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Mary Mortimer (c. 1754–1816)

Mary Cottle (c.1754-1816) was found guilty on 9 July 1787 at the Bristol Guildhall Quarter Sessions of stealing four handkerchiefs. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she arrived at Sydney aboard the Lady Juliana in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet.

Cottle was sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize in August 1790. From at least February 1791 she was living with Noah Mortimer at Sydney Town. They were described as a childless, married couple in June 1794. Cottle received 12 lashes on 5 April 1794 and was ordered by the Lieutenant-Governor to Cascade as a punishment for riotous behaviour.

Cottle and Mortimer purchased a 60 acre farm in 1796 and were married on the island on 3 November 1801. They had adopted a child, James Williams (b.1796), the son of Frances Williams and Robert Ryan, by 1805. By 1807 the couple held 110 acres.

Mary left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) with her husband, son, and father-in-law on the Lady Nelson in December 1808, settling on 170 acres at New Town.

Mary Mortimer died (as Mary Mortimore) at Hobart on 22 September 1816; her age was given as 67. She was buried at St David's cemetery Hobart.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), p 223

Citation details

'Mortimer, Mary (c. 1754–1816)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Cottle, Mary
  • Cottrell, Mary
  • Cotterell, Mary
  • Mortimore, Mary

c. 1754


22 September, 1816 (aged ~ 62)
Hobart, 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
Court: Bristol
Trial Date: 9 July 1787