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Mary Turner (c. 1765–1808)

Mary Turner (1765-1808), alias Mary Wilkes, a servant, was found guilty on 13 March 1785 at Worcester of stealing several small items of clothing, worth about £2, from a house. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, she arrived at Sydney on the Lady Penrhyn in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Turner shared a hut with Mary Phillips at Port Jackson in 1788. On 5 March 1789 she and Tasmin Alden were ordered to receive 50 lashes (25 then and the remainder on the next provision day) for stealing six cabbages from William Parr's garden. On 25 March 1789 she gave evidence at the trial of six marines who were hanged for stealing from the stores.

Turner was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790, returning to Port Jackson on the Kitty in March 1793. She had the first of her four children with David Batty in 1794. The couple were still together when she died as Mary Wilks at Sydney. She was buried on 21 January 1808.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 362

Citation details

'Turner, Mary (c. 1765–1808)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Wilkes, Mary
  • Wilks, Mary

c. 1765


20 January, 1808 (aged ~ 43)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years