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Matilda Hanchard (1825–1901)

Matilda Gillingham was sentenced to seven years transportation for burglary (she stole wearing apparel from a dwelling house). She arrived in Tasmania in 1842 aboard the Emma Eugenia.  According to the ship's indent she was 5 feet 1¼ inches (155 cms) tall, had a fair complexion, oval head, brown hair, high forehead, dark brown eyebrows, and hazel eyes. Her convict trade was given as nursemaid.

On 16 May 1844 she was charged with absconding. Her sentence was extended for a further 12 months and she was sent to the Cascades Female Factory. A ticket of leave was granted in November 1845 and a Certificate of Freedom in January 1850. She married James John Chapman on 11 November 1844. They had three children.

On 25 March 1876, as Eliza Chapman, she married Robert Hanchard at Mudgee, New South Wales. They had a daughter, registered as Louisa Hanchard, who was born at Launceston in 1857, a son Robert Hanchard, born at Launceston in 1859, and Alfred Hanchard born at Launceston in 1861 (Matilda gave her name as Eliza Harris in his birth certificate).

Citation details

'Hanchard, Matilda (1825–1901)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Harris, Eliza
  • Gillingham, Matilda
  • Gilligan, Matilda
  • Gilligant, Matilda
  • Chapman, Matilda
  • Hanchard, Jessie Eliza

Christchurch, Hampshire, England


13 December, 1901 (aged ~ 76)
Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia

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Passenger Ship
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years