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Details for the convict Mary Ann Foules (1794)

Convict Name:Mary Ann Foules
Trial Place:London Gaol Delivery
Trial Date:12 December 1792
Sentence:7 years
Arrival Details
Ship:Surprize (2)
Arrival Year:1794
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There are currently 2 researchers who have claimed Mary Ann Foules

  • Researcher (406)
  • Researcher (Maxwell Cluff)
Claimed convict


MARY ANN FOWLES, born in Ireland in 1766. In her trial records of 1792, she was described as 26 years old, 5 ft tall, light brown hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. Early in 1791 she went to London where she lived for at least 9 months with Thomas Radley, variously described as a hackney writer and hairdresser, also from Ireland (possibly she came to London with Radley).
In September 1792, Radley held up a coach on the King's highway between Totteridge and Hertfordshire wearing a crape over his face and holding a pistol. From the female occupant he stole a gold watch, with a diamond on the pendant, and a red leather purse containing one guinea and two shillings.
At the trial, the victim described the incident: “I gave him a red leather purse which had a guinea and 2 shillings in it; seeing him stop after that, I asked him what he wanted; he said give me your watch; he desired me not to be frightened, and put the pistol in his pocket when I desired him; I was very much alarmed, but he certainly behaved well.”
He was apprehended in Drury Lane on the 18th, and found to possess the crape, powder and ball. The coachman had recognized him from a previous meeting in a bar where Radley had worn a distinctive coat with a mended tear. This coat was produced as evidence at his trial. Mary Ann Fowles was found in possession of the purse and had tried to pawn the diamond. At Radley's trial, she claimed she found the diamond and denied knowing Radley, however a witness claimed she had been living with Radley for 9 months.
Fowles was charged with ‘wilful and corrupt perjury’ and at a later trial on December 12th, witnesses claimed when she had been asked how she had come in possession of a leather purse, she had pointed out Radley. She denied the claim and said she had been confused when questioned. However, she was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation

Radley was found guilty and sentenced to death, although this was changed on the day of his hanging to transportation for life.

Mary Ann began her sentence in Newgate Gaol before being sent to NSW, leaving England on 2/5/1794 and arriving on 25/10/1794 on the ‘Surprize 2’. Radley also arrived on the same ship.
Radley and Mary Ann Fowles, described as his wife, appeared in the Sydney Magistrates Court on 18 November 1799. George Hughes appeared and stated that he had been grossly assaulted and ill-treated by Thomas Radley and Anne, otherwise Mary Ann Fowles (his wife)- whereupon the accused parties were committed for Trials- but afterwards produced Bail for their appearance at the next Criminal Court.
Anne Radley otherwise Mary Ann Fowles was also charged with “threatening and otherwise putting the Complainant, Mary Barnes, in fear.”
Bail was produced for Mary Ann Radley to keep the peace towards Barnes and all His Majesty’s Liege Subjects. The following month the Complainant George Hughes dropped the charges.

In the 1800-1802 Muster and Lists NSW and Norfolk Island, Radley and Mary Ann Fowles were listed together, Radley described as emancipated. He received a Conditional Emancipation from Gov. Hunter before 1800, and, in the Lists in 1801, was described under “employment” as a “Settler Port Jackson”.
Radley died January/February 1803.
In the 1806 Female Muster by Rev. Marsden, Mary Ann was listed as a "concubine" living with Laurence Butler. She was also listed as having one natural (illegitimate) child living with them- their son Walter.
In October 1808, Laurence Butler and Mary Ann Bradley, probably Radley, appeared before the Bench of Magistrates on a charge of “disturbing the peace of the neighbourhood and that, although required by the Constables to be quiet, still continued to quarrel and beat and abuse Ann Johnson who was turned into the streets at 12 o’clock at night- Butler reprimanded and Mary Ann Bradley ordered a wee
Submitted by Researcher (406) on 11 May 2014

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Research notes

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  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/1, p.195

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