FF Mary Springham, Convict ‘Lady Penrhyn’ (c1765-1796)

and William Hambly, Carpenters mate, ‘HMS Sirius’ (c1763-1835)

 Mary was the daughter of Robert and Marty Springham, baptised 20th March 1768 at St Leonard’s Shoreditch.

Mary Springham was returning by boat from Gravesend to her home, where she lived with her mother at Bakers Row Whitechapel when the offence occurred. A woman passenger named Mary Reynolds, was taken ill on the boat and Mary took her home, where she fainted, brought her water and washed her face. Setting her on her mother’s bed, she locked the door and put the key in her pocket ‘for safe keeping’. The victim said that on awaking she found Mary searching her pockets, and ‘she ran away and away she went’

Mary’s story was different. Coming along Limehouse, the woman Mary Reynolds had said, ‘Pol, I want to call for something to drink’ and she went home with Mary, sending for gin and saying not to leave her

Some five week later Mary was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 5th day of March last, two guineas, value 2 1 2s,and nine shillings in monies numbered, and an iron japanned snuff box, value 1 d. the property of William Reynolds, privily from the person of Mary Reynolds.


Old Bailey Proceedings 25th October 1786
Mary Springham,Theft,Pocketpicking


Mary Reynolds sworn

My husband’s name is William Reynolds; I live at No.4,George Street, Spitalfields the prisoner robbed me on the 5th of March; I never saw her before; I was coming home from Gravesend on the sabbath-day, about eight in the morning; the prisoner came with me in a Gravesend boat; her mother lives in Baker’s-row, Whitechapel; I was taken ill going up the New-road; she asked me to go into her mother’s; I went in there, and I fainted away; she brought a little water and washed my face, and brought me too; and asked me to lay on her mother’s bed, in a little back room; I said, I would be glad; and she led me into the room; and I laid down on the bed; she said, nothing should hurt me, till she came to me again, and she would lock the door, and take the key in her pocket; the prisoner locked me in; I had a silk handkerchief about my neck; I awoke and found the prisoner searching my pockets; she ran away, and away she went; there were two guineas in gold, three silver half crowns, one shilling, and a sixpence; the gold was tied up in my black silk handkerchief, and around my neck in a double knot; the silver was in a japanned iron snuffbox in my pocket; the snuffbox was taken with my money in it; when she went out of the room, I could not go so quick after her, and there were three turnings; I could not tell which of the turnings she went down.

Prisoner: She asked me in the lock-up room to make it up with her, she said she was very poor? I did not.


Thomas Forecast sworn

I am weaver be trade; I follow the deal pottering now; I am come from the Straights; I went in pursuit of Mary Springham; I met her coming home and three more; it was about five weeks ago; I followed her, and told the prosecutrix to take her into custody.

Court to Mary Reynolds. You knew where this woman lived?-No; I knew where her mother lived.

You knew her name also?-I knew the name she went by.

How come it then you did not go before a Justice of the Peace?. I did the next door, and took the mother into custody; I made enquiries after her, but could not find her.

Prisoner’s Defence

We came from Gravesend together, the prosecutrix borrowed three-pence off me, because she had no money; coming through Limehouse, she says to me Poll, I want to call for something to drink; I went to my brothers and had some Breakfast; says I, now Mrs. Forecast, I wish you a good by; she went home with me; she was taken very ill, and sent for a quartern of gin, and changed sixpence; my mother asked her to lay down she says she, do not leave me; says I ,I am sleepy, I must go home to bed; I left this gentlewoman at my mothers and saw no more of her till five weeks ago she charged me with this


GUILTY OF Stealing.

Transported for Seven Years

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr.Justice HEATH.

Mary was delivered to the Lady Penrhyn on 6th January 1787, aged 21 years. He occupation was described by Bowes as a Hawker.

In Sydney Mary formed a relationship with William Hambly Carpenters mate, 'HMS Sirius’ and on 15th January 1790 a son William was baptised at Sydney.

Some two months later William and Maryalong with their son William arrived aboard HMS Sirius in March 1790 at Norfolk Island, with William still serving as a crew member of the ship. Mary and their son William disembarked on 14 March 1790 at Cascade. William was stranded on Norfolk Island, mustered 20 March 1790 on Norfolk Island after the shipwreck.


In February 1791, William returned to Sydney aboard HMS Supply and disembarked on 26 February 1791

The Govenor understanding that a number of the ships company wished to settle in the country, we (HMS Sirius Crew) ware (were) all ordered over to the Govenors house to inform himself who was most fittest for farmours (farmers). The whole ships company turned out excepting about ten of us, Terence Burn and myself being of that number that did not wish to remain. However, the Govenor found there was but few that could expect to improve in the farming business. Likewise it required seamen to carry the vessel and officers to England. Out of the whole crew he permitted ten or eleven seamen and three marines to remain as settlers, and it was directed so as to send their wages out to them in whatever they might think most fit for their situation in the county. Likewise there was a few draughted on board the Supply Brig, as she was to remain in the country till further orders

Following the meeting with HMS Sirius Ship’s Company in early March 1791, Governor Phillip decided to grant 60 acres on Norfolk Island to eight HMS Sirius seamen including William Hambly: What I granted to the two marines I have thought necessary to grant to eight seamen, late belonging to the Sirius, as they will be useful men when ships are landing provisions and stores (on Norfolk Island).


William was discharged from HMS Sirius books on 7 March 1791 and returned to Norfolk Island as a Settler aboard HMS Supply on 19 March 1791.

William and Mary were one of the many couples married by Rev Johnson in November 1791 Norfolk Island.

In 1792 William was granted 60 acres on the South side of the Cascade Run, with a rent of one shilling a year commencing after five years being Lot 45.In May 1794 William was renting seven acres of land to John Croker and another ten acres to Samuel Price. William sold this 60 acres of land for £100 to Arthur Robinson in October 1798.

By Mid June 1794, William and Mary Hambly had three children, Mary, William and Elizabeth, living on William’s farm of 43 acres, was recorded as Mary Springer (sic) free, married, off stores with three children supported by William Hambly, settler


In May 1795 Norfolk Island Commandant Lieutenant Governor Philip Gidley King wrote that: A marine settler William Hambly who is a Miller with a Freeman Thomas Stretch (Friendship) whose term of transportation is expired have the care of the mill and attend to it in turns, the first with his family and a labourer are victualled and clothed; the second has two acres of cleared ground adjoining the mill


Mary died 15 June/July 1796 Norfolk Island (there are conflicting records) with her son William and Daughter Elizabeth surviving. Her daughter Mary died 2 days later on 17th June 1796

Even though Mary was married to William Hambly she was buried under the name of Springham together with her daughter Mary Springham


Her headstone today is part of the stone floor at the Lions Club room at Kingston on Norfolk Island which was the Surgeon's Kitchen, it is quite possible it was shifted from sands or ground at Emily Bay, during the second settlement


William Hambley bought ten acres of land at Norfolk Island from Samuel King on 26 August 1800, which was part of a 60 acre land grant which granted on 3 January 1792. Samuel had sold a previous 10 acres to his future wife Elizabeth Thackery on 1 May 1800.

In July 1804 William’s household of one male and two children, leased 21 acres of land on Norfolk Island and nominated as “Hambley” that they may wish to vacate their respective Allotments of Land In 1805 William Hambly was recorded as a Settler from Marines and Seaman off stores

William and his surviving children William and Elizabeth left Norfolk Island aboard HMS Porpoise for Hobart 26 December 1807.

William Hambly, widower remarried Jane Meech, (Convict Charlotte) who also was on Norfolk Island. 21 December 1810 Hobart, the witnesses were Edward Garth ( Convict Scarborough) and William Stokes.

Jane had been married prior to her conviction to William Meech in England. On Norfolk Island she had a relationship with William Moulton (Marine HMS Sirius) and they had one child. Jane, William and the child went to Van Diemens Land on 14/12/1808 on "Lady Nelson". William Moulton died in Hobart in January 1810

Jane died 21 November 1812 Hobart,and in 1813 William received a land grant at Sorell

William died October 1835 Sorell.


Elizabeth married John Frederick Dumcombe (Convict Abermale 1791) and had five children (4 girls & 1 boy), she then partnered with William Steers ( Convict Guilford 1812) when John died on 23rd November 1835 in Sydney. They had one daughter

Elizabeth died on 6th September 1853 aged 59 years at Sorell, with William dying on 13th May 1876 aged 97 years at Sorell. Her brother William died on 14th April 1817 aged just 27 years


Complied by John Boyd 2020

The Fellowship of First Fleeters installed a FFF Plaque for Mary Smith at Kingston Cemetery Quality Row Kingston N I on 6th March 2001.

. Refer FFF Web Site:http://www.fellowshipfirstfleeters.org.au/graves.html

Under FFF Plaque 113 – Installed 6th March 2001for

FF Mary Springham, Convict ‘Lady Penrhyn’ (c1765-1796)



-The Founders of Australia by Mollie Gillen p341 &157

-Dispatched Downunder by Ron Withington p 46 &47

-The Nagle Journal-A Diary by Jacob Nagle Able Seaman HMS Sirius 1775-1841 Edited by John C Dann.

-www hmssirius.com.au by Cathy Dunn-william-hambley-carpenters-mate-hms-sirius-1788-and-mary-springham-convict-lady-penrhyn-1788


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