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Elizabeth Marr (1762–1825)

Elizabeth Needham (1762-1825), a servant, was found guilty on 19 July 1786 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing two pairs of silk stockings. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, she arrived in Sydney in 1788 aboard the Lady Penrhyn as part of the First Fleet.

Thomas Bramwell was ordered to receive 200 lashes (reduced to 100) for beating Needham on 11 February 1788 after she refused to go into the bush with him. Surgeon Arthur Bowes Smyth wrote in his journal 'This day Thos. Bramwell a Marine (lately Servt. to Lieut. G: Johnstone in our Ship) got amongst the women & beat one of them (Elizth. Needham, a most infamous hussy) wt. whom he had had connections while on board us, & this day he reed. 100 Lashes & is to have 100 more'. 

On 11 February 1788 Needham married fellow convict William Snailham. They had two children. By 1796 Snailham had died and a grant of land was issued to Elizabeth in her own right. Two years later she was operating a public house in Sydney and was living with John Driver with whom she had a daughter. They returned to England in 1798. In 1800 they obtained permission to return to Sydney as free settlers. They arrived at Port Jackson aboard the Minorca in 1801.

The Drivers ran a warehouse, store and and had a publican's licence between 1803-09. Elizabeth was recorded with three male and two female children in 1806. John Driver died in 1810. Elizabeth married Henry Marr, a successful emancipist, in that same year. She died in England following her third trip to her homeland to see friends and to buy goods, and was buried in St. Thomas’s Cathedral, Portsmouth.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 262-63

Citation details

'Marr, Elizabeth (1762–1825)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Gore, Elizabeth
  • Driver, Elizabeth
  • Needham, Elizabeth
  • Snaleham, Elizabeth
  • Snailham, Elizabeth

21 August, 1762
London, Middlesex, England


3 January, 1825 (aged 62)
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England

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