Attention Internet Explorer User

Your web browser has been identified as Internet Explorer .

In the coming months this site is going to be updated to improve security, accessibility and mobile experience. Older versions of Internet Explorer do not provide the functionality required for these changes and as such your browser will no longer be supported as of September 2020. If you require continued access to this site then you will need to install a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Richardson, Isabella (c. 1753–?)

Isabella Rosson (c.1753- ) a laundress, was found guilty on 10 January 1787 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a waistcoat, four bed curtains, and a set of cotton bed curtains from her mistress. Sentenced to seven years transportation, she arrived in Sydney in 1788 aboard the Lady Penrhyn as part of the First Fleet. Her occupation was recorded by the ship's surgeon as dressmaker. Rosson gave birth to a child, Mary (recorded as Mary Lawson), who died during the voyage. She was recorded as Isabella Lawson when she landed at Botany Bay.

On 15 February 1879 Isabella's son Joseph (fathered by Joseph Abbott, a drummer in the NSW Corps) was baptised; the infant died on 12 November. Isabella was assigned to the Rev Richard Johnson in 1789 and began teaching at his school. Signing herself as Isabella Rosson, she married William Richardson (who was also teaching at the school) on 5 September 1897. The couple continued to teach at the school until 1810 when it is believed they returned to England. By then William had joined the NSW Corps.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 315

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Richardson, Isabella (c. 1753–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/richardson-isabella-29747/text36827, accessed 25 November 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Rosson, Isabella
  • Lawson, Isabella
Birth

c. 1753
England

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Occupation
Key Events