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Elizabeth Wright

Elizabeth Wright, one of 110 convicts transported on the Northampton, December 1814

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Elizabeth Wright
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1794
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Possession of forged bank note
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Northampton
Departure date: December, 1814
Arrival date: 18th June, 1815
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 109 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 192
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

Maureen Withey on 24th December, 2019 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 December 2019), April 1814, trial of JOHN PEARSON ELIZABETH WRIGHT (t18140420-29).
JOHN PEARSON, ELIZABETH WRIGHT, Royal Offences > coining offences, 20th April 1814.

314. JOHN PEARSON and ELIZABETH WRIGHT were indicted for that they, on the 4th of March , feloniously had in their custody and possession, divers forged bank notes, with intention to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

To this indictment the prisoners pleaded


PEARSON, aged 24.

WRIGHT, aged 20.

Transported for Fourteen Years .

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

It was believed that Elizabeth Wright, together with another woman who was on the Northampton, had managed to escape on board the Atlas ship.

21 Sept 1816, Sydney Gazette.
Absconded Prisoners.
— Elizabeth Wright, per Northampton, 19 years of age, tried at the Old Bailey, 1815, for 14 years; supposed to be on board the Atlas.
— Sarah Corbett, supposed to be on board the Atlas, 22 years of age, tried at Worcester, 1812, for life ; and has abandoned her infant Child, arrived per Northampton.

Robin Sharkey on 9th September, 2021 wrote:

Elizabeth Wright took advantage, while in Newgate Jail, of the Bank of England’s policy of providing financial assistance to female prisoners it had prosecuted, who’d been found guilty. She wrote two letters from in jail, and one from on board the convict transport ship, seeking some financial assistance.  Women guilty of ‘forged note’ crimes were give often give five pounds when embarked on the ship, to support them on the voyage or on arrival. (See Deidre Pal, ed “Prisoner’s Letters to the Bank of England”].

Her letters show that she considered John Pearson her husband (whether they were formally married?); that Pearson had been removed from Newgate before her (in fact sent to ‘Retribution’ hulk in May 1814 and then departing in August 1814 on Marquis of Wellington’); that while he’d been in Newgate (April to May)  he’d shared with her any provisions/money his ‘friends’ had given him. 

The letters are transcribed with original spelling:

165. [F25/2/76] Elizabeth Pearson/Wright, Newgate, 17 May 1814
“¶Honred Sir I hope you Will Excuse the Liberty I take in troubling you With this But my Husband is Left this Place to go Abroad [left Newgate for Retribution hulk prior to sailing in Aug.] and now he has Left this Place I have Nothing to depend on But the Gaol Allowance wich is very Little as When his friends Came to him I shared What he had But Now he is Left I have Nothing to depend if it Lays in your Power to assist me I Shall Be Ever thankfull if it Lays in your [illegible word] to do this a favourable Answer Would Much oblige your Very Humble Servent Elizabeth Wright”

183. [F25/3/45] Elizabeth Pearson/Wright, Newgate, “19 October 1814
¶Sir I hope you will pardon the liberty I take in addressing you nothing but the Great distress of my preasant situation could induce me to trouble you I beg leave to inform you I have no friend to assist me with the least trifle and am reduced to great distress in Consequence of not Had the Allowance the Gentleman were so good as to remit to me I understand the female Convict Ship is ready for our reception next week I have been obliged to Part with my Cloaths for Support having nothing but the gail allowance to live on and should be humbly thankfull if you would assist me with a trifle to releace them and your humble Petitioner will in duty Bound ever Pray &c &c Elizabeth Wright [in Martha Bramwell’s hand].

187. [F25/3/44] Elizabeth Pearson/Wright, Northampton transport ship,
“21 November 1814
“Sir I take the Liberty of informing you I have rote twice and have not got any answer the Gentlemen were on board from the Bank of England this Morning to pay some Women, they did not send for me – I hope you have not forgot me I am desperate you will not think me troublesome but necessity only causes me to make this application Your Most Obdt Humble Servt Eliz. Wright”

184. [F25/3/41] Elizabeth Pearson/Wright, “Northampton transport ship, Deptford,
“22 November 1814
“Sir Beg pardon for taking the Lirbairity of Addressying you but have bin infrormed that thare is a trifull of money alowed when whe Leave ingland wich whe shall be verry thankfull for as whe are very much in Distress your Humble pitionors Elizebeth Wright [additional names Mary Hingland, Sarah Watson crossed through. Letter headed as coming from the Northampton ‘Convent’ ship]

The last letter is Annotated: “E. Wright a Pearson, No. 19705 22 Oct 1814 £5. £5 to be sent to her by Mr Kaye and The Mark of E Wright a Pearson 23 Nov 1814”

Robin Sharkey on 9th September, 2021 wrote:


ELIZABETH WRIGHT was said buy the ship’s surgeon to be suffering from pneumonia and “in a dying state” when she was sent on shore from ‘Northampton’ on 21 June 1814.

Poor Elizabeth recovered however, only yo find that the man she regarded as her husband, who had been convicted with her over forged notes, was marrying someone else just three months after she landed in Sydney. John Pearson married at St Phillips Anglican church, on 5 Sept 1815 to Mary Ryan, aged only 14 or 15 years, born in the colony.  (NSW BDM 185/1815 V1815185 7)

In the 1816 NSW convict muster Elizabeth was listed as having a Ticket of Leave and being employed by Mr Plummer. This may have been George Plummer, came free to NSW in 1814 as a carpenter (per Three Bees), and lived on the Hawkesbury, where he built a boat for a paying client, which was named ‘Rosetta’ launched in October 1815. (SYDNEY GAZETTE, 21 Oct 1815, p.2)

After the advertisement for Elizabeth having absconded (T/L holders were only authorised to be in a specific area), she never appears in any of the NSW records again. It appears she managed to escape for good.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 24th December, 2019 made the following changes:

gender: f, crime

Robin Sharkey on 9th September, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1794 (prev. 0000)

Robin Sharkey on 13th September, 2021 made the following changes:


Robin Sharkey on 13th September, 2021 made the following changes:


Robin Sharkey on 13th September, 2021 made the following changes:


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