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Mary Ann Critchley (1793–1879)

Mary Ann McCarty/Beazley was born on 4 June 1792 at Norfolk Island. She left the island for New South Wales on 8 April 1809.

In 1811 and 1814 she was recorded in musters as living with Lieut. Thomas Skottowe of the 73rd Regiment and Commandant of Newcastle. Two sons were born in New South Wales — Augustus, and George. In April 1815 Skottowe left the colony, with Augustus, for Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and later returned to his family in Northumberland, England. He died in 1820.

Mary Ann later married Henry Critchley in 1823 while living in Calcutta (Kolkata), India. Following her husband's death in 1826 she became matron of the Military (Nursing) Training School in Calcutta. In 1837, she took a leave of absence to England, intending to return to India, but arrived in Sydney on the Ewerreta in November 1837. Alfred Cheeke, a barrister, who later became a judge of the NSW Supreme Court, was also on the ship. Cheeke asked her to look after his house; she was his housekeeper for the rest of his life.

Cheeke apparently arrived in Sydney with one hundred pounds and, throughout the years, until he died 14 March 1876, he constantly borrowed money from Mary Ann Critchley (she had pensions and investments). At the time of his death, Cheeke owed Mary Ann over 10,000 pounds, according to the IOUs that were found. That did not include the interest at 6 % per year. He never married and in his will he left her his house and property at Darling Point and £10,000.

Mary Ann Critchley died at Darling Point, Sydney, on 18 May 1879 leaving a large estate. She was buried at Waverley Cemetery.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Critchley, Mary Ann (1793–1879)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • McCarthy, Mary Ann
  • Beazley, Mary Ann
  • Beasley, Mary Ann
  • Beadsley, Mary Ann
  • Beardsley, Mary Ann
  • McCarty, Mary Ann
  • Skottowe, Mary Ann

4 June, 1793
Norfolk Island, Australia


18 May, 1879 (aged 85)
Darling Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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