Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mary Ann Katesby - b1778

Mary Ann Katesby - weaver, convict, mother.

In 1798, when Mary Katesby was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, Ireland was very unstable, and there was an Irish rebellion. Army regiments from England and Scotland were involved in putting down the rebellion. Because of their geographical location near to Ireland many of the English regiments were from the Lancashire area, and in particular the area around Manchester. 
The Lancashire area became a loyalist 'hotspot' and the loyalist elite began to influence public and civic events until it became unacceptable for anyone holding reformist views to hold a position or present their views in public.  Manchester had become a centre of the industrial revolution, and cotton mills were everywhere.
It is in this setting that we find Mary Ann Katesby standing in the dock at The Quarter Session Court where the less serious crimes were dealt with, and that usually met only four times a year.

Early life

Mary Ann Katesby was the daughter of James Katesby and Ann Collis who married at Saint Marys Church, Portsea, Hampshire, England.  It is unclear if her surname begins with a C or K, as her father is listed in the English Marriages database as Catesby.

St Marys, Portsea.
She was born the year the first settlement was established in Sydney Cove, Port Jackson - 1778; at Haigh, Lancashire, England.  I don't know if Mary had any siblings, or very much about her early life, except that it was probably lived in the Manchester, Lancashire area.

Conviction & Transportation

Mary Katesby was tried and convicted at the Lancashire Quarter Sessions on 19th October, 1798 (age 20 yrs)  and was given a 10 year sentence.  This was changed to Transportation, in accordance with the law of the time.  She spent around a year in Lancaster Castle Gaol.

She was transported for, 7 years, to Australia in 1800 aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" arriving on 12th June, 1801.
Her Convict Indenture gives us the following information:

Name:     Mary Katesby
Date of Conviction:     10 Oct 1798
Place of Conviction:     Lancaster
Vessel:     Earl Cornwallis
Port of Arrival:     Sydney
Date of Arrival:     10 Jun 1801

Convict Indenture, 10th June, 1801



Just a year later, Mary married John Johnson on 9th July, 1802 at Parramatta, NSW, AUS.  Presumably, they met on the ship they were transported on.  There is no Permission to Marry or Marriage Banns that have been found for this marriage, only an entry into the Australian Marriage Index.  John Johnson died on 16th Febuary, 1803 at Parramatta, and is buried at St Johns Anglican Church Cemetery, Ashfield. 

Mary and John Johnson had one child, Mary Ann Johnson, who married John Thompson in 1818, and then  George Augustus Frederick Lentz (an architect) in 1855.

Just one year later, Mary married Thomas Bates at St Johns Anglican Church, Parramatta on 6th February, 1804.  There were a lot more men in the colony than women, which meant women could be picky about who they married.

Thomas and Mary had 3 children, Margaret, John, Elizabeth; and possibly a 4th child, James Joseph Bates.  Neither of their daughters appear to have married, John Bates married Sarah Hill but died aged just 30.  James Joseph married Sarah Fitzpatrick, the daughter of an ex soldier who became a  Policeman, and they went on to have 10 children. 

After Thomas died

There is a little more information in the 1828 census concerning Mary, she appears to have lived with, and been 'employed' by another ex convict, John Thompson, her daughter's (Mary) husband.  Thompson was a convict from the Fortune given a life sentence, but making a living as a harness maker.

Mary died on 22nd December 1828, and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery, Rookwood, NSW in the Old church of England section, Row 1.

More Information? If you are researching Mary Ann Katesby and would like the sources for this story, please contact me or comment below.  I would be happy to collaborate with you

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