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Elizabeth Clayton (c. 1762–?)

Elizabeth Dudgeon (c.1762- ) and Susannah Garth were found guilty on 10 September 1783 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing money from a man with whom they had been drinking at a tavern.

Sentenced to 7 years transportation to America, Dudgeon was among the prisoners who mutinied on the convict transport Mercury in April 1784. Recaptured, she was sent to the Dunkirk hulk in June 1784. She embarked for New South Wales aboard the Friendship in March 1787. Dudgeon was in and out of irons while on the ship for continuing to 'have connection' with seamen, fighting with other women and was flogged for impertinence. She was transferred to the Charlotte at the Cape of Good Hope in October 1787 and arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Dudgeon married George Clayton on 24 April 1788 at Sydney. It is believed that the couple left the colony on the Admiral Barrington in January 1792. The ship reached Bombay (now Mumbai, India) safely but was blown from its moorings in a gale. Many of the seamen were said to have been killed by islanders when they swam ashore at the Malvan Islands. It is not known what happened to the ship's passengers.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 109-110

Citation details

'Clayton, Elizabeth (c. 1762–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Dudgeon, Elizabeth
  • Drizzen, Elizabeth
  • Dudgens, Elizabeth
  • Dudging, Elizabeth
  • Dudgin, Elizabeth

c. 1762

Passenger Ship
Key Events
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Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years