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Elizabeth Youngson (c. 1772–1854)

Elizabeth Youngson (c.1772-1854), a laundress, was found guilty on 26 March 1787 of breaking into a warehouse in the early hours of the morning, with her brother George Youngson, and stealing about £3 in coins. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation. The siblings arrived at Sydney aboard the Prince of Wales in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. They were sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in February 1789.

Elizabeth had three children on Norfolk Island. She returned with her brother, and at least one child, to Port Jackson in November 1794 on the Daedalus. On 6 May 1798 she married Abraham Lee at St Philip's Church, Sydney.

In 1806 Elizabeth was recorded as self-employed and without children. She had a daughter Ann with Patrick Mitchell on 18 April 1808. In 1814 James Atheway, a labourer, was living at her address. In later years she was recorded as a widow. In 1828 she gave her occupation as laundress and her age as 56.

An Elizabeth Lee (her legal name) was buried on 3 July 1854 from St Mary's Church, Sydney; aged 82. There can be no assurance it is her but the age matches with the one she gave in 1828.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 398-99

Citation details

'Youngson, Elizabeth (c. 1772–1854)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Youngster, Elizabeth
  • Lee, Elizabeth

c. 1772
Lancashire, England


2 July, 1854 (aged ~ 82)
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
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years