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Esther Dowland (c. 1756–1804)

Jane Jackson (c.1756-1804), indicted thus but listed by Major Ross as Hester Roberts alias Jane Jackson, a hawker, was found guilty on 29 June 1785 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a silver watch, a hook, a hat, a key, a seal, and 3s.6d from a carpenter with whom she had been sleeping. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she arrived at Sydney aboard the Lady Penrhyn in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Jackson used the name Esther Roberts in the colony. She was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. She returned to Port Jackson on the Chesterfield in March 1793 and on 4 September 1793 married (as Hester Roberts) Ferdinand Dowland at St Philips Church, Sydney.

Esther Dowland was buried (as Ester Roberts) on 27 April 1804 at the Old Sydney Burial Ground.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 189

Citation details

'Dowland, Esther (c. 1756–1804)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Dowland, Jane
  • Roberts, Hester
  • Jackson, Jane
  • Roberts, Esther

c. 1756


26 April, 1804 (aged ~ 48)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years