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Frances Williams (?–c. 1801)

Frances Williams ( - c.1801?) was found guilty on 2 September 1783 at Flintshire, Wales, of the theft of 'divers Goods and Chattels' from two different owners. Her death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation on 24 August 1784. She was held in gaol at Flint until she embarked on the Prince of Wales in April 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

William's daughter, Sarah, with Private Robert Ryan was baptised at Port Jackson on 16 July 1789; all three were sent to Norfolk Island in March 1790 (Williams and Sarah on the Sirius, Ryan on the Supply). The couple were still together, with two children, in June 1794.

Frances Williams died on Norfolk Island sometime prior to 1801. When Ryan returned to New South Wales that year her children remained on the island and were left in the care of John Cropper and Noah Mortimer.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 383-84
  • Cathy Dunn, 'Frances Williams, Convict, Prince of Wales 1788', HMS Sirius 1786-1790, — accessed 22 September 2020.

Citation details

'Williams, Frances (?–c. 1801)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1801
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
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years