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Mary Crowder (c. 1768–1830)

Mary Cowcher, alias Mary Christmas (c.1768-1830), a servant, was found guilty at the October 1787 Old Bailey Sessions of stealing a silver spoon from her employer's house. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she was sent to Newgate Gaol, where she remained until she embarked for New South Wales on the Lady Juliana in March 1789, arriving in Sydney in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet.

Cowcher mainly used the surname Christmas in the colony. She was sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize, arriving in August 1790. She married Charles Smith on 5 November 1791; they had at least three children. Following Charles's death in 1793 Mary began living with Thomas Crowder, a widower, who was becoming an increasingly prosperous farmer. The couple were married on 22 December 1799. They left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Porpoise in December 1807 and settled at Sussex.

Mary Crowder was buried at St David's Cemetery, Hobart, on 28 May 1830; her age was given as 60.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 224

Citation details

'Crowder, Mary (c. 1768–1830)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Christmas, Mary
  • Christmass, Mary
  • Cowcher, Mary

c. 1768


27 May, 1830 (aged ~ 62)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years