069 page 174] she is recorded as Mary Robinson, Mary Ann, Concubine with 2 male a 5 female natural children. And again [Ref A3840 page 92] Mary Robinson, Mary Ann FBS wife to E Robinson.
Interesting that she is not recorded by her trial name but by her ‘married’ name?

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 29th November, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1774 (prev. 0000), date of death: 24th February, 1810 (prev. 0000), gender: f, occupation, crime

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