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Frances Johnson

Frances Johnson, one of 101 convicts transported on the Lucy Davidson, 10 July 1829

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Frances Johnson
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1803
Occupation: Dairymaid
Date of Death: 22nd February, 1857
Age: 54 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: Theft of jewlery
Convicted at: Warwick Quarter Session
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Lucy Davidson
Departure date: 10th July, 1829
Arrival date: 29th November, 1829
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 100 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/7, Page Number 111 (58)
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

Murray Parsonage on 2nd June, 2012 wrote:

married convict George Spurway 1806-1885 whilst still married to David Johnson.
Frances and George are buried at St. Annes church Ryde N.S.W.

Garth McDonald on 1st August, 2016 wrote:

Frances Johnson had a Son out of wedlock to a convict named William Hendry. This child was born in 1831 and named Henry William Johnson. (1831-1885)
Frances Married George Spurway in 1835 at St Anne’s Church Ryde.
Prior to them being granted permission to marry, a letter was presented from Frances’ mother in Birmingham England that had been sent in 1834, stating that Frances’ first husband , David Johnson, had, ” ceased this life” on the 28th Feb 1834, and was buried in the old church. ( Birmingham )
George and Frances raised Henry William Johnson along with their own children, William, James, Eliza, Jane Maria and George.

Garth McDonald on 20th October, 2016 wrote:

Frances had a child to George Spurway prior to their marriage.
The child was named George Spurway b: 1834 d: 1835 aged 3.5 months. This child was buried in an unmarked grave at St John’s Parramatta , in Feb 1835.

Phil Hands on 27th June, 2017 wrote:

At the Warwick Summer Assizes, held on 15th August 1827, she was convicted of stealing promissory notes to the value of 46 pounds, the property of Henry Haden, at Aston on 13th July of that year. She confessed to the crime and was sentenced to one year’s hard labour in the House of Correction. While there she gave birth to a daughter, Julia.
Following her release from the House of Correction in Warwick, Frances returned to Aston. She was back in Warwick in 1829 when she was tried at the Easter Quarter Sessions on 27th April. The only surviving record of her second trial is the deposition of Elizabeth Faux, servant to George Bennett, gardener and shopkeeper, of Small Heath, in the parish of Aston. On Monday 13th April 1829, Frances went to Bennett’s shop to buy potatoes, which Elizabeth had to fetch from the end of the yard, leaving Frances alone in the shop.
After Frances left, a watch was missed from a corner of the fireplace. It was later recovered from a pawnbroker named Edward Austin, whose shop was in Park Street, near the centre of Birmingham. Frances had pawned the watch there. Found guilty, she was this time sentenced to transportation for 14 years.
Left England on 20th July 1829.
Ship:- the ‘Lucy Davidson’ sailed with 101 female convicts on board of which 2 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 29th November 1829.
The ships indent of the ‘Ludy Davidson’ describes Frances as a married woman with one child, of 5 feet three and a half inches tall, of ruddy complexion, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She had a small mole over her left eye. Her age was recorded as 25 and her occupation ‘dairymaid, all work and laundress’.

She left behind her husband, David Johnson, who she had married in 1825, and a two year old daughter, Julia in England

On arrival she was assigned to Mr Henry M. Fulton of Campbell’s River near Bathurst.
She had a child to convict William Hendry (‘Guildford’ 1827) out of wedlock, in 1831. It is considered that having this child enabled Frances an early ticket of leave.
In Jun 1831, one month after the birth of her son, Frances entered the service of Miss Eliza Forster, wife of Dr Thomas Forster of Brush Farm near Parramatta. Eliza was the daughter of Gregory Blaxland. Three months after Frances’arrival, Dr Forster purchased Brush Farm from his father in law for £1500. Frances was still in Mrs Forster’s service when she received her ticket of leave on 21st December 1832.
At Brush Farm, Frances met George Spurway, the convict overseer, who had been transported on the ship ‘Claudine’ in 1829. George had been assigned to Blaxland at Brush Farm on arrival.

Although Frances left Mrs Forster’s employ in May 1833, she apparently remained at Brush Farm, at least for a few months.

She and George had a son, also called George, who was born on 13th September 1834 and baptised on 5th October at St Johns Parramatta. The church register describes Frances as a ‘farming maid’‘. The baby died aged four and a half months and was buried on 3rd February 1835 at St Johns.

On 28th January 1835, shortly before the death of their infant son, Frances and George’s names appeared on the list of convicts applying for the publication of banns of marriage. Frances was then stated to be ‘‘residing at Parramatta’’ in support of their application. Frances and George supplied a letter from Frances’ mother and step-father, Mary and John Faulkner at Birmingham on 16th June 1834. It informed Frances that her daughter Julia was well and enclosed a lock of her hair. It also stated ‘‘Your husband departed this life on February 28th and was buried at the old Church..’’ The letter inferred that he and Frances had been estranged before she left England.

Frances and George were married on 26th April 1835 at St Annes Church at Ryde, they had a total of 6 children between 1834-1843.

Frances died on 22nd February 1857 at Ryde at the age of 53.

Convict Changes History

Murray Parsonage on 2nd June, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1803-00-00, date of death 1857-02-22

Barbara Johnston on 11th November, 2015 made the following changes:

gender: f, occupation, crime

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