MARY (PHILLIPS) STEVENS
was committed for trial in April 1786 at Taunton, Somerset. She was found
guilty of breaking into the home of Nathanial Shorney and stealing goods
to the value of 18 shillings. She was sentenced to be hanged but was
reprieved and sentenced to transportation for seven years. Mary sailed
for Sydney Cove with the First Fleet. She was among the badly-behaved
women convicts who were transferred to
at Rio. Clark reports in his diary that they had received "six of the
Worst from the Charlotte which I don't think is right." He was more than
glad to see them go when they were again moved at the Cape, this time to
make way for the animals, So Mary actually arrived on
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months in her new home were not peaceful. She was the cause of a brawl
between two marines, who both felt they had a right to her favours. Mary
was abused and punched, and the losing marine, Thomas Bullmore, was kicked
to death by the victor, James Baker. She was punished with 25 lashes for
using a spade as a baking dish, and was witness to the theft of another
cooking utensil. As a result of her association with another marine,
Alexander M. Donald, she had a son James born on 5 September 1789.
Mary and her
son went to Norfolk Island on
on 4 March 1790. She had a new protector, another marine named Thomas
Spencer, by whom she had a daughter, Sarah, born on 27 November 1791.
Years later, Sarah and her father lived at Richmond NSW where Sarah
married and Thomas was buried at St Peter's Church of England, Richmond.
Thomas's grave bears a Fellowship plaque, and Sarah's descendants still
occupy Hadley House on the banks of the Nepean River.
settled down with Thomas Stevens, a convict who had been tried at the Old
Bailey in 1789 for stealing 90 pounds weight of copper, value 40
shillings, and sentenced to seven years transportation. They remained
together on Norfolk Island till 1813, and had three children.
The family was
for Port Dalrymple along with other Norfolk Islanders. They established
the first settlement at Norfolk Plains East (now Pateena). Here the
Stevens family prospered. They received several land grants including one
of 85 acres and some government stock. Thomas was appointed District
also prospered. John Stevens and his wife Mary Trimby lived all their
lives at Norfolk Plains. Elizabeth Stevens married William Saltmarsh son
of First Fleeter William Saltmarsh, and had a family of six sons and five
daughters. Mary Stevens married Richard Puffin and had a family of four
children at Norfolk Plains before settling at Perth, Tasmania.
lived to the age of 68 and died at his residence in 1831. Mary (Phillips)
Stevens survived her husband by 19 years and died in 1850 aged 81 years.
Both were buried in the cemetery at Christ Church, Longford. In 1988 the
Fellowship dedicated a memorial plaque to Mary, fixed to her relocated
headstone in a Memorial Enclosure at Christ Church.
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