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Jane Newell (1826–?)

Jane Wainwright was sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing a coat. She arrived in Van Diemen's Land (later Tasmania) in 1841 aboard the Mexborough. According to the ship's indent she was 4 feet 10½ inches tall, had a fresh complexion, oval head, brown hair, low forehead, brown eyebrows, hazel eyes and was deeply pockpitted. Her occupation was given as servant/nurse girl.

In May 1842 she was given seven days solitary confinement at the Female Factory for being absent without leave. In April 1843 she was given 10 days solitary confinement at the Launceston Female Factory for being insolent. In August of that year she was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and hard labour (the first 6th and 9th months to be spent in solitary confinement) for misconduct for severely abusing a fellow prisoner. She was recommended for a conditional pardon in December 1845. It was granted on 23 November 1846.

In 1845 in the Chapel at the Launceston Female Factory she married Alexander Newell. In November Alexander was charged with bigamously marrying her but the subsequent court case decided the marriage was not legal because the chapel was not a church and therefore not a consecrated site. She had twin daughters, Mary Ann and Sarah Jane, with Newell (born 22 November 1845).

A Jane Newell who had arrived on Mexborough, departed on the Shamrock for Melbourne on 16 January 1850. There is a record for the death of a Jane Newell, aged 76, at the Lunatic Asylum, Sunbury, on 13 October 1888 from 'softening of the brain'. The death certificate states she was born in England but gives no further personal details.

Citation details

'Newell, Jane (1826–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Wainwright, Jane

Cavan, Ireland

Cultural Heritage

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Passenger Ship
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years