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Catherine Clare (c. 1756–1822)

Catherine Smith was found guilty on 18 April 1787 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a silver watch from a man she was sharing a room with. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she arrived at Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Prince of Wales as part of the First Fleet.

On 18 March 1789 one of the Catherine Smith's in the colony was ordered to receive 25 lashes for being in possession of soldier's property. This Catherine Smith married George Clare on 12 July 1789. By 1798 she was living with Thomas Rickerby; the couple were still together in 1814. No record of her death has been found but it is believed that it occurred between 1819 and 1828. Rickerby had died in 1818, leaving her a house in Windsor and an income of £30 a year. She was described in his will as his housekeeper who had rendered long and faithful service.

It is possible that she was Catherine Ware who died at Windsor on 13 June 1822, aged 66.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 333-34

Citation details

'Clare, Catherine (c. 1756–1822)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Smith, Catherine
  • Smith, Catharine
  • Ware, Catherine

c. 1756


13 June, 1822 (aged ~ 66)
Windsor, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years