People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Elizabeth Brown (c. 1757–?)

Elizabeth Barber, a book stitcher, and two female companions were found guilty on 11 September 1782 at the Old Bailey, London, of assaulting a man and stealing his watch and money. Their death sentences were commuted to seven years transportation to America. After escaping from the convict transport Mercury in March 1784, Elizabeth was sent to the Dunkirk hulk. She was discharged on 11 March 1787 to the Friendship and on 28 August was transferred to the Prince of Wales (all the women were transferred to other ships to make room for stock). She arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Barber married Thomas (or John) Brown on 17 February 1788 at Sydney. Her first two children died not long after their births. Her daughter Elizabeth, born in June 1791, was living with her parents in December 1791. No further trace of Elizabeth has been found in colonial records.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 22-23

Citation details

'Brown, Elizabeth (c. 1757–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Barber, Elizabeth

c. 1757

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: assault and robbery
Sentence: 7 years