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Mary Leary (c. 1765–?)

Mary Jackson (c.1765- ) was found guilty at the Old Bailey, London, on 30 August 1785 of stealing five shillings and a one shilling coin from the man she had slept with. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she arrived at Sydney aboard the Lady Penrhyn in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Jackson had cohabited with Edward Deane, a seaman on the Lady Penrhyn, during the voyage. Deane charged her on 19 February 1788 with theft of clothing but the charge was dismissed after it was found that it was made only after she refused to go on board his ship with him. 

Jackson married John Leary on 20 February 1788. She was charged with continually fighting Elizabeth Kellyhorne in September. On 8 August 1788 Mary charged her husband with beating her; they were ordered to be separated for a time.

In December 1791 John Leary was reported to have absconded before his sentence had expired. Mary Leary/Jackson seems to have also disappeared from colonial records.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 189-90

Citation details

'Leary, Mary (c. 1765–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Jackson, Mary

c. 1765

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years