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Elizabeth Pulley

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Elizabeth Pulley
Aliases: Elizabeth Powley, Elizabeth Pooley
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1763
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 11th August, 1837
Age: 74 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: Burglary
Convicted at: Norfolk. Thetford Quarter Session
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Prince of Wales
Departure date: April, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 56 other convicts


Primary source: http://www.firstlanding.com.au
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Eric Harry Daly on 13th January, 2013 wrote:

Elizabeth Pulley was tried at Thetford, Norfolk on 14 March 1783 for burglary with a value of 8 shillings. She was sentenced to transportation for 7 years having been originally sentenced to death, and left England on the Friendship aged about 24 at that time (May 1787), she died in 1837.
She had a previous conviction for theft.Married Anthony Rope on 19 May 1788. Frances Williams lent her clothes for the wedding which was celebrated with seapye that caused a furore in the community, containing goat’s flesh believed to have been stolen. They had 6 children

Denis Pember on 23rd September, 2015 wrote:

Elizabeth was tried at Norfolk Lent Assizes which began at Thetford on Friday 14 Mar 1783. “Elizabeth Pulley spinster: 24th December last at Hethersett abt. 12 in the Night burglarised the dwelling house of Elizabeth Mimms widow and stealing ten pounds weight of cheese value 3s. three pounds weight of Bacon value 18d. twenty four ounces weight of butter value 12d. three pounds weight of raisons value 12d seven pounds weight of flour value 12d. two rolls of Worsted value 12d. goods of said Elizabeth Mimms.” “Jury say Guilt. To be hanged by the neck until she be dead”. The sentence was reduced to seven years transportation.
She was first aboard the ship ‘Friendship’. At the Cape of Good Hope she was transferred to the ship ‘Prince of Wales’.

Denis Pember on 23rd September, 2015 wrote:

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
[Ref R1330] Rope, Elizabeth, 64, FS, Prince of Wales, 1788.
# Also listed [Ref R1329] Rope, Anthony, 65, FS, Alexander, 1788, Farmer at Evan, 11 acres all cleared and cultivated, 5 cattle.
# Also Rope, William, 24, BC. (this would be their youngest son William born 1805) and Rope, James, 6, BC (could be a grandson?). Another son, John, 32, BC, is listed separately with his family also at Evan. The 5 daughters are probably all married.

Phil Hands on 29th June, 2017 wrote:

Elizabeth was born in Felthorpe, Norfolk, a village just thirty kilometres north-west of Anthony Rope’s birthplace at Norton Subcourse. Her baptism took place on 21 Feb 1762 at St Margarets in Felthorpe with her parents listed as Tobias and Alice Pully. She and her three brothers were orphaned by the time she was 6 and all four may have been then sent to the workhouse.
During her teenage years Elizabeth ran wild. In July 1779 she was acquitted of stealing clothes and just a year later she was sentenced to three weeks in Wymondham Bridewell prison for stealing clothes from a house near Drayton. Her punishment included a public whipping in the market place.
Things were getting worse by 1781 when again she was in court for stealing clothing and money belonging to a Mr Pightling of Heatherset. This crime earned her a year’s hard labour at Aylsham Bridewell. Not long after her release she was in trouble again and in March 1783 she was tried at Thetford Assizes and convicted of stealing a large quantity of food and material (worsted) from the shop of a Mrs Elizabeth Minns of Hethersett. This time she was sentenced to death by hanging but was reprieved by the judge as he left for London and she then spent three years languishing in gaol at Norwich castle while awaiting transportation. A short time in the ‘Dunkirk’ hulk at Plymouth preceded her voyage to New South Wales on the transport ‘Friendship’.
Along with 20 other female convicts Elizabeth suffered dreadfully, as she herself was in irons for 72 days of the 93 days from 13 May till 13 August 1787. Lt Ralph Clark’s diary pinpoints five fighting women which he at one stage labelled as damned whores. Elizabeth Pulley was listed as one of the five. The ship travelled in extremely hot weather and it was lice-ridden, so her conditions were very uncomfortable. Thankfully, when the Fleet reached Cape Town (South Africa), she was transferred to the Prince of Wales ship with other female convicts. This was to make room for animals and other supplies to be taken on board the Friendship.
Upon the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, all the convicts were put to work in various jobs necessary to build shelter and feed all the people. Anthony Rope was sent to work in the brickfields, which were located near what is now Central Station in Sydney. In Anthony’s small amount of spare time he built a hut there for himself and this was finished by May 1788. Elizabeth, along with other women, would have been put to work sewing, cleaning, washing and cooking.
Anthony and Elizabeth met on the first night that the women of the Fleet were set down at Sydney Cove on 6th February 1788. They were married on 19th May 1788 by the Reverend Richard Johnson, celebrating with meat from a goat that one naval officer reported as missing. They had 8 children between 1788-1808, their son Robert Rope was possibly one of the first children conceived and born in the settlement.
Anthony was given a grant of land at The Ponds which is now part of the Sydney suburb of Dundas, but this later had to be sold to repay debt. Farming was very harsh and the settlers were constantly deluged by floods and ravaged by fires and droughts.
The family moved to various farms out in the west of Sydney as they looked for land that would safely grow crops. It should be noted that although the farms were granted to the owners, Anthony was the first settler at all of the farms he moved to, so he first had to clear the land before he could put crops in. He also had to build the family home every time they moved.
Anthony did extra jobs to make money along the way. At one stage he was employed to build a dwelling for the workers on Elizabeth King’s farm Dunheved in 1807.
Recent research by Rope family historians has identified at least five sites where the family lived as they moved from leasehold to leasehold: Rope’s Farm at The Ponds, now Dundas; a farm at Toongabbie; Tumbledown Barn at Mulgrave Place, now Riverstone, near Windsor; Badgery’s Farm on the Nepean River near Richmond; and Jordan Hill in what is now Llandilo, on the west bank of South Creek. The stretch of land leading to this leasehold was known as Rope’s Paddock for many years. The new suburb, Ropes Crossing, has been named after him as it lies near where the family farmed at Jordan Hill.

Elizabeth died on 9th August 1837 at Castlereagh, Greater Sydney aged 75 years.
Anthony died on 20th April 1843 aged 88 years. Both are buried at Castlereagh.

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 12th January, 2013 made the following changes:

convicted at, term years, voyage, source, firstname, surname, alias1, alias2, alias3, alias4, date of birth 0000, date of death 0000, gender, occupation, crime

Eric Harry Daly on 13th January, 2013 made the following changes:

convicted at, term 7 years, source, alias1, alias2, date of birth 1763, date of death 11th August, 1837, gender, crime

Denis Pember on 23rd September, 2015 made the following changes:


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