MARY DAVIS


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 Penrhyn on 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 matereal injury.”

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 some soldiers. 

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.

 

 

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