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Elizabeth (Betty) King (c. 1767–1856)

Elizabeth Thackery (c.1767-1856), the wife of Thomas Thackery a soldier, was found guilty on 4 May 1786 at Manchester, Lancashire, of stealing two black silk handkerchiefs and three other handkerchiefs worth one shilling. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she was sent to the Dunkirk hulk on 26 October 1786, where she remained until she embarked for New South Wales on the Friendship in March 1787. She was transferred to the Charlotte at the Cape of Good Hope in October 1878 and arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Thackery was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. She received 25 lashes on 14 July 1791 for coming in from Phillipsburgh without leave. She was living with James Dodding by 1794. On 1 May 1800 she bought 10 acres from Samuel King and at the 1805 Muster was marked off stores. It is assumed that she was the 'wife' who accompanied Dodding to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1807. If so, they separated not long after. Elizabeth married Samuel King at St David's, Hobart, on 28 January 1810. She held 20 acres in her own name at New Norfolk in September 1813.

Elizabeth King died at Back River, New Norfolk on 7 August 1856. Her age was given as 93 and cause of death as 'old age'. It was claimed in the newspaper that she was the 'first white woman that landed in New South Wales'.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p

Additional Resources

Citation details

'King, Elizabeth (Betty) (c. 1767–1856)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Thackery, Elizabeth
  • Thackary, Elizabeth
  • Hackery, Elizabeth

c. 1767


6 August, 1856 (aged ~ 89)
New Norfolk, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


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
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years