Dear Garry and list,
Thank you Garry for responding and also for
your information. I became interested in these two women (Margaret Hughes
does not appear on the convict list for the Ruby although she is recorded as
arriving on the Friends, and seem to have come with the convict Thomas
Banks) As we both know the NSW And VDL records do not always match
especially were ships lists are concerned. I don't have Mary Power's
marriage, I confused her with the other Mary Power on the Catherine.
After a discussion with Trudy I went back to see who was on the Ruby and if
there could be a reason for them coming to Hobart. Soldiers often brought
convict women with them during this early period but there was evidence of
this. The other thing I found was that Lt. Col. Andrew Geils was also on the
Ruby (Could the women have been his servants!!)
The reason for my interest was not so much the women My interest was the
men (76 on the Ruby convict list, some names duplicated) They were being
sent to help the Norfolk Island settlers who had arrived three years before.
The promise by the Government to supply the settlers with convicts in return
for giving up their land on NI did not eventuate when they first arrived in
1807-8. This piece of information was rather surprising but not unusual
knowing how the Government system worked and how difficult things were in
VDL at that time. But to send help three years later would not have been as
much help to the settlers as it would have been, when they first arrived in
I am still following this up but was diverted from what I was doing to by
the presence of these women on the Ruby with the male convicts.
Any information on this subject I would be most interested with hearing from
(including Norfolk Island and Van Diemens Land list)
Subject: Re: Martha Rowe, Mary Power and Margaret Hughes
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
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
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
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
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
I look forward to your further thoughts.
> Dear Lists,
> Mary Power and Martha Rowe, two convict women arrived
> 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,
> seemed to be of bad character, I keep finding these odd bits of history
> before going off to discover the answer I thought someone may have been
> there before me and can shed some light on this subject.
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