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Elizabeth Free (c. 1775–1850)

Elizabeth Smith was found guilty on 27 February 1788 at the Old Bailey, London, of robbing and assaulting a man at a boarding house. Her death sentence was commuted to life transportation. She was held at Newgate gaol until sent to New South Wales aboard the Lady Juliana in June 1789 (arriving June 1890) as part of the Second Fleet.

Elizabeth was transferred to Norfolk Island in August 1790. She had two children with James Grace. Following his death in 1793 she lived with Samuel Free. They had five children by the time the family left the island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in December 1807 on the Porpoise. Elizabeth and Samuel married on 23 April 1810 at St David's Hobart. Elizabeth died on 22 June 1850 at Clarence Plains; her age was given as 85. Her cause of death was given as 'decay of nature'.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 536

Citation details

'Free, Elizabeth (c. 1775–1850)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Tree, Elizabeth
  • Smith, Elizabeth

c. 1775
London, Middlesex, England


22 June, 1850 (aged ~ 75)
Clarence Plains, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

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: life