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Catherine Heyland (c. 1753–1824)

Catherine Heyland (c.1753-1824) was found guilty on 2 April 1788 at the Old Bailey, London, of counterfeiting coins with William James. Her death sentence was commuted to life transportation on 7 May 1789 (James was hanged). Heyland arrived at Sydney in June 1790 aboard the Lady Juliana as part of the Second Fleet. She was sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize, arriving in August 1790.

From at least early 1792 Heyland was living with John Folly/Foley. They had two sons, John (b.1792) and James (b.1795), and lived on a 60 acre grant at Drummond's Run, Phillipsburgh. Diarist and poet John Grant was assigned to the couple as a convict in 1805. He described their dwelling in his diary and they looked after him after he had been flogged in 1805 and exiled a year later.

The Follys left Norfolk Island with their two sons and two servants for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Porpoise in December 1807. Settling at Queenborough, they took up 40 acres and an additional 170 acres at Brown's River in 1809.

Catherine Folly was buried (as Catherine Trolly) at Hobart on 23 October 1824; her age was given as 79.

information from

  • Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 328
  • Val Hell, 'John Folly Marine Private', Fellowship of First Fleeters, website:' — accessed 13 October 2020

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Heyland, Catherine (c. 1753–1824)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hyland, Catherine

c. 1753
London, Middlesex, England


18 October, 1824 (aged ~ 71)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: forgery
Sentence: life