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Maria Williams

Maria Williams, one of 82 convicts transported on the Grenada, 25 September 1824

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Maria Williams
Aliases: Raven, Bishop
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1802
Occupation: Servant
Date of Death: 12th February, 1862
Age: 60 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 58 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Uttering forged notes
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Grenada
Departure date: 25th September, 1824
Arrival date: 23rd January, 1825
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 81 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 182
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

Vicki Osborn on 22nd May, 2020 wrote:

Crime: Disposing forged and counterfeit bank notes. Fresh complexion, brown hair and grey eyes. 5’2”
TOL: 21st October, 1846, District of Maitland.
Application to Marry Thomas Bishop, as Maria Raven. By Banns, letter from Rev Middleton, Newcastle to Colonial Secretary Office, 16th May, 1825.
Death: 9am 12th February, 1862, at Maitland Gaol, from natural causes.

Anonymous on 22nd May, 2020 wrote:

Crime: Disposing forged and counterfeit bank notes. Fresh complexion, brown hair and grey eyes. 5’2”
TOL: 21st October, 1846, District of Maitland.
Application to Marry Thomas Bishop, as Maria Raven. By Banns, letter from Rev Middleton, Newcastle to Colonial Secretary Office, 16th May, 1825.
Death: 9am 12th February, 1862, at Maitland Gaol, from natural causes.

Maureen Withey on 14th September, 2020 wrote:

Thomas Shaw, and Maria Williams, were indicted for having stolen from Mr. John Joshua Moore, of Liverpool, certain monies, viz.—20 sovereigns, gold; one half-guinea, gold; 15 dollars; 20 shillings; a 10l. Bank of England note, and two 1l notes.
It appeared in evidence that Mr. and Mrs Moore went from home on the 8th April, and left the female prisoner in charge of the house; she was an assigned servant to Mr Moore. Shaw is a ticket-of-leave man, but likewise a servant to Mr. Moore. Mr. and Mrs M. returned home in the evening, and the prisoner Williams had eloped; the cash box was broken open and the contents gone, viz—18 sovereigns, one half-guinea English, 10 bills on the Bank of England, 3 one pound notes of Cooper and Levey, 3l. 15s. in dollars, a few shillings, and one or two promissory notes. In about half an hour afterwards, it was discovered, that the prisoner Shaw had absconded also.
A servant, named Robert Davis, saw the foot tracks of the prisoners, as he supposed, over the farm.
Mary Ann Pearce said, that these two prisoners had tea at her house on the evening in question.
John Higgins, a corporal in the mounted Police, stated, that he went in search of the prisoners, and found them at a public-house he found, on the person of the woman, five sovereigns, a 10l. (Bank of England) note, and two 1l. notes; she put the notes into her mouth; Bradley put his hand on her throat to prevent her from swallowing them; there was a scramble for some of the bills or dollars when the prisoner Williams put them on the table; she was in a great rage, and apparently in fits.
Robert Barry, a constable, deposed that he was one who assisted to search the female prisoner; she scuffled about the room; some money was taken out of her pockets—some dollars and five sovereigns fell to the ground, also some notes; saw the prisoner snatch the notes out of the corporal’s hand, and put them into her mouth.
Mary Bolton searched the female prisoner in the watch-house, Liverpool; this was a day or two after the robbery was committed; she found in one corner of prisoner’s shawl some gold coin; supposes them to be sovereigns, but does not know a sovereign; I gave them to the chief constable; the prisoner said to me, ” don’t take that and I’ll give you tip,” meaning she would give me half the money.
Henry Allen keeps the Liverpool toll-bar; saw prisoners Shaw and Williams go into the Greyhound public-house on the evening in question; Bradley and Higgins came in to search the woman prisoner ; this was between eight and nine o’clock at night; prisoners went into the tap room and had supper; Shaw asked Allen if he could accommodate his sister (meaning Williams) with a bed; this was agreed to, and the prisoner Williams was to sleep with Catherine Ryan; understood prisoners intended to go to Sydney next morning by the coach.
Mr. Moore could not swear to the identical pieces of money; he could swear to the amount, and also to having a Bank of England note for 10l. in the box when it was robbed; likewise the other monies corresponded with what was taken from him; the prisoner Shaw had been searched, but nothing was found upon him.
This closed the prosecution.
Maria Williams pleaded in defence that she had received the sovereigns from the Bank Solicitor in London, and also the 10l. Bank of England note. Shaw pleaded that he knew nothing of the robbery; he said he paid for everything where they went to refresh themselves.
Mary Jewit appeared to give evidence in favour of the prisoner Williams, and deposed she came to this Colony in the ship Grenada, a female prison-ship from England, and during the passage had seen gold, silver, and notes, in prisoner’s possession several times; she (witness) brought two or three sovereigns into the Colony with her.
The Jury, after retiring a few minutes, brought in a verdict of Guilty against both prisoners.
Sydney Monitor, 15 June 1829.

Thomas Shaw, and Maria Williams, for a robbery in the dwelling house of Joshua John Moore, Esq. above the value of £5 at Liverpool. — Death.
Sydney Gazette, 9 June 1829.

A Petition to the Governor has been engrossed, and signed by the Jury, by whom the unfortunate Maria Williams was tried, praying for a remittance of her sentence, she being condemned to die on Monday.
The Australian, 10 July 1829.

2 p.m. Maria Williams we are happy to say is just respited.  Shaw was respited three days ago.
Sydney Monitor, Sat 11 July 1829

Yesterday, the Government schooner Isabella, from Norfolk Island and Port Macquarie. She brings to Sydney 13 men of the 39th regiment, 6 male prisoners, and 2 females—one of whom is the unfortunate Maria Williams, who was ordered for execution some time back, for a robbery in the dwelling of her master, Mr. J. J. Moore.
The Australian, 16 Dec 1829.


Maria was sent to Moreton Bay penal settlement.

Moreton Bay Convict Record
Maria Williams, Grenada 3, Tried at Middx G.D.. 14 Jan 1824, Life. House maid. Colonial conviction: Crim. Court Sydney, 6 June 1829, Stealing in a dwelling house above £5, sentence – “Death” commuted to transportation for Life, commuted to 7 years, 18 Aug 1837.

Colonial Secretary Letters regarding Moreton Bay.
In a letter dated 12 July 1837, the Commandant of Moreton Bay forwards the particulars of Maria Williams/ Grenada 3 - hospital nurse – recommending commutation of sentence.
Recommending a mitigation of sentence to seven years.
Notes re above and Governor’s decision.


Her name is on a list dated 19 June 1838, of prisoners eligible under the Provisions of the Act of Council of the 1st Victoria 1838 for the “Conditional Remission of sentences of convicts transported to Moreton Bay,” with the characters of the prisoners.
Maria Williams/ Grenada – housemaid.

Convict Changes History

Vicki Osborn on 22nd May, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: Raveb, alias2: Bishop, date of birth: 1802 (prev. 0000), date of death: 12th February, 1862 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime

Maureen Withey on 14th September, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: Raven (prev. Raveb)

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