Mary FAULKNER ( c.1797 - 1852)

       Born: c.1797
       Died: 25 July 1852


    Husband: BARBER, David (1786-1843)
   Children: 2..


Twenty year old Mary Faulkner (Fawkner on her convict record) was arrested for the theft of pocket books at Manchester. Mary was tried at the quarter sessions held at the New Bailey Court House in Salford on the 22nd July 1817 where she was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation.

The town of Salford lies on a bend in the Irwell River two miles from Manchester, not far from the court-house at the edge of town was the New Bailey Prison, which was built in 1787-90.(1)  A new prison at Strangeways replaced the New Bailey Prison which was demolished in 1871.

Mary embarked on the Maria which set sail from Deal on the 15th May 1818 arriving in New South Wales on 17 September 1818. A number of prisoners including Mary travelled to Van Diemen’s Land on the government brig Elizabeth Henrietta.

SHIP NEWS – This morning arrived, the Government brig Elizabeth Henrietta, Mr. H. Smith, master, from Sydney, via Port Dalrymple, having on board 30 female prisoners for this settlement.

The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, 14 Nov 1818, p.2

The 1820 muster of female prisoners records Mary holding a ticket-of-leave and residing in Hobart. Mary was assigned to a settler as a domestic servant.

INHABITANTS and settlers who have now or at any time received assigned female servants, are desired on no account to offer them to quit their service without immediate notice to the Police, or District Constable; and it is clearly understood, that should any assigned Female Servant be allowed to absent herself from her place without due notice and reports as required by regulation, the employer will be excluded from the indulgence of receiving Government Servants in future.

The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, Saturday 1 July 1820

The following year Mary was residing at Jericho and was an assigned servant to James Williams. No misdemeanours were recorded against her name and two years later, on the 11th February 1825 Mary received her certificate of freedom. By 1825 Mary had produced two sons, the eldest child Henry was baptised on the 8 June 1821 at Green Ponds by a visiting Catholic priest. Henry’s parents were recorded as Joanna Ellen Faulkner and James Williams. Mary’s second child James Fawkner [sic] was baptised on the 17th February 1824 and the father’s name wasn’t recorded.
James Williams was the son of first fleet convict Frances Williams. James was adopted by Noah Mortimer who brought him to Van Diemen’s Land after the closure of the settlement on Norfolk Island.
On 7 September 1827 Mary was charged by Noah Mortimer and his partner Ann Geary with stealing and branding 18 head of cattle the property of Ann Geary. After hearing all the evidence Thomas Anstey dismissed the charges. Since Mary had taken up with David Barber a rift in her relationship with the Mortimer’s intensified. In another appearance at the Brighton courts Geary accused Barber of stealing her cattle. The following year Ann Geary along with her neighbour’s wife and child were murdered by natives. The report below gives a vivid account of the fatal events.

BLACK NATIVES.- On Wednesday week, a party of the Black Natives visited the hut of Mr. Mortimer, at the Big Lagoon near Jericho, and robbed it of every article it contained. When Mrs. M. espied them coming she escaped to the next hut occupied by Patrick Gough Overseer to Mr. Meredith, about a mile distant, where she told her dreadful tale. Mr. Gough with one of his servants immediately set out for Mortimer's hut, to repel the robbers and save the property, but unfortunately missed the blacks who were on their way to his own place; where, Iamentable to say they murdered Mrs. Mortimer and Gough's eldest child, and beat his wife and another of his children so dreadfully that there' is little hopes of their recovery ; they also cleared the house of every article, including £5 in dollars. Mrs. Gough would, doubtless, have been murdered, had she not made a desperate effort to escape, and ran about a hundred yards, when she fell among some brush which concealed her, and where her husband found her in a state not to be described. A Coroner's Inquest was held on the bodies of Mrs. Mortimer and the child. Verdict;- Willful Murder, against one or more of the Blacks.

The Tasmanian, 17 Oct 1828, p. 3, (Hobart Town, Tas. 1827-1839)

An inquest was held on the 31st October, at the house of Patrick Gough, in York parish, before the same coroner, on the body of Esther Gough, who was so badly speared by some of the Aborigines, on the day that Anne Geary and Alicia Gough were killed by them. She remained in a feeble and languishing condition until the 27th inst. when she died. Dr. Hudspeth, who had visited her every day since the melancholy occurrence happened, never entertained the slightest hope of her recovery. - Verdict similar to that given in the cases of Anne Geary and Alicia Gough.

Inquest Esther Gough, 8 Nov 1828, p. 2, The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. 1827-1839)

Shortly afterwards Mary Faulkner and her two young sons Henry and James were living with David Barber on his farm near the 26 mile stone on Constitution Hill.

About three months ago from Constitution Hill
One white Poland heifer, branded W on the
Hip, P near shoulder, R near thigh; one red yearling
heifer, star in the forehead, no brand. Who
ever will inform the undersigned where they are, and
deliver same, shall receive two dollars reward.
Constitution Hill, March 24, 1830

Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 3 April 1830, p.3

David Barber’s neighbour William Christopher lived in a hut on about six acres of land at Constitution Hill. During the day William worked for Peter Toms and on the 16th April William was returning home from work when he noticed a young boy leaving his hut followed by his dog. William entered his hut and found his place ransacked and his fowls missing. William recognised the lad was Henry Faulkner and walked a quarter of a mile to Barber’s hut where he confronted David Barber and the boy’s mother Mary Faulkner. William asked them to pay for the damages but they refused to give him any satisfaction. Mary Faulkner said “You may take the boy and lag him.” William reported the incident and on the 24th April he testified before the Outlands’ magistrate Thomas Anstey and stated “I have never had any quarrel with David Barber, or Mary Faulkner, or the prisoner who I am told is only nine years of age”.

David Barber saith:
The prisoner Henry Faulkner is not quite nine years of age. He was born on the 30th April 1821. He is the natural son of Mary Faulkner by James Williams, who lived some years at the Big Lagoon Jericho, and died there about three years ago. Mary Faulkner lives with me at Constitution Hill together with her two sons Henry and James Faulkner. James is between five and six years old. And is a boy of good disposition. The prisoner Henry Faulkner is a boy of a very bad disposition. He is so much addicted to lying that I cannot believe a word he says. I think he acquired his bad habits from Noah Mortimer, Anne Geary and others when he lived at the Big Lagoon. William Christopher commonly called Black Bill, is a harmless inoffensive sort of a man. I do not think the boy would have had any motive but that of the mere love of mischief for carrying away and destroying Black Bill’s goods. Henry Faulkner knows his letters, but cannot read. His mother would be very happy if His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor would order the boy to be received into the orphan school.  
David Barber

Taken before me this day
24th April 1830
Mr Anstey

Memorial of David Barber (2)

Young Henry admitted to destroying William’s property. William didn’t harbour any ill feelings. The Colonial Secretary recommended Henry be sent to Maria Island where he may learn a trade. David Barber agreed to take Henry to Hobart after he had threshed a few bushels of wheat for town. (3)

Maria Island was chosen as a convict settlement for prisoners who had committed serious offences in the colony and had been sentenced to hard labour. If Henry did make it to Maria Island his time on the island was only brief. The Governor ordered the closure of the Darlington settlement and in April 1832 thirty-three of the fifty-eight convicts were sent to Port Arthur aboard the Isabella. Later that same year the settlement was abandoned and the guards escorted the remaining convicts to Hobart. Henry Faulkner returned to the Brighton district where he found work as a sawyer. Henry married Amelia Davis (granddaughter of Frances Williams) at Pontville in 1842.

What became of Mary Faulkner?
Several years later a lady reporting to be Mary Barber was living at Broadmarsh.
Mary Barber a widow married John Dain a ticket of leave man at St Augustine’s Church Broadmarsh on 30th July 1851. (4)
John Dain arrived in the colony on the 4th July 1845 aboard the Theresa. John was convicted of stealing a sheep at the Leicester quarter sessions on 30th December 1844 and sentenced to ten years gaol. In 1850 John received a ticket of leave and was working at Broadmarsh when he applied for permission to marry Mary Barber (a free woman) on 21 June 1851.
The following year Mary’s daughter Hannah Barber aged 16 years married a shoemaker named Edward Newman at St Augustine’s Anglican Church at Broadmarsh on the 14 March 1852. John and Mary Dain (step-father and mother) witnessed the ceremony and made their mark x in the register. The Newman’s resided in a cottage on Mr Gunn’s property at Broadmarsh.(5)

In July 1852 the newspapers carried the story of a mother and daughter drowning while trying to escape the rising waters as the Jordan River flooded at Broadmarsh. The two women were Mary Dain and her recently married daughter Hannah Newman. The women’s bodies were later recovered and an inquest was held at the Prince of Wales Inn. Charles Lempriere a surgeon living at Bagdad examined the body of Mary Ann Dain and testified he found no marks of violence except for a few scratches about her head which may have been caused when she first got into the water and there was every appearance of suffocation by drowning,(6)

Inquests at Broad Marsh –
Last week two inquests were held at the “Prince of Wales” inn, Broad Marsh before Mr. Forster P.M. coroner, on view of the bodies of Hannah Newman, aged 17, the wife of a shoemaker, and her mother, Mrs Dain, both of whom resided near the banks of the Jordan, and were drowned in the late flood. The body of the young woman was found the morning after the fatal occurrence about 500 yards down the river, in an upright position, with her arms entwined round a tree and a quantity of timber washed against her. It appears that the river broke over the bank, a short distance above the house, and ran down the hill in front of the house, about 50 yards distant, which the unfortunate creature was, it is supposed, attempting to reach. The body of Mrs Dain was found on Mr Henry  Butler’s ground under a heap of rubbish left by the flood. The juries, in both cases, returned verdicts of “accidentally drowned by the waters of the River Jordan.” (7)

Colonial Times and Tasmanian, Friday, August 6, 1852, p.3

The Mother and daughter were buried in St Augustine’s churchyard. Mary was buried on the 25 July 1852, aged 49 years and under ship of arrival was recorded free by servitude, wife of John Dain. Hannah Newman was buried on the 20 July 1852 and was described as 17 years old, ‘Born in the Colony’, wife of Edward Newman, shoemaker.(8)


1 The New Bailey Prison http://manchesterhistory.net/manchester/gone/newbailey.html
2 CSO-1-454, P.9
3 CSO-1-454, P.941 24 Apr 1830
4 TAHO, CON 33-1 John Dain
5 TAHO, NS 751/4, marriages, St Augustine’s C of E, Broadmarsh
6 The Courier, Sat 31 Jul 1852, p3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2958682
7 TAHO; Inquest SC 193/31, no.2757
8 TAHO, NS 751/9, Burials St Augustine’s C of E.


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