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Eleanor Mccabe

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Eleanor Mccabe
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1763
Occupation: Hawker
Date of Death: 18th January, 1793
Age: 30 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: Assault and theft
Convicted at: Old Bailey
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 293 other convicts


Primary source: Old Bailey on line. Convict Ships to NSW
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Phil Hands on 10th April, 2017 wrote:

Eleanor, a Hawker, was tried and convicted at the Old Bailey on 11th May 1785 for assault and robbery with a value of 3 shillings, sentenced to transportation for 7 years.
Left England on 13th May 1787.
Ship:- the ‘Lady Penrhyn’ sailed with 101 female convicts on board of which 3 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 26th January 1788.

Married convict Charles Williams on 31st August 1788 and had 2 children.

In the year of her arrival McCabe married fellow-convict Charles Williams (aka Charles Magee) on 21st August 1788. He had arrived on the ‘Scarborough’ convicted at the Old Bailey in 1787 for theft of a bag from a wagon outside the ‘Three Cups’, Broad Street, Fleet Market. He had some knowledge of farming and indeed had earlier been a convict in America. In March 1791 Magee was granted 30 acres of land on the south side of the Parramatta River. Initially he worked hard on his grant and within six months had eight acres cleared and under crop. Watkin Tench wrote highly of his endeavours. This high opinion was not, however, maintained — especially after a burglary case in 1792 when Collins records that he left the court “much degraded in the opinion of every man who heard him.”
James, their first child, only lived for two months. A year later their second child, Mary, was born. Shortly after her birth the couple moved to Rose Hill to settle on Williams’s land grant.
Their life style did not improve and the events of 18th January 1793 and their sequel are best related by Judge-Advocate David Collins: “On Friday the 18th, Eleanor McCabe, the wife of Charles Williams, the settler, was drowned, together with an infant child, and a woman of the name of Green. These unfortunate people had been drinking and revelling with Williams the husband and others at Sydney, and were proceeding to Parramatta in a small boat, in which was a bag of rice belonging to Green. The boat heeling considerably, and some water getting at the bag, by a movement of Green’s to save her rice the boat overset near Breakfast Point, and the two women and the child were drowned. If assistance could have been obtained upon the spot, the child might have been saved; for it was forced from the wretched mother’s grasp just before she finally sunk, and brought on shore by the father; but for want of medical aid it expired.
The parents of this child were noted in the Colony for the general immorality of their conduct; they had been rioting and fighting with each other the moment before they got into the boat; and it was said, that the woman had imprecated every evil to befall her, and the infant she carried about her (for she was six months gone with child) if she accompanied her husband to Parramatta. The bodies of these two unfortunate women were found a few days afterwards, when the wretched and rascally Williams buried his wife and child within a very few feet of his own door. The profligacy of this man indeed manifested itself in a strange manner: a short time after he had thus buried his wife, he was seen sitting at his door, with a bottle of rum in his hand, and actually drinking one glass and pouring another on her grave until it was emptied, prefacing every libation by declaring how well she had loved it during her life. He appeared to be in a state not far from insanity, as this anecdote certainly testifies; but the melancholy event had not had any other effect upon his mind.”
The woman Green, who drowned with McCabe in 1793 has not yet been identified. She was not the Ann Green who travelled to the Colony aboard ‘Lady Penrhyn’ with McCabe, for that Ann Green lies buried at St Matthew’s, Windsor, but beyond this nothing in known. In October of that year Williams proceeded to sell his farm for less than 100 pounds. Although he expressed the intention of returning to England he in fact remained on the farm which he had just sold, as a labourer. In 1794 he moved to live at Mulgrave Place, and died 10 years later on 13 March 1815, having done manual jobs in the meantime

Old Bailey Trial Transcription.
Reference Number: t17850511-32

552. ELEANOR M’CABE and ANN GEORGE were indicted for feloniously assaulting John Harris , in the dwelling-house of William Calloway , on the 1st of May , and putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will six copper half-pence, value 3 d. and three shillings, in monies numbered, his property .
I went to the opening of a new public-house, and we staid rather longer there than I usually do, we staid till a little after two the next morning; we drank a good deal of porter, coming along, this prisoner M’Cabe picked me up, I had no design to go along with her, but through her persuasions, went home with her, she carried me to a house in Cross-lane, St. Gile’s , I found her wanting to pick my pocket, and I was coming away from the place accordingly; she found she could not do it alone, and she directly called two to her assistance, and she gave me a push, and I fell down upon the bed; one of those that came in to her assistance is the prisoner Ann George .
Can you swear that? - I would not wish to swear that; I cannot swear to those two that she called; when they came into the door, she pushed me down on the bed; I called out directly to the watch; I was in great fear, and she clapped both her hands upon my mouth, I strove to get her hand from my pockets, and the other hand that she had at my mouth, I could not get her hand away, she bit my cheek; one of the others took my money, while M’Cabe held me down; as soon as she let go my mouth, I directly cried out watch! murder! accordingly the watchman came, and I gave him charge of the prisoner M’Cabe, and I never left hold of her; my calling watch so violently, somebody else called watch, which I think to be the prisoner George; M’Cabe was taken into custody; I know nothing of my own knowledge against Ann George ; I was much in liquor, but I lost three shillings and some half-pence.
When had you felt in your pocket before? - When I went in with M’Cabe, I put my hand in my pocket, and took my money out, and looked at it, and saw three shillings and some half-pence: she was not searched till Monday.
Court. Whose house was this in? - I do not know indeed.
JOHN DALY sworn.
I am a watchman, I heard the cry of watch.
What house was it in; - I cannot tell, I was only supernumerary that night, I do not know the owner of the house; I found two girls in the room when I went in, and three men; the prisoner M’Cabe was there, and the prisoner Ann George met me just at the end of the passage, at the foot of the stairs, and cried out watch; she said they were used ill by a man that was in the room, and begged of me to come to their assistance.
Court. Are you sure she said so? - Yes.
Repeat her words as near as you can? - Watch! watch! says she, we are ill used by a man in the room, come to our assistance.
When you came into the room, what did the man charge them with? - He charged them with robbing him, and using him in that situation that he was in.
What situation did you find him in? - He was in a very shocking situation; he was almost torn to pieces, and there was blood all round his lips.
Was there any mark of being bit? - No, there did not appear any sign of biting, the blood came from round his mouth, whether it came out of his mouth, or whether he was scratched in the mouth I cannot say; I did not see any wound in his face; they said to me that he wanted to use them ill, and wanted to have to say to them. I took the prisoner to the watch-house, the other woman made her escape.
Did he tell you what money he had lost? - Yes, he said it was four shillings.
Are you sure of that? - Yes.
Did he tell you of anything else he had lost? - No.
Do not you know whose house this was? - No.
Court to Prosecutor. How came you to say that night that you had lost four shillings? - I was not sensible of what I had lost, but I recollected that I had three shillings and some half-pence, which I could swear to; there might be more, by what I had spent in the course of the evening, I think there must be that in my pocket.
Who gave the instructions for the indictment? - The witness which I have here, going from the place with me, said the prisoners told him whose house it was, but I did not hear them.
Court to watchman. Did you hear the prisoner say whose house it was? - I did, but I did not take notice; the prisoner told, at the Justice’s whose house it was.
Is there anybody here that was present at the time? - No.
What Justice was it? - Justice Walker.
On Saturday night was a week I was standing at my own door, and this man came up to me, he was very solid and sober, seemingly to me, it was about two o’clock, he asked me to drink, I said I did not want anything to drink; and at the watch-house the man said I robbed him of four shillings and six-pence, on Monday he said I knocked him down upon the bed; this young woman was stopped coming to bring me my bed-gown at the watch-house.
I have nothing to say.
Court to watchman. Did you observe whether this woman had her clothes torn? - M’Cabe had; I asked the man how she came to have her clothes torn, and he said it was because she wanted to run away after they had got his money.
Court to Jury. It is perhaps not necessary now to state the particular place where the robbery was committed, but wherever the party drawing the indictment, does charge the place, the proof must correspond with it; and here there is no evidence whose dwelling-house this robbery was committed in.
Transported for seven years .
ANN GEORGE GUILTY of stealing.
Transported for seven years .
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

vai on 22nd May, 2018 wrote:

She was a prostitute for 7 years

Convict Changes History

Phil Hands on 10th April, 2017 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Old Bailey on line. Convict Ships to NSW (prev. ), firstname: Eleanor, surname: Mccabe, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1763, date of death: 18th January, 1793, gender: f, occupation, cri

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