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Three Months on the Town

Frances Watson (1814-1887)

Frances’ mother Hannah was born on Norfolk Island to Rachel Hoddy (per Lady Juliana) and Isaac Williams (per Matilda), Second and Third Fleet convicts sent to New South Wales. When the First Settlement on Norfolk Island was closed, Rachel was given land in Van Diemen’s Land. She arrived in 1808 with six of her children, including Hannah.
Frances’ father Richard Watson was sentenced to Death for burglary, but ‘the judge was pleased to reprieve the capital convicts’, so he arrived in New South Wales on the Ann.
Hannah Williams and Richard Watson married in Hobart in 1813, and Frances was born the following year. Large families were the norm, and Frances was the first of fourteen children. In turn, Frances married Edward Burris in 1835, and their marriage produced eight sons and three daughters.

A pencil drawing of an unknown young woman with two infants, by the colonial portrait artist and engraver Thomas Bock (1793-1855).  Bock had been transported to Van Diemen’s Land for 14 years, for ‘Administering Drugs to procure Abortion to a young Woman named Ann Yates’.
A pencil drawing of an unknown young woman with two infants, by the colonial portrait artist and engraver Thomas Bock (1793-1855). Bock had been transported to Van Diemen’s Land for 14 years, for ‘Administering Drugs to procure Abortion to a young Woman named Ann Yates’.

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