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.

Hartley, Mary (c. 1771–1813)

Mary Hartley was sentenced to 7 years transportation for highway robbery at Dublin, Ireland in 1792. She arrived at Sydney in September 1793 aboard the Sugar Cane.

Hartley was living with a man she referred to as Canless in 1795 when, she says, she was raped by numerous men at Thomas Cottrell's nearby farm. She told the court that she heard one of the men Anderson say that he would have a grinding mill, to grind the corn fine. That having heard that expression before at Sydney, she understood by it, that a number would lay with one woman and use her as they liked.

Six men, charged with sexual assaulting Hartley, were acquitted by the court on 15 April 1795. They were then charged with, and found guilty of, assault. Three of the men were sentenced to 500 lashes and the other three to 300 lashes. 

Hartley was recorded as living at Norfolk Island in 1805 and was working as a seamstress in 1806. She was living in New South Wales in 1811. She was buried (as Mary Hurtly) in New South Wales in 1813.

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Hartley, Mary (c. 1771–1813)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/hartley-mary-30656/text37990, accessed 1 December 2022.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hastley, Mary
  • Hurtly, Mary
Birth

c. 1771
Ireland

Death

1813 (aged ~ 42)
New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Occupation
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Dublin (Ireland)
Trial Date: 1792