Mary Carter – McCarthy, Convict, Lady Juliana 1790

Mary Carter – McCarthy, Convict, Lady Juliana 1790 was sent to Norfolk Island aboard the Surprize in Aug 1790. On Norfolk Island she formed a relationship with First Fleeter Robert Nunn. He was born 1758. Crime: Steal 1 coat, silver, lace and two hat loops. Tried: Old Bailey, 7 July 1784. Sentence: 7 years transportation to America.

On 11 May 1785 Robert Nunn with other prisoners who had been ordered to be transported to parts beyond the seas, was brought to the bar and informed, the place of destination was Africa.[1]

Court Orders of transportation were required from the Privy Council to alter the previously decided destination from America to Africa for the term of 7 years:  James Gardner, William Cole, James Jackson, Robert Nunn, Nathaniel Lucas, John Richardson, John Romaine, Edward Jones and Samuel Richardson.[2]

In Sydney on 3 Dec 1789, Robert was sentenced to 100 lashes for disobedience of order and neglecting his work.[3] Robert arrived on Norfolk Island aboard HM Supply in Jan 1790. The Norfolk Island Victualling Book 1792-1796 records Robert Nunn incorrectly as arriving on HMS Sirius in Mar 1790 instead of HM Supply in Jan 1790, with a notion that he became a settler on 2 Dec 1791 and eventually gave his ground up.[4] This land of 12 acres was granted to Robert Nunn as a Convict Settler on 2 Dec 1791 located at Mount Pitt Path Queenborough Town.[5]

Mary Ann – Ann CARTER – CARTHY – McCARTHY – CARTY, Convict, Lady Juliana 1790. Born: 1764. Crime: 3 counts of shoplifting. Tried: Mary Carter, Reading, Berkshire, March 1788. Sentence: Death commuted to 7 years transportation. Mary arrived on Norfolk Island board the Surprize in Aug 1790.

On 5 Apr 1791 as Mary Ann Carty she received 10 lashes for refusing to obey the orders of an overseer. On 14 July 1791, Mary also received 25 lashes coming into Town from Phillipsburg without permission.[6]

Robert Nunn and Mary Carter were not one of the many couple married by Rev Johnson on Norfolk Island in November 1791. In May 1794 Robert Nunn was recorded as a freeman working as a labourer, jobbing work.[7] It seems by this time that Robert and Mary had separated, as in June 1794 Mary is recorded as Mary Anne McCarthy, Convict, single with no children, off stores, at service with Nathaniel Lucas.[8]

Robert and Mary’s son Robert Nunn was born Oct 1791 Norfolk Island, he died Mar 1792.

Robert Nunn left Norfolk Island sometime in late 1794 or early 1795. By 1800 Robert Nunn was renting a 10 acre farm at Mulgrave Place, off stores. In January 1801, Robert Nunn of the Hawkesbury petitioned the Colonial Secretary for assistance regarding his indebtedness.[9] In July 1801 working a land grant by Governor Hunter of Jan 1798, with a total of 25 acres, cleared: 12 acres, cultivated: 8 acres wheat/maize and two hogs; himself been off stores. Robert continued to be a farmer at Richmond, in 1828 Robert Nunn, was listed as 67 years, Protestant, Farmer.

In 1842 a First Fleet pension was ordered:

THE FIRST FLEETERS.–The Government have ordered a pension of one shilling per diem to he paid to the survivors of those who came by the first vessel into the Colony. The number of these really ” old hands” is now reduced to three, of whom, two are now in the Benevolent Asylum, and the other is a fine hale old fellow, who can do a day’s work with more spirit than many of the young fellows lately arrived in the Colony. We are glad that the Government have commemorated the auspicious day of our anniversary in so handsome a manner.[10]

There were more than three surviving first fleeters living in NSW in 1842; Robert Nunn may have been the fine hale old fellow. Robert died 20 Nov 1846; age 86 years, servant at Richmond, buried St Peters Richmond.

But what happened to Mary who stayed behind on Norfolk Island?

On Norfolk Island she formed a relationship with Joseph MURRELL, Convict, Scarborough 1790. Crime: Stealing one large washing copper kettle, value 10 s at Whitecahpel. Tried: 26 May 1784, Old Bailey. Sentence: 7 years transportation.[11] Then after he escaped which he denied of the crime returning from transportation Tried: Old Bailey, 13 December 1786. Sentence: Death. Then on 9 September 1789 Middlesex, Joseph received a sentence of life.[12]

Joseph Murrell also arrived on Norfolk Island aboard the Surprize in Aug 1790 and was on rations until 31 December 1795. There are confusing and conflicting records for Mary Ann – Ann CARTER – CARTHY – CARTY.  They returned to Sydney aboard HMS Reliance arriving in Mar 1796 with Mary recorded as Ann Carty with their daughter Mary (sic – Margaret Cartley). Joseph had now joined the crew of HMS Reliance as Joseph Murryall – Murrell as per ships muster when it departed Norfolk Island.

Mary died as Ann Carty, Convict, died in May 1799, buried 7 May 1799 Old Sydney Burial Ground.

The Mary Nunn who on 22 June 1799 was discharged after appearing before the magistrates, on the charge of suspicion of stealing a shirt buckle is not Marty Cater as she was deceased.[13]

In Dec 1800 Joseph Murrell, who had continued working as a seaman, was conditional pardon by Governor King. Joseph worked at sea aboard colonial ships including the Surprize, Endeavour and Governor Hunter, Joseph died at sea in 1816 when the Cossar a small Government vessel, which was some time since taken away by pirates of which Jospeh Murrell was the ship’s owner and master.[14]

Children of Mary Carter:

  • Robert NUNN, Convicts child born 17 Oct 1791 Norfolk Island. Robert died 24 Mar 1792 Norfolk Island, buriedmost likely Turtle Bay burial ground. Robert Nunn is only one of only two convict’s children who are recorded in the Norfolk Island 1792 – 1796 Victualling Book by their father’s surname.
  • Margaret CARTER, born 4 Oct 1794 Norfolk Island, listed as Mary Cartey in the Norfolk Island Victualling Book 1792-1796. The father of Margaret is said to be Joseph Murrell/Morrell. Margaret Murrell from about 1810 became the mistress of Robert Campbell (Junior).The 1811 NSW Muster has Margaret Carter listed as Margaret Murrell, born in the Colony.Margaret Murrell married Robert Campbell of Bligh Street Sydney married 12 July 1812, St Johns Parramatta; the witnesses were Elizabeth Lang and W Wentworth. Robert Campbell died 5 Oct 1851, buried at Waverley Cemetery.Margaret Campbell died Apr 1864 in France,
  • There is a Sarah JONES, daughter of Thomas Jones and Ann Carty – Carly, born 10 Apr 1797 Sydney, baptised 29 Apr 1797, St Phillips Sydney. It is not known what happened to this child, and if Mary Ann – Ann Carter is the mother.

[1] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17840707-45; s17850511-1.

[2] TNA, HO 47/3/36.

[3] Proceedings of Judge Advocate’s Bench of Magistrates, SRNSW, SZ765, Reel 654, p. 246.

[4] Norfolk Island Victualling Book 1792-1796, SRNSW Reel 2747 and A1958, p. 18b.

[5] Philip Gidley King, PG King’s Journal of Transactions on Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean between November 4th 1791 and November 6th 1794, AJCP PRO Reel 5, CO/201/10, p. 56.

[6] Ralph Clark, The Journal and Letters of Lt. Ralph Clark 1787-1792.

[7] Freemen off the Stores, 25 May 1794 Norfolk Island, AJCP PRO CO/201/10, pp. 197 – 198.

[8] Women off the Stores 16 June 1794 Norfolk Island, AJCP PRO CO/201/10, pp. 199 – 200.

[9] Colonial Secretary’s Papers 1788-1825, SRNSW, Reel 6020; 2/8130 pp.363-6.

[10] Sydney Gazette, 29 January 1842

[11] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17840526-80

[12] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17861213-31;o17890909-6

[13] Minutes of Proceedings of the Judge Advocate’s Bench, 8 Dec 1798 – 5 Mar 1800, SRNSW, X767, NRS 3397, p. 86.

[14] Sydney Gazette 17 October 1818, p. 2.

Cite this article as: Cathy Dunn, 'Mary Carter – McCarthy, Convict, Lady Juliana 1790', Australian History Research,, accessed [insert current date]
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