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Mary Kirk

Mary Kirk, one of 325 convicts transported on the Royal Admiral, May 1792

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Kirk
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Grand larceny
Convicted at: York City Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Royal Admiral
Departure date: 30th May, 1792
Arrival date: 7th October, 1792
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 346 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 189 (95)
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

Phil Hands on 29th March, 2017 wrote:

Mary was tried and convicted on18th July 1791 in Yorkshire of grand larceny and sentenced to 7 years transportation, she was ordered to be transfered from Ousebridge Gaol in York to Gravesend. This was done by Frances Meggeson, Gaoler and Keeper of His Majesty’s goal upon Ouesbridge. He was paid £55 and 8 shillings in full for his expenses and trouble in conveying the prisoners
Left England on 30th May 1791.
Ship:- the ‘Royal Admiral’ sailed with 299 male and 49 female convicts on board of which 10 males and 2 females died during the voyage, there was also 1 male convict reported to have escaped.
Arrived on 7th October 1792.

Mary formed a relationship with Frederick Meredith, giving birth to a daughter, Charlotte Meredith on 26th April 1794 Sydney Cove, she was baptised 11 June 1794, St Phillips Sydney.

In October 1798 Mary Kirk brought charges against Jane Poulston (Bellona 1793) and Sarah Greggs (Neptune 1790). The charge was that they had ill-treated her in her home, tearing her cloak and destroying her China. Sarah Greggs was instructed to pay 7 Shillings for the loss of the China, whilst Jane Poulson was to pay for the repairs of the cloak.

Mary also brought a charge against the chief mate of the Barwell for refusing to pay for her services during her 3 months on board. The Magistrates wisely decided to write to Mr Buyers, the Mate, about it –  Result unknown. Mary as we know did spend much time working on the boats from Port Jackson.
Frederick and Mary did not continue their relationship as Mary married Robert Inch, Seaman, Nautilus 1798, on 21st December 1800 St Phillips Sydney, the witnesses names were not recorded. Robert worked as a boatman in the colony.
In July 1801, Mary was recorded as an expired convict, living in Sydney with Robert Inch, both being off stores. By August 1806 Robert was a self-employed boatman and Mary was recorded as free by servitude, married to Robert Inch.

Tragedy struck on 25 September 1808, when Robert’s sloop the Charlotte was wrecked resulting in the drowning of Robert Inch.

The Sydney Gazette 2nd October 1808.

Between 10 and 11 in the forenoon of Tuesday last the Charlotte, Robert Inch master and owner, unfortunately perished in a squall 5 miles to the northward, between Broken Bay and the North Head, in her passage from Hawkesbury with a cargo of grain, supposed about 500 bushels. The master, above named, and George Conway his only assistant, were both lost. The people of the sloop Hope, which was about a mile astern, conclude that the melancholy accident was produced by the jibing of the mainsail; she was seen go down, but not a vestige of anything belonging to her could be perceived upon the closest observation.

Seven months later Mary Kirk also suffered the same fate as Robert, and at the age of 13 years Charlotte found herself alone in the Colony.

The Sydney Gazette 2nd April 1809.

On Thursday a boat came in from Broken Bay, with the melancholy information of the total loss of the Argument, Pate, loaded in wheat from Hawkesbury, and the death of all the persons on board, comprising Pate himself, a woman of the name of Mary Kirk, and James Dicey, Pate’s boat assistant. Their bodies were found about the short reef, nearly four miles from the Heads of Broken Bay, and interred on the morning of Thursday last. We last week mentioned her sailing out of Pittwater in company with the Hazard and Experiment, the latter of which got safe in the 17th ultimo, without being able to give any further account of the above vessel than that they lost sight of her in a heavy squall on the Sunday previous. The conjecture therefore is that Pate, although well experienced in this navigation, had in the dark, mistaken the short reef for the entrance of Broken Bay, whither he thought it prudent to return; but unfortunately this mistake proved fatal. The vessel was dashed to pieces.

Frederick Meredith administered Mary Kirk’s estate. She had a house near the hospital at the Rocks along with its contents. A call for creditors was placed in the Sydney Gazette 8 April 1809, not long over a week after her death.

Convict Changes History

Phil Hands on 29th March, 2017 made the following changes:

gender: f, crime

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