ELLEN (WAINWRIGHT, alias Esther Eccles) GUY 

 

Ellen was born at Rishton in Lancashire about 1769. When only a young woman of 17 she was in trouble with the law for stealing clothing. She was tried, found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation. She made the voyage to Port Jackson on Prince of Wales. She received punishment during the voyage for stealing. She formed a liaison with a seaman James Wilson and had a child in 1789 whom she named Mary Ann. When she was sent to Norfolk Island in 1790 Mary Ann went too. But the little girl died there in 1792. Ellen had two other children on Norfolk Island by an unknown father ó Henry born 1791 who apparently died young, and another Mary Ann born 1795, named after the baby who died. 

 

Ellen met Thomas Guy on Norfolk Island. He was a convicted highwayman, sent to Botany Bay on Matilda in the Third Fleet. Thomas and Ellen remained together on Norfolk Island for 17 years during which time three more children were born to them, Ann on 28 February 1800, Elizabeth on 13 November 1802 and Frances on 13 June 1805.

 

When the Norfolk Island settlement was abandoned, Thomas and Ellen, with the three children, were sent to Van Diemen's Land and given a grant of land at New Norfolk. Although not mentioned on the shipping lists, Mary Ann lived with the family on the farm at Magra. Magra is a tiny settlement just off the Lyell Highway, about 35 kilometres from Hobart. Here the early pioneers had built for themselves a meeting place ó a square-fronted solid building of roughly-hewn stones plastered together with lime and mortar. This building was dedicated as a Methodist Chapel in 1837.

 

Ellen died on 8 November 1839 aged 72 years and was buried in the churchyard at Magra. Ellenís headstone is located close to the lower north west corner of the graveyard in a wooded area.

 

All four of Ellenís daughters married and today there are hundreds of descendants with "her blood in their veins."

In 1988 the Fellowship dedicated a memorial plaque to Ellen, fixed to the top of her headstone which carries a quite durable inscription.

 

 

 

 

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