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Hawkes, Elizabeth (Betty) (c. 1765–?)

Elizabeth (Betty) Mason (c.1765- ) was found guilty on 23 March 1785 at Gloucester, England, of stealing a leather purse containing 15 gold guineas from a house. Her death sentence was commuted to 14 years transportation on 28 December 1785. She arrived at Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Prince of Wales (after being transferred from the Friendship at the Cape of Good Hope) as part of the First Fleet. Mason had a son, Thomas, at Gloucester gaol while waiting to be transported. Thomas accompanied her on the voyage and died at sea on 29 September 1787.

Mason shared a hut with Anthony Rope and his wife Elizabeth in June 1788. On 2 August Mason was accused of stealing a shirt belong to James Brown. She was committed for trial but there is no record of a trial or sentence. On 29 August 1789 she was sentenced to 25 lashes for prevarication after being charged with making a frivolous complaint against marine drummer Joseph Abbott.

Mason married Richard Hawkes on 14 February 1790; they were still together in 1828. The couple were not recorded as having any children. No date of death has been found for Elizabeth Hawkes.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 240-41

Citation details

'Hawkes, Elizabeth (Betty) (c. 1765–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/hawkes-elizabeth-betty-31051/text38423, accessed 6 December 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Mason, Elizabeth
  • Hawker, Elizabeth
  • Hawks, Elizabeth
Birth

c. 1765
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Occupation
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 14 years