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Bridget Murray

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Bridget Murray
Aliases: Wall, Welsh
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1797
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 1852
Age: 55 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: Dublin City
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Canada
Departure date: 21st March, 1817
Arrival date: 6th August, 1817
Place of arrival New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 23 other convicts


Primary source: Convict ships to NSW 1825 Muster Sydney Gazette
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Phil Hands on 30th April, 2017 wrote:

Bridget was tried and convicted of stealing stockings in Dublin City in October 1815 at the age of about 20 and was sentenced to 7 years transportation.
Left Cork on 21st March 1817.
Ship:- the ‘Canada’ sailed with 89 female convicts on board, there were no reported deaths during the voyage.
Arrived on 6th August 1817.
The ship’s indent described her as a servant.
She was accompanied on the journey by her 6 year old son Edward Welsh and she was also probably pregnant with her daughter, Bridget. The children were possibly by James L. A. Welsh/Walsh/Wall.

Citation details: No 605

Felix Hare, prisoner age 30, per Fanny of the parish of Parramatta and Bridget Murrey, prisoner age 28 per Canada of ditto were married in this church by banns this 29th day of June 1818 by me Samuel Marsden.

Both Felix and Bridget made their X marks in the register in the presence of Henry Armstrong who made his X mark and Mary Walsh who signed the register.

14th August 1823 (Age 26)
Parramatta, Greater Sydney, New South Wales
Bridget Hare is recorded as being ill in Parramatta Hospital. On the same day, Bridget Welsh, her daughter, aged 6 was admitted to the Female Orphan Institution on Bridget’s (mother) petition, ‘she being ill in Parramatta Hospital and her husband in Sydney gaol’.

1825 muster (1823-1825)
In the General Muster of 1825, Bridget, free by servitude, was listed as ‘lives with Purnell, Bringelly’. The same muster shows William Purnell is free by servitude and employed by J. Hassall of Bringelly. Felix O’Hara, Bridget’s husband, was described as a landholder of Parramatta, living with his three sons all colony born, John 6, Thomas 4 and Felix 2, each shown as ‘son of Felix O’Hara’.

On 4th December 1831 Bridget was committed for trial on the charge of drunken assault - belting Judith Doyle and breaking all the glass windows at her residence at Market Wharf, and pulling out her hair in a drunken rage. Bridget was convicted of this offence and spent from 20th Deember 1831 untill 20th July 1837 in Darlinghurst Gaol.

Sydney Gazette Tuesday 6th December 1831 page 3
Police Report
Wednesday, November 30th.
Before H. Donnison, Esq. J.P

Judy Doyle versus Bridget Welch. - The defendant, Bridget Welch, fat and forty, but by no means fair, appeared on a summons to answer the complaint of Judy Doyle; for pushing her down, having a log of wood at her, by which her babe, which was in her arms at the time, received a severe blow, and divers [sic] other acts of gentility, breaking at the same time the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, and the nose of her neighbour Judy. It further appeared that no provocation has been given for this assault, the defendant was held to bail, herself in the sum of £20, and two sureties of £10 each, to answer the charge at the sessions.

Phil Hands on 21st May, 2017 wrote:

udith Doyle alleged that Bridget then tore her dress and tore her hair out and this assault took place without the slightest provocation. Bridget also threw a knife at her and broke nearly all the glass in the windows of her house. It certainly sounded like Bridget went on a rampage, probably fueled by alcohol, and so of course she was put in Darlinghurst gaol where the records show she was from 20th December 1831 until 20th July 1837. So we assume that she was still in gaol and missed the wedding of her daughter Bridget Welsh to Daniel Fowler in 1835.

Bridget Welsh’s husband, Daniel Fowler was himself a convict who was tried for burglary and passing counterfeit coin in Taunton Somerset in March 1831. The original sentence was ‘to be hanged’. The charge of passing counterfeit coins seems to have been dropped and the judgment passed on the charge of breaking, entering and stealing. He was sentenced to ‘life’ in August 1831. He arrived in Australia on the ship ‘Isabella’ in 1832 aged 24 and was sent to work with Frederick Guilding of Sydney. He had a de facto relationship with Mary Gunny, an Irish orphan who was 17 when she sailed to Sydney on the ship ‘Red Rover’ arriving in August 1832. The ship was full of young Irish women from orphanages who were brought out to fill the shortage of suitable brides for the convict men. Daniel and Mary had a son Daniel Gunny, born in 1835.

In 1835 after Mary Gunny’s relationship with Daniel Fowler ended, she took up with another convict, Denis Lynch. She changed her son Daniel Gunny’s name to Denis Lynch after the ‘new’ father. Daniel Gunny/Denis Lynch died in 1895 aged 59 as a result of a fracture to base of skull after a fall from a horse.
Daniel Fowler married Bridget Welsh in 1835. Daniel’s life sentence was pardoned in December 1847. Daniel and Bridget had 9 children between 1837 and 1856. Daniel died in 1855. Bridget married again in 1862, this time to Robert Grimwood who lived only until 1863. Bridget and Robert had 6 months together.

Bridget Welsh/Fowler/Grimwood never married again and died alone in 1889 at Camperdown of breast cancer. Photograph of Bridget Welsh above. It is interesting to note that Bridget Welsh never once during her life on any official document, acknowledged that Bridget Murray was her mother. I suppose after reading labour Bridget Murray’s life, one can sympathise with her. And convict ancestry was not something to be proud of in those days.
Bridget Murray and William Purnell’s last child, Stephen (Simon Peter’s father) was born in about 1829. Some time after this, William and Bridget Murray parted company. We can surmise that Bridget’s extended period of 6 years between 1831 and 1837 in gaol might have been a contributing factor in their separation.
We don’t know what happened to Bridget after she and William separated. Because a lot of the records of this early phase of settlement do not contain much detail, and because Bridget Murray was a common name, we have not been able to find out when Bridget Murray died but we did find one death certificate that could be hers - in 1852 a Bridget Hare, a Catholic aged 70 died at Emu Plains so we think, because her only legal marriage was to Felix Hare, that this could have been her.

In Dec 1838 William was listed as a settler at South Colo, Barowra (Berowra). He was mentioned as a farmer of industrious habits and possessed 50 acres of land which supported himself and his family. We don’t know who exactly was in this family. He applied to have the adjoining 12 acres of land sold to him by the Government Regulations to add to his property.

At age 44, William married Mary McCallum/McKinnon in 16 February 1839. William and Mary had no children. On 6 December 1871 at age 76, William died at the house of his daughter Mary and son in law James Errol Boyd at Lane Cove from heart disease and dropsy.

Convict Changes History

Phil Hands on 30th April, 2017 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Convict ships to NSW 1825 Muster Sydney Gazette (prev. ), firstname: Bridget, surname: Murray, alias1: Wall, alias2: Welsh, alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1797, date of death: 1852, gender: f, occupation, c

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