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Mary Tilley (c. 1754–1788)

Mary Abel was sentenced on 5 March 1785 at Worcester, England, to seven years transportation for stealing three ells of cloth, tablecloths, clothing etc. She arrived in Sydney in 1788 aboard the Lady Penrhyn as part of the First Fleet. She had been in service and was about 30 years old. She was already pregnant before embarking on the voyage and gave birth to a son, William Tilley, on 13 April 1787 at Portsmouth. The child died in May 1788. Mary married Thomas Tilley at Sydney Cove on 4 May 1788. She was buried in Sydney on 21 July 1788.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 1

Citation details

'Tilley, Mary (c. 1754–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Abel, Mary
  • Able, Mary

c. 1754


20 July, 1788 (aged ~ 34)
Sydney, New South Wales, 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
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years