People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Sheers, Mary (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 https://hmssirius.com.au/james-sheers-convict-scarborough-1788-and-mary-smith-convict-lady-penryhn-1788 — accessed 11 September 2020

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Sheers, Mary (c. 1761–1792)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/sheers-mary-30984/text38352, accessed 14 June 2021.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Smith, Mary
  • Hosely, Mary
Birth

c. 1761
England

Death

7 December 1792
Norfolk Island, Australia

Cause of Death

unknown

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Occupation
Key Events
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years