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Details for the convict Mary Byrne (1831)

Convict Name:Mary Byrne
Trial Place:Dublin
Trial Date:1831
Sentence:7 years
Arrival Details
Arrival Year:1831
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There is currently one researcher who has claimed Mary Byrne

  • Researcher (Ann Spiro)
Claimed convict


Compiled by Ellen (Ann) Spiro, nee Riley. January 27, 2020.
This not my ancestor. Feel free to claim her.
I came across Mary Bryne when I was searching for my great aunt x 6 Phoebe Hines. Both women were sent to the secondary penal station, Moreton Bay, Queensland, for reoffending.

Mary Byrne (1) (aka Cartwright), From Dublin, Ireland. Convicted in Dublin 1st June 1830.
Transported on the ship ‘Palambam’ 06 Jan 1831. Crime: receiving stolen goods (a saddle.
Sentence: 7 years of transportation. The convict musters for 1831 list her as single, Roman Catholic, aged 18yrs., occupation: a brace maker, can read and write.

After serving only one year of her sentence, in Australia, Mary re-offended and was before the Supreme Court, Sydney on 15 January 1833 for perjury. She received an extension of one year to her remaining sentence (6yrs) which meant she still had 7 years to serve. Mary arrived at the secondary penal station at Moreton Bay on 2nd January 1834 to 5th September 1839 Queensland. Entry 2580 listed Mary as a housemaid.
According to author Jennifer Harrison (see source below), ‘Over five hundred men were known to have absconded from Moreton Bay but only two women have been recorded as runaways’. Punishments for female absconders often included solitary confinement, reduction in diet, head shaving or an increase in time at the penal station. Honora Connor 27 years and Mary Byrne 21 years, went missing for four days from 5th October 1834. Luckily, this escape occurred after the abolition of additional sentencing locally, so they would not have incurred further sentences. These two women had arrived at Moreton Bay together on 12th October 1833.

Mary Byrne (1) was later given one month in cells for her involvement in procuring sugar and tea from an admirer (a prison officer).
Certificate of Freedom granted 26 June 1838. Convict Index 1791-1873. Ship Palambam, 1831. Citation: 4/4343; Reel 1001. Entry No: 38/0539.

I have not been able to trace Mary (Byrne/Cartwright) after this. No application to marry has been found.

***NOTE: there are two (2) Mary Bryne listed on the convict ship ‘Palabam’, both are from Dublin, both are aged 18yrs, both are Roman Catholic. (1) Mary Byrne (aka Cartwright), is the Brace maker. (2) Mary Byrne, stolen goods, housemaid, convicted 6th January 1831. See New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842.

Source: Jennifer Harrison, ‘Shackled: Female Convicts at Moreton Bay 1826-1839’, Anchor Books Australia, 2016.

Submitted by Researcher (Ann Spiro) on 29 January 2020

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