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Mary Knowland

Mary Knowland, one of 60 convicts transported on the Persian, 10 April 1827

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Knowland
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1808
Occupation: Nursery maid
Date of Death: 28th September, 1840
Age: 32 years

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: Stealing
Convicted at: Lancaster (Liverpool Boro) Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Persian
Departure date: 10th April, 1827
Arrival date: 5th August, 1827
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 59 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 144
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

Judith Wood on 12th December, 2014 wrote:

Ewan McDonald husband committed manslaughter. She was kicked left side below tenth rib causing mortal wound. New Norfolk district.

D Wong on 13th December, 2014 wrote:

Mary Knowland was transported for ‘stealing from her masters House 3 Gold rings and a Sovereign

Mary was 5’0 ¼” tall, brown eyes, light brown hair, single.

1832/33: Assigned to Lieut. Gunn

21/11/183`: Married Ewan McDonald and had 6 children.

6/10/1840 Colonial Times, Hobart:
ALLEGED MURDER.-We regret to find, that Macdonald, the boatman, at the Falls, near New Norfolk, is in custody on a charge of murdering his wife. From all that we can learn, however, the case will, at the utmost, amount only to manslaughter, as the unhappy event occurred in a quarrel, when Mrs. Mac-donald was drunk. We always considered Macdonald a quiet, industrious man, while we knew, that the unfortunate deceased was the reverse.

27/10/1840 Supreme Court Criminal Sittings:
Ewin Macdonald, of New Norfolk, publican and boatman, charged with a fatal assault uponhis wife (amounting to manslaughter). 

Mr. Hugh Ross, on the part of Ewan Mac-donald, of New Norfolk, applied for permission to withdraw his plea of “Not Guilty,”  and to record a plea of “Guilty.” 
His Honor said, he could not consent to the application; he had sent for the Coroner, before whom,  he did not think, the enquiry had been sufficiently exhausted. He had looked over the depositions, and it was a serious doubt in his mind, whether the prisoner ought not to be indicted for a most atrocious and diabolical murder. If there were a Grand Jury in this Colony, His Honor said, that he would have directed the Clerk of Arraigns to have prepared a bill for the murder, when he would have explained his reasons for so doing. At present, however, he would abstain from saying any more upon the subject, as it might be calculated to prejudice the case.

Before His Honor Mr. Justice Montagu, and
a Military Jury.   
Pursuant to adjournment, the Court met thisday at half-past nine, when Mr. H. Ross, whoappeared for Ewan Macdonald charged with manslaugter,  again moved the Court to be permitted to retract the plea of Not Guilty, and to plead Guilty. It will be recollected that on the last Court day a similar motion was made, when His Honor stated that he could not possably accede to it, inasmuch, as from looking over the depositions, he could not tell, but that the prisoner ought not to be indicted for murder ; having, however, paid more attention to the case, and having seen both the coroner and the medical attendant, he was now of the opinion that there was not sufficient legal evidence to convict the prisoner of murder, and, the Attorney-General being of the same opinion, the plea of Guilty was recorded, and the prisoner remanded.
No outcome of the case found.

On 29/7/1861 the was a Inquest held on the body of Ewan McDonald – Ewan died from a temporary fit in insanity and was labeled a Lunatic being of unsound mind.  Ewan hung himself by the neck with a piece of rope from a tree on about the 24th July 1861.

Convict Changes History

Judith Wood on 12th December, 2014 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1808 (prev. 0000), date of death: 28th September, 1840 (prev. 0000), gender: f, crime

D Wong on 13th December, 2014 made the following changes:


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