The story of Mary Hore – also known as Mary Kennedy, Mary Hoar, Mary Hoare, Margaret Hoare, Margaret Dougherty, Bridget Cosgrove and Bridget Riley – is one of the most remarkable (and in some respects one of the most puzzling) among those of the 13,500 (approx.) women who were transported to Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) as convicts between 1812 and 1853.[1]  She had already served two gaol terms for theft in England when, at the Bristol Quarter Sessions in January1852, she was convicted of stealing a petticoat and sentenced to transportation for seven years. Twenty-six years old, married, and the mother of two boys, she arrived at Hobart aboard Duchess of Northumberland (2) - the last ship to bring female prisoners to VDL before the cessation of transportation - on 21 April 1853. A seemingly incorrigible prisoner, she was charged with a number of offences in the colony before absconding after serving only five years of her sentence and – incredibly – making her way back to England. There, she resumed her life of crime but, in January 1861, only a few months after her return, she was convicted of stealing again and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. In March 1866, still with twenty months of that sentence to serve, she was released, probably on the grounds of ill-health. A short while later she was gaoled again for a month after being charged with vagrancy. What happened to her after that is unknown. She was then about forty years old. 


This is Mary’s story....


[1] Conduct record: CON41/1/37, image 96; description list CON19/1/11, image 139; indent CON15/1/8, image 80; Police no: 968, FCRC ID: 274


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For academic referencing (suggestion only) Database: [http address], FCRC Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land database, entry for xxxx ID no xxx, accessed online [date].

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Website:  Female Convicts Research Centre Inc., accessed online [date] from [http address].




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