Saturday, 11 August 2012

Laurence Butler- Ch. 19: Butler's colonial 'wives'

When Laurence Butler was sentenced to transportation, he had to leave his wife Catherine behind. Life was very difficult for the hundreds of wives who lost their husbands and breadwinners, and their homes which were confiscated and often burned to the ground. Farms were destroyed and farmers and their labourers either dead or transported. As a result food production was severely depleted causing food shortages and starvation for many. Laurence would send money back to his wife when able, but as he was poorly paid and he had his own family in the colony to support, he was not able to send regular payments, as indicated in the Hayes letters. It is unknown if he had children by Catherine, but considering his fertility in the colony, one would expect so. Hopefully her children and extended family looked after her. As Michael Hayes referred to her in his letters and asked his family to pass on messages to her about her husband, and as his family resided in Wexford Town, it would appear that Catherine was also a resident of Wexford Town. In 1817 Laurence heard that his wife had died at least 5 months before, and he was now free to marry.

Laurence named three children in his Will, in this order: Lawrence (Jnr), Walter, and Ann. Lawrence Jnr and Ann were the children of the convict he cohabited with from at least 1811, Ann Roberts, and whom he married in 1817 after he was informed of the death of Catherine in Wexford. 
Ann Roberts was a convict who arrived on the "Speke" in November 1808, after being convicted of larceny in March 1807 in Worcestershire [ii] England and given a sentence of 7 years transportation (N.B. in 1812, Laurence was 62 years of age and Ann was 35).

The identity of the mother of his eldest son Walter is more difficult to establish. 
As Walter  was born before Fr. James Dixon returned to Wexford, it is most likely that Dixon baptised Walter into the Catholic faith before he left, just as he baptised Michael Hayes’s son Richard in 1808.

Shortly after the birth of daughter Mary Ann (Ann) in June 1817, Laurence must have received word that his Irish wife Catherine had died. He and Ann Roberts were officially married a month later on 1st July, the same day that Mary Ann was baptized in the St. Phillip’s Church of England Church[iii] by Rev W. Cowper, although in the 1814 Muster Ann was listed as "wife to Laurence Butler", de-facto relationships being common, and officially recognized in this colony’s society. Notably, there was no Catholic priest in the colony at this time to conduct baptisms, and thereby all Catholics had to be baptized in the Church of England.

St Phillips Church

Their application for a marriage license stated that Laurence was a "widower", and being a staunch Catholic, Laurence couldn't marry until his wife in Ireland had died. They were married by Special License, which was granted the day before on the 30th June.[iii] 

The witness to the marriage was William Sutton, who arrived free in the Colony in 1800, and was Principal Clerk in the Commissary’s Office in 1811 and appointed Storekeeper.
The female witness was Elizabeth Tuckwell (nee Sidebotham), wife of Richard Tuckwell, was a convict who arrived on the 'Speke' with Ann Roberts in 1808. The Tuckwells also lived in Pitt's Row, nearly opposite Laurence's house. Tuckwell was a Quarter-master-sergeant in the New South Wales Corps of Foot that arrived on the ship 'Pitt' in February 1792. He was discharged in 1794 and settled on a grant of land. He was a signatory to a letter in the handwriting of John Macarthur calling for the arrest of Gov. Bligh, and was one of 83 officers who co-signed a letter written to Gov. Bligh by George Johnson dated 27 January 1808. His second relationship in the colony, he married Elizabeth Sidebotham in 1808, and again in 1810 following Macquarie's arrival, being described as a butcher of Sydney. In 1809 he was granted a lease on 65 roods in Pitt row for 21 years- this was confirmed from 1810 following Macquarie's arrival, and he was then described as an innkeeper.

Marriage license of Laurence Butler and Ann Roberts (see footnote ref.)
Notably he was described as a 'widower'

Rev. William Cowper's original Returns of Marriages:
Notably Laurence's stated age (50 years) was incorrect, although Ann's age of 40 yrs was correct, probably indicating that only Ann was a parishioner of Rev Cowper's church (C.of E.).

Abstract of Licences of Marriages:

Ann was illiterate as she signed her marriage record with a cross. 
They had four children between 1812 and 1819. Lawrence (Ormond Junior) was born in 1812, George Patrick was born in 1815, Mary Ann in 1817 and Elizabeth in 1819 [iv].

Tragedy struck the family in late 1819 when both 4 year old George and baby Elizabeth died within a month of each other. At the time a flu-like disease was sweeping through Sydney, killing many. To lose two children in the space of one month, must have been devastating for each member of the family. Their headstone inscription said:

George and Elizabeth Butler, children of Lawrence and Ann Butler.
George died 3rd November 1819 aged 4 years and 6 months.
Elizabeth died 7th December 1819 aged 3 months. [v]

Who was the mother of Walter Butler, eldest son of Laurence Butler

Walter Butler, son of Laurence Butler, despite being the eldest son, was named second in Laurence’s Will after second son Lawrence Junior, indicating that Walter was not the son of his wife Ann Roberts. Ann Roberts arrived in the colony on the 15 November 1808, which means she could not have given birth to Walter until late 1809 or later, which does not correlate with the information in records, given below.
(Butler’s Will, Vol. 1, No. 97, Supreme Court NSW; and,  SRNSW: NRS 13725; [7/2582, No 97]; Index to early Probate Records; 2 Jan 1821; Reel 2658)

In a court case held on 18 December 1829, Bell vs. Leary (reported in the Australian and Sydney Gazette) concerning the Kent Street property owned by the Butlers, a neighbour John Connell gave evidence in which he stated "There were three orphan children of Butler's living; the eldest is of age", which means that Walter was born before December 1808.
Walter’s age given in the 1828 Census was 21, his brother Lawrence 16 and Ann 11 which were correct, and his wife Margaret Dunn’s age was 20 although she was actually 19 yrs (b. October 1809);
In the 1823/24/25 Muster, Walter was 16, child of Mrs Butler Sydney, his brother Lawrence was listed as 14 and sister Ann as 8 (NB. ages appear to be taken in 1824);
In the 1822 Muster, Walter was 14, Lawrence was 12 and Ann 6.[i]
As Lawrence was born in July 1812 and Ann was born in June 1817, both of their ages were incorrect in both Musters. And the gap between Walter and Lawrence's ages must have been about 4 or 5 years in reality, not the two years indicated by the Muster.

Walter married Margaret Dunn (b. October 1809) on 16 May 1825 when she was still 15 years old, and it would seem unlikely that her parents, who were respectable citizens, would have allowed their daughter to marry a 15 or 16 year old youth.
He wrote a Memorial to the Governor for a land grant on 6 December 1824 and again on 9 June 1825. 
(SRNSW: Colonial Secretary; [4/3514, p478], Memorial of Walter Butler; 6 Dec 1824, 13 June 1825; Fiche 3081; Reply, [9/2652, p.85] Reel 6014)

From these records, the assumption can be made that Walter was born sometime circa 1807, or late 1806.

The 1806 General Muster [xiii] was collected in August 1806 and Rev. Samuel Marsden then used the original General Muster as the main source of information contained in his Female Muster. Information of children may have been collected by Marsden himself. Therefore, Marsden’s Female Muster may have been written in late 1806 or early 1807 after the information collected for the General Muster had been collated.
In the General Muster, Laurence Butler was listed (A0426) as a carpenter employed in the lumber yard Sydney, and Mary Ann Fowles is listed as “Living with Laurence Butler” (A1589). 
In the Female Muster, Mary Ann Fowles is listed as a “Concubine” (ie. not married) with 1 male natural child.

As Mary Ann “Bradley” (sic- probably 'Radley', Mary Ann's married name) was still living with Laurence Butler on 29 October 1808 when they were both charged with beating Ann Johnson (see details later) in their house, the conclusion may be drawn that she was the mother of Walter Butler. However, this is still speculation, and there are many unanswerable questions which may cast doubt on her being Walter’s mother, which are explored below. It is possible that Walter was born to an unknown woman in 1808, who may have died leaving Walter in the care of his father.

Mary Ann did not have any children with her long-time partner Thomas Radley, with whom she had lived for 14 years, and in 1806 she was at least 39 years of age. She was not listed in the 1811 or 1814 Musters, but she was recorded as a ‘householder’  living in Kent Street, as ‘Mary Ann Radley’ in the 1822 and 1823/24/25 Musters, and as ‘Mary Ann Fowls’ in the 1828 Census, still living in Kent Street, as a mantua maker (dressmaker). She also lived until 1848, buried as Mary Ann Radley; all of which poses many questions-

Was she the mother of Walter Butler- the assumed “natural child” of Mary Ann Fowles- when she was living with Laurence Butler, as recorded by Samuel Marsden in late 1806/ early 1807 in the Female Muster?

Why was Walter living with his father’s wife Ann Roberts in 1822 Muster and the 1823/24/25 Muster, and described as “Child of Mrs Butler Sydney” as were his two siblings Lawrence Jnr and Ann, and how long had he been living with the family?
Was he living with them because he was 'apprenticed' to his father to learn the trade of carpentry/cabinetmaking?
Did Laurence have custody of the child due to Mary Ann's poor character or unsuitability to raise a child?

Where was Mary Ann Fowles when the 1811 and 1814 Musters were taken? 
Did she leave the Sydney area for some reason, or did she not register for the Muster?

Was the Kent Street property, of which she is described as a ‘householder’, near Laurence Butler’s Kent Street property, and did he purchase the property for her?

Did Walter live with her during his early childhood, and did he have anything to do with her during his adult life? Or did Mary Ann lack any maternal instinct and abandon her child?



Mary Ann Fowles was born in Exeter, Devon (according to her trial papers) in late 1766 or early 1767. In her trial records of 1792, she was described as a Devon spinster, 26 years old, 5 ft tall, light brown hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. [vi] 
In 1792, Mary Ann was living with Thomas Radley, variously described as a hackney writer and hairdresser from Ireland . He was described as 25 years, 5 ft 11 in., dark hair, grey eyes. 
(A hackney writer was a slang term for one who writes or copies documents for attorneys or booksellers- definition taken from “The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue”, originally by Francis Grose. If that is so, it would appear that Radley was educated and maybe fell on hard times.)[vii] 
According to one report they had been living together for 5 years. There is no record of Radley and Fowles ever marrying, although Fowles would call herself 'Mrs Radley' throughout her life. Maybe the record of their marriage, which would have taken place in the early years of the colony, was lost.

The pair were arrested in September 1792 after Radley held up a coach on the King's highway, a witness claiming she had been living with Radley at his house for 9 months. Mary Ann who was found with some of the stolen property, was called as a witness at Radley's trial, and was subsequently charged with perjury.

Mary Ann Fowles was not recorded in the 1811 or 1814 Musters of NSW. However, she is listed in the 1822 General Muster … of NSW (pub. ABGR 1988- A17349) as:
Mary Ann Radley, FBS (Free By Servitude),  Ship: Surprise, Sentence: 7 yrs, Occupation: Householder, Sydney.

Again, the same information appears in the 1823/24/25 General Muster List of NSW (A37257).

In the 1828 Census, her name is recorded as Fowls, not Fowles or Radley
Mary A. Fowls (Ref no. F1172)
Ship: Surprise
Year: 1794
Sentence: 7 yr
Age: 56
Class FS (Free by Servitude)
Residence: Kent Street Sydney
Employment: Mantua Maker (viz. dressmaker)
Religion: Protestant
Householder F1172

Mary Ann Fowles/Radley also appears in an appendix to the Bigge Report, listing those owning property in Sydney and dated 29 May 1820. (Mitchel Library, A2131, pp. 30, 95)

A burial for a Mary Ann Radley is recorded in the Roman Catholic Church registers for the Parish of St James District of Cumberland (NSW BDM Registers- V1848 2002 116) on September 26, 1848. Although described in the 1828 census as a Protestant, it is notable that she was buried by Rev. Mr McEnroe of St Mary's Catholic Church. Her residence was Kent Street. It was stated that she was 100 years old, which may indicate how she looked at the time of her death. She was actually about 81 years of age. Whether this was our Mary Ann, given the discrepancy in age, is unknown, but likely, given she still lived in Kent Street.


Mary Ann’s trial and conviction for perjury at the trial of her long-time partner Thomas Radley who was indicted for “making an assault upon Mrs Thelluson, on the highway, and putting her in fear, and taking from her person, a gold repeating watch with a diamond in the centre, and a red morocco leather purse, containing a guinea and two shillings”, took place in November 1792 at the Old Bailey Court.[viii] The event happened in Totteridge Lane in September, when Radley held up her coach and the highwayman came up to the window and put a pistol in; he was wearing a crape over his face and demanded her money. When she begged him to take his pistol away, he did so. She then gave him the items he requested, and then desired the coachman to drive on, and rode away. She also stated that “the man who robbed her behaved with the utmost politeness during the whole time.” The coachman later recognised Radley and his torn coat at the Bow Street office. The Bow Street officer arrested Radley in Drury Lane and on searching him, found a crape, some gunpowder and some bullets, and several duplicates. A pawn broker then stated that on the 17 September, Mary Ann Fowles (with whom the prisoner co-habited) offered to sell him a diamond, and suspecting she had not come honestly by it, sent for a Bow Street officer who searched her and found a red Morocco leather purse in her pocket. Mary Ann Fowles said, she had known the prisoner for five years, and claimed she had found the brilliant as she was going from St Giles into Holborn, and that the red Moroccan purse was given to her by a gentleman in Ireland , about a year and a half ago. When shown the purse, Mrs Thelluson swore it was hers.  Another witness claimed that “Radley lodged in my house nine months; he was a hackney writer; during that time Fowles lived with him.” The jury, without hesitation, found Radley Guilty. Sentence Death. Interestingly, Mr Thellson begged to recommend the prisoner Radley to the mercy of his Majesty, but the Judge said, he was afraid the recommendation would not have much weight, particularly as the prisoner had endeavoured to defend himself by means of the perjury of the woman, although the Counsel for the Crown observed that he had called Mary Ann Fowles and not the prisoner. The Court then ordered Mary Ann Fowles to be committed to take her trial for ‘wilful and corrupt perjury’.

The fact that Radley was reprieved would seem to indicate that Thelluson may have taken the matter further, probably due to his wife’s insistence as she seems to have been rather sympathetic towards Radley’s position and had made the point about his courteous behaviour during the hold-up. Various reports on Radley’s character seem to indicate that he was non- violent and acted courteously, maybe driven to committing crimes due to circumstances.

The World, London, Wed 19 swept 1892, issue 1786 reported:
Thomas Radley was charged on suspicion of having stopped and robbed Mr Greaves, near Merton, in Surrey, some short time back, and of having committed a number of other robberies on the highway.
The circumstances which led to the apprehension of the prisoner are very singular- A man of very reputable character was taken into custody on Monday morning, on suspicion of having been concerned in the various robberies, which the prisoner is now supposed to have committed. He answered exactly the description that had been given of a man who has committed a number of depredations on the highway, and of the prisoner Radley. From this circumstance he was detained until this day, that all those persons who have recently been plundered on the road, might have an opportunity of seeing him; and he was brought to the Brown Bear Public-house, opposite to this Office, where prisoners are usually kept previous to their being brought up for examination. To this house the prisoner went, led, as it is supposed, by curiosity, where Hughes, and another of the patrole, employed under the direction of the Magistrates of this Office, saw him, and were struck with his person, it so immediately answering the description that had been given by several persons who have been robbed, of the man that stopped them. He left the house, and they followed him to Drury Lane, when being more strongly impressed, than in the first instance, with the idea of his being the person whom they have long been in search of, they stopped him, and returned with him to the Brown Bear, where they searched him, and found in his pockets a brace of pistols, and the necessary appendages, as powder, balls, etc and a crape to go over his face.
By this time, Mr Greaves’s coachman, and the man who was at Merton Turnpike gate, on the night Mr G. was robbed, and who had been sent for to look at the person taken on Monday, were arrived, and before the Magistrates; Both swore to the person of the prisoner Radley, who was committed for re-examination, when the several persons, who have lately been stopped on the highway, will attend.
Mary Ann Fowles was brought before the Sitting Magistrate by William Beck Heather, a pawnbroker, on suspicion of having stolen a diamond pin, which she offered to pledge with him. She was committed for re-examination.

The World, London, Monday, Sept 24, 1792, issue 1790 reported a week later:
Thomas Radley, the man who was apprehended a few days past, in so extraordinary a manner, on suspicion of having committed a number of highway robberies, was brought up for further examination.
Several persons, who have been plundered of their property lately on the highway, attended, but, except, a coachman of Mr Thelluson’s of St Mary Axe, none could swear to him.
This man, who spoke with a becoming caution, said, that, on the 14th inst, his mistress was going, in her carriage to her country residence; about one o’clock in the day, (he drove) as they were entering a lane, leading from Barnet, to Totteridge, the prisoner, whom he had before observed pass by, rode up to the carriage, and ordered him to stop. He had, at that time, a crape over his face, and a small pistol in his hand. The wind blew the crape on one side, and he had a very distinct view of the man’s features, person, and dress, of which he, the following day, gave a description at this Office. The book into which this account was entered was produced, and a more perfect description never could have been given of any man, than this of the person, features, and dress of the prisoner.
The coachman added, that, during the time the prisoner was at the coach-door, his back was towards him, so that he did not see him actually rob his mistress, but he had understood that he took from he a gold enamelled watch and one guinea and a half, and that he had behaved with the utmost civility; neither using threats or indecent language.

The World, London, Wed Sept 26, 1792, issue 1792 reported on both:
Office Bow Street- Mrs Thelusson could not swear to the prisoner’s person, but on the 14th inst. her carriage was stopped by a highwayman near Barnet, etc.
A woman, whose name was Mary Ann Fowles, was, on the day that Radley was taken, stopped by Mr Heather, a pawnbroker, to whom she offered a diamond, unset, to pledge. She was brought to this office and committed for re-examination. Since she has been in prison, it has been discovered that she lived with Radley; she was therefore brought up this day, and on being searched, the purse stolen from Mrs Thelluson was found in her possession, and was sworn to by the Lady. It is supposed that the diamond, which she offered to pledge was the same that was set in Mrs Thelluson’s watch. Radley was committed to take his trial for the highway robbery, and Mary Ann Fowles for receiving the purse, knowing it to have been stolen.

The papers state that Fowles and Thomas Radley had been together for 5 years and that she had made a trip to Ireland 18 months before, and appear to indicate that at the time of their arrest they seem to have been living in the Drury Lane area.
The character references of Radley’s were former landlords from whom he had rented rooms.

Radley was condemned to death, scheduled to hang on the 26 December, but on 26  December an event took place which shocked the hardened journalists of the time:

Diary or Woodfall’s Register, London, Thurs Dec 27, 1792 issue 1176:
“Yesterday morning at the usual hour, the following convicts, pursuant to their sentence, were brought forth for execution, opposite the debtor’s door, Newgate: Thomas Radley, Thomas Folkes, John Brown, William Graham, John Bonus, and Philip Davis. As these unfortunate men were on the immediate point of being turned off, there came down for one of them (Thomas Radley) a reprieve. This circumstance threw the awful ceremony into confusion, to the treat agitation of all the unhappy wretches, each of whom upon the verge of eternity, no doubt, at the moment, caught the ignus fatus gleam of hope- These delays of office are surely censureable.”

However, the report that Radley was reprieved from the scaffold was refuted a few days later when several newspapers reported the real story:

Public Advertiser, London Fri Dec 28, 1792, issue 18267:
The account of the execution of the unhappy men on Wednesday, in yesterday’s newspaper, was misstated, inasmuch as relates to the delay in acquainting Radley with the respite until they were on the point of being turned off. The respite was not received till late on Tuesday night, and the Keeper did not, and prudently, in my opinion, think it right or unusual to inform the prisoner of it till the morning lest it might disturb the others. The fact is, Radley was informed of it by the Keeper two hours before the other prisoners were executed, and he was not out of the Press-yard.
(which does appear to have been extremely cruel!)

Once again it was reported:

The Diary or Woodfall’s Register, London, Tues 1 January 1793, issue 1180:
Yesterday, Thomas Radley, a capital convict in Newgate and who was to have been executed tomorrow (ie. 2 January), was respited during his Majesty’s pleasure.

Radley was respited for a week pending a decision about his future. At some time during the proceedings, a petition had been submitted to the authorities by Radley or on his behalf. This has not survived, but a response to it has, dated 31 December 1792:
“Doubts certainly may fairly be entertained of his having even countenanced any Perjury in his Case on the part of the woman with whom he co-habited and viewing what has been stated by Governor Franklin and Dr O’Leary of the Conduct of the Prisoner, previous to his Tryal, in resisting the Attempt proposed to be set up by means of Perjury for procuring an Alibi, I do not hesitate after the Reprieve which has been granted, to give my opinion, that public Justice will not suffer, by transporting Thomas Radley for Life.”(Ref :PRO, HO47/15)

Accordingly, on 9 January 1793, Radley was brought back to court and accepted the new sentence.

Lloyds Evening Post, Jan 11-14, 1793, issue 5546, reported:
John Castledine, Henry Wild and Thomas Radley (all guilty of highway robbery) convicts under sentence of death, but whose execution has been respited during his Majesty’s pleasure, were pardoned on condition of their being transported to NSW, the former for the term of 7 years, and the two others for the term of their natural lives.

He was sent to the Prudentia hulk at Woolwich to wait for a passage to NSW, (ref: Old Bailey Trials, Jan 1793 p300; PRO HO26/56 p.18) and was assigned to the Surprise for the voyage to NSW with Mary Ann Fowles.’

Mary Ann Fowles faced her own trial on 15 December, at which the questioning focused on the red leather purse that was found in her possession, and which belonged to Mrs Thelusson and stolen by Radley during the hold-up. At first, Mary Ann denied possessing the purse displayed as evidence. The first witness, the Bow Street policeman stated he took the purse from the prisoner at the bar in Bow Street. He then claimed that when she was questioned she had said she had received it ‘of that young fellow’, and had touched the prisoner Radley with her finger. Mary Ann retorted, “I never touched the prisoner at the time.” Another witness confirmed the policeman’s account. He added, Mr Addington said “Which young fellow?” and ordered her to go and touch him and she went and touched the prisoner Thomas Radley. Mrs Theluson’s coachman also confirmed the previous witnesses’ statements. Mary Ann defended herself saying, “I wish to know who it is indicts me, or where it is committed; I never was sworn till before this honourable court; as to the time I was examined I was overcome with confusion, not sensible of what I said; Sir Sampson Wright had two purses in his hand when he asked me those questions, I was much confused.”
The Court asked a witness- were there two purses? To which he confirmed there were, one was a silk one.
The Prosecutor, when asked if the question before the magistrate was confined to the leather purse, he confirmed it saying the other purse was not at all the question.
The Jury found Mary Ann Fowles Guilty and she was sentenced to seven years transportation, and taken back to Newgate Gaol where she would spend the next 17 months living in very uncomfortable and unhealthy conditions in a crowded cell with poor amenities.

The Home Office Session Papers gave descriptions of both prisoners (PRO- HO 26/56 pp.17-18, nos 81 and 97):

Thomas Radley, Date brought to Newgate 25 October 1792; Description-25 years, 5’11”, dark hair, grey eyes, Ireland, Hair-dresser, committed Tothilfields, by Justice Kerby, The Crime: Highway robbery at Totteridge, taking Mrs Thelluson’s watch; Tried 3 November, sentence Death- respited 26 December 1792. Removed on board the Prudentia Hulk at Woolwich the morning he was to have been hanged Feb 2, 1793. He was then respited generally and the 1st Jan 1793 pardoned to be transported for life.

Mary Ann Foules/Fowles, Date brought to Newgate 25 October 1792; Description-26 years 5’, light brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, Devon spinster, Committed Newgate, by the court, Crime: for perjury on the trial of Radley, when tried December 19, sentence-Transportation 7 yrs; Remarks= transferred

Notably the record states she was from Devon, not Ireland, and the author Robert Jordan states that her record says she was from Exetor in Devon. Her partner, Radley was Irish, and Fowles states that she had been to Ireland 18 months before, probably with Radley.

The prisoners were transferred to the ship Surprise which departed England on 2 May 1794.
The Surprise took 176 days and had 23 males and 60 females on board.[ix]
The voyage of the Surprise and notes on all of its passengers, including four of the Scottish Martyrs (of whom the captain was so fearful they might cause mutiny that the journey became a nightmare of spying, violence and abuse- one of the martyrs Thomas Fyshe Palmer published a detailed account of the voyage (Narrative of the Sufferings of T.F.Palmer and W. Skirving, Cambridge, 1797) and there was a government investigation upon the ship’s arrival in NSW on 25 October 1794, are included in a book, “Settlers and Seditionists: The people of the convict ship Surprise, 1794”, by Michael Flynn, (Newtown NSW: Angela Lind, 1994)

In the 1800-1802 Muster and Lists NSW and Norfolk Island, Radley and Mary Ann Fowles were listed together, Radley described as emancipated. He received a Conditional Emancipation from Gov. Hunter before 1800, and, in the Lists in 1801 was described under “employment” as a “Settler Port Jackson”. [xi]

A fascinating book, “Convict Theatres of Early Australia 1788-1840”, authored by Robert Jordan (Hatfield UK: Uni of Hertfordshire Press, 2003), gives us considerable new information on Mary Ann and her defacto/husband Thomas Radley. We must be grateful for the extensive information he has discovered, and the book is highly recommended as it gives a detailed and interesting account of the establishment of the first theatre group in Australia.

 Jordan wrote:
Once in Sydney the couple resumed co-habitation. Radley was assigned to the commissariat as an assistant in the provision store, and on 4 June 1800 received a conditional pardon for his six years ‘honest, faithful and diligent’ service there. Mary Ann’s had already expired. Subsequently Radley seems to have moved into business. His name appears in the court records pursuing relatively small debtors, but he seems never to have achieved great status. In 1800 Governor King raised a small militia among respectable householders and Radley was accepted into the organisation, his name appearing on the earliest surviving roll of 9 November 1802. 
(ref: SRNSW SZ76, p.43; SRNSW, 4/4493, p.12; SRNSW 2.8150, part 2,pp.63,66; HRA, 1.3.692).


The fact that Radley was arrested in Drury Lane, may indicate that they were residing there or nearby. This may also indicate that Mary Ann may have been involved with the famous Drury Lane Theatre, as, not long after her arrival in the colony, she was recorded as an actress in the newly formed theatre group.

Jordan wrote:
Robert Sidaway formed the Sydney Theatre  which officially opened on 16 January 1796 and it continued until about 1804 (on 5 March 1803, a letter from Gov. King to Sir Joseph Banks mentions the theatre: “There is no longer a theatre in New South Wales”. However, other records indicate it continued after this date. A Robert Eastlake, master of a trading vessel, visited between December 1803 and April 1804 and he commented, “they had a theatre, and under the patronage of Governor King, gave several representations during the time I was there, all very tolerably acted. Amongst the plays I remember witnessing Farquhar’s comedy of The Recruiting Officer, and the entertainment of The Virgin Unmasked, both affording very excellent amusement.”
There is also evidence that a theatre group held plays in a Tile Shed, or open walled shed in the 1794 period, and may have included the same troop of actors.

Geoffrey Scott wrote in, Sydney’s Highways of History, (Georgian House Melbourne, 1958)
page 246- "There was a literary flavour about Bligh Street from the earliest days, when it was known as Bell Row, and was a straggling line of huts running uphill from Johnson’s church to the Government Domain. Here lived the ex-convict baker, Robert Sidaway, who in January 1796, got Governor Hunter’s permission to open a temporary playhouse. A seat in the house cost 1/-, but Sidaway was prepared to accept corn, meat or rum in lieu of currency. There is a legend of one early theatrical fan who killed a greyhound belonging to an officer of the Corps and sold the flesh about the streets as kangaroo to raise the price of admission.

Sidaway’s theatre opened with “The Revenge”, after a stern warning from the Governor that “the slightest impropriety would be noticed, and a repetition punished by banishment of the company to the other settlements”." 

Jordan continued:
The theatre group became the most dynamic of all the convict theatres.
Sydney at this time was just a village of simple wattle and daub small cottages with thatched roofs built alongside the army barracks, storehouses, forts and other government buildings which were mostly becoming dilapidated, plus the governor’s residence. Some of the older government buildings were being replaced by brick ones. The streets were pot-holed dirt tracks. Dogs, pigs and goats roamed about freely. This bare landscape was surrounded by thick gumtree forest. After working hours, there was not much for the settlers and convicts to do apart from indulging in drink and debauchery, so a theatre group would have been most welcome to break the boredom. 

The Judge Advocate noted however, that, though permission was granted, the authorities were clearly mindful of the risks, and ‘at the licensing of this exhibition, they were informed, that the slightest impropriety would be noticed, and a repetition punished by the banishment of their company to other settlements.

The building appears to have been a thoroughly respectable version of a small provincial English playhouse of the time. There were a few oddities in the layout, such as the large size of the gallery, which the Judge Advocate Collins noted, but the auditorium observed the tripartite division into pit, boxes and gallery, and there are hints that it attempted some of the refinements associated with the better sort of playhouse.

Collins, in describing the performance of the first 1796 production, specifies that the women, as well as the men, were from ‘the more decent class of prisoners’, and that ‘their performance was far above contempt’. However, an officer who reported on the production of Fortune’s Fool in Bell’s Weekly Messenger, 6 July 1800, went on to note:’ The women, altogether, are more drunken and infamous than possibly can be described.’

The surviving playbills follow the English convention with a 5:30 pm opening for a 6:30 pm start. As there was a shortage of money in the colony, payment in kind, such as flour, meat or spirits, was often paid at the gallery door.
There is evidence that the theatre may have been undergone some refurbishment in 1798/early 1799. William Noah who arrived on the Hillsborough in July 1799 wrote in his journal “Here is a Play House Done up very neat this year.’ The later playbills present a theatre with side-boxes as well.

There were a number of performances by the Sydney Theatre troop during this period, as evidenced by several surviving playbills.
‘In the light of her appearance in every surviving playbill, except that for Henry the Fourth, Mrs Radley (they were not married) would seem to have been with the company from the beginning. Her later roles suggest she was in the second rank of performers with no very clear line of her own. Her known parts are in 1800 (known through the original playbills that survive in the Mitchell Library: Patch in The Busy Body, Miss Union in Fortune’s Fool, Lady Minikin in Bon Ton, Rose in The Recruiting Officer, Miss Neville in She Stoops to Conquer and Lady Loverule in The Devil to Pay- Lady Minilin, the scatter-brained lady about town and Lady Loverule, the vile-tempered and haughty foil to the kind-hearted Nell.

Thomas Radley was involved in the enterprise: he owned six shares in the theatre and supported his ‘wife’ in a violent backstage squabble in which they were the aggressors. 
(ref: ML, A3609, p.22; SRNSW, SZ767, pp.124-5- see transcript below)

 The Judge-Advocate’s Register of Assignments, dated 17 September 1801, has the entry “Thomas Radley to Edward Turley Smith, Assignment of 6 shares in the Theatre at Sydney to secure £17 payable the 20 February 1802”, viz. 6 shares in the theatre which are owned by Radley, are being accepted as security for a debt. This suggests that the second theatre was financed in a way that was common in England, whereby individuals would subscribe funds to provide capital for building the theatre, receiving in return the number of shares proportional to their investment. The completed theatre was then leased out to a manager to provide a regular season of performances. A committee of shareholders managed the leases, the maintenance of the building, and the division of the profits.

CD- Old Registers One to Nine: Registers of assignments & other legal instruments
(State Records NSW, pub Kingswood, 2008)

In 1799, Mary Ann Radley alias Fowles and Thomas Radley were charged with assault.
The Mrs Barnes who in 1800 played the major roles of Melinda in The Recruiting Officer, the Hostess in Henry the Fourth, and Mrs Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer, is, on evidence, the same woman who sought court injunctions against Thomas Radley and Mary Ann Fowles on 18 September in a playhouse squabble. Since she does not appear in Mrs Parry’s benefit on 1 June 1799 she might well have joined the company between those two dates. The casting suggests her perceived strength lay in comic character parts, to which Mary Ann Fowles herself might have had aspirations. The other complainant, George Hughes was also one of the principal performers, and was also a printer which meant he was also able to run off the company's playbills.'

CASE: Bench of Magistrates:

Defendants: Thomas Radley and Mary Ann Fowles

Date: 18/11/1799

(Page 124; bundle 50; reel 655; item identifier SZ767; COD 77)

At a Sitting of The Judge Advocates Office
The 18th Nov 1799
Present: The Judge Advocate
           The Revd. W. Johnson

George Hughes appeared and stated that he had been grossly assaulted and ill treated by Thomas Radley and Anne, otherwise Mary Ann Fowles (his wife)- Information taken, and confirmed by the Depositions of Mary Barnes and Henry Child- whereupon the accused parties were committed for Trials- but afterwards produced Bail for their appearance at the next Criminal Court
                               Daniel Jane of Sydney in............. £40)
                                                                                    ) each
John Kenny of the same place in..£20)

Mary Barnes having also prayed .......of the Peace against the said Anne Radley otherwise Mary Ann Fowles, who had threatened and otherwise put the Complainant in fear. Bail produced to keep the peace towards all His Majesty’s Liege Subjects and especially towards Mary Barnes
                               David Bevan of Sydney .... £20
                               John Francis Molley...........£20
                               Mary Ann Fowles in...........£10

On the 13th December the Complainant George Hughes appeared at the Judge Advocates Office and prayed to withdraw his Recognizances.
............  granted accordingly.

Mrs Barnes and George Henry Hughes and ‘Mrs Radley’ were all actors with the company, and, unfortunately, no further details were recorded of the dispute and its conclusion. Of the twelve performers known to be associated with the Sydney theatre in 1706, only two, Mrs Radley and George Hughes, were still with it in 1799, several of the others having been replaced by recent convict arrivals.

The following playbills have survived and are to be found in the Mitchell Library Sydney or in newspapers. Notably, Mrs Radley is included in the casts.

The Monitor (Sydney) Sat 13 January 1827 p3- recounting the theatre's history in 1796

Playbill 23 July 1796, and notes, as printed in the Oracle 13 July 1797

Playbill and notes 1 June 1799, as printed in Bell's Weekly Messenger of 6 July 1800

Playbill 23 June 1800 as printed in the Sporting Magazine 20, (1802), 225-6

Original Playbill held by the Mitchell Library Sydney, dated 8 March 1800

The statement at the end of one of the playbills is of particular interest:
No person will be admitted without a Ticket; and it is requested that no person will attempt to smoak; or bring spirits into the Theatre- No Money will be returned.’

Thomas Radley died in February 1803 at the age of just 37 years, and was buried in the Sydney Burial Ground.[xii]

Mary Ann had lost her partner of 14+ years, which must have been a tragic loss for her. They had had no children together.
Sometime before 1806, Mary Ann was living with Laurence Butler who was 17 years her senior. Maybe they met at the theatre. Laurence had been in the colony since October 1802, and in 1806 was still employed in the lumber yard as a carpenter/cabinetmaker for the government.

In October 1808, Laurence Butler and Mary Ann 'Bradley', probably Radley, appeared before the Bench of Magistrates on a charge of “disturbing the peace of the neighbourhood and that although required by the Constables to be quiet, still continued to quarrel and beat and abuse Ann Johnson who was turned into the streets at 12 o’clock at night- Butler reprimanded and Mary Ann Bradley ordered a weeks imprisonment.”  [xiv]

It would appear that Mary Ann had a violent temper. It would also appear that Laurence and Mary Ann were still together at the end of 1808, which also indicates that she was probably the mother of Walter Butler. As the names 'Radley' and 'Bradley' were so alike, one would assume that this was one and the same person, and this was a clerical error. Author Robert Jordan also assumed they were one and the same person.

Bench of Magistrates
Defendants: Laurence Butler and Mary Ann Bradley

Date: 29/10 1808

(Page 295;reel 657; item identifier SZ770; COD231)

Laurence Butler and Mary Ann Bradley
... before the Bench charged with having disturbed the peace of the Neighbourhood, and although required by the Constables to be quiet still continued to quarrel and beat and abused Ann Johnson who was turned into the Streets at 12 o’clock at night-
-Butler reprimanded and Mary Ann Bradley ordered a weeks imprisonment.

The Assize of Bread as usual-
Geo Johnston
... Abbott
G. Blaxcell
W. Lawson

According to Jordan, the Ann Johnson who was beaten by Mary Ann Bradley (sic) in 1808 was probably Ann Johnson per Brittania who, on a list of persons off stores circa 1800 is shown as living in Sydney with J. Kenny one of the men who had gone surety for the Radleys after the playhouse fracas (ref SRNSW, 4/8435, no. 21, p.177; SRNSW 4,6437, no. 1516)
She could also have been the Ann Johnson per William Pitt, a convict who had arrived two years previously and was possibly assigned to the Butler household.[xv])

One local character who was associated with the theatre was David Greville who had been caught attempting to pick a pocket in the pit passage at the Drury Lane Theatre in London, and took as his defacto in Sydney a woman who became one of the colony’s earliest actresses and called herself Mrs Greville. He was also on good terms with the company’s first manager John Sparrow. Notably, after Laurence Butler’s children became orphaned, the youngest, Mary Ann, was boarding with David Greville and his second ‘wife’ , in the 1828 Census.

When the relationship between Laurence Butler and Mary Ann Radley/Fowles ended is unknown, as, by 1811 Laurence was living with another convict, Ann Roberts (a much younger woman being 10 years younger than Mary Ann). Mary Ann did not marry any other settler and was still calling herself 'Mrs Radley' in 1822. As Mary Ann Fowles was listed as a Householder in Kent Street by 1820, one wonders how she could afford to purchase her own house, albeit in the poorer area of Kent Street. The fact that she was a dressmaker could have also been of use in making costumes for the theatre. If she was good at her trade, maybe it was a lucrative occupation. She is not listed in the 1832 or 1834 Directories, in Kent Street, nor is she listed in the 1839 proprietors of Kent Street (listed in the newspapers and Gazettes).

There is an incident referring to an 'old woman named Radley', that was reported in the Australasian Chronicle, Sydney, Friday 3 January 1840 p.1 , which probably refers to
Mary Ann:

Nothing more is heard of her during her remaining years of life, until her burial  by a Catholic priest in 1848. Her son (?), Walter, had left Sydney for Melbourne eight years prior to her death.

Mary Ann was a very interesting character.

Whether she was the mother of Walter Butler will remain a mystery, but with the lack of records, she is the only known candidate, and the timing of his birth and the relationship between his father and Mary Ann at that time, would suggest she was. However, the questions asked above, remain unanswered.


(And her relationship with Miles Leary)

Ann Roberts arrived in Australia in November 1808 on the ship 'Speke' as a convict. She was convicted of larceny in Worcester in March 1807 and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. [xviii]

She was living with Laurence Butler by 1811, as their first child, Lawrence was born July 20, 1812. [xix]
Born in 1777, she was twenty seven years younger than Laurence. [xx]
In the 1814 Muster of NSW she was listed as "wife to Laurence Butler". [xxi] However she officially married Laurence Butler on 1 July 1817, [xxii] and died in 1824. [xxiii] She had four children to Laurence between 1812 and 1819, two of whom died in 1819 within a month of each other. Their daughter, Mary Ann, born on June 1, was baptised on the same day as their marriage. [xxiv]

Ann was widowed in December 1820, and was named sole executrix of Laurence’s Will. In his Will Laurence described her as “his affectionate wife”.

In the 1822, and the 1823/24/25 General Musters, Walter Butler is described as ‘the child of Mrs Butler, Sydney’, the same description given to his half siblings, Lawrence Butler and Mary Ann/Ann Butler, the biological children of Ann Roberts. From that description, one would assume that Walter was raised in the household of Laurence Butler and Ann Roberts. Walter assumed responsibility for his half-siblings when they were orphaned after Ann Robert’s death in 1824. Walter also held a close relationship with his brother Lawrence Butler in their adulthood, which also confirms that they were brought up together.

Ann continued to run Laurence’s business for at least another 3 years. 
In October 1821, after an apparent falling out with employee Miles Leary, Ann advertised for 'a steady man to superintend the cabinet-making business'.
Sydney Gazette, 27 Oct 1821

It would appear that they came to an agreement and Miles Leary quickly took charge of the business.
Ann applied to marry Miles Leary in August 1823.  [xxv]  However, Rev. Cowper on the advise of Rev. Therry refused to marry them.
Therry was the appointed guardian of Laurence’s children under the terms of his Will and was probably looking after the interests of the children and their estate.
Her Memorial said:

“That Memorialist has been a free woman for a number of years, that she has been left by her deceased husband Laurence Butler.... Executing to the little property he possessed with a clause in the Will, appointing the Rev. P. Connoly as his successor to superintend the education of her 3 children. That Memorialist has for some time struggled to clear off the encumbrances attached to her property in which she had (by the assistance of a person by the name of Miles Leary who has been a free man 16 years and upwards) succeeded.
That Memorialist finding herself unable to continue his business without so able an assistant appeals for permission to be married and after the regular form of being Called(?) three successive Sundays in Church, the day was appointed. When the Rev. W. Cowper refused marrying them on a plea that the Rev. J. Therry disputed her power to do so. That Memorialist in consequence must respectfully solicit Your Excellency’s interference on her behalf and cause the necessary investigation to take place, that she may not be debarred from a privilege to which she is entitled.”

The Colonial Secretary wrote the following reply on the back of the Memorial. Advice must have been sort from the children's guardian Fr Therry who must have explained that the children were in danger of losing their inheritance if Ann married Leary, so conditions were imposed:

Reply: "Answered verbally- she might marry whenever she has secured her late husband's property upon his children."

Something must have happened to cause a rift in their relationship in the following six months- possibly related to the conditions imposed on her marriage. On 12 February 1824, Ann placed the following notice in the ‘Sydney Gazette’:

“CAUTION- I have to Caution the Public against giving Miles Leary any Trust or Credit on my Account. As he is not authorised by me to receive any Debts, or make any Contracts whatever, I will not hold myself responsible for any of them. And Notice is hereby given to the said Miles Leary, that he will be prosecuted if he shall hereafter attempt to come into my House, or upon my Premises.
Ann Butler.”

Within the next year, Ann died, as Walter’s Memorial in June 1825, stated that they had recently been orphaned. This Memorial followed his initial Memorial in December 1824.

However, on 28 April 1824, Miles Leary was still listed as a resident of Pitt Street. He was on a list of individuals to whom bonded mechanics had been assigned. There are two implications from this. Either, Ann and Leary settled their differences and continued their relationship before her death, or Leary continued the cabinet making business after Ann’s death, possibly appointed by the executors of the estate, John Connell and William Davis.

Leary, a convict with a seven year sentence, had arrived on the “Hercules” from Wexford in 1802. [xxvi] He was described as a cabinet maker and carpenter. In 1816, he was once again a prisoner at Newcastle and was returned to Sydney for his part in forgeries. In 1820 he wrote his Memorial to the Governor and was a juror in 1821. In June 1821, he was given permission to procure cedar from the Illawarra District and in March 1822 he was listed as living at No. 7 Pitt Street and was on the list of persons to whom convict mechanics had been assigned. In August 1823, he received another assigned convict. [xxvii]

The ‘Australiannewspaper, 23 Dec 1829, reported the following case in the Supreme Court of NSW, 18 Dec 1829: Bell v. Leary.
Mr. Keith, in support of an avowry by the defendant, contended that the premises in question had been demised to the plaintiff, at the weekly rent of 15s. to prove which, the following witnesses were called.
Samuel Clem stated, that he lived in Kent street, and was acquainted with plaintiff and defendant; that he knew the house occupied by plaintiff, which he rented from defendant; that he heard either plaintiff or his wife say they paid three dollars per week rent for the house; that he did not remember when plaintiff first took possession of the house; plaintiff or his wife told him they paid rent to defendant.
Cross-examined by Mr. Norton.  Witness never knew from plaintiff that he took the house of defendant; but that he once heard either plaintiff, or his wife say, they paid 15s. per week for it.
William Farrel stated, that he was acquainted with plaintiff and defendant, and was put in plaintiff's house by defendant to levy for rent; that he went in on a Saturday, and plaintiff replevied on the Monday following; that it was for two weeks rent, amounting to 30s.; the plaintiff told him he had notice from a Mr. Butler to pay defendant no rent; that the plaintiff said he would pay the rent to any one that would indemnify him, and that plaintiff said he had receipts from defendant for rent.
Mr. John Connel, of Pitt-street, stated, that he was executor jointly with a Mr. Davis, under the will of one Law.  Butler deceased, that the house in question belonged to the deceased's estate; and that it was demised to defendant, on condition of his effecting certain repairs, in consideration of which, he was to receive the rent, but that he had never sent in his bill.
On the part of the plaintiff it was contended, that defendant being a mere agent in the transaction, could not oppose his (the plaintiff's claim).
In summing up, the Learned Judge commented sharply upon the obnoxious character of the case, observing, that it arose out of the practice of the feudal times, when the landlord was considered paramount to every other human being, but this state of the law he hoped would shortly be amended, and the landlord have no superior advantage above other creditors, by finding it impracticable to sue out an execution until he had substantiated some claim.  At present, however, the proceeding was in due course of law, and it must go on the plaintiff's shewing, to the Assessors, who returned a verdict for the defendant. -- Damages 30l. (This should be 30s.)
The case was also reported in the ‘Sydney Gazette’, 19 December 1829.
Session Court Friday December 15
Bell v. Leary
This was an action of replevin. (Terms: Replevin signifies the recovery by a person of goods unlawfully taken out of his/her possession, by means of a special form of legal process. Distraint means the legal seizure of goods to enforce payment.)
Some of the witness statements as reported in the ‘Gazette’, gave extra information:

Samuel Clem, the first witness, when cross-examined, stated that he could not swear that the Bells mentioned to whom the rent was paid, and that the premises once belonged to a man named Butler.

The next witness William Farrell, a Catholic labourer, was living with Miles Leary at 7 Pitt Street in the 1828 Census. He stated that when Farrell first went to Bell’s house, Bell said he would as soon pay the defendant as anyone else, if he would indemnify him against the demands of any other person, as the rent had been demanded of him by young Butler.

Mr John Connell stated: “I live in Pitt Street, Sydney; I know plaintiff and defendant; after plaintiff was distrained for rent, I had some conversation with him, when he said he would replevin the goods; he never told me that he had not rented the house from defendant. The house in question was part of the property of the late Lawrence Butler, who died, leaving his wife executrix; when she died, I and Mr Davis were left executors to her will; defendant was not an executor, but he was to received the rent of the house on condition of putting it in repair, until his expenses were paid; he has nor rendered any account; there are three orphan children of Butler’s living; the eldest is of age.”
The ‘Sydney Gazette’, reported the summing up as follows: "The Chief Justice, in summing up, expressed his regret that such a form of proceeding as the present should be sanctioned by the British law.  It grew out of the customs of the Feudal times, when the landlord was considered paramount to every other human being.  He hoped, however, that the law would shortly be amended in this respect, by placing landlords in the same situation as other people, and not permitting them to levy execution before they had established their claims.  At present, however, it was a legal course of proceeding, and he did not see any thing in the evidence in the present case which interfered with the defendant's claim."  The ‘Gazette’ reported that the damages awarded were 30s. rather than £30 . (30s. was the amount of rent being claimed by the defendant.)
Comment on the above case:
John Connell, Laurence’s neighbour who witnessed his original Will, stated that he:  was executor jointly with a Mr Davis, and that following the death of Ann Butler they were left executors to her will, and that Leary was not an executor. He also stated that the house in question belonged to the deceased’s estate; and that it was demised to defendant, Leary, on condition of his effecting certain repairs, in consideration of which, he was to receive the rent until his expenses were paid,  but that he had never rendered any account. He also said there were three orphaned children and the eldest (Walter) was of age.
The case evidence indicates that as Leary had not met the conditions set down for him to claim rent for the house, “Young Butler”, ie Walter, was trying to reclaim the house and the rental earnings from Leary, and the unfortunate Mr Bell was caught in the middle. Leary had sent his lodger and employee labourer, William Farrell, to do the dirty work. Whether this agreement with Leary was put in place before Ann’s death, or by the executors following her death is unclear. Connell states that Walter was of age, and presuming that meant 21 yrs, he would have only reached that age within the past year or so.

Notably Connell mentioned he and Davis were “left executors to her will”. John Connell was the only surviving witness to Laurence Butler's Will. There is no will or probate package left by Ann Butler in the Archives. Whether Ann appointed Connell and Davis before she died, or whether they were appointed by the Court as the other two witnesses to Laurence’s will, Hayes and Wood were then deceased, is unknown.

The mention of Mr Davis is interesting, William Davis was a 1798 Rebel who arrived on the “Friendship” with Michael Hayes in 1800. He came from Enniscorthy, co. Wexford, and was presumably another close friend of Laurence Butler. He was obviously a close associate of Miles Leary, probably due to his prominence in the newly established Catholic hierarchy. It is to be noted that Mr William Davis was appointed executor under Leary’s will of 1834, jointly with John Leary, Miles Leary's son.  Miles Leary died in May 1834 [xxviii]. The day before his death, Leary instructed a B.C. Rodd that his estate was to go to 'his beloved son, John Leary'.
"The Australian”, 3 June 1834, reported a case about Miles/Myles Leary’s Will from the Supreme Court dated 2 June 1834:

Mr. Rodd moved, that probate to the will of Myles Leary deceased, may be granted unto John Leary and William Davis.  Mr. Rodd had attended the deceased at his request, and prepared a rough sketch of his will, which he read to the deceased who was satisfied with it.  He returned to his office, engrossed it, and on his going again to the house of Myles Leary, he found him in such a state as to be quite unable to sign; the two parties for whom he made the present application were those named in the will, and approved of by Mr. Leary.  The Court would take time to consider the application.
Forbes C.J., Dowling and Burton JJ, 7 June 1834 
In the matter of the Will of Myles Leary. -  The Chief Justice informed Mr. Rodd that his application made on a previous day in term, for probate of the above will to be granted to the executor thereof was granted.

William Davis, along with James Dempsey, would be instrumental in the establishment of the first Catholic Churches in the Colony, St. Mary’s and St Patrick’s. He was the longest surviving of the transported Rebels, dying in 1843, aged 76 years (ie. b.c1767). [xxix]

LAURENCE BUTLER was born 1750 in Ireland probably in County Wexford, and died December 07, 1820[xxx] in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. 
He married (1) CATHERINE __? [xxxi] between 1770 and 1798 in Ireland. She died Abt 1816 in County Wexford.  
He had a de facto relationship with (2) MARY ANN FOWLES [xxxii] Bet. c.1805 – 1848,  in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  She was born Abt. 1767 in Devon, England, and died 1848,  in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  
He had a de facto relationship with (3) ANN ROBERTS [xxxiii] before 1812 and married her July 01, 1817 in St Phillip's Church, Sydney, New South Wales.  She was born Abt. 1777 in Worcestershire, England, and died 1824 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


i. WALTER BUTLER, b. Abt. 1807, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia;
          d. October 04, 1870, Hobart, Tasmania,
         m. (1) MARGARET DUNN, May 16, 1825, Sydney, NSW;
         b. October 05, 1809, Sydney, NSW;
         d. April 14, 1840, Sydney, NSW;
         dau. of Thomas Dunn and Rose Bean
         1841, Williamstown, Victoria;
        b. June 1821, Kilmerston, Somerset, England;
        d. April 23, 1866, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia;
        dau .of Rev. William Edwards and wife Mary Ann of Bath, Somerset, England
defacto (3) ELIZA DWYER, c.1832 Sydney,
       b.1812, Sydney, NSW;    d. unknown
      (m.1 Peter Bodecin 1827, Sydney) ;
       dau. of  Michael Dwyer and Mary Doyle.


                   ii.    LAWRENCE ORMOND BUTLER, b.July 20, 1812, Sydney, 
                          d. December 24, 1856, Macquarie St, Surrey Hills, Sydney;
                         m. (1) CATHERINE GORMAN, Oct 22, 1833, Sydney,
                                   NSW; b. 1816 Parramatta;
                                  d. Dec 6, 1838 Sydney; dau. of Thomas Gorman
                                  (1776-1849) from Trim Ire., convict on ‘Rolla’ 1803, life
                                  sentence, CP, wheelright, and Catherine McLaughlin
                                  (1783-1838), ‘Tellicherry’ 1803, 7 yr sentence
                         m. (2) AGNES MCPHERSON, Dec 31. 1839, Melbourne,  
                                     b. Unknown in Scotland;    d.? Bef. 1848;
                                   widow of Rev. McPherson; emigrated on the     
                                   'Caledonia' from Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland,
                                    arriving Melbourne  Sept 18, 1839.
                         m.? (3) FRANCES RAINY, Abt. 1848-50, Melbourne Vic. or Sydney NSW;
                                   b. Jan 21, 1822  Westminster, London;
                                   d. Dec 1, 1885 Sydney;
                                    dau. of George Rainy and Ann Pitman of Sydney.
(she m.2. John George 1859, Sydney; m.3. George Alfred Henry 1863, Sydney)

                  iii.    GEORGE PATRICK BUTLER, b. March 15, 1815, Sydney,  NSW;  
                            d. November 2, 1819, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

iv.     MARY ANN BUTLER, b. June 1, 1817, Sydney, NSW, 
                                d.  November 1, 1857, Melbourne, Victoria.
                                m.(1) JOHN CAMPBELL MCDOUGALL, Jan 7, 1834,
                                               Sydney; b.c. 1805 Scotland;
                  d.  July 21, 1848 Hobart Tasmania 
                                m. (2) KENRICK EDMUND BRODRIBB,Feb 20, 1855,
                                             Melbourne, Victoria; b.1825 Hobart, Tasmania;
                                               d. 1898 Steyning Sussex England

iv.   ELIZABETH BUTLER, b. August 10, 1819, Sydney, NSW,
                                        d. December 7, 1819, Sydney, NSW.


Thomas Radley- 31 October 1792 (t17921031-34)

Mary Ann Fowles 15 December 1792 (17921215-122)

© B. A. Butler

Contact email address:  butler1802   @  (NB. no spaces)

Link back to Introduction:

Links to all the chapters in this blog:

The 1798 rebellion

Laurence Butler's trial for his role in the Rebellion
Analysis of Butler's trial
Laurence Butler at the Battle of Tubberneering
Laurence Butler's imprisonment
Butler's life and family in Wexford
Laurence Butler's transportation to Sydney in 1802 on the Atlas 2
Conditions on Convict Ships
Life as a convict in Sydney
Laurence Butler's property investments in Pitt Street Sydney
Sydney Town in 1800-1810
Laurence Butler's petitions to the Governor
Laurence Butler's 100 acre land grant in District of Petersham
Butler's membership of the Commercial Society of Sydney
Laurence Butler's court cases
Laurence Butler's business interests in Sydney
Laurence Butler's cabinet making business
Laurence Butler's property investments in Sydney
Laurence Butler's colonial family
Laurence Butler's death in 1820
Laurence Butler's issue- Walter, Lawrence Junior and Mary Ann
The Catholic Community of Sydney up until 1820
Genealogy- Butler's possible ancestry and possible descendants in Ireland, and BDM records
Butler's fellow Irish rebels transported to Sydney
Conclusion about the life of Laurence Butler

[i]  Carol J. Baxter (ed.), General Muster and Land and Stock Muster of New South Wales 1822, page 89, and, General Muster of New South Wales, Norfolk Island 1823, 1824, 1825, page 75-6, ADGB in assoc SAG, Sydney, 1987
[ii] County Court Sessions; AJCP Reel 2753, Lent Assizes 1807; County Worchestershire
[iii]  SRNSW: Archives Resources Kit, Births, Deaths, Marriages Registers 1787-1856, CGS12937; Reel 5002/3, No.266, p93; and, Colonial Secretary; Fiche 836, p163, No 52; Abstracts of Marriage Licenses to Free Persons 1813-1827.
[iv] SRNSW: Archives Resources Kit, Births, Deaths, Marriages Registers 1787-1856, CGS12937; Reel 5002; Vol. 6/154- Lawrence b. 20 July 1812, bap 23 Aug 1812; Vol. 6/228- Patrick b.15 mar 1815, bap 15 Mar 1815, Christened as George Patrick 2 April 1815; Vol. 7/563- Mary Ann, b.1 June 1817, Chr. 1 July 1817; Vol. 8/108- Elizabeth, b.10 Aug 1819, Chr. 26 Sept 1819; Vol. 8/130- George Patrick died 2 Nov 1819; Vol. 8/151- Elizabeth died 7 Dec 1819.
[v] K Johnston & M. Sainty, Gravestone Inscriptions New South Wales, Vol. 1, 1973, grave No. 406
[vi] Home Office Records London; October Sessions Middlesex; Date when brought to Newgate October 25; p25- No. of Commitment no. 97, Mary Ann Foules
[vii] Ibid, p24- No. of Commitment no. 81, Thomas Radley
[viii] Old Bailey Proceedings Online  (Date accessed 29/3/09); October 1792, trial of Thomas Radley (t17921031-34); December 1792, trial of Mary Ann Fowle (t17921215-122)
[ix]  Convicts to NSW 1788-1812 (CD), ABGR for SAG, Sydney 2002
[x] SRNSW: Bench of Magistrates 1788-1820; COD77; [SZ767, Bundle 50, pp124-125]; Mary Ann Fowles and Thos Radley, Assault & ill-treatment; 18 Nov 1799; Reel 655
[xi]  Carol J. Baxter (Ed), Muster and Lists NSW and Norfolk Island 1800-1802; ABGR in assoc SAG, Sydney
[xii] Inventory of Burials in the Old Sydney Burial Ground 1792-1819; BDM Registry- V1803 1757 2A
[xiii]  Carol J. Baxter (Ed), Muster of New South Wales and Norfolk Island 1805-1806; ABGR in assoc SAG, Sydney, 1989
[xiv]  SRNSW: Bench of Magistrates 1788-1820; COD231; [SZ770, p295]; Laurence Butler (& Mary Ann Bradley); Disturbing the Peace; 29 October 1808; Reel 657
[xv] Convicts to NSW 1788-1812, op.cit; also see Old Bailey Proceedings online, op.cit, (date accessed 29/3/09), December 1804, trial of Ann Johnson, theft (t18041205-10)
[xvi] Inventory of Burials in the Old Sydney Burial Ground 1792-1819-
[xvii] Carol J. Baxter (Ed), General Muster and Land and Stock Musters of New South Wales 1822, ABGR in assoc SAG, Sydney
[xviii] County Court Sessions Worcestershire; Lent Assizes 1807; AJCP Reel 2753; and, Convicts to NSW 1788-1812 (CD), ABGR for SAG, Sydney, 2002
[xix] SRNSW: Archives Kit; Reel 5002- Births Deaths Marriages; Vol. 6/154; Lawrence Butler
[xx] Transportation Register 1787-1809 Pro ref: HO11/1 pp399-403, PRO Reel 87
[xxi] General Muster of NSW 1814, op.cit
[xxii] SRNSW: Colonial Secretary; Abstracts of Marriage Licences to Free Persons 1813-1827; Fiche 836, pp. 163-4, No. 52
[xxiii] SRNSW: Colonial Secretary; Memorial of Walter Butler; op.cit.
[xxiv] SRNSW: Archives Kit BDM; Reel 5002; Vol. 6/228 (George) Patrick; Vol. 7/563 Mary Ann; Vol. 8/108 Elizabeth;
Vol. 8/130 George Patrick death; Vol8/151 Elizabeth death
[xxv] SRNSW: Colonial Secretary; [4/1772, p94]; Re marriage to Leary; 27 August 1823; Reel 6059
[xxvi]  Convicts to NSW 1788-1812, op.cit
[xxvii] Colonial Secretary Index 1788-1825
[xxviii] SRNSW: Probate Packets; Record series 13660; Series 1-738; Access 359; Title-Miles Leary Date of Death May 1834 (date in month not known), Granted 2 Sept 1836.
[xxix]  B.T. Dowd, William Davis The Wexford Pikemaker, donor of the Site of St Patrick’s Church in 1840, Sydney 1971
[xxx] Sydney Gazette , 9 December 1820
[xxxi] Letter, Michael Hayes Nov 1802. M. Hayes, Letters (manuscript, also microfilm), 1799-1833, NLA MS246 (copies in State Library of NSW and National Library of Australia- originals in Franciscan Archives, Dun Mhuire, Killiney, Dublin)
[xxxii] Carol J. Baxter (ed), Musters of NSW and Norfolk Island 1805-1806, ABGR in assoc. SAG, Sydney 1989
[xxxiii] SRNSW: Archives Resources Kit, Births, Deaths, Marriages Registers 1787-1856, CGS12937; Reel 5002/5003. Nos 266, p. 93. SRNSW: Colonial Secretary; Abstracts of Marriage Licences to free persons 1813-1827, page 163; (Register 156 no.52) Fiche 836. And NSW Registry of Births, Deaths, Marriages-V1817266 7/1817- marriage Lawrence Butler, Ann Roberts