Elizabeth Staines (1821?-?)

by Lyn Horton


Elizabeth Staines was tried on 15 October 1849 in the Quarter Sessions in Sussex, England for stealing 13/6 from William Cushford. Elizabeth had previously been sentenced to fourteen days for stealing a cloak. She arrived in Van Diemen’s Land aboard the Baretto Junior on 25 July 1850.

Elizabeth was 28 on arrival, had three children, could read and write and was a Protestant. She was 5 feet 2 inches (157.48 cm) tall, with a fresh complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes. Elizabeth’s husband was Thomas Walker of Hastings, England. She was a native of Germany. Her father was Isaac, brothers John and Jacob, and sister Sophia (or Matilda). Her children’s names are not mentioned, nor was it mentioned if they were living with their father. Her occupation was given as a house servant and laundress.

Not long after arrival Elizabeth found herself in trouble. In September 1850, she was sentenced to seven days in the cells for ‘refusing to work’. A year later, on 27 October 1851, she was charged with being absent without leave, falsely representing herself to be free and being in the stable of the ‘Sailors Return’ at 11pm with a man. For this offence she received nine months’ hard labour at the Cascade Female Factory Hobart serving every alternate month in the separate apartments. Elizabeth was ordered not to enter service in the district of Hobart. She was employed by S.E. Withers in June 1852. Shortly afterward, on 26 August, she was sentenced to eighteen months’ hard labour for absconding.

She received her ticket of leave on 25 April 1854, but it was soon revoked in October of that year as Elizabeth was absent from muster. A year later on 13 October 1854, Elizabeth was sentenced to three months’ hard labour at the Cascades Female Factory for being drunk. She received her ticket of leave again on 29 July 1856 and her certificate of freedom on 18 October 1856.

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