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Mary Sheers (c. 1761–1792)

Mary Smith (c.1762-1792), a dressmaker, was found guilty on 31 May 1786 at the Old Bailey, London, of stealing a pair of leather boots from a shop. Her death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation on 4 January 1787. She arrived at Sydney aboard the Lady Penrhyn in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Smith married James Sheers on 21 February 1788; they had one daughter Mary Ann (b.1789). The couple and their daughter were sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790.

Mary Sheers died at Norfolk Island on 9 December 1792.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 336
  • HMS Sirius 1786-1790 — accessed 11 September 2020

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Sheers, Mary (c. 1761–1792)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Smith, Mary
  • Hosely, Mary

c. 1761


7 December, 1792 (aged ~ 31)
Norfolk Island, 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
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years