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Holt, Ann (c. 1764–1826)

Ann Fowles (c.1764-1826), a hawker, was found guilty on 6 April 1785 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing clothing from a fellow lodger. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, she arrived at Sydney, with her young daughter Mary, aboard the Lady Penrhyn in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. Ann lived with John Ruglass at Port Jackson. In January 1789 he was sentenced to receive 700 lashes for stabbing her. Fowles, apparently, was made to watch as he received half of his sentence. Fowles, herself, received 25 lashes on 13 February 1789 for abusing a sentinel. Found guilty of stealing clothing on 25 June 1789 she was sentenced to be publicly flogged with fifty lashes on three successive Thursdays, to have her head shaved, and to wear a canvas cap with the word 'thief' on it.

Fowles (and Ruglass) was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790; her daughter was already on the island, having been sent there in February 1789 to separate her from her mother's bad influence. Fowles resumed her relationship with Ruglass and continued to get into trouble. On 27 April 1790 she received 25 lashes for allowing hogs into the garden she shared with Phoebe Flarty. On 15 February 1791 she received 75 lashes for stealing and killing one of Edward Garth's hens. At the expiration of her sentence in 1792 she returned to Port Jackson on the Atlantic.

Fowles married John Holt on 15 March 1801 at Parramatta. They were living on a purchased 30 acre farm at Mulgrave Place in mid 1802 and were off stores with no children. In 1825 Ann was listed as Holt's housekeeper at Campbelltown. She was probably the Ann Holt who was buried at Sydney on 17 November 1826; her age was given as 59.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 133
  • HMS Sirius 1786-1790 — accessed 3 September 2020

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Holt, Ann (c. 1764–1826)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 October 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Fowles, Ann
  • Foulis, Ann
  • Foals, Ann
  • Foules, Ann
  • Breeze, Ann
  • Fowles, Elizabeth

c. 1764


16 November 1826
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Social Issues