Convicts Stewart Harrington

Convict [9698]: Mary Harrington [1822-1896]

Relationship: Direct Ancestor, 4th Great Grandmother

Aliases: Mary Harrington, Mary Ann Harrington, Mary Anne Harrington, Mary Ann Steward, Mary Stewart, Mary Ann Stewart


When and where Mary Harrington was born remains unclear; this is partly due to conflicting ages given on her Conviction, Marriage, and Death records. These records place her birth year between 1822* and 1826. And as there are three Mary Harrington’s born in London during the same period, I cannot positively identify her origins.

* Marys age given on four of her records state her birth year as 1822; only her death record differs.

None of the known records available for Mary state where she was born, only that she was convicted in the Central Criminal Court and that her native place was London. An assumption can be made that Mary was born in St. Giles in the Field parish or at the very least grew up there, as Mary had at least two convictions against her name, and both placed her there between 1839 and 1840.

There were three Mary Harrington’s born in the London area in 1822;

Mary: 05 Jul 1822, St. Giles in the Fields, Holborn, Camden
Mary Jane: 14 Jun 1822, St. Marys, Marylebone, London
Mary Ann: Baptised: 18 Oct 1822, St. James, Islington, Clerkenwell


Mary had at least two court appearances in 1839 and 1840; both were held at the Central Criminal Court, also known as the Old Bailey in London.

13 May 1839: MARY ANN HARRINGTON, ANN HEANEY, Theft > simple larceny 1

1471. MARY ANN HARRINGTON and ANN HEANEY were indicted for stealing, on the 16th of March, 7 pinafores, value 7s., the goods of John Field.

JOHN FIELD. I live in Hackney. On the 16th of March I had some washing clothes in a cart, opposite a door in Caroline place, Guildford street, I went into the house, leaving the cart for not above three minutes, I received information, went with a policeman, and saw the two prisoners in Gray’s Inn Lane, the policeman took them, and at the station house these pinafores, which had been taken from my cart, were produced.

RICHARD COOPER (police-constable A 46.) I met the prosecutor, and went down Gray’s Inn road with him; we met the prisoners, seven or eight minutes’ walk from Guildford street; I asked Harrington what she had in her apron, she said, a loaf of bread, which I found there, with four pinafores, she ran away, I fetched her back. I took them both to the station house.

RUTH HAYLES. I live in Caroline’s place. I was at my window on the 16th of March and saw the cart at No. 4, and Harrington behind the cart, taking something out of a box in the cart, which she put into her apron; Heaney was standing still on the pavement, six or seven yards off, near enough to see what she did, Harrington went to her when she had got the things, they went around the corner, into Mecklenburgh square, it was six or seven o’clock, they were stopped about twenty minutes’ walk from the cart.

JOHN COLLISON (police-constable E 13.) On the 16th of March, I was at the station-house and saw three pinafores lying on the floor behind the prisoner Heaney, Harrington was two or three yards from her, but they had been close together previously; she denied having had them.

Harrington. I said I saw the other prisoner drop them, and she did not deny it, Witness. She did not say she did not drop them, nor that the other prisoner had; she said she saw them in her possession.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

(Harrington put in a written defence, stating that she was intoxicated and had met the other prisoner, who told her to take the property, which they afterwards divided.)

Heaney’s Defence. I met the other prisoner, who was a stranger, except seeing her sweep a crossing in Bloomsbury square, it began to rain, and I sat on a step in Caroline place, she went to the cart, opened the box, and took something out, I suspected she had done wrong and begged her to put them back, she would not, she dropped three at the station house, they were never in my possession, her mother came to Hatton garden on Wednesday. She said, “Mind you say that woman told you to steal them.”

JOHN COLLISON re-examined. They were not searched till after the pinafores were on the ground.

HARRINGTON, GUILTY. Aged 17. Recommended to mercy. Confined Three Months.

HEANEY, GUILTY. Aged 62. Confined Six Months.

06 Apr 1840: MARY HARRINGTON, Theft > burglary 2

This was Mary second appearance on a separate charge and the one that subsequently found her guilty and sentenced to 10 years transportation;

1157. MARY HARRINGTON was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Margaret Whitehand, on the 29th of March, at St. Giles-in-the-Fields, about eleven in the night, and stealing therein 1 bed, value 5s.; 1 bolster, value 1s.; 1 sheet, value 1s.; 1 quilt, value 3s.; 1 bonnet, value 1s.; 2 caps, value 6d.; 1 saucepan, value 1s.; 1 apron, value 1s.; 1 tea-pot, value 6d.; and 5 plates, value 3d.; her property: and that she had been before convicted of a felony

MARGARET WHITEHAND. I am a widow and live in Church lane, St. Giles in the Fields. On the 29th of March I went out about seven o’clock, I returned between ten and eleven o’clock at night, and found the prisoner in my room, the staple of the door had been drawn, I had left it padlocked, and had the key, I do not know how the door was after seven o’clock, the padlock was forced off the door, it is a lodging house, I have a separate room, the landlord does not live in the house.

ANN GUMMER. I am the wife of William Gummer and live in Buckeridge Street, the next street to the prosecutrix. On the night of the 29th of March, the prisoner brought a bundle to me about ten o’clock, or a little after, I believe it was an apron and two caps, she said she had quarreled with her husband, about a quarter of an hour after she brought a bolster, quilt, and saucepan, begging me to take care of them till the morning.

ROBERT LAY (police-constable E 44.) I was called to the prosecutrix about eleven o’clock and found the prisoner lying on a bed a little way from the door. The padlock was forced off, and the staple was drawn, some things produced by Gummer were returned to the prosecutrix, I produce the saucepan and quilt.

MARGARET WHITEHAND re-examined. These are my things.

Prisoner’s Defence. I was in liquor, and thought I was in my own room.

RICHARD COOPER. (Police-constable E 46.) I produce a certificate of the prisoner’s former conviction, which I got at Mr. Clark’s office, the prisoner is the person named in that certificate, and I was present at the trial

GUILTY. Aged 18. Of Breaking and Entering, but not of Burglary.

Transported for Ten Years.


Note: Van Diemen’s Land did not change its name to Tasmania until 1851, and Hobart Town was not shortened to Hobart until 1881.

Mary sailed aboard the Navarino Convict transport, which sailed from Downs 3 on the 12th of October 1840 and arriving at Hobart Town on the 22nd of January 1841. The Navarino sailed directly to Van Diemen’s land as transportation to New South Wales ceased in 1840. Carrying between 180-183 prisoners on board, [two of which died at sea], the voyage taking a little over 3 months to complete.

The following passage was taken from the journal of the Navarino’s Surgeon General, J. Clarke M.D.

General Remarks

Except for the cases detailed in the Journal, the Convicts enjoyed a very high state of health. This I must ascribe in a very great measure to the discipline maintained amongst them.

On joining the Navarino female convict ship, I found the prisoners in a very unsettled condition and one in a state of furious mania. I have not the slightest doubt, from the description given me by Mr Jeffrey, the surgeon whom I superseded, that the transition from the silent system pursued in the penitentiary at Millbank to now where all control of that kind of thing must necessarily cease when so many abandoned females are suddenly placed together in a ship, was the sole cause of their riotous behaviour, I trust that the Government on a mature reflection of the case, will cease to pursue the silent system, with those prisoners who are destined for the Colonies.

It was found necessary to remove the female with mania to the penitentiary; it induced several prisoners to pretend the same disease. For the first three weeks, three of the prisoners simulated mania in the hope of being sent back to the penitentiary, and even after the ship had sailed, they endeavored to keep up the character and committed the most abominable and filthy acts, that it was found necessary to have recourse to Corporal Punishment. The night was the time chiefly chosen to commence howling and sing hymns and prayers to the great annoyance of the more quietly disposed. Much of this religious [..] was kept up by the daily visits of the Quaker ladies with whom I had several conversations on the subject, and I believe they were convinced that their religious labors were very much marred by the change the prisoners had experienced from the silent to what I may call the noisy system.

The ship left the Downs on the 12th of October 1840 and arrived at Hobart Town on the 17th of January, 1841. The weather during the voyage was particularly favorable, and the prisoners were daily on deck from 8 am until sunset. They bathed once a week in two divisions whilst the thermometer stood above 65deg, aired bedding daily, weather permitting. The prisons were washed, and [..] scraped daily. They washed clothes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Dancing and innocent diversions were encouraged amongst them, and their time was fully occupied by the establishment of schools and distribution of the patchwork and knitting. Generally speaking, the convict’s good health. My approach to Scurvy was carefully watched, checking their salt provisions and giving them preserved meat and oatmeal in lieu. Wine and lemonade were issued daily to all. The punishments made use of were cutting their hair off, putting them on bread and water, shutting them up in the box all night, and it would be better were there more than one of these boxes, putting them on the blacklist to do all the dirty work, stopping their sherbet of which they were very fond.

The prisoners were landed at Hobart Town on the 22nd January 1841.

J.Clarke M.D

Surgeon R.N 

Mary was not mentioned in Clarke’s journal or general remarks; he did, however, write a brief note for her conduct record. He stated that Mary was middling and had attempted suicide on 11 Nov 1840; Mary’s gaol report also stated that she was sullen.

Van Diemen’s Land

When Mary arrived in the Colony, Convicts were being managed under the Convict Assignment system [1814-1842]; on disembarking at Hobart Town, Mary would have immediately been assigned to a free settler for domestic duties. Mary’s first assignment was to a Mr. Lovett, and it didn’t take her long to rebel against the system.

Note: The bracketed names are the people Mary was either assigned to or worked for in both the Assignment and Probation periods. The following dates have been taken from many sources, including Mary’s conduct record while under sentence, The Hobart Town Gazette, and public records held by Tasmanian Archives.

28 Apr 1841: [Lovett], drunk, reprimanded 4

25 May 1841: [Lovett], absent 2 days and a night without leave, 7 days Solitary and returned to her service 5

08 Jun 1841: [Lovett], being Drunk in a Public House and representing herself to be free, 6 days solitary confinement and returned to her service 6

03 Jul 1841: [Sly], drunk, 10 days solitary confinement and returned to her service 7

28 Jul 1841: [Lyndsay], feloniously stealing on the 26th Inst. 2 Silk Handkerchiefs of the value of 5/- each the property of Mr. Lindsay of Hobart Town. 12 weeks hard labor house of corrections, the first 10 days to be kept to Solitary confinement, approved, Factory Hobart, vide Lieutenant Governors decision 30/7/41 8

28 Jul 1841: Feloniously stealing on the 27th, at Hobart Town 2 Silver Tea Spoons of the value of 2 shillings each and other articles under the value of 5 pounds, the property of James Sly. Sentence extended two years, approved, Factory Hobart, vide Lieut. Governor’s decision, 30/7/41 9

26 Aug 1842: [Solomon], in a public house after hours, 3 months at the wash tub 10

Convict Probation Period Starts [1843-1853]

04 Jan 1843: [Giblin], absent without leave and taking her fellow servants’ clothes, 9 months hard labor in the house of correction, the first 3 to be passed in the solitary working cells 11

17 Jun 1843: House of Corrections, disorderly conduct, 3 months hard labor, solitary working cells 12

04 Dec 1843: [Archer], misconduct in being in bed with one of the men, 14 days solitary confinement 13

06 Jan 1844: [McCraig], drunk, 6 days solitary confinement 14

18 Jan 1844: Absconded 15

“Police Department: 24 Jan 1844

The undermentioned convicts having escaped from their authorized places of residence, all constables, and others are hereby required to use their utmost exertions to apprehend and lodge them in safe custody.

Francis Burgess, Chief Police Magistrate.

Absconded from the service of Mr. McCraig, Liverpool-street, on the 18th instant.

370 Mary Harrington, per Navarino, tried at Central Criminal Court, 6th April 1840, 10 years, extended 2 years, house   servant, 5 feet 2q, complexion fair, hair brown, eyes blue, age 22, native place London, sore eyes.”

19 Jan 1844: [Mackay], absent without leave and drunk, 4 months hard labour, House of Corrections 16

28 Jun 1844: First Class Probation Pass 17

Definition: Slept out of barracks, worked for wages whole of Saturday

23 Jul 1844: Assigned to John Marshall, Hobart Town 18

“Convict Department 

Controller-General’s Office, 23rd Jul 1844.

The following engagements of Pass-holders in Private Service have been sanctioned by the Lieutenant-Governor: Mary Harrington, Navarino, to John Marshall, Hobart Town.”

27 Jul 1844: First Class Probation Pass 19

“Convict Department

 Controller-General’s Office, 27th June 1844.

In reference to the Act of Council, 7th Victoria, No. 7, and to the notice form this office, under date 1st January last, respecting the hiring of Probation Pass-holders from the 1st March, with Form of Agreement appended, the following Classification is published for general information:

First Class Probation Pass-holders: 370 Harrington, Mary, Navarino”

10 Sep 1844: [John Marshall], out after hours, 10 days solitary confinement 20

05 Nov 1844: Second Class Probation Pass 21

Definition: Slept in barracks, work for self on whole of Saturday

“1 Nov 1844: Second Class Probation Pass

Controller-Generals Office, 1st November 1844.

The under-mentioned Probation Pass-holders have been ordered by the Lieutenant-Governor to be promoted:

From the 1st to the 2nd Class: 370 Harrington, Mary, Navarino”

03 Dec 1844: Assigned to Caroline Peterson 22

“Convict Department

 Controller-Generals Office, 20th December 1844.

The following engagements of Pass-holders in private service have been sanctioned by the Lieutenant-Governor: Mary Harrington, Navarino, by Caroline Paterson, Liverpool-street, 1 month from the 3rd December”

10 Dec 1844: [Caroline Peterson], absconding, 4 months hard labour the 1st month. Recommended to be passed in solitary working cells, factory Hobart, vide Lieutenant Governor’s decision, 13/12/44 23

24 Jun 1845: Marriage 24

Registration No.: 1883

Henry Stewart age 31, sentenced expired was working as a shoemaker, Mary [Ann] age 23 was still serving out her sentence and working as a servant, possibly for Caroline Peterson as there are no records stating who Mary was assigned to after Caroline.

Mary and Henry were married on the 24th Jun 1845 at the Trinity Parish Chapel, Hobart by William Dry.

Witnesses to the union were, Thomas Scott and Jonas Heywood

The Trinity Chapel was housed in High St (now Tasma St), North Hobart. Trinity rented the Chapel from the Methodist church after the original chapel located on the corner of Brisbane and Campbell Streets was closed to the public and transformed into the Criminal Court House. 25

11 Jul 1845: [Stewart], disturbing the peace, 14 days hard labour 26

There was no first name given for Stewart, but I assume that it was Henry Stewart, Mary’s husband.

24 Feb 1846: Birth of daughter Mary Ann 27

Registration No.: 100

Mary and Henry were living in the Campbell Town district, Tasmania, Henry was working at Valleyfield.

Mary Ann married Richard Curtis on 26 Apr 1866 in Launceston, Tasmania, and died on 14 Mar 1884 from Typhoid fever in Launceston, Tasmania.

26 May 1846: Probation Class 3

Definition: Able to work for wages from noon on Saturday 28

31 Mar 1847: Birth of daughter Margaret 29

Margaret is my 3rd Great Grandmother

Registration No.: 144

Mary and Henry lived in the Campbell Town district, Tasmania, and Henry was working as a Labourer.

Margaret married James Bulman, who died from an accident in 1873, Ringarooma, Tasmania. She then married John McLennan on 28 Apr 1876 in Launceston, Tasmania, and later died on 2 Jul 1905 at Ringarooma, Tasmania.

19 Aug 1848: Ticket of Leave 30

22 Aug 1848: Ticket of Leave, granted 31

26 Sep 1848: Birth of daughter: Alice 32

Registration No.: 225

Mary and Henry lived in the Campbell Town district, Tasmania, and Henry was working as a Shepherd.

Alice married William Bulman, brother of James, on 28 Sep 1866 and died abt. 1908 in Kensington Hill, Victoria.

1848: Ticket of Leave 33

29 Nov 1850: Free Certificate 34

1850: Expiration of Sentence 35

22 Jan 1896: Death 36

Registration No.: 161 [29]

Mary, a widow of 2 years, died of heart disease at the age of 70; she resided at the Launceston Benevolent Asylum at the time.

The Asylum, previously known as the Launceston Invalid Depot, was housed in the former Colonial Military Barracks located at present-day Royal Park on the Tamar River banks. 37

Death Notice in the Daily Telegraph, Launceston, 24 Jan 1896 38

“On the 22nd inst., at Launceston, Mary Ann, relict of the late Henry Stewart of Patersonia, aged 70 years”.

24 Jan 1896: Funeral

Funeral Notice in the Daily Telegraph, Launceston, 24 Jan 1896 39

“The Funeral of the late Mrs Stewart will leave the corner of Wellington and Patterson streets, this day, at 3 o’clock.

Friends will please accept this invitation.

Doolan, Undertaker, 186 Wellington Street”

Unfortunately, Mary’s burial location has not been found, and although her name is not in the Charles Street 40 0r Cypress Street burial records, it is still quite possible that she was buried in either.


  1. Old Bailey Online: t18390513-1471,
  2. Old Bailey Online: t18400406-1157,
  3. Wikipedia:
  4. Tasmanian Archives: CON40/1/6, Film No:Z2589,$init=CON40-1-6p40
  5. ibid
  6. ibid
  7. ibid
  8. ibid
  9. ibid
  10. ibid
  11. ibid
  12. ibid
  13. ibid
  14. ibid
  15. The Hobart Town Gazette: Friday, January 26, 1844. Page 117-118,
  16. Tasmanian Archives: CON40/1/6
  17. ibid
  18. The Hobart Town Gazette: Friday, July 26, 1844. Page 877-879,
  19. The Hobart Town Gazette: Friday, June 28, 1844. Page 724-725,
  20. Tasmanian Archives: CON40/1/6
  21. The Hobart Town Gazette: Tuesday, November 5, 1844. Page 1402-1403,
  22. The Hobart Town Gazette: Tuesday, December 24, 1844. Page 1532-1535,
  23. Tasmanian Archives: CON40/1/6
  24. Tasmanian Archives: RGD37/1/4, Film No: Z2453,$init=RGD37-1-4p239
  25. The Mercury: TRINITY CHURCH (1933, June 1), p10,
  26. ibid
  27. Tasmanian Archives: RGD18/11, Film No: Z1559,$init=RGD18-1-1p013jpg
  28. ibid
  29. Tasmanian Archives: RGD18/1/1, Film No: Z1559,$init=RGD18-1-1p020jpg
  30. ibid
  31. ibid
  32. Tasmanian Archives: RGD18/1/1, Film No: Z1559,$init=RGD18-1-1p030jpg
  33. Colonial Times: (Hobart, Tas. 1828 – 1857) CONVICT DEPARTMENT. (1848, August 25), p4,
  34. ibid
  35. The Cornwall Chronicle: (Launceston, Tas.: 1835 – 1880) HOBART TOWN GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. (1850, December 7), p878,
  36. Tasmanian Archives: RGD35/1/65, Film no: Z2448,$init=RGD35-1-65p3
  37. UTAS:
  38. Daily Telegraph: (Launceston, Tas.: 1883 – 1928), FAMILY NOTICES (1896, January 24), p2,
  39. ibid
  40. Tasmanian Archives: Film No:AF190/1/1,$init=AF190-1-1-P00