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Elizabeth (Bet) Anderson (1764–1816)

 Elizabeth Roster (c.1764-1816) was found guilty on 9 January 1788 at the Old Bailey Sessions, of stealing a pair of linen sheets, a silk bonnet, three night caps, a silk handkerchief, a pillow bier or case, and a silk stomacher. Sentenced to seven years transportation she was held in Newgate Gaol before embarking for Sydney on the Lady Juliana in June 1789. She arrived at Port Jackson in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet.

On 25 December 1790 Roster married John Anderson. The couple settled on a 50 acre grant at The Ponds in July 1791. In October 1796 Elizabeth was charged, with William Norman, of the murder of the Anderson's adjoining neighbour, Elizabeth Williams, who had died on 19 September from multiple wounds to her head. After a long trial both were acquitted.

The Andersons sold their farm in the late 1790s and purchased a 30 acre farm in the Hawkesbury district; by 1802 they had cleared 16 acres. In 1806 they held 130 acres in the Hawkesbury district and were living 'off stores'. They had no children.

In February 1815 Elizabeth and her husband entered into an agreement whereby they would live apart and her husband would pay her £25 a year. A year later Elizabeth, and one of their convict servants, James Stock, were found guilty of John Anderson's murder. Neighbours reported at her trial about hearing violent quarrels between the Andersons. Elizabeth and Stock were executed on 19 July. Her body was ordered to be handed over to surgeons to be 'dissected and anatomized'.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 510-12

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Anderson, Elizabeth (Bet) (1764–1816)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Roster, Elizabeth



19 July, 1816 (aged ~ 52)
New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years