People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Mary Guest (c. 1773–1829)

Mary Bateman (c.1773-1829) a teenage prostitute, was found guilty on 7 May 1788 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a silver watch valued at 39 shillings, from a drunken customer. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, she was sent from Newgate Gaol to the Lady Juliana on 12 March 1789, and arrived at Sydney in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet. 

Bateman was sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize, arriving in August 1790. She married George Guest in a mass wedding ceremony on the island in November 1791; the couple had at least five children. The couple left the island with their children in 1805. They were living in Sydney in 1806 when George Guest was offered land in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in exchange for his extensive Norfolk Island holdings. His wife and children appear to have continued to remain most of the time in Sydney. Guest wrote from Sydney in 1810 that his wife had been deprived of her reason by their difficulties and he had to employ two men to restrain her. She was later confined in the lunatic asylum at Liverpool and died there on 1 April 1829. She was buried at St Luke's, Liverpool, described as insane and aged about 46.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 154-55

Citation details

'Guest, Mary (c. 1773–1829)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bateman, Mary

c. 1773


1 April, 1829 (aged ~ 56)
Liverpool, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years