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Rebecca Prior (1754–1805)

Rebecca Davison, a needle worker, and Sarah Burdo were found guilty, on 25 October 1786 at the Old Bailey, of the theft of £3.13s.16d. from a man they had accosted. Sentenced to seven years transportation they were sent to Newgate Gaol before they were delivered to the Lady Penrhyn on 6 January 1787. They arrived in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Davison married William Holmes on 17 February 1788. The couple were sent to Norfolk Island on 14 February 1789 by the Supply. By mid June Rebecca was working as a dressmaker. Holmes left the island for India on 6 May 1792.

Rebecca returned to Port Jackson aboard the Daedalus in November 1794; Thomas Prior also travelled on the ship. The couple were married on 14 August 1795. She died, as Mrs Pryor, on 12 February 1805.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 101

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Prior, Rebecca (1754–1805)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Davison, Rebecca
  • Davidson, Rebecca
  • Davison, Rebecka
  • Holmes, Rebecca
  • Pryor, Rebecca



12 February, 1805 (aged ~ 51)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years