Ann Groyne (1803?-?)

by Colleen Arulappu

 

Ann Groyne, also known as Ann Gwyn, was born in Sicily about 1803. Ann was convicted on 8 September, 1830, at the Pembroke General Sessions, on a charge of stealing money for which she received a life sentence. She had no previous convictions. She was 5 feet (152.40 cm) tall with a ruddy, freckled complexion, light brown hair and grey eyes; she had two sets of initials tattooed on her upper left arm: T.C.T.P. and A.W.R.L. Ann gave Sicily as her birth place. At the time, the second part of the Napoleonic Wars had begun and there were strong British naval forces in the area and British army occupation of the island. She gave her occupation as a maid of all work.

Ann named her husband as Philip Gwyn and said she had one child. In Alverstoke, Hampshire in 1828, there was a marriage of an Ann White to Philip Gwyn. One document gave Ann’s native place as Portsmouth; perhaps that was where she was brought up. Ann was convicted in Pembroke, Wales. All these towns and cities are by the sea and perhaps Ann came from a family with connections to the sea.

Once the convict ship Kains arrived in New South Wales in 1831, Ann was assigned to Major Mitchell. In 1833 she was listed in the Sydney Gaol Entrance Book and admitted to the Factory on 12 December. By 1841 she was living in the Patrick Plains area of the Hunter Valley where she applied to marry John Brown who had been transported aboard the Katherine Stewart Forbes. The application was refused on the grounds that on arrival she stated she was married with a child. She received her conditional pardon on 1 June 1848.

Ann disappeared from records after that date, but in 1843 there was an Ann White who married John Brown in the diocese which included the Hunter Valley district—coincidence or a way around the problem?

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