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Sarah Mills, one of 161 convicts transported on the Elizabeth, 20 June 1836
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 60 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Southampton Quarter Session
20th June, 1836
12th October, 1836
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales
Travelled with 160 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/10, Page Number 301 (153)
||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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Rita Kidd on 9th November, 2015 wrote:
Twin to Abraham ????
Sarah Mills 1836 46/0655 6 July 1846 4/4405 1022
Wife of Francis Foster Per “Neva” 1833 FBS freed by survice ( which means he served his sentence )
Sarah MILLS arrived on the Ship Elizabeth 5th Voyage
Ref no 46/0655
Ticket of Freedom 6 Jul 1846
Ref no 4/4405-1022
Date of Arrival 12 Oct 1836 Pages 237 Fische 720 File 908 Shelf x638-9
5211836 134 Sarah Mills age 19 could Read Protestan Single
Native Place Wiltshire Hawker Tin Offence Receiving Stolen Goods
trail where Southhampton Quarter Sessons
When 5 Jan 1836
FFR 25 Nov 43 3 mos
Index No 134 Sentence 7 yrs Former Convictions NO
5 ft 1 inch Dark Ruddy and Freckled
Hair Sandy brown
Scar inside middle finger of R Hand
Small scar on fack of third finger of L hand
Ticket of Freedom 46/655
Sarah was working for
Gabriel Bennett 18 Sydney
5th Voyage of the Elizabeth no remarks Page 45 in Orignial Records
1837 Muster General Return of Convicts NSW 1837
150 . Francis Henry Foster Parish of St Phillip Sydney (Parramatta )
to Sarah Mills
married in Church by Banns with consent of Governor
2 Dec 1840 by me John Troughton Chaplin
This marriage was Francis Henry Foster
solemnizes between us Francis Foster the X of Sarah Mills
In the Presence of John F Staff of
The X of Thomas of Smith
Ref no V180357 24B/1840
Francis Foster was a Convict he came to Australia on the “Neva “
Birth of 1 Child Elizabeth Francis Foster - V 1842 Item 199 Vol 26A
Elizabeth Francis Foster
1 st Sep 1842
Abode Clarence St
Quality or Profession Printer
by whom the Ceremony was Preformed J C Gyles
Charged and convicted of stealing clothing in company with Abraham,
Sarah was transported as a convict on the “Elizabeth” (5) to Australia in 1836. Her
convict Indent refers to the trial as being at Southampton (see previous notes on
trial) and states a ‘native place’ as Wiltshire (see page 8)
Described as being a Protestant, aged 19, who could read, was 5ft 1in in
height,, dark ruddy and freckled, sandy brown hair, small scars on both hands.
The “Elizabeth” was built at Dartmouth in 1805 and was a Barque of 392
tons. On this, her fifth Convict Transportation the Master was John AUSTIN and
the Surgeon a Robert ESPIE. They left from London on the 21st of June 1836 and
after 108 days arrived in Sydney on the 12th of October 1836.
This voyage is noted in Bateson’s, ‘The Convict Ships’ regarding transportation,
because of the reported violence and brutality of Surgeon ESPIE towards
the 161 convict women carried. His later claim was that the women did not respond
to the normal punishment of ‘solitary confinement’ and thus numerous
punishments of ‘beating’ and other physical indignities were handed out on his
orders. During the inquiry into the complaints, Surgeon Espie acknowledged that
he had himself beaten many women with a length of heavy rope “but” only on
their arms, legs and backs ... he was not reprimanded.
All 161 convict women arrived safely. There was no loss of life on the voyage
and the good standard of hygiene was commented upon.
Following her arrival in Sydney the 1837 Convict Muster notes that Sarah
was assigned as a servant to a Gabriel BENNETT although it would appear that
this arrangement was changed prior to the 28th of October 1838 when her situation
was mentioned in a number of letters raised in the Sydney Police Office by
Inspector Peter PROSSER. .....
Inspector PROSSER was to become quite a heroic figure later during the
hunt for bushrangers in NSW and when writing these letters, filled the position of
both Inspector of Police and Superintendent of Convicts.
The collection of letters retrieved from the NSW Archives refer to ‘Sarah
MILLS per ship “Elizabeth” 7 yrs, assigned to Mr DUFF, Elizabeth Street’ and start
with a report from Inspector PROSSER following his response to a call from a
neighbour of Mr DUFF requesting police attendance; the Inspector states:
I went there and found DUFF half undressed and in a beastly state of drunkenness.
I found the house in the greatest disorder. DUFF was abusing the prisoner in the
grossest manner. His conduct was violent approaching to madness and I confined the
prisoner for protection.
The police magistrate determined that DUFF was an unsuitable person
now and never again to have a convict assigned to him and noted against that
judgement ... 1st class factory for assignment, which may well have referred to
Sarah, retaining her in protective custody.
Sarah’s colonial file then contains a letter dated 2nd April 1840 from the
Colonial Architect’s Office attempting to arrange for the passage of a Sarah
MILLS and infant to New Zealand. The request was made because (this) Sarah
had been on the point of sailing to New Zealand on the “Westminster” with her
husband, a mechanic in the service of the Government ... she had been arrested
on a felony, charged and subsequently acquitted; but lost her passage.
The Colonial Architect, Mortimer Wm. LEWIS recommended that Sarah
and infant be allowed passage in the “Buffalo” to rejoin her husband but this was
rejected outright by the Colonial Secretary, even though the request had been
marked as ‘urgent’. It may well be that if this person was Mrs Sarah MILLS then
she was not “our” Sarah as the letter was not specifically marked as referring to
the person who arrived per “Elizabeth”.
On December 2nd of this year of 1840 the records of Church of the Parish
of St Phillip in Sydney show that Francis Henry FOSTER a convict freed by service
who had come to Australia on the ‘Neva’ in 1833 married Sarah MILLS in
church by Banns with the consent of the Governor. The service was conducted by
the Chaplin, John TROUGHTON and as we know from her Indent that Sarah
could not in 1836 write, she endorsed the certificate with “her mark”.
Francis FOSTER was a printer by trade who was a resident in Clarence
Street, Sydney and it was probably there that their daughter Elizabeth Francis
FOSTER was born in 1842. The baby was returned to the church where her parents
married to be baptised on September 1st, 1842 by the Rev. J.C. Gyles.
Sarah MILLS per “Elizabeth” to Australia in 1836 received her Certificate of
Freedom No. 46/0655 on the 6th of July 1846, just two months after the birth of
Maria MILLS to Abraham and Margaret, then living at Brush Farm only a short
distance up the Parramatta River from Sarah’s home in the busy city.
Sadly I know nothing of Sarah’s life after that date but I often wonder
whether Abraham’s decision to return to Brush Farm, nearby to the dispersal
point of so many convicts; was an indication of a search for both Sarah and William
??? If so he was very close to finding Sarah in 1846 !This is from
Peter Q U I R K F A M I L Y H I S T O R Y
Convict Changes History
Rita Kidd on 9th November, 2015 made the following changes: