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Catherine Hart (c. 1766–?)

Catherine Hart (c.1766- ), a servant, was found guilty on 8 December 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing clothing — initially valued at £2.17s but lowered to 30s when the owner found that the higher value carried the death penalty — from a house. Hart was discharged to the Lady Penrhyn in January 1787 and transferred to the Prince of Wales on 29 August 1787 where, on 7 September she gave birth to a son John; John Fisher, a seaman on the Lady Penrhyn, was the father.

Hart continued her relationship with Fisher at Port Jackson until he died on 25 March 1788 from a chill after swimming ashore to be with her in the woods. Hart then had a son Robert, with Lieutenant Robert Kellow; the infant was baptised on 1 January 1790. Hart was sent, with both of her children, to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790; Kellow was also on the ship. They had a daughter in October 1791.

Kellow returned to England on the Gorgon in December 1791, taking his son Robert with him. As there are no further records for Hart or her other children, and her sentence would have expired just as the ship was leaving, it is likely that he also took them, providing for them from his own stores.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 164
  • HMS Sirius 1786-1790, — accessed 16 September 2020

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Hart, Catherine (c. 1766–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hart, Cathrin

c. 1766

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years