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Rebecca Best (c. 1771–1819)

Rebecca Chippenham was found guilty on 9 September 1789 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing eight silk handkerchiefs from a shop. She arrived in Sydney aboard the Neptune in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet.

On 10 June 1792 she married John Browne at Parramatta. His identity is uncertain and he disappeared from records soon after. No record of any children have been found. Chippenham had moved to Norfolk Island by 1800 and in 1811 was recorded as 'housekeeper' for John Best and an orphan Mary Wheeler. All three sailed for Sydney in April 1811. Chippenham and Best were married at Castlereagh on 16 June 1817. She was buried there on 31 August 1819; her age was given as 48.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 204

Citation details

'Best, Rebecca (c. 1771–1819)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Chippenham, Rebecca
  • Chipman, Rebecca
  • Browne, Rebecca
  • Chipman, Rebecka

c. 1771


30 August, 1819 (aged ~ 48)
Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years