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Hannah Rigby, one of 97 convicts transported on the Lord Sidmouth, 07 September 1822
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 56 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Lancaster, Liverpool Boro' Quarter Sessions
7th September, 1822
27th February, 1823
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land
Travelled with 97 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/4, Page Number 198
||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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Hannah Schwikkard on 12th March, 2015 wrote:
Brown eyes, Brown hair, 157 cm tall
D Wong on 13th March, 2015 wrote:
Rigby, Hannah (1794–1853)
by Jennifer Harrison
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume, (MUP), 2005
Hannah Rigby (c.1794-1853), embroiderer, servant and convict, was born in Lancashire, England. Convicted of larceny at the Quarter Sessions at Liverpool on 2 October 1821, 26-year-old Hannah was sentenced to transportation for seven years. She reached Port Jackson on 27 February 1823 in the Lord Sidmouth. Her occupation was embroiderer, she was fair with a freckled complexion, brownish-red hair and brown eyes and she stood 5 ft 1¾ ins (157 cm) tall.
In Sydney Hannah had a son Robert Frederick, born on 6 June 1824, by Robert Crawford, who had come free in the Royal George in 1821 and who later became principal clerk in the Colonial Secretary’s Office. At St John’s Church of England, Parramatta, on 3 January 1825 she married George Page, who had been transported in the Shipley. Apprehended for absconding from service in September 1826, she was confined to the Female Factory for three months. Her absence was probably connected with Page’s trial, as in May 1826 he had been found guilty of stealing from a ship and on 19 September was sent to Moreton Bay for seven years. Hannah Rigby was described in the 1828 census as a sempstress, free by servitude, living at Newcastle with two sons, Robert aged 5 and Samuel aged three months. That year she obtained her certificate of freedom.
On 16 February 1830 Rigby appeared at the Maitland Quarter Sessions, charged with stealing with force and arms thirty yards of ribbon valued at £1 belonging to Frederick Boucher. Although her accomplice received only a short prison term, Rigby was sentenced to transportation to a penal settlement for seven years. Her two sons accompanied her to Sydney gaol. On 16 October she boarded the Isabella with seven other female convicts, bound for Moreton Bay, where they joined eighteen women prisoners already resident there among more than one thousand males.
In Brisbane, Rigby was in hospital for a few days in February 1831 with a fever. On 27 September 1832 she gave birth to a third son James, whose father was probably her husband—and fellow prisoner—George Page. At the expiration of her colonial sentence on 16 February 1837, she was sent back to Sydney. Her certificate of freedom, issued on 6 March 1837, indicated she had rejoined Page who had returned to Sydney in 1833. Less than three months later she was yet again before the courts, this time convicted for stealing two hats. Once more she was sentenced to seven years and was returned to Moreton Bay on 26 October in the Isabella.
Although the other female convicts were sent back to Sydney in 1839 when the Moreton Bay penal settlement was closed, Rigby remained in Brisbane. By this time she was the servant of the assistant colonial surgeon David Ballow, one of the civilians maintaining the establishment for free settlers who were to arrive from March 1842. In July 1840 Ballow requested the commandant Lieutenant Owen Gorman to petition for a remission of sentence for her, indicating that her conduct had been exemplary and she had never given him any cause for distrust or complaint.
A free woman once more, Rigby decided to remain at the settlement. She resided in a hut near Queen Street. Having danced vigorously at wedding festivities five nights earlier, on 10 October 1853 she succumbed to apoplexy. An inquest held at the Donnybrook Hotel returned a verdict of death by visitation of God. She was buried in St John’s church graveyard. Although her age was estimated at 77, she was nearer to 59. Hannah Rigby had served three sentences of transportation and was the only Moreton Bay female convict who stayed in the district after gaining her freedom.
Maureen Withey on 14th September, 2020 wrote:
Moreton Bay Convict Record
Hanh. Rigby, , Ld Sidmouth 3, tried at Lancaster Q.S. 2 Oct 1821, 7 years, Servant. Colonial conviction: Quar. Sess. Maitland, 16 Feb 1830, Larceny, sentence – 7 years. To Sydney 16 Feb 1837.
Description: Hannah Rigby, native of Liverpool, age 40, 5 ft 0 ¾ ins; fresh comp. Brown eyes, sallow eyes. E. religion.
Hannah was one of two female prisoners sent back to Sydney, with 12 male prisoners by “Governor Phillip” from Moreton Bay to Sydney on 13 Feb 1837.
However, she seems to have been returned again to Moreton Bay.
Col Sec Letters re Moreton Bay.
List, dated 19/6/1838, of Female prisoners eligible for conditional remission of sentences of convicts transported to Moreton Bay with remarks showing the characters of the prisoners.
Hannah Rigby Lord Sidmouth.
Her name was on a list of prisoners sent from Moreton to Sydney on 9 May 1839, but next to her name- “Left at Moreton Bay.”
On a list dated 31 July 1839.
A list of Prisoners remaining at Moreton Bay under Colonial Sentence,
Female prisoners, Assigned Servants
Hannah Rigby- Lord Sidmouth.
30 Sept 1839- List showing how prisoners remaining at Moreton Bay are employed.
Hannah Rigby – Assigned to Col. Asst.
SUDDEN DEATH.—On Wednesday last an inquest was held at the Donnybrook Hotel, North Brisbane, before K. Cannan Esq., Coroner of the district, on view of the body of Hannah Rigby, an old woman 77 years of age, who had suddenly expired on the previous day. It appeared that deceased lived in a hut by herself, near Queen street, and that on Monday night there had been some festivities at a wedding next door, when she is supposed to have participated in the cheer. She was seen alive next morning, but subsequently a neighbour going into the house found her lying dead. Dr. Hobbs examined the body, and having expressed his belief that, death was caused by apoplexy, a verdict of “Died by the visitation of God” was returned. Deceased was a relict of the old times here, having resided in Brisbane many years before it became a free settlement.
The Moreton Bay Courier, 15 Oct 1853.
Convict Changes History
Hannah Schwikkard on 12th March, 2015 made the following changes:
gender: f, occupation, crime
D Wong on 13th March, 2015 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1784 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1853 (prev. 0000)