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Ann Bryant (c. 1759–?)

Ann Coombes (c.1759- ) was found guilty on 30 March 1786 at Taunton, Somerset, of stealing three petticoats and other goods. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, she was sent to the Dunkirk hulk until she embarked on the Charlotte in March 1787 for New South Wales. She was transferred to the Friendship at Rio de Janeiro and to the Prince of Wales at the Cape of Good Hope. She arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. It was recorded that she received 6 lashes in mid-November 1787 for theft.

Coombes married John Bryant on 17 February 1788. The couple was sent to Norfolk Island on the Golden Grove in October 1788. Her husband died on 28 July 1789 after being injured by a falling tree. The next month Ann was ordered to receive 50 lashes for defrauding Thomas Jones of provisions. The next day she was ordered to receive 100 lashes for stealing two shirts from Francis Mee.

By June 1794 Bryant was living with James Cullen. Two years later he was living with Elizabeth Bartlett. In 1805 Bryant was living alone on the island. She left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the City of Edinburgh in October 1808. She was living in Hobart in 1811.

Bryant may have been the de facto wife of John Gibson who also left Norfolk Island on the City of Edinburgh in 1808. The 1818 and 1819 musters shows them both living at Clarence Plains.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 82 and Biographical Database of Australia —

Citation details

'Bryant, Ann (c. 1759–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Coombes, Ann
  • Coombs, Ann
  • Combe, Ann

c. 1759

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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years