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Jane Langley

Jane Langley, one of 262 convicts transported on the Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander, January 1787

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Jane Langley
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1761
Occupation: Tailor
Date of Death: 1836
Age: 75 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 60 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: Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 292 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 9 (6) Craig James Smee 'Births and Baptisms Marriages and Defacto Relationships Deaths and Burials New South Wales 1788-1830'
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 5th March, 2016 wrote:

Old Bailey Online PART transcript t17850914-96:
JANE LANGLEY, MARY FINN, Theft - grand larceny, 14th September 1785.
JANE LANGLEY and MARY FINN were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 29th of July last, five guineas, value 5 l. 5 s. and 9 s. and 6 d. in monies numbered , the property of Robert Robinson .
On the 29th of July, about ten, I was robbed in Blackhorse-yard ; I I was going home, and I met the prisoner Langley in Nightingale-lane, and she asked me to go home with her, accordingly I returned, and she took me to Mary Finn ‘s in Blackhorse-yard, and I set down in the house five minutes; I felt something in my pockets, and I jumped up, and felt in my pocket, and missed my money; I was not any way disguised in liquor; I had the money after I went in not five minutes before; I had it in my hand; they ran out of the door, and a man who stood in the door-way before I was robbed, tripped up my heels, and set his feet on my breast as I was going out; I never recovered any part of my money; they offered me four guineas of the money afterwards, but the justice told me I must not take it; it was the day they were sent to prison; they were taken three days after the robbery, and they sent a man with the money; I had seen both the prisoners before.
By what light did you see them? - By the light of the lamp; I am quite sure they are the two women; I looked at the place where I sat, there was no money there, I looked on the bed, and there was none there.
Did any thing pass between you and either of them before you were robbed? - No; the prisoner Mary Finn struck me before the Justice, and gave me a black eye, and before the Justice Mary Finn said that she had two shillings of the money, and that the other had all the rest.
What did the other say? - The other said nothing.
Did either of them deny being in the room with you? - No.
I served two years to my business; I had been to carry some work home, coming along the man met me; he took hold of of me; I said I was going home; he said he had been robbed in this place; I do not know by whom; he had been knocking at several peoples doors; he followed me home, and I stopped, and got me a halfpenny candle, and I went and unlocked my door; this man followed me in, he sat down on a box that stood by my bed-side, I told him, says I, I will be very much obliged to you to go out of my house, I wanted to go to bed, he asked me for a bit of candle, and I locked my door and went to bed; he never took me up till Monday, and then I asked him what for, and he said he had been robbed, and whether it was us or not, he would make us pay for it…..........
  ### There follows pages of testimony, incriminating both women and also two men.
.... JANE LANGLEY , GUILTY, Of stealing, but not privately.
MARY FINN , GUILTY, Of stealing, but not privately .
Court. In the first place let the officers take Smith and Taylor into custody, and commit them to Newgate.
Court to Prisoner. Now as to you prisoners, I think it right that these persons who have been the hearers of your defence, and of your trial, should also be the hearers of your sentence, for this Court has always made it a rule, wherever they detect persons committing the crime of perjury in order to clear prisoners, to punish those prisoners who set up such defences in the severest manner; had you been convicted of this offence unaggravated with the crime of perjury, the Court would probably have thought, that whipping each of you, with six, or at most twelve months confinement in the house of correction, would have been a sufficient punishment of your offence, but the Court consider your perjured defence, in which opinion I must entirely concur with the Jury, so great an aggravation of your guilt, that the Court must pass an additional punishment upon you; therefore the sentence of the Court is, that you and each of you be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years to such place or places as his Majesty, by the advice of his Privy Councel shall think fit to declare and appoint .
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

Denis Pember on 6th March, 2016 wrote:

Jane was transported on the First Fleet, aboard “Lady Penrhyn”. A de facto relationship with a seaman, Philip Scriven developed, whilst incacerated and resulted in the birth of a daughter Henrietta Langley/Scriven, born at sea, October 1787.
In the colony, Jane married Thomas Chipp (NSW Corps, Friendship, 1788) at Norfolk Island about 1791.
The couple had 7 children between 1792 and 1805.

Denis Pember on 6th March, 2016 wrote:

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
Page 230….
[Ref L0204] Langley, Jane, 63, TL, Lady Penrhyn, 1788, Labourer for Thomas Chipp, Pitt Street, Sydney.

Phil Hands on 31st March, 2017 wrote:

Jane was apprenticed as a tambour (a popular form of embroidery for clothes in the 18th century) worker and completed her apprenticeship in 1777 but never learnt to read or write.
Jane was living at Blackhorse Yard in East Smithfield with her friend Mary Finn when they were charged with stealing five guineas and nine shillings and sixpence from Robert Robinson on 29th July 1785. Though the girls protested their innocence and even produced witnesses, which the judge chose not to believe, they were found guilty and sentenced to be transported. Mary Finn was very upset about it all and put up a fight and gave a court official a black eye.
Jane was described as being ‘a very remarkable woman indeed. She is quite black complexioned woman, and her hair grows over her forehead all rough, a tall girl with very curly hair’. From this description one would have to consider that Jane was one of the many mulattos living in England. Jane was also described as having saved a few things around her and being tidy. Jane was also referred to by the nickname Jenny. These quotes from the trial give us a good picture of Jane.
Jane was held at the Old Bailey until the 1st January 1787 and sent on the 6th January to the Lady Penrhyn for transportation. Jane was twenty two years old when she was transported. There is a record of Jane having a young son Philip with her. As there are no further references, so we must assume Philip Langley did not survive the trip.
On the afternoon of the 22nd October, 1787 Jane gave birth to a daughter Henrietta on board ship off the Cape of Good Hope. The Reverend Richard Johnson baptised Henrietta Sherring on the 4th November 1787 the daughter of Jane Langley and Philip Skirving, the foremast man of the Lady Penrhyn.
On the 26th January 1888 the fleet arrived in Botany Bay and on the 6th February Jane and Henrietta were probably landed at Sydney Cove. Philip Shewing absconded into the bush in what I believe was a vain attempt to stay in the colony with his family. On 29th February he was last seen near the women’s tents. On 9th March the governor’s gamekeeper found him eight miles from the settlement naked, starving and very ill. He left the colony on board the Lady Penrhyn on the 4th May 1788. The last record we have of him is on the 3rd July in the surgeon’s log when it was recorded Philip was unlikely to survive till the ship reached Tahiti, on its return journey via China. Jonathan King in his book “First Fleet” page 84 tells us how a young convict woman wrote in a smuggled letter “As for the distress of the women, they are past description, as they are deprived of tea and other things they were indulged in on the voyage by the seamen, and as they are totally unprovided with clothes, those that have young children are quite wretched. Besides this a number of marriages have taken place, several women who became pregnant on the voyage, and are since left by their partners…”
Jane and Henrietta were sent to Norfolk Island 4th March 1790 on board the Sirius, because of the famine in Sydney Town. The Sirius was wrecked on 19th March 1790. Fortunately the passengers had been landed the day before, and the Sirius was standing off Norfolk Island in rough seas waiting to land cargo.

Thomas Chipp a marine arrived at Norfolk Island 26th October 1792 and sometime after this he and Jane were married, their son Robert died as a baby, a daughter Anne was born on Norfolk Island. When conditions on the island deteriorated they sold the farm and returned to Sydney in November 1794 on board the Daedalus. Jane had at least another five children, one boy William and four girls Mary, Sarah, Sophia and Eliza and there was another baby Thomas Chipp who died as an infant.
Thomas had various land grants and joined the militia. Times were not always easy and they are recorded as “on stores” —  the equivalent of today’s social security.
Jane lived till 19th February 1836 and was recorded as still practising as a tailor on her burial certificate; she was buried in Devonshire Street Cemetery which today lies under Central Railway Station, Sydney. Jane had six grand children from her first marriage and thirty eight from her second marriage.

Kerrie Lee Felsman on 21st August, 2017 wrote:

Note to Phill Hands:  Your should not assume Jane was a mullato.  It is more likely that she may have been from the Iberian Peninsula as none of the descendants that have done their DNA test on ancestory.com.au have any African ethnicity.  However, we do have Iberian Peninsula.

Gary Quinn on 9th February, 2018 wrote:

Hi, my father Colin Quinn is theoretically a descendant of Jane Langley via Henrietta her daughter .

23andme reckon he has a minute portion on his chromosome 4 that is sub Saharan African but I can’t see this replicated on Gedmatch when I transferred his data to there.
He does show Iberian also in a couple of DNA sites but I don’t ( I’m his son )... So it remains a mystery about Janes description about being black complexioned

iain Frazier on 10th January, 2020 wrote:

Mr Smee records Henrietta (Shewring) daughter of Phillip (Shewring a seaman) and Jane (Langley) convict from LADY PENRHYN as being born 22 10 1787 & baptised on 4 11 1817 at St Phillips Sydney (this may be a catchup registration in the colony after arrival, of course, but spelling of surnames is important).
Jane’s daughter Henrietta (Shewring) married Edward (Fletcher) from MINORCA who has an entry on this Website.

Jane (Langley) married Thomas (Chipp) a marine from FRIENDSHIP in 1791 on Norfolk Island.  He was 29years old indicating date of birth as about 1762.  They produced 7children.

Jane (Langley)s children with Thomas (Chipp) were;
Robert (Chipp) born in 1792 aon Norfolk (Island); he died in that year age22days.
Ann (Chipp) born in 1793 on Norfolk Island; she died in 1854 age60.
Mary (Chipp) a twin born 1797 & baptised in that year at St Phillips Sydney
William (Chipp) a twin born in 1797 & baptised in that year at St Phillips Sydney.; he died in 1814 age16.
Sarah (Chipp) born in 1799 & baptised in 1800 age5months at St Phillips Sydney.
Sophia (Chipp) born in 1801 & baptised in 1803 age2 at St Phillips Sydney.
Eliza (Chipp) born in 1805 & baptised in that year at St Phillips Sydney; she married, in 1824 age19, John (Bradley) who was born in the colony.

Convict Changes History

Sean Lawless on 25th September, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1761, date of death 1836, gender

Denis Pember on 5th March, 2016 made the following changes:


Nichole Wray on 8th December, 2016 made the following changes:


iain Frazier on 10th January, 2020 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 9 (6) Craig James Smee 'Births and Baptisms Marriages and Defacto Relationships Deaths and Burials New South Wales 1788-1830' (prev. Australian Joint C

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