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Mary Smith

Mary Smith, one of 262 convicts transported on the Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander, January 1787

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Smith
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1762
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 1792
Age: 30 years

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 7 years

Crime: Theft of boots
Convicted at: Old Bailey
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Lady Penrhyn, Scarborough and Alexander
Departure date: January, 1787
Arrival date: 22nd January, 1788
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 293 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 11 (7)
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

Phil Hands on 25th September, 2017 wrote:

Tried and convicted at the Old Bailey on 10th September 1786 for stealing one pair of leather boots, the property of Charles Taylor , privily in his shop, she was sentenced to death, mercy recommended by the Jury and Prosecutor. This was later commuted to transportation for 7 years.
Left England on 13th May 1787.
Ship:- the ‘Lady Penrhyn’ sailed with 101 female convicts on board of which 3 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 26th January 1788.

Married convict James Sheers (‘Scarborough’ 1788) on 21st February 1788 at Sydney Cove, they had 2 children.
On 4th March 1790 James & Mary were sent to Norfolk Island on the ‘Sirius’. James was a butcher on Norfolk Island.
Mary and James separated before 1791, James went on to have 3 children with convict Elizabeth Wishaw (‘Lady Juliana’ 1790).

Phil Hands on 25th September, 2017 wrote:

Old Bailey Trial Transcription.
Reference Number: t17860531-3

463. MARY SMITH was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 5th day of May , one pair of leather boots, value 21 s. the property of Charles Taylor , privily in his shop .
I keep a shoemaker’s shop , my goods are openly exposed, on Friday the 5th of this month I lost a pair of boots, they were hanging over the arm of a chair which I keep for customers to sit down in, they were bespoke, I was drinking tea in the back-room, and a young man that works in the shop was sitting close to the shop, the prisoner and another woman who is not in custody, came into my shop to buy a pair of women’s leather pumps, the other woman sat down in the chair, she had a child in her lap, the prisoner was standing as close as possible to the arm of the chair where the boots hung, the other young woman had a pair of pumps tried on, I heard some kind of a dispute, and I went out, and she asked me the price, I told her they were three shillings; they bade me two shillings and nine-pence; I said I could not take it; they went out immediately, they went up Lemon-street; I says to my young man, they are a pair not so well made, tell them they shall have them for two shillings and ten-pence; he sat himself down to work, and coming out I missed the boots, I immediately said to the man, them women have the boots; we both went out of the shop in pursuit of them, and in three minutes my man got before me, we could see nothing of them, I saw nothing of them till I got into the shop.
Are you sure that was one of the women that was in the shop? - Yes.
I am journeyman to Mr. Taylor, I was in the shop; between five and six, the prisoner and another woman came into our shop to buy a pair of leather pumps, I am sure to the prisoner, my master was in the parlour drinking tea, there is a large glass window that looks into the shop, the boots hung on a chair, the prisoner was leaning on the left hand side of the chair where the boots hung, she bid me threepence less than the selling price, after I had fitted her with a pair; my master sent me to tell them they should have them for two shillings and ten-pence, they were two houses off, I did not observe they had any thing particular about them then, and they said they would not have them at all, when I came back my master went into the parlour to drink another cup of tea, and in about three minutes he came out and missed the boots, then he sent me after them, I took both the women in Rosemary-lane, I said nothing to them, they were coming towards the street that my master lives in, and the prisoner had the boots under her cloak, I was sure she had them, though her cloak was so very much confined I could perceive the heel under her cloak, I clapped her on the shoulder, says I, where are the boots you stole; she said, I have no boots; then she dropped one, and I picked it up, and brought her into the shop, and we found the other boot under her clothes, which I brought into the shop with her; I am sure this is the woman, those are the boots.
Have they been in your possession ever since? - Not ever since, I left them upon my master’s table last night till this morning, I am sure these are the boots.
Taylor. I can swear to these boots, my own name is inside.
There was a woman with me, and that woman gave me the boots.
Court. Was the prisoner in a situation best calculated to take the boots, or was the other? - I think it was hardly possible the other woman could take them, she had a child on her left arm where the boots hung, and this woman had nothing but a cloak on, and stood as close as possible, and she urged the other woman to go.
What may be the value of these boots? - I valued them at a guinea, the price is twenty-seven shillings.
Court to prisoner. Are you married or single? - Single, my Lord.
What way of life are you in? - I am a mantuamaker .
GUILTY, Death .
She was humbly recommended to mercy by the Jury and Prosecutor .
Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice WILLES.

Convict Changes History

Phil Hands on 25th September, 2017 made the following changes:

convicted at, date of birth: 1762 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1792 (prev. 0000), gender: f, crime

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