Bridget Murray, 17971852 (aged 55 years)

Name
Bridget Murray
Given names
Bridget
Surname
Murray
Married name
Bridget O'Hare
Married name
Bridget Hare
Married name
Bridget Purnell
Name
Bridget Wall
Given names
Bridget
Surname
Wall
Name
Bridget Walsh
Given names
Bridget
Surname
Walsh
Name
Bridget Welsh
Given names
Bridget
Surname
Welsh
Birth about 1797
Birth of a sonEdward Welsh
about 1810 (aged 13 years)
MarriageJames L A WelshView this family
before 1817 (aged 20 years)

Immigration August 6, 1817 (aged 20 years)
Text:

Bridget Murray or Wall, tried Dublin City, Oct 1815, seven year sentence, a servant age 20

Text:

Bridget Murray Alias: Wall Age on arrival: 20 Calling/trade: Servant Born: 1797 Tried: 1815 Dublin City Sentence: 7 Ship: Canada (4) [1817]

Source: unknown
Text:

Bridget was convicted of stealing stockings in Dublin City in October 1815 at the age of about 20 and was sentenced to seven years transportation. At the age of about 22, Bridget came to Australia on the convict ship "Canada". On the indent she was described as a servant. It left Cork, Ireland on 21 March 1817 on its fourth voyage to the colony and arrived in Sydney on 6 August 1817 having spent 138 days at sea. There were 89 female convicts aboard, none of whom died on the journey. The master of the ship was Jn. Grigg and the ship's surgeon was Jas. Allan. She was accompanied on the journey by her 6 year old son Edward Welsh and she was also probably pregnant with her daughter, Bridget. The children were possibly by James L. A. Welsh/Walsh/Wall.

Text:

The ship Canada (4) arrived in NSW 6 Aug 1817

Birth of a daughterBridget Welsh
1817 (aged 20 years)
Payment
Payment
February 10, 1818 (aged 21 years)

Note: Bridget Murray was mentioned in a list of 25 female prisoners who, on the 19th of January 1818, received cash in lieu of stores not provided during the voyage to Australia on the ship 'Canada'. Bridget was payed one pound five shillings and a half pence and was noted as having one child.
MarriageFelix O'HareView this family
June 29, 1818 (aged 21 years)
Address: St. John's Church
Text:

The New South Wales BDM marriage record shows no other detail apart from their names and that of the church.

Text:

Bridget Murray age 28, per Canada, in the factory Felix Hare age 30, Servant to Mr Caddy, per Fanny Event Date: 2 Mar 1818

Citation details:

No 605

Text:

Felix Hare, prisoner age 30, per Fanny of the parish of Parramatta and Bridget Murrey, prisoner age 28 per Canada of ditto were married in this church by banns this 29th day of June 1818 by me Samuel Marsden Both Felix and Bridget made their X marks in the register in the presence of Henry Armstrong who made his X mark and Mary Walsh who signed the register

Birth of a sonJohn O'Hare
1819 (aged 22 years)

Birth of a sonThomas O'Hare
1821 (aged 24 years)

Census 1822 (aged 25 years)
Citation details:

1822 muster

Text:

Bridget Murray is free by servitude per Canada, 7 years, wife of F. O'Hara, Parramatta Felix O'Harra is 'free by servitude' per "Fanny", 7 years, landowner of Parramatta, together with three children all 'BC' (born in the colony), one 5 years old, the second age not specified and the third one year old. While the children's names are not shown, given the ages, they are most likely to be Bridget Welsh and John and Thomas Hare.

Occupation
Free Citizen
April 24, 1823 (aged 26 years)

Note:

Bridget received her Certificate of Freedom on 24 Apr 1823.

Certificates of Freedom were introduced in 1810 and issued to convicts at the completion of their sentence. There is a diference between a Certificate of Freedom and a Ticket of Leave. A Ticket of Leave (TOL) was a document given to convicts when granting them freedom to work and live within a given district of the colony before their sentence expired or they were pardoned.

TOL convicts could hire themselves out or be self-employed. They could also acquire property. Church attendance was compulsory, as was appearing before a Magistrate when required. Permission was needed before moving to another district and 'passports' were issued to those convicts whose work required regular travel between districts. Convicts applied through their masters to the Bench Magistrates for a TOL and needed to have served a stipulated portion of their sentence:

  • 7 year terms needed 4 years service with 1, or 5 years with 2 masters
  • 14 years needed 6 years with 1, 8 years with 2 or 12 years with 3 masters
  • Lifers needed 8 years with 1, 10 years with 2 or 12 years with 3 masters
MarriageWilliam PurnellView this family
Type: Common
June 1823 (aged 26 years)

Text:

Bridget and William co-habited and did not marry. Bridget was already married to Felix O'Hare. Bridget's husband Felix was serving time in gaol between June to 15 August 1823 and this is likely to be the period for the commencement of co-habitation between William and Bridget.

Hospitalisation
Hospitalisation
August 14, 1823 (aged 26 years)
Note: Bridget Hare is recorded as being ill in Parramatta Hospital. On the same day, Bridget Welsh, her daughter, aged 6 was admitted to the Female Orphan Institution on Bridget's (mother) petition, 'she being ill in Parramatta Hospital and her husband in Sydney gaol'.
Birth of a sonFelix O'Hare
1823 (aged 26 years)
Christening of a sonFelix O'Hare
1823 (aged 26 years)
Census about 1825 (aged 28 years)
Citation details:

1825 muster (1823-1825)

Text:

In the General Muster of 1825, Bridget, free by servitude, was listed as 'lives with Purnell, Bringelly'. The same muster shows William Purnell is free by servitude and employed by J. Hassall of Bringelly. Felix O'Hara, Bridget's husband, was described as a landholder of Parramatta, living with his three sons all colony born, John 6, Thomas 4 and Felix 2, each shown as 'son of Felix O'Hara'.

Birth of a daughterMary Purnell
1825 (aged 28 years)
Text:

Name: Mary Purnell Birth Date: 1825 Birth Place: New South Wales Registration Year: 1825 Registration Place: Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia Father: William Purnell Mother: Pritchett Welsh Volume Number: V18257117 IB

Birth of a daughterSarah Purnell
October 18, 1826 (aged 29 years)
Address: Marson's Farm
Text:

Name: Sarah Purnell Birth Date: 1826 Birth Place: New South Wales Registration Year: 1826 Registration Place: Cobbitty, Narellan, New South Wales, Australia Father: William Purnell Mother: Bridget Welsh Volume Number: V1826464 II

Text:

Name: Sarah Purnell Gender: Female Baptism Age: 0 Birth Date: 18 Oct 1826 Baptism Date: 15 Apr 1827 Baptism Place: Narellan, New South Wales, Australia Residence Date: 1826 Residence Place: New South Wales, Australia Father: William Purnell Mother: Bridget Welsh FHL Film Number: 993950

Christening of a daughterSarah Purnell
April 15, 1827 (aged 30 years)
Source: unknown
Text:

The baptism record shows that William was a labourer living on Marson's Farm, District of Cooke. Mother shown as Bridget Welsh. The delay between birth and baptism was probably because William was in goal.

Text:

Name: Sarah Purnell Gender: Female Baptism Age: 0 Birth Date: 18 Oct 1826 Baptism Date: 15 Apr 1827 Baptism Place: Narellan, New South Wales, Australia Residence Date: 1826 Residence Place: New South Wales, Australia Father: William Purnell Mother: Bridget Welsh FHL Film Number: 993950

Birth of a sonStephen Purnell
about 1829 (aged 32 years)
Marriage of a childDaniel FowlerBridget WelshView this family
October 21, 1835 (aged 38 years)
Shared note: Her marriage certificate did not list the names of her mother and father. Throughout her life Bridget would deny any knowledge of who her mother and father were on any official document she was required to fill out.
Marriage of a childJames Errol BoydMary PurnellView this family
May 16, 1842 (aged 45 years)
Address: Church of England
Text:

Name: James Boyd Spouse Name: Mary Parnell Marriage Date: 1842 Marriage Place: New South Wales Registration Place: Hunters Hill, New South Wales Registration Year: 1842 Volume Number: V C

Marriage of a childFelix O'HareMary MaloneView this family
1845 (aged 48 years)
Address: St. John's Church
Marriage of a childGeorge Frederick DixonSarah PurnellView this family
May 5, 1845 (aged 48 years)
Citation details:

Queanbeyan Age Thursday 8 Jul 1869 p. 2

Text:

MARRIED. DIXON-PURNELL. - On the 5th May, 1845, at Sydney, by banns, by the Rev. Mr Garvey, M.A., GEORGE FREDERICK DIXON, native of Yorkshire, to SARAH, youngest daughter of WILLIAM PURNELL, farmer.

Event
Story

Note: Click on 'Notes' above
Christening of a sonThomas O'Hare

Address: St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
Death January 2, 1852 (aged 55 years)
Text:

This is possibly our Bridget's death date, but under column for Ship Name it had Native (i.e. born in the Colony).

Text:

Name: Bridget Hare Death Date: 1852 Death Place: New South Wales Registration Year: 1852 Registration Place: Mulgoa, Penrith, New South Wales Volume Number: V18521236 118

Family with James L A Welsh
husband
herself
17971852
Birth: about 1797Dublin, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
Death: January 2, 1852Emu Plains, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Marriage
Marriage: before 1817
-6 years
son
1810
Birth: about 1810 13Ireland?
Death:
8 years
daughter
Welsh, Bridget (abt 1817-1889)
18171889
Birth: 1817 20Parramatta, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Death: March 23, 1889Camperdown, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Family with Felix O'Hare
husband
17941876
Birth: about 1794Armagh, Armagh, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Death: June 4, 1876Camden, South Coast and Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
herself
17971852
Birth: about 1797Dublin, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
Death: January 2, 1852Emu Plains, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Marriage
Marriage: June 29, 1818Parramatta, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
18 months
son
3 years
son
18211876
Birth: 1821 27 24
Death: after 1876
3 years
son
18231907
Birth: 1823 29 26Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Death: October 25, 1907The Oaks, Southern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia
Family with William Purnell
husband
Purnell, William ( 1795-1871)
17951871
Birth: January 26, 1795 30 32Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Death: December 6, 1871Lane Cove, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
herself
17971852
Birth: about 1797Dublin, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
Death: January 2, 1852Emu Plains, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Marriage
Marriage: June 1823
3 years
daughter
18251878
Birth: 1825 29 28Campbelltown, South Coast and Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
Death: January 12, 1878Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
22 months
daughter
18261902
Birth: October 18, 1826 31 29Cobbitty, Southern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia
Death: December 31, 1902Goulburn, Southern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia
3 years
son
Purnell, Stephen (1829-1912)
18291912
Birth: about 1829 33 32New South Wales, Australia
Death: June 16, 1912Galston, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
William Purnell + Mary McCallum
husband
Purnell, William ( 1795-1871)
17951871
Birth: January 26, 1795 30 32Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Death: December 6, 1871Lane Cove, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
partner’s partner
18021866
Birth: about 1802Campbelltown, Argyllshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: October 20, 1866Lane Cove, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Marriage
Marriage: February 16, 1839Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
BirthMayberry, Peter, comp. Irish convicts to NSW 1788-1849 [database online]
ImmigrationAncestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Text:

Bridget Murray or Wall, tried Dublin City, Oct 1815, seven year sentence, a servant age 20

ImmigrationMayberry, Peter, comp. Irish convicts to NSW 1788-1849 [database online]
Text:

Bridget Murray Alias: Wall Age on arrival: 20 Calling/trade: Servant Born: 1797 Tried: 1815 Dublin City Sentence: 7 Ship: Canada (4) [1817]

Immigrationunknown
Text:

Bridget was convicted of stealing stockings in Dublin City in October 1815 at the age of about 20 and was sentenced to seven years transportation. At the age of about 22, Bridget came to Australia on the convict ship "Canada". On the indent she was described as a servant. It left Cork, Ireland on 21 March 1817 on its fourth voyage to the colony and arrived in Sydney on 6 August 1817 having spent 138 days at sea. There were 89 female convicts aboard, none of whom died on the journey. The master of the ship was Jn. Grigg and the ship's surgeon was Jas. Allan. She was accompanied on the journey by her 6 year old son Edward Welsh and she was also probably pregnant with her daughter, Bridget. The children were possibly by James L. A. Welsh/Walsh/Wall.

ImmigrationBateson, Charles. The convict ships 1787-1868. 2nd ed. Glasgow : Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd., 1985 ie 1969
Text:

The ship Canada (4) arrived in NSW 6 Aug 1817

MarriageNew South Wales. Department of Justice and Attorney General. NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. [data-base on-line]. Sydney: the Registry.
Text:

The New South Wales BDM marriage record shows no other detail apart from their names and that of the church.

MarriageAncestry.com, 'New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Convicts' Applications to Marry, 1826-1851' [Database Online].
Text:

Bridget Murray age 28, per Canada, in the factory Felix Hare age 30, Servant to Mr Caddy, per Fanny Event Date: 2 Mar 1818

MarriageAncestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, St. John's Parramatta, Marriages, 1790-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Citation details:

No 605

Text:

Felix Hare, prisoner age 30, per Fanny of the parish of Parramatta and Bridget Murrey, prisoner age 28 per Canada of ditto were married in this church by banns this 29th day of June 1818 by me Samuel Marsden Both Felix and Bridget made their X marks in the register in the presence of Henry Armstrong who made his X mark and Mary Walsh who signed the register

CensusAncestry.com. New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Citation details:

1822 muster

Text:

Bridget Murray is free by servitude per Canada, 7 years, wife of F. O'Hara, Parramatta Felix O'Harra is 'free by servitude' per "Fanny", 7 years, landowner of Parramatta, together with three children all 'BC' (born in the colony), one 5 years old, the second age not specified and the third one year old. While the children's names are not shown, given the ages, they are most likely to be Bridget Welsh and John and Thomas Hare.

MarriagePurnell, Marion (editor), - comment
Text:

Bridget and William co-habited and did not marry. Bridget was already married to Felix O'Hare. Bridget's husband Felix was serving time in gaol between June to 15 August 1823 and this is likely to be the period for the commencement of co-habitation between William and Bridget.

CensusAncestry.com. New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Citation details:

1825 muster (1823-1825)

Text:

In the General Muster of 1825, Bridget, free by servitude, was listed as 'lives with Purnell, Bringelly'. The same muster shows William Purnell is free by servitude and employed by J. Hassall of Bringelly. Felix O'Hara, Bridget's husband, was described as a landholder of Parramatta, living with his three sons all colony born, John 6, Thomas 4 and Felix 2, each shown as 'son of Felix O'Hara'.

DeathPurnell, Marion (editor)
Text:

This is possibly our Bridget's death date, but under column for Ship Name it had Native (i.e. born in the Colony).

DeathAncestry.com. Australia Death Index, 1787-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Text:

Name: Bridget Hare Death Date: 1852 Death Place: New South Wales Registration Year: 1852 Registration Place: Mulgoa, Penrith, New South Wales Volume Number: V18521236 118

SourcePickford, Vera. Email to Marion Purnell Feb 13 2008
Payment

Bridget Murray was mentioned in a list of 25 female prisoners who, on the 19th of January 1818, received cash in lieu of stores not provided during the voyage to Australia on the ship 'Canada'. Bridget was payed one pound five shillings and a half pence and was noted as having one child.

Occupation

Bridget received her Certificate of Freedom on 24 Apr 1823.

Certificates of Freedom were introduced in 1810 and issued to convicts at the completion of their sentence. There is a diference between a Certificate of Freedom and a Ticket of Leave. A Ticket of Leave (TOL) was a document given to convicts when granting them freedom to work and live within a given district of the colony before their sentence expired or they were pardoned.

TOL convicts could hire themselves out or be self-employed. They could also acquire property. Church attendance was compulsory, as was appearing before a Magistrate when required. Permission was needed before moving to another district and 'passports' were issued to those convicts whose work required regular travel between districts. Convicts applied through their masters to the Bench Magistrates for a TOL and needed to have served a stipulated portion of their sentence:

  • 7 year terms needed 4 years service with 1, or 5 years with 2 masters
  • 14 years needed 6 years with 1, 8 years with 2 or 12 years with 3 masters
  • Lifers needed 8 years with 1, 10 years with 2 or 12 years with 3 masters
Hospitalisation

Bridget Hare is recorded as being ill in Parramatta Hospital. On the same day, Bridget Welsh, her daughter, aged 6 was admitted to the Female Orphan Institution on Bridget's (mother) petition, 'she being ill in Parramatta Hospital and her husband in Sydney gaol'.

Event

Click on 'Notes' above

Shared note

On ship's indent Bridget was variously listed as both Bridget Murray and Bridget Wall. Wall is one of the Irish derivatives of Walsh or Welsh.

Indents, or Indentures, were the documents written to formally transfer the prisoners from the custody of the master of a transport ship to the Governor of the colony receiving them.

A short biography of William Purnell and Bridget Murray and their families by Marion Purnell

William Purnell was born on 26 Jan 1795 at Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England. William was found guilty of stealing 3 pigs. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and transported to New South Wales.

The convict ship 'Larkins' sailed from Portsmouth, England in July 1817 with 250 male convicts on board including William. On arrival in Sydney in Nov 1817, 247 convicts embarked. Three had perished on the voyage. The journey took 125 days. William was listed as 22 years of age, 5ft 9 inches in height, sallow complexion, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He was described as a carpenter.

On arrival in Sydney, William was forwarded to Parramatta for distribution and was assigned to work for William Lawson on a selection near Camden.

Bridget Murray was born in Dublin in about 1795. She was convicted of stealing stockings in Dublin City in October 1815, sentenced to seven years and transported to New South Wales.

Bridget arrived in Sydney on the convict ship 'Canada' in March 1817. She had a 6 year old son called Edward Welsh with her and she must have been pregnant because her daughter Bridget Welsh was born in early 1818 at the Female Factory at Parramatta. Bridget was about 22. The Female Factory was the destination of all convict women transported to the colony before most were assigned to settlers to work as 'domestic servants' or married off to male convicts.

Bridget and Felix Hare/O'Hare, another convict who arrived from Ireland in the ship 'Fanny' in 1816, were married in June 1818 by the Rev. Samuel Marsden in St. John's Church, Parramatta with other convict couples whose marriages he arranged. Besides being known as the 'flogging parson' because even by the standards of his day, he inflicted severe punishments, the Rev. Samuel Marsden was also known as the 'marrying parson' because he would go to the female factory and choose six of the most presentable prisoners, put them in a line-up and have single male convicts walk up and down in front of them and choose one to marry. This was done by the man dropping a scarf or handkerchief at the feet of the woman of his choice. If she picked it up, the marriage was virtually immediate. That way they got rid of prisoners early and got the convict men off the Government lists for supply of foodstuffs because they gave the couple a bit of land and left them to their own devices in the hope that they would become self-sufficient.

In January 1819, two years after arriving in Sydney, Bridget applied to place Edward Welsh her son in the Orphan School at Liverpool because she was by then married to Felix Hare and had her baby daughter Bridget Welsh to care for. Edward would have been about 8 or 9.

Bridget then gave birth to John Hare in 1819 and Thomas Hare in 1821. On the 1822 muster, Felix O'Harra (convict ship 'Fanny') is shown as being a landowner at Parramatta with 3 children - Bridget Welsh, John Hare and Thomas Hare.

In April 1823, Bridget's husband Felix Hare was tried and acquitted of highway robbery, but was convicted of assault and gaoled. While Felix was in gaol, Bridget was ill in Parramatta Hospital awaiting the birth of their third child Felix Jr. and, in August 1823 petitioned the Government to place her daughter Bridget Welsh into the Orphan School stating that she herself was ill in hospital and her husband in gaol. Her daughter Bridget would have been about 6 years old. This document is the only one that gives the name of the supposed father of her daughter Bridget Welsh (father James L. A. Welsh).

Bridget Welsh must have been conceived in Ireland, or on the voyage to Australia. At least Bridget Murray she was consistent in naming her first two children with the same surname which she herself used later on occasions, along with Hare, O'Hare, Welsh, Walsh and Purnell. Bridget Welsh would have been trained at the Orphan School in domestic service, and remained there for 7 years until 1830 when she was assigned to a Mr Weiss, a missionary.

After Bridget recovered from the birth of Felix Jnr and after she had put her daughter Bridget in the Orphan School, and while her husband Felix was still languishing in gaol, she moved in with William Purnell. In April 1823 Bridget was granted her Ticket of Freedom. William received his Ticket of Freedom in March 1824.

The 1825 muster shows Bridget Murray, convict ex 'Canada' living with William Purnell at Bringelly near Camden. William was now listed as free and employed by Jonathan Hassell on the selection called 'Bringelly'' near Camden. William was substantially improved in circumstance. He had five head of cattle of his own and was able to support a Government man to help. He petitioned again for a grant of land and on 22 March 1825, received his land grant.

William and Bridget did not marry. Bridget was still married to Felix O'Hare at the time.

In June 1825, Bridget and William had a daughter Mary Purnell (Simon Peter's aunt) who was baptised at St. Peter's Anglican Church Campbelltown.

In July 1826, William was charged with the theft of tools from his employer Jonathan Hassell and sent to prison. Meanwhile, after 7 years, Bridget's first son Edward was discharged from the Orphan School in August 1826 into the employ of Jones and Walker, two Sydney businessmen who, among other things they did, ran whaling ships.

And once again, while her partner was locked up, Bridget was pregnant and gave birth in October 1826 to another daughter Sarah Purnell (Simon Peter's aunt). Bridget was about 31 years old. She was using the name Welsh at the time.

While Bridget was living with William Purnell at Bringelly, her husband Felix O'Hare was living at Prospect and missing his wife. In Jan 1827 he petitioned the Archdeacon to make her return to her marital home. He drew the Archdeacon's attention to the fact that Bridget was also petitioning him to have William Purnell released from prison. Felix pointed out that "William Purnell is living in adultery with my wife Bridget Murray or Hare after bearing three children to me, two of whom I keep at school at Prospect, the other one she keeps against my inclination with her. We were married more than eight years ago by the Rev. Mr. Marsden at Parramatta."

His petition goes on to say "Sir she has also two children by said Purnell and is continually with him in the prison which is contrary to all laws, Human and Divine that such adulterous intercourse should be permitted. She and he now reside thirty miles from where I reside so that the inhabitants of the Cowpastures who signed her Memorial thought her to be his wife. I beg of your honour to command her to show her marriage lines wherein you will find what I say to be true, which I pray you make known to His Excellency. I am, Sir with great respect, your obedient servant, FELIX HARE. Prospect, January 22 1827."

William was listed in the census of 1828 at Clarence Street Sydney with his daughters Mary Purnell and Sarah Purnell aged about 3 and 2. Bridget Murray was not listed. Whether William was living there or just visiting is not known. (His son Stephen Purnell (Simon Peter's father) was born in about 1829).

In 1830, Bridget Murray (calling herself Bridget Welsh) petitioned The Honourable Archdeacon Broughton as follows:

"The Humble memorial of Bridget Welsh showed that your memorialist arrived in the colony under transportation for seven years, but who is now free, and that on her arrival, being unable to support her family availed herself of the indulgence granted to her in putting one in the Orphan School who has been subsequently assigned from thence to a Mr. Weiss of Sydney. That your Memorialist is now in circumstances capable of maintaining her child and Mr Weiss to whom she has been assigned, is willing, provided the sanction of the public authorities be obtained to part with her. That therefore your memorialist most humbly and respectfully exhorts this indulgence may be granted to her and for which she will as ...duly bound over pray, BRIDGET WELSH" (her mark).

Bridget Murray claimed to be in favourable circumstances and able to look after her child Bridget Welsh then aged 13. We don't know exactly what those circumstances were. We do know that by then she had six children to care for between the ages of 11 and one (John, Thomas and Felix Jr. O'Hare and Mary, Sarah and William Purnell. Perhaps she thought that Bridget Welsh could be useful an extra hand in caring for the children. Bridget was granted her request and her daughter Bridget Welsh was released into her care and went on to no doubt assist with bringing up her younger siblings and at age 17, married another convict - Daniel Fowler in 1835.

Bridget Murray did not stay in favourable circumstances for long because in December 1831 she was committed for trial for assault on Judith Doyle, who resided near Market Wharf. Judith Doyle swore in court that she was sweeping at her front door when Bridget Welsh commenced abusing her in a gross manner. She stated that she took no notice of Bridget and was about to enter her home carrying her child when Bridget threw a piece of wood at her which nearly knocked her down and then followed her into her house and pushed her down and she and her child fell to the ground.

Judith Doyle alleged that Bridget then tore her dress and tore her hair out and this assault took place without the slightest provocation. Bridget also threw a knife at her and broke nearly all the glass in the windows of her house. It certainly sounded like Bridget went on a rampage, probably fueled by alcohol, and so of course she was put in Darlinghurst gaol where the records show she was from 20 December 1831 until 20 July 1837. So we assume that she was still in gaol and missed the wedding of her daughter Bridget Welsh to Daniel Fowler in 1835.

Bridget Welsh's husband, Daniel Fowler was himself a convict who was tried for burglary and passing counterfeit coin in Taunton Somerset in March 1831. The original sentence was 'to be hanged'. The charge of passing counterfeit coins seems to have been dropped and the judgment passed on the charge of breaking, entering and stealing. He was sentenced to 'life' in August 1831. He arrived in Australia on the ship 'Isabella' in 1832 aged 24 and was sent to work with Frederick Guilding of Sydney. He had a de facto relationship with Mary Gunny, an Irish orphan who was 17 when she sailed to Sydney on the ship 'Red Rover' arriving in August 1832. The ship was full of young Irish women from orphanages who were brought out to fill the shortage of suitable brides for the convict men. Daniel and Mary had a son Daniel Gunny, born in 1835.

In 1835 after Mary Gunny's relationship with Daniel Fowler ended, she took up with another convict, Denis Lynch. She changed her son Daniel Gunny's name to Denis Lynch after the 'new' father. Daniel Gunny/Denis Lynch died in 1895 aged 59 as a result of a fracture to base of skull after a fall from a horse. Daniel Fowler married Bridget Welsh in 1835. Daniel's life sentence was pardoned in December 1847. Daniel and Bridget had 9 children between 1837 and 1856. Daniel died in 1855. Bridget married again in 1862, this time to Robert Grimwood who lived only until 1863. Bridget and Robert had 6 months together.

Bridget Welsh/Fowler/Grimwood never married again and died alone in 1889 at Camperdown of breast cancer. Photograph of Bridget Welsh above. It is interesting to note that Bridget Welsh never once during her life on any official document, acknowledged that Bridget Murray was her mother. I suppose after reading labour Bridget Murray's life, one can sympathise with her. And convict ancestry was not something to be proud of in those days. Bridget Murray and William Purnell's last child, Stephen (Simon Peter's father) was born in about 1829. Some time after this, William and Bridget Murray parted company. We can surmise that Bridget's extended period of 6 years between 1831 and 1837 in gaol might have been a contributing factor in their separation. We don't know what happened to Bridget after she and William separated. Because a lot of the records of this early phase of settlement do not contain much detail, and because Bridget Murray was a common name, we have not been able to find out when Bridget Murray died but we did find one death certificate that could be hers - in 1852 a Bridget Hare, a Catholic aged 70 died at Emu Plains so we think, because her only legal marriage was to Felix Hare, that this could have been her.

In Dec 1838 William was listed as a settler at South Colo, Barowra (Berowra). He was mentioned as a farmer of industrious habits and possessed 50 acres of land which supported himself and his family. We don't know who exactly was in this family. He applied to have the adjoining 12 acres of land sold to him by the Government Regulations to add to his property.

At age 44, William married Mary McCallum/McKinnon in 16 February 1839. William and Mary had no children. On 6 December 1871 at age 76, William died at the house of his daughter Mary and son in law James Errol Boyd at Lane Cove from heart disease and dropsy.