State Library of NSW
Mary Reibey (Molly Haydock) - letter to her aunt Penelope Hope1792
In July 1790, at the age of 13, Mary was sentenced to be transported to Australia for taking a ‘joyride’ on a neighbour’s pony. Soon after arriving in Sydney two years later, Mary wrote this letter to her aunt in England. ‘I will make myself as happy as I can in my present and unhappy situation,’ she promised. In 1794 she married free settler Thomas Reibey and, after his death in 1811, took over his businesses while raising their seven children. Mary Reibey eventually became the colony’s leading businesswoman.