Ann Beardsley - a brief history
ANN BEARDSLEY (1766 - ?) was born in Derby England, to parents JOHN BEARDSLEY and ANN KEELING.
On the 5 Aug.1786, Ann (aged 21) was sentenced at the Derby Assizes to 5 yrs.transportation, for having in her possession, a black satin cloak and other goods, stolen from the house of Elizabeth Woodhead in Apr.1786.
On the 24 October 1786, Ann was sent to the Port of Plymouth and imprisoned on the hulk "Dunkirk".
Transferred to Southwark gaol on the 24 Nov.1786, Ann was finally discharged for transportation to the "Friendship" on 11 Mar.1787.
At Rio de Janeiro (11 Aug.1787) she was transferred to the "Charlotte", as a reward for good behaviour.
(Ann shared with one other convict woman the distinction of having the lightest sentence of all the First Fleet).
She was ordered to Norfolk Island (4 Mar.1790) on the "Sirus", taking with her infant daughter Harriet. Because of the dreadful starvation at Sydney Cove, the colony was equally divided between Sydney Cove and Norfolk Island, approx.500 at each settlement.
Ann was married to John McCarthy on Norfolk Island (5 Nov.1791) by the Rev.Richard Johnson.
Of 4 chidren born to the Couple on N.I. only one appears to have survived, Mary Ann McCarthy.
In 1805, the British Government decided to abandon N.I. as it was too expensive to maintain, its Pine and Flax proving unsuitable for Ship Masts and Sails respectively.
Circa 12 Apr.1808 Ann with daughters Mary Ann and Harriet, departed N.I. on the "Estramina" arriving Sydney (22 Apr.1808).
No further trace can be found of Ann, but Mary Ann is recorded as living with Lieutenant Thomas Skottowe of the 73rd.Regiment and Commandant of Newcastle (1811-1814) in the 1814 Muster of NSW's.
Variations in the spelling of BEARDSLEY include BAIZLEY, BAZELY, BEADLEY, BEAZELY, BEAZLEY, BEAZLY etc.
More About Ann Beardsley:
Convict: Sydney Cove, N.S.W..
Children of Ann Beardsley and John McCarthy are:
+Harriet McCarthy, b. February 1789, Sydney Cove, N.S.W., d. 21 March 1860, Brighton, Tasmania.
Dianna McCarthy, b. 29 June 1791.
+Mary Ann McCarthy, b. 1793, Norfolk Island, d. 1832, England.
Charles McCarthy, b. 1795.
James McCarthy, b. 1797.
Note on "Hulk DUNKIRK"
The Dunkirk hulk was moored in Plymouth, and in addition to "local" prisoners it also served as a collection point for prisoners from various gaols as they were assembled for the First Fleet. Conditions there were so bad at one time that the officer in charge complained "many of the prisoners are nearly if not quite naked." The women prisoners held on board were brutalised by the marines supposed to be guarding them. The superintendent of the Dunkirk hulk wrote a shocked protest to the authorities on 25 August 1784, which resulted in a Code of Orders being drawn up to protect the women.
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