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Ann Parker

Ann Parker, one of 113 convicts transported on the Sydney Cove, January 1807

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Ann Parker
Aliases: Willcox (alias)
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1791
Occupation: Servant
Date of Death: 15th July, 1865
Age: 74 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 money
Convicted at: Exeter Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Sydney Cove
Departure date: January, 1807
Arrival date: 18th June, 1807
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 113 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 384
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

Anonymous on 30th April, 2012 wrote:

A 10 pound and a 5 pound note. She was convicted in Exeter, not Derby.

Phil Hands on 28th May, 2017 wrote:

Ann Parker was born in Bow and baptized in Bow Church in 1791. Her unmarried mother, a pauper, aged about 30 and also called Ann Parker, was herself born in Bow. The baptism register describes Ann as a “base child”. Two years later her mother married Edward Wilcox from North Tawton, in Bow Church.
Little is known of Ann’s early life; however it seems that she was generally known as “Ann Parker alias Wilcox”.

By 1806, aged 16 she was living with her mother and stepfather who had moved to Plymouth. In March that year she started work as a live-in servant for William Hull, a nursenurseryman who lived in Milford House,Tamerton Foliott.
Hull suspected her of dishonesty, so on Saturday 3rd May that year he sacked her and sent a message to her parents asking them to take her home. The next evening he noticed that a ten and a five pound note were missing from a locked box in his room. The following day, on the basis of what his 11 year old daughter Susannah had told him, he and one of his workmen went to the Wilcox’s house in Plymouth. Ann Parker was there and he took her with her parents to the house of John Hawker, Plymouth’s Mayor and a Justice of the Peace.
From there they all went to the town prison in the Guildhall. George Pardon, the Serjeant-at-Mace then searched her in front of Mr Hull. Hull noticed what seemed to be a piece of paper in one of Ann’s shoes. Pardon took it out and it was found to be a ten pound note.
Hull was sure that it was one of the bank notes that was missing from his box - he remembered that, like this one, it was endorsed in the name of Robert Henderson and had a small tear on the top edge.
Ann Parker could not explain how the ten pound note came to be in her shoe.
The above account is taken from Mayor John Hawker’s contemporaneous notes of William Hull’s deposition (i.e. statement) made on oath in front of Ann, and signed on 5th May 1806 (the day after her arrest) concerning Ann Parker “otherwise Ann Wilcocks”.

Susannah, William Hull’s 11 year old daughter then made her statement. She stated that about a month earlier, on Easter Monday, Ann Parker left Milford House at 8 a.m., and returned at about 6 in the evening. Ann came up to her bedroom and told her that she had been to her mother’s house in Plymouth, where an old woman had told her fortune. The fortune teller had told her that Mr Hull kept his money in a little box and that she (Parker) was to take from it “two shillings and a crown piece and a twenty shilling note to give to the old woman; otherwise the house would be burnt down”.
Susannah also said that over the next few days Ann Parker told her to take further amounts of money from her father for her to give to the old woman. So Susannah took a one pound note from her father’s pocket-book and gave it to Ann Parker. Later Ann gave back to Susannah a seven shilling coin and told her to go into Tamerton Town to buy her some handkerchiefs. Next day she made Susannah buy her a neckerchief and two pairs of black stockings with the change.

She claimed that Ann Parker told her several times that if she mentioned what she had told her to her father, that the house would be burnt down, killing everyone in it except Susannah, and that she would then be sent to Bridewell for life.
Susannah said that Ann Parker had come into her bedroom early in the morning on the day before she was sacked and showed her a ten pound and a five pound note that she claimed the old woman had taken from her father’s box. Susannah remembered noticing that the ten pound note had a tear along the edge just like the one that had just been found in Ann’s shoe.
Mary Brock, the fortune teller, was also present when these depositions were made.

Ann was remanded in Plymouth for a week. There is an order dated 12th May 1806 for the Serjeants at Mace for the Borough of Plymouth “to convey and deliver into the custody of the keeper of the High Goal at the Castle in Exeter, Ann Parker alias Ann Wilcocks being charged before John Hawker, Mayor and one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, by the Oaths of William Hull with Felony; in stealing a ten pound note and a five pound note, the property of William Hull”.

The trial took place at the next sitting of the Assizes at the Exeter Castle on 28th July, 1806. Ann was found guilty, and sentenced to death. Fortunately she was reprieved and her sentence commuted to transportation for seven years.
Left England on 11th January 1807.
Ship:- the ‘Sydney Cove’ sailed with 4 male and 113 female convicts of which 3 females died during the voyage.
Arrived Port Jackson 18th June 1807, after a journey of 158 days.

Ann Parker then lived in Seven Hills, Parramatta, with another convict, Daniel Brien (‘Salamander ’ 1791), he was 20 years older than her, he had been transported for stealing clothes in London.

They had six children together before they were married in 1821, by a Catholic priest.
Her “certificate of leave” in 1826 describes her as: “Height 5 feet. Complexion Sallow & pock pitted.  Hair Brown.  Eyes Blue”. She could neither read nor write.
In the New South Wales census of 1828 she had adopted a more Catholic name - Mary Ann Brien
They had in total 11 children between 1809-1832.
Daniel Brien died in 1837.
In 1839 she married a neighbour, another former convict, William (Bill) Smith (‘General Hewart’ 1814)

Mary Ann died on 14th July 1865 from the burns she sustained on the night of the 12th July after being allegedly pushed into the open fire in her living room by her 2nd husband Bill Smith, who was said to have been drunk at the time. He went to bed to sleep it off and left Mary Ann (who’s clothes had caught fire) to fend for herself. The next day family members called round to see her and found her badly burnt, a doctor was called, but could do nothing for her, she died at 3am on the 14th. Mary Ann told her family that Bill had pushed her after a row over the fact that he had been out on a pub crawl in Parramatta with another woman (Alice White) who had passed out on the sofa. The morning after both Bill & Alice White said they could not remember anything that happened the previous night.

Mary Ann was buried on the 15th July 1865 at St John’s Cemetry in Parramatta.

Bill Smith was charged with Mary Ann’s murder on the 11th December 1865, but was found not guilty.  He died in 1873 at the Government Asylum Parramatta.

Convict Changes History

Anonymous on 30th April, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1791-00-00, date of death 1865-00-00, gender f

Phil Hands on 28th May, 2017 made the following changes:

convicted at, alias1: Willcox (alias) (prev. Willcox (Alias)), date of death: 15th July, 1865 (prev. 1865), crime

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