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Johnson, Mary (c. 1763–1806)

Mary Johnson (c.1763-1806)  and Elizabeth Cole were found guilty on 9 May 1786 at the Old Bailey, London, of the theft of some stockings from a shop. Sentenced to 7 years transportation Johnson embarked for New South Wales on the Prince of Wales in May 1787, arriving in the colony in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Johnson may have been the Mary Johnson who shared a hut with Esther Abrahams in October 1792 at Sydney Cove. Although she is not listed in official records as Mary Hughes she is probably the Mary Hughes who stated in November 1789 that she was living with Captain James Meredith. She definitely bore Meredith a son, James, baptised on 9 May 1790. Meredith took their son with him with he left the colony on the Gorgon in December 1791. Mary was at the time pregnant with their daughter Mary.

On 20 October 1794 a Mary Hughes married a John Robinson at Parramatta. The Mary Hughes who went to New South Wales on the Prince of Wales was recorded in 1801 and 1806 as living with John Sparrow and then disappears from records. She was probably the Mary Hughes who who was buried in Sydney in December 1806.

 * information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 194-95

Citation details

'Johnson, Mary (c. 1763–1806)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 August 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hughes, Mary

c. 1763


December 1806
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places