Mary Davis, born around 1761, late of
Diddlebury, Salop, was charged with breaking into a
house and stealing a copper kettle, and from another
house at Halford making off with five linsey aprons,
woollen stockings and a bedgown. Mary was given a
sentence of death at Shrewsbury, Salop, on 12 March
1785. Her ‘fence’, Joseph Owen, was sentenced to
fourteen years transportation on the same day. Mary was
reprieved to seven years transportation on
28 December, and a year later, on 23 November 1786 was
ordered to the New Gaol in Southwark and then to
Gravesend by wagon for embarkation on Lady
31 January 1787.
The ship’s Surgeon, Arthur Bowes Smyth, who gave her age
as 25, reported that on 18 December 1787, Mary “fell
down the fore Hatchway and pitched on her head, which
being well defended by false hair, she sustain’d no
At Sydney Cove on 27 December 1788 Mary broke a bottle
over the head of John Mara who slept in her hut, but
only after he had called her a bitch in a scuffle with
It is quite unclear as to how Mary Davis became Mary
Bishop as there is no record of a marriage. She married
Samuel Day on 2 November 1788, but did not stay with him
and began to use the name Bishop.
On 4 March 1790 Mary was sent to Norfolk Island on Sirius. In
1791 a child was born on the island named Mary Davis in
victualling records, but later known as Charlotte
Bishop. Mary returned to NSW in Kitty on
9 March 1793 with her daughter. Both Mary and Charlotte
Bishop received grants of land at Bringelly in 1809.
Charlotte later made three marriages, bearing several
children to each of her husbands. In 1828 her son
Alexander Crabb by her first husband was living with
Joseph Martin at Parramatta. And at the same time Mary
Bishop is recorded as housekeeper to Martin.
Mary Bishop died at Kurrajong on 1 January 1839, her age
given as 80. Her daughter Charlotte Bishop (then Pentley)
died on 3 July1853, also at Kurrajong. She was buried
at St Peter’s in the same grave as her mother, but
only Charlotte Pentley’s name appears on the gravestone.