Susannah Gough

Born c.1763, died June 1841, Hobart, Tasmania.

Her Crime
Feloniously stealing, on the 19th day of August 1783, nine guineas, value 91. 9s. and one half guinea, value 10s. and sixpence.

Susannah was drinking with Elizabeth Dudgeon and a man thought to be a seaman who had just returned from Plymouth, possibly with his wages in his pocket. The man, William Waterhouse was warned to be more moderate, but replied “I mean to be gay”. Some of his money was found on Susannah and she also swallowed 8 guineas.

Her Trial
Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr Justice Recorder at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey at the Sessions which began on Wednesday 10 September 1783.

During her trial Susannah pleaded “I have nobody to my character but God and you, I have not a friend in the world”.

Found guilty of stealing, to be transported for 7 years.

Convict chains as displayed in the heritage Cabmans Cottage, The Rocks, Sydney NSW (C Timbury)

Susannah was taken to Newgate and embarked on the Mercury.  0n 30 March 1784. She was one of 66 convicts who scrambled down the side of the ship in Torbay when it was bought into port by mutinous convicts.

Susannah was captured by the ship Helena, held in a small boat alongside overnight then the next day was taken to Exeter. She was held on the Dunkirk hulk until her discharge to Friendship on 11 March 1787 where Ralph Clarke recorded her as being 24 years old.

The Voyage 
Susannah had become better behaved and when she was transferred, with five other women, to the ‘Charlotte’ at Rio, Clarke noted her as “one of the six very best women we have in the Ship….the(y) are the only Women that can wash amongst them”.

Norfolk Island
After the arrival of the First fleet at Port Jackson, Susannah was included as one of the six women convicts to form a group of 23 under the command of Philip Gidley King who sailed on the ‘Supply’ to establish a settlement at Norfolk Island.  Also on board Supply was Edward Garth who had sailed on Scarborough with the First Fleet.

Susannah married Edward Garth on 1795, it is not known whether they were in some way related or had known each other previously. They had 6 children while living on Norfolk Island and sailed for Van Dieman’s Land on the Porpoise on 26 December 1807 where they settled at Clarence Plains and Queenborough. Susannah died on 24 June 1841 aged 78 years.

Susannah sailed on three of the First Fleet ships:

Friendship, embarked 11 March 1787
Charlotte, transferred 11 August 1787
Supply, embarked for Norfolk Island 14 February 1788


Garth/Gough Descendants, the Hughes Family celebrating Australia Day 26 January 2014

Garth/Gough Descendants, the Hughes Family celebrating Australia Day 26 January 2014 (C Timbury)

Cobley, Dr John Sydney Cove 1788 The first year of the Settlement in Australia Holder & Stoughton, 1963
Gillen, Mollie , The Founders of Australia – A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1989


© First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc 2011