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Martha Bishop (c. 1752–1823)

Martha Bates was sentenced at the Old Bailey, London on 28 October 1789 to seven years transportation for theft of a child's linen shift valued at 2 shillings. At the court, she begged for mercy and to go to Botany Bay. Weeks later she left Newgate Gaol to board the Neptune, bound for New South Wales.  The Neptune arrived on 28 June 1790.

On 2 March 1791, Martha married Daniel Edwards in Sydney. Daniel Edwards was one of two men of that name in the colony at the time — one arrived on the Surprize and the other on the Neptune, the same ship as Martha. No further colonial records of Daniel Edwards are found. By 1806, Martha was the housekeeper for John Bishop, a convict who arrived on the Pitt in 1792, on his Hawkesbury River farm. They married on 14 October 1811 at Parramatta.

Martha was buried with her husband John Bishop at St John's Cemetery, Parramatta, on 6 July 1823. At death, she was said to be 70.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 155

Citation details

'Bishop, Martha (c. 1752–1823)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bates, Martha
  • Edwards, Martha

c. 1752


5 July, 1823 (aged ~ 71)
Parramatta, Sydney, 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 Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years