Female Convicts

Student activities

Task no. 1

Female Convicts

Read Arthur Bowes-Smyth’s journal entry and the list of female convicts who travelled to Sydney Cove in 1787 on the Lady Penrhyn.

  • choose one convict you find interesting, consider her name, age, her crime and her punishment.
  • work in pairs to write a set of questions you would ask the female convict if you were conducting an interview with them.
  • use your own knowledge or conduct research to write the answers you think the female convict might have given to the questions.

Journal entry of Arthur Bowes-Smyth, Surgeon on board the First Fleet ship the Lady Penrhyn:

On the 22nd March 1787 I came on board the ship the Lady Penrhyn. Along with other ships it is bound for New South Wales, with Convicts on board to form a Settlement there.

The Crew of the Lady Penrhyn consists of the following; Captain Sever, who is the Commander of the ship, Captain Campbell of the Marines, Lieutenant Johnston of the Marines, Lieutenant Collins of the Marines, Mr. Watts, Lieutenant of the Navy going to China, Mr. Nicholas Anstis, Chief Mate, Mr. Squires 2nd Mate, Mr. Ball, 3rd Mate, Mr. Holmes, 4th Mate, William Young, Steward, Sisson the Cook, Smyth (myself) the Surgeon to the Ship, Alltree, Surgeon to the Convicts, John Ross, Son of Major Ross, James Campbell a Child, relation of Captain Campbell, Mr. J. Smith going to Botany Bay, 3 Servants to the Marine officers, a Carpenter, a Cooper, a Boatswain, 36 Sailors, 4 of whom were made Quarter Masters & 5 Boys.

The Lady Penrhyn has 109 female Convicts on board and 8 children and I shall give a List of their Names, Crimes, Ages, Trades, & the term of years they are transported for.


Name Age Trade Crime Term of Transportation
Francis Davis 22 Servant Robbery 14
Ann Yates 19 Milliner (Hat Maker) Housebreaking 7
Mary Love 60 Servant Lamb Stealing 14
Ann Colepits 28 Servant Privately Stealing 7
Elizabeth Lock 23 Servant Housebreaking 7
Mary Gamboll 37 Servant Defrauding 7
Olivia Gascoin 24 Servant Theft 7
Mary Tilley 30 Servant Housebreaking 7
Sarah Davis 26 Glove Maker Shoplifting 7
Mary Wilkes alias Turner (alias means an alternate or false name) 21 Servant Privately Stealing 7
Elizabeth Bird 45 Servant Lamb Stealing 7
Ann Dawly alias Twifield 23 Servant Highway Robbery 7
Sarah Bellamy 17 Servant Privately Stealing 7
Mary Davis 25 Servant  Housebreaking 7
Mary Mitchell 19 Servant Privately Stealing 7
Mary Bolton 29 Servant Housebreaking 7
Mary Dickenson 26 Barrow Woman (sells goods from a small stall on wheels) Stealing 7
Elizabeth Colley 22 Servant Housebreaking 14
Elizabeth Lee 24 Servant Robbery 7
Mary Brenham 17 Servant Housebreaking 7
Elizabeth Hipsley 28 Needlework Picking Pockets 7
Ann Read 22 Servant Street Robbery For Life
Susan Hufnall 24 Servant Buying Stolen Goods 7 to 30
Eleona M'Cave 24 Hawker (sells goods door to door) Robbery 7
Mary Finn 26 Servant Robbery 7
Martha Eaton 25 Servant Buying Stolen Goods 7
Mary Greenwood 24 Servant Street Robbery 7
Elizabeth Cole 20 Milliner (Hat Maker) Shoplifting 7
Catharine Hart 19 Servant Privately Stealing 7
Mary Hill 20 Servant Picking Pockets 7
Margaret Dawson 17 Servant Privately Stealing 7
Elizabeth Dalton 21 Servant Shoplifting 7
Elizabeth Marshall 29 Servant Shoplifting 7 to 40
Mary Moulton 21 Servant Shoplifting 7
Ann Morton 20 Servant Shoplifting 7
Elizabeth Evans 28 Servant Shoplifting 7
Mary Humphreys 30 Servant Picking Pockets 7
Ann Ward 20 Lace Maker Shoplifting 7
Elizabeth Needham 25 Maker of Child Bed Linen Shoplifting 7
Lucy Wood alias Bran 33 Servant Picking Pockets 7
Ann Martin 17 Servant Shoplifting 7
Mary Harrison 34 Silk Winder (winds silk from cocoons onto reels for spinning) Misdemeanour (a small crime) 7
A. Sandlyn alias Lyon alias Bretton 30 Needlework Petty Larceny (theft of something of only small value) 7 to 50
Ann Green alias Cowly 28 Mantua (a type of dress) Maker Privately Stealing 7
Rebecca Davison 28 Needlework Picking Pockets 7
Mary Cooper 47 Chair Woman (a travelling chair repairer) Stealing 7
Ann Davs 29 Servant Shoplifting 7
Ann Dutton 25 Servant Privately Stealing 7