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Elizabeth (Betty) Eccles (1742–1835)

Elizabeth/Winifred Bird and John Love were accused of stealing a wether lamb; Mary Love was accused of receiving it. Elizabeth and John were sentenced to death on 15 March 1785 at Maidstone; Mary Love was sentenced to 14 years transportation. Bird's death was later commuted to seven years transportation. She and Mary Love were sent to Southwark gaol. Her age on embarkation was given as 45 and her occupation 'in service'.  She arrived in Sydney in January 1788 aboard the Lady Penryhn as part of the First Fleet.

In March 1790, Bird was sent by the Sirius to Norfolk Island, where she began living with fellow convict, Thomas Eccles. They were one of nearly 100 couples who were married on the Island in November 1791. In March 1801 the couple returned to Port Jackson on the Porpoise.

In the 1814 Muster she was listed as ‘Mrs Eccles’. In 1821 she was employed as a housekeeper. She died at Parramatta on 25 July 1835, her age was given as 105, but was probably nearer 93. She was buried the next day at St John’s cemetery, Sydney.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 34-35

Citation details

'Eccles, Elizabeth (Betty) (1742–1835)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hackells, Betty
  • Bird, Elizabeth
  • Bird, Winifred

18 September, 1742
Kent, England


26 July, 1835 (aged 92)
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years