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Ann Talbot (c. 1763–1835)

Ann Harmsden (c.1763- 1835) and Ann Fortesque were found guilty at the March 1787 Kent Assizes of the highway robbery of a woman in which a bundle of clothing and cloth was stolen. Their death sentences were commuted to 14 years transportation. After more than two years in gaol, the women were dispatched to the Lady Juliana, arriving at Sydney in June 1790 as part of the Second Fleet.

Harmsden was sent to Norfolk Island on the Surprize in August 1790. She lived with George Legge from at least early 1791; they were married in the mass wedding ceremony held on the island in November 1791. The couple returned to Port Jackson in August 1795. George Legge was prosecuted for debt in December of that year and in August 1797 was sentenced to seven years transportation at Sydney for receiving stolen property. The couple were mustered at Sydney in 1801 and were childless. Ann was still childless in 1807 when her husband drowned after his boat overturned.

On 2 July 1810 Ann married George Talbot, a Sydney baker. In 1822 she ran into bureaucratic trouble attempting to return to England. The indents for the Lady Juliana had been lost and the government would not issue her with a certificate of freedom, only a certificate of leave. She refused the latter, 'knowing herself to be free' and to have 'an upright and irreproachable character'. 

The couple lived at Darling Harbour in 1828, employed a labourer, and provided lodging for a convict and two children. They were admitted to the Sydney Benevolent Asylum on 10 October 1834.

Ann Talbot died at Sydney on 24 November 1835; her age was given as 66 but was probably nearer to 72. Her husband died two years later and was buried with her in the Elizabeth Street Burial Ground.

* information from Michael Flynn, The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790 (1993), pp 316-17

Citation details

'Talbot, Ann (c. 1763–1835)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Harmsden, Ann
  • Armsdon, Ann
  • Armsdun, Ann
  • Armsden, Ann
  • Haundson, Ann
  • Arnsdown, Ann
  • Amsdon, Ann
  • Legge, Ann

c. 1763


24 November, 1835 (aged ~ 72)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 14 years