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Ann Simmons

Ann Simmons, one of 94 convicts transported on the Surprize, February 1794

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Ann Simmons
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1768
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Surprize
Departure date: February, 1794
Arrival date: 17th October, 1794
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 94 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 197 (99)
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

Rutherford Browne on 29th January, 2012 wrote:

Ann Simmons, b. London England 1768
TRIAL .. SARAH LOFT, ANN SIMMONS, ELIZABETH REDERICK, ANN DAWSON, JANE ISON, Theft with violence : robbery, 15th December, 1792.  The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17921215-15 Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHURST. 20 February 1793

Ann Simmons was sentenced to death by Justice William Henry Ashurst on 17th Dec 1792 at the Middlesex Old Bailey Sessions for the assault and robbery of William Ellis, a Welsh drover, stealing a silver watch and 31 guineas. The crime had taken place in a disreputable lodging house in Sharps Alley, West Smithfield, where Simmons allegedly lived (this alley, now vanished, ran off Cowcross, a still-existing street in modern London EC1 near Farringdon underground station). Tried with Simmons were Sarah loft, Ann Dawson and Jane Ison (all sentenced to death as well) and Elizabeth Redrick (found not guilty). Simmons was committed to Newgate Goal on 3 November 1792, described as single, London-born, 5 ’ 2" tall, with dark hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion (see Ann Dawson, qv, for full account of trial). Dawson was the last of the accused women to be captured, probably just before her committal to Newgate on 8 December 1792. Loft and Simmons had been arrested on 3 November, the day after the crime, and were identified by the prosecutor. Simmons called one character witness. The others apparently had none. The four women were respited from the death sentence on 8 Feb.1793 and accepted a pardon on condition of transportation for life three days later. They were discharged from Newgate on 10 February 1794 for embarkation on the "Surprise" transport.

Ann Simmons had been tried (and acquitted) once before - at the December 1791 Old Bailey Sessions for the theft of a watch from a man named Kemp. She had been held in the New Prison and was transferred to Newgate (age given as 23, with other details matching the 1793 description). Simmons’s daughter Jane Ann was born in the colony on 19 Jun 1795 and baptised at Sydney 17 Jan 1796. The date of birth indicates that the child had been conceived on the voyage; the father, John Bunn was almost certainly a crew member of the "Surprise".

There was a practice at the time, that with female transport ships each crew member could select a “sea wife” for the voyage. In 1801 Simmons was recorded living in the Sydney district with Thomas Massey. It would appear Ann went with Thomas to Port Dalrympal (later named Launceston) and Thomas William Massey was born 18th Feb 1807 Launceston, VanDiemens Land (the 2nd or third white child born in VanDiemens Land.)

Convict Changes History

Rutherford Browne on 29th January, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1768-00-00, gender f

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au