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 Jordan (c. 1774–c. 1812)

Mary Butler (c.1774-1812) and Mary Randall were found guilty on 12 December 1787 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a silver watch, a silk handkerchief, two banknotes totalling £35 and some cash from a shopkeeper. Sentenced to 7 years transportation the women were held at Newgate gaol until they embarked for New South Wales aboard the Lady Juliana in 1789, arriving in June 1790, as part of the Second Fleet.

Butler and Randall were sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize in October 1790. The First Fleet convict William Saltmarsh was also on the ship. In July 1791 he was cultivating a small piece of land at Sydney Town, living with one other person, who may have been Mary Butler. Saltmarsh left the island for India, never to return in May 1792. The following month, Butler bore his child.

Butler later lived with James Jordan; they had at least five children. She was admitted to the Norfolk Island hospital several times suffering from sang effus. She appears to have died before James Jordan and their children left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Minstrel in February 1813.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 186-87

Citation details

'Jordan, Mary (c. 1774–c. 1812)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Butler, Mary

c. 1774


c. 1812 (aged ~ 38)
Norfolk Island, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years