Ann Carruthers

Thief, mother, inmate, unlucky
Arrived 1834 on Numa
About 13 per cent of convicts were women. They either lived at the Parramatta Female Factory or worked for private masters. Many found a prosperous future in the colony, but Ann Carruthers was not one of the lucky ones.

Given a 14-year sentence for stealing a shawl, Scottish convict Ann Carruthers arrived in Sydney in 1834 with her three-year-old daughter, Mary, who was taken away to the Female Orphan School because her mother was unable to care for her. During the mid-1840s, Carruthers was a regular visitor to the Hyde Park Barracks court, appearing at least 14 times for drunkenness, theft, being illegally at large, picking pockets and disorderly conduct. Among her punishments were several stints in the third-class wards of the Parramatta Female Factory. Tragically, in December 1846, and while serving yet another month in detention, she was struck by lightning and died.