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Mary Owles (c. 1740–1816)

Mary Wilson (c.1740-1816) and Mary Newman were found guilty on 21 February 1787 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing underwear from a house. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, Wilson arrived at Sydney aboard the Prince of Wales in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Wilson married John Owles on 27 September 1789. The couple were sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. Following her husband's death in 1806 Mary Owles lived with James Sheers. The couple returned to Port Jackson in 1814 on the Kangaroo.

Mary died (as Mary Sheers) on 15 August 1816 at Sydney; her age was given as 85.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 388- 389

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Owles, Mary (c. 1740–1816)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Sheers, Mary
  • Willson, Mary
  • Wilson, Mary

c. 1740


15 August, 1816 (aged ~ 76)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Old Bailey, London
Trial Date: 27 March 1787