Contact: Philip Wright

Ellenoar GOTT was sentenced to transportation for the unusually short period of 3 years in August 1789, for the theft of various articles from her empoyer Charles Norris. We believe it was an item of clothing that was stolen. The fact that about 18 months earlier she had been imprisoned for theft of a gown and cloak probably didn't help. Clearly she was intent on being a well dressed woman, and a neat little homemaker. She was a trained shoemaker and could sign her name (signature available - see inside cover of The Second Fleet, by Michael Flynn).

She served some 3 months of her sentence before being embarked on the Neptune for transportation to Sydney Cove. The harshness and the depravity of the Neptune voyage to Australia is well documented and were such an offence to sensibilities that it resulted in a Royal Commission into the debauched behaviour of the crew and gaolers on board. Donald Trail was the Captain and it seems he was not the subject of any charges arising from the enquiry. It seems that Official Investigations were about as effective then as today.

Arriving in June 1790 the condition of the human cargo was enough to invoke scenes of hell according to recorded accounts. Even as the ships came up the harbour, bodies of the dead were being thrown over the side of the ships. Numerous records exist of just how horrible the treatment of these prisoners was. Poor Ellen, then 25 years old, survived and we can only imagine the sufferings, privations, and abuse she and others endured. Little wonder then that she married quickly our other ancestor, First Fleeter JOSEPH WRIGHT, on December 13th 1790. I suspect that this was not a whirlwind romance, and perhaps Ellen and Joseph were both lucky to have met each other.

Whatever the case, their marriage was a success and produced our founding second generation. Joseph and Ellen moved to the Hawkesbury district and occupied one of the earliest land grants in the area. Ellen outlived Joseph and they had 7 children together, and a marriage of 21 years.

Following Joseph Wright's death in 1811, when 47 years old, she remarried to Joseph Buckeridge in 1812. (Pitt 1792, sentenced Old Bailey). Ellen outlived her second husband also and remained at Pitt Town area (on a diffrent farm of 15 acres) until her death on 28th April 1843 at 68 years of age. She left her small farm, a boat, horse, cart and harness to her children.

We can only hope that among all those hard years, that there were times of joy, peace and happiness. It was hard life, but one for which our family is grateful and mindful of more than 200 years on.

Return to Convict Tales