Archiver > AUS-TAS-CONVICTS > 2006-10 > 1160375973

From: Garry Wilson <>
Subject: Re: [TAS-CON] Martha Rowe, Mary Power and Margaret Hughes
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 16:39:33 +1000



The indent for the Ruby actually lists 83 men of whom 2 were marked as "absconded" and a third "relanded". So it appears 80 were actually sent to VDL.

Don't know whether you have noticed but many convict vessels (both primary and intercolonial) carried convicts in "round numbers". I suppose it made counting easier! If some absconded or were relanded they made up the numbers again.

Anyway, in addition to the above 80 men, as you say there very few women, namely Mary Power and Martha Rowe, but we also have Margaret Hughes alias McCormack, "wife" of Thomas Banks (alias Anthony Farrell) - also in Strumpets.

There is conflicting evidence on the baptisms of the Banks/Farrell/Hughes children as to whether these two were married or not. They were certainly living together when tried together 21 Feb 1810 at the Old Bailey. Thomas Banks was transported to PJ on the Guildford arriving 18 Jan 1812, she Margaret Hughes on the Friends preceding him and arriving on 10 Oct 1811. Obviously they were reunited in PJ and sent together to VDL on the Ruby a few days after he arrived.

Although I have not finalised my research on this couple it seems they must have brought (or more correctly, she must have brought) three children with them - Charlotte born 1806 married William Etheridge 1850, Caroline b 1808 later married John Constable 1844 (strangely both late marriages for the time especially when a younger sister married as early as 14 or so), and Daniel or Dennis born 1811 (on the voyage?) - all three children appear in the 1814 Annual General Muster as Hughes, so my guess is that they came with her on the Friends and then accompanied both parents (assuming Banks is the father of all three!) on the Ruby to VDL. Unfortunately, the surviving indents I have seen so far only give names of male convicts.

Similarly Martha Rowe also came per Friends 1811 and married John Huxley (per Admiral Gambier 1811) in Jan 1813. Their first child was baptised shortly after on Mar 1813 (dob not given) and it is not too much to assume that she accompanied John Huxley to VDL just a year earlier, as he was also on the same ship Ruby upon which she was transferred to VDL.

As you quite rightly imply, single women did not move about the colony unless there was a reason, so although she was a convict, it seems logical that if only three women accompanied 80 men it was because they were "connected" in some way to one of the men. We know one definately was and a second most likely so.

This scenario occurred on other occasions as well, I might add.

So this leaves Mary Power (Providence 1809). I have no knowledge of her partner (yet) although you say she was married. Tardif is apparently silent on her partner and I haven't seen anything yet to indicate who her "husband" is. Please let me know who it might be and any reference you might have please.

BTW, just to preempt one "possibility", the Mary Power who married Neal Kerrigan in PD in 1819 arrived per Catherine 1814 to PJ and thence to VDL per Catherine in 1814. In fact she is in the 1818 Annual General Muster for PD as Mary Corrigan per Catherine, notwithstanding that she didn't marry him till the next year, when Youl arrived.

But anyway, pounds to peanuts, Mary Power per Providence and Ruby accompanied one of the men also on board the Ruby (possibly even a soldier, as presumably a guard would have been on board).

In fact, she does not appear in the 1814, 1818 or 1819 musters (unless I can't identify her under a married name) and it is not until the 1822 muster that she turns up again as Mary Power per Providence (where convict names is again prevalent), although I have not yet checked the 1820 or 1821 musters, where hopefully a spouse might be mentioned.

So it looks to me like she was not recorded in those earlier musters as she may have been the "wife" of a soldier. This of course is just an assumption for the moment. There are some inconsistencies here, but the pattern seems to be emerging that wives of soldiers were usually not included in most musters (the soldiers themselves being exempt), especially if free, and Mary would have been free by 1816 in any event.

The other alternative of course is that she is listed in one or more of those musters under a married name (as there are still a few strays to sort out), but in the 1814 muster at least I would have still expected that she would be under her convict name of Power. However a quick scan of the database doesn't leave any unidentified "Mary"s popping out in 1818 or 1819 either. So unless, you can give me a clue on her marriage, it looks to me very much like she probably came to VDL as the "wife" of a soldier.

I look forward to your further thoughts.



> Dear Lists,
> Mary Power and Martha Rowe, two convict women arrived in
> Hobart from Sydney on the Ruby in 1812. They were the only women on board
> with 60 male convicts. They are both in Strumpets and both married later.
> Only Martha had children. My query is why were these two women sent, neither
> seemed to be of bad character, I keep finding these odd bits of history and
> before going off to discover the answer I thought someone may have been
> there before me and can shed some light on this subject.
> Regards
> Irene

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