Elizabeth Bennett (c.1794-1847)

Convict woman transported for 14 years per Janus and sent to the first Parramatta Female Factory, the “Factory Above the Gaol,” on arrival in the colony in 1820. Elizabeth Miller had been convicted of “having 3 forged notes of £1 each in her possession” in Lambeth, England. She was the mother of a five-year-old daughter, Rebecca, at the time. Rebecca and her mother would spend months in the Surrey County Gaol on Horsemonger Lane while they awaited transportation to the Colony of New South Wales. Their cellmate for much of that time was a fellow utterer, Jane Wilson, who had been sentenced the same day as Elizabeth. Elizabeth married an upwardly mobile ticket-of-leave man, William H. Bennett within months of her arrival and the pair went on to run a very successful bakery on O’Connell Street, Parramatta. They are buried together in a plot at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, metres from their former abode and bakery.


Names

  • Alternate: Elizabeth Agnes Miller
  • Alternate: Elizabeth Bennett (married name)

Elizabeth Bennett: The Baker’s Wife (2017)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: Elizabeth Bennett was a baker’s wife and matriarch of an eminent Parramatta family in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Her early years, however, were far from respectable. Her story begins in Lambeth where she was apprehended for a crime known as “uttering.” Sentenced to 14 years transportation on the ill-famed convict ship “Janus” with her young child on board, her first stop on arrival in 1820 was the Parramatta Female Factory’s first incarnation the “Factory Above the Gaol.” more >>


Relationships

  • Partner of Robert Miller (unverified)
  • Spouse of William H. Bennett
  • Partner of George Jilks (rumour)
  • Parent of Rebecca Miller
  • Possible parent of William Bennett Jilks
  • Parent of Elizabeth Ann Bennett
  • Parent of William Harrard Bennett (II)
  • Cellmate of Jane Wilson, Surrey County Gaol, Horsemonger Lane, England
  • Servant of convict constable and wife killer Matthew Miller (Matthias Muller)

Timeline

  • Born: c.1794, England
  • Possible prior conviction: Crime: larceny. Date and Place of Trial: 28 February 1812, Central Criminal Court, Middlesex County, England.
  • Sentenced: three months imprisonment, 28 February 1812
  • Birth of daughter, Rebecca Miller: c.1813
  • Arrested: < 2 July 1818, Lambeth, England with 3 forged notes of £1 each in her possession
  • Order for her prosecution by the Bank of England Committee of Law Suits: 2 July 1818
  • On Trial: Crime: uttering. Date and Place of Trial: 6 August 1818, Surrey Summer Assizes
  • Sentenced: 14 years transportation
  • Held in Surrey County Gaol, Horsemonger Lane with daughter Rebecca and fellow utterer Jane Wilson.
  • Requested assistance from the Bank of England during incarceration: 17 November 1818
  • Petition for Relief granted by the Bank of England: 19 November 1818
  • Transported per Janus: 23 October 1819
  • Arrived in Colony of New South Wales per Janus: 3 May 1820. Sent to Parramatta’s first Female Factory on arrival.
  • Married William H. Bennett: 2 October 1820 at St. John’s Church, Parramatta
  • Employed as servant to convict constable Matthew Miller: Windsor, 1825
  • Birth of possible illegitimate son, William Bennett Jilks, to Chief Constable of Sydney George Jilks: Windsor
  • Residing at the Bennett’s O’Connell St residence: November 1828
  • Birth of daughter, Elizabeth Ann Bennett: 1829
  • Birth of son, William Harrard Bennett: 1831
  • Expiration of sentence: 1832
  • Died: 19 October 1847
  • Buried: 21 October 1847, Section 2, Row F, No. 1 at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

Sources

  • Bank of England Committee for Law Suits Minutes 1818–19, Book 1 (London: Bank of England) pp.67–8, http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/archivedocs/commlawsuits/18161825/cls0309181828011819b1.pdf, accessed 20 August 2014
  • Bank of England Committee for Law Suits Minutes, 1818–1819, Book 1 (London: Bank of England, 21 January 1819), p.120, http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Pages/digitalcontent/archivedocs/commlawsuits/commlawsuits.aspx, accessed 20 August 2014
  • Bank of England Committee for Law Suits Minutes, 1818, Book 2, (London: Bank of England, 1818) p.173, http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/archivedocs/commlawsuits/18161825/cls0705181827081818b2.pdf, accessed 20 August 2014
  • ‘Breach of Promise of Marriage: Supreme Court,’ The Australian, Friday 22 June 1832, p.3
  • ‘Deaths,’ Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Saturday 23 October 1847, p.3
  • ‘Died,’ Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 20 October, 1847, p.3
  • ‘Died,’ The Australian, 22 October 1847, p.3
  • Freshfields Prison Correspondence, (London: Bank of England, 1781–1840), http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Pages/digitalcontent/archivedocs/freshfields.aspx, accessed 20 August 2014 
  • Home Office: Convict Transportation Registers, Class HO11, Piece 3, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).
  • Home Office Criminal Registers, Middlesex and Home Office: Criminal Registers, England and Wales, Series HO 26 Piece 48, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England), p.133.
  • Home Office: Criminal Registers, Middlesex and Home Office: Criminal Registers, England and Wales, Class HO 27 Piece 16, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England), p.1249
  • Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, HO10, Piece 14, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England)
  • Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; HO10, Piece 20, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England)
  • Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; HO10, Piece 36, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England).
  • New South Wales Government, 1828 Census: Householders’ returns, (Population and Statistics, Musters and Census Records, Census, Colonial Secretary), Series 1273, Reels 2551-2552, 2506-2507, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Bound manuscript indents, 1788–1842, NRS 12188, Item [4/4007], Microfiche 644, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Copies of letters sent and received, mainly within the Colony, or ‘Document Books Nos.1-3’, c.1817-25, Series 901, Fiche 6016-6017, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Musters and other papers relating to convict ships, Series CGS 1155, Reels 2417-2428, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia)
  • Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Parish Marriage Registers, Textual records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • ‘Petition of Jane Wilson & Eliz.th Miller, in Horsem. Gaol, for relief,’ Freshfields Papers: Prison Correspondence 1818–1820 (London: Bank of England, 1818), p.126, http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/archivedocs/freshfields/fpc18181820.pdf, accessed 20 August 2014
  • ‘Supreme Court: Breach of Promise of Marriage: Miller V. Brett,’ Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Thursday 21 June 1832, p.3
  • ‘Supreme Court: Civil Side,’ Sydney Monitor, Saturday 23 June 1832, p.2
  • Sydney Monitor, Saturday 23 June 1832, p.2
  • William Bennett Jilks, full birth record transcript, Early Church Record Baptisms (NSW: NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages), Number: 372 V11, Volume Number: V18268128 1C

Lists

# Convict

# Ship: Janus (1820)

# First Female Factory

# Burial Year: 1847

# Grave: Marked