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Mary Carter (c. 1764–?)

Mary Carter (c.1764- ), Elizabeth Emmans, and another woman were found guilty in March 1788 at the Berkshire Lent Assizes, held at Reading, of three separated counts of shoplifting. Carter's death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation in April 1789. She was held at Reading Gaol until dispatched to the Lady Juliana in March 1789 and arrived at Sydney in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet Fleet.

She was probably the Mary Ann Carty/Carthy/McCarthy sometimes using either Mary or Ann as her primary name) sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize in August 1790. She received 10 lashes on 5 April 1791 for refusing to obey her overseer's orders. On 14 July 1791 she received 25 lashes for leaving Phillipburgh without permission and going to Sydney Town, the island's main settlement. She gave birth to a child on 17 October 1791 who does not seem to have survived.

As Mary Carter she shared a sow with first fleet convicts Thomas Kidner and Robert Nunn, making them self-sufficient in meat by 1792. Kidner was by then involved with another woman. Whether Carter was living with Nunn has not been clarified. He was not with her when in June 1794 she began working for Nathaniel Lucas. She was, at the time, described as unmarried and childless; Nunn returned to Port Jackson alone later in the year.

The child Margaret Cartey (b. 4 October 1794) was almost certainly hers. She left the island with her daughter for Sydney in November 1795 on the Supply; they returned to Norfolk Island on HMS Reliance in February 1796.

Mary Carter/Carthy/McCarthy has not been traced with certainty in later records. She might have been the Ann Carty buried at Sydney on 7 May 1799. There was also a Mary Nunn who was discharged after appearing before a magistrate in Sydney on 22 June 1799.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 193

Citation details

'Carter, Mary (c. 1764–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Carter, Mary Ann
  • Carty, Ann
  • Carthy, Mary
  • McCarthy, Mary

c. 1764

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