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Elizabeth Beckford (c. 1710–1787)

Elizabeth Beckford (c.1710-1787) was found guilty on 10 January 1787 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a 12 pound Gloucester cheese valued at 4 shillings. She was discharged to the Lady Penrhyn on 10 January 1787. Surgeon Arthur Bowes Smyth estimated her age as 70 (and 82 on another occasion). She died of dropsy on 12 July as the Fleet neared the equator.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 402

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Beckford, Elizabeth (c. 1710–1787)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1710


12 July, 1787 (aged ~ 77)
at sea

Cause of Death

heart disease

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years