Sunday 16 February 2014 – Tony Clarke
Achievements of a Convict Girl from the First Fleet – Ellen Wainwright
Ellen Wainwright also known as Esther Eccles was aged 17 when charged for stealing clothing. She was sentenced to 7 years transportation, arriving in Sydney Cove aboard the Prince of Wales. Ellen had a daughter Mary Anne in Sydney Cove by Able Seaman James Wilson off the Sirius, who died two years later on Norfolk Island. Ellen later returned to Port Jackson, but returned to Norfolk were more children were born to her and Thomas Guy a Third Fleet convict. Ellen, Thomas Guy and children left Norfolk for Van Diemen’s Land in 1808. Ellen and Thomas were finally married at Hobart on 24 May 1812. Aged 72 Ellen died at Black River New Norfolk, on 8 November 1839, by ‘visitation of god’; the inquest findings. Ellen’s descendants come through her three surviving daughters. Daughter Mary Ann Lascelles wrote a letter on the life of Ellen while living in Geelong that could have applied to many first fleet women. Generations of her family were prominent in the early life of Melbourne, having arrived aboard the Rebecca from Van Diemen’s Land the South Australia settlement and Victorian country towns. A book written about Ellen Wainwright is available for borrowing from the library called Her Blood in our Veins, by Irene Donald.
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