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Wilkinson, Elizabeth (1760–1832)

Elizabeth Fitzgerald (a widow when she was convicted – her maiden name is not known) was sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing a cotton gown valued at 7 shillings. She arrived in Sydney in 1788 aboard the Lady Penrhyn as part of the First Fleet.

In 1790 she was among the group of convicts sent to Norfolk Island aboard the Sirius. At some point she began a relationship with William Mitchell, a mariner who was also on the ship. She had twin girls in February 1791. Mitchell married another woman in November of that year. Elizabeth returned to Sydney aboard the Kitty with her daughters in 1793. She was granted her freedom shortly after.

By 1795 she was living in a de facto relationship with Thomas Wright, a corporal in the NSW Corps. She was recorded in the 1806 Muster as the 'concubine' of Thomas Wright with three daughters – the twin daughters she had with William Mitchell and a daughter with Wright.  In 1808 Elizabeth followed Wright when his regiment was assigned to Launceston, Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania). Her daughter Susannah accompanied her. The two others remained in Sydney.

In 1814 Wright's regiment was deployed to Ceylon. Elizabeth remained in Tasmania and later in the year (using the surname Mitchell) married Henry Wilkinson. Her daughter Susannah was also married in that church three days later. By 1819 the couple were living at Longford and were caring for one child – presumably a grandchild.

 

Citation details

'Wilkinson, Elizabeth (1760–1832)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/wilkinson-elizabeth-27776/text35493, accessed 21 June 2018.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Fitzgerald, Elizabeth
  • Mitchell, Elizabeth
  • Wright, Elizabeth
Birth

1760
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Death

20 August 1832
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Occupation
Key Events