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The Wildest Dreams of Samuel Phillips

Ann Patrick (1829-1912)

Born in Corby, Ann Patrick was the daughter of Sarah Patrick and convict Samuel Phillips. Just months after her birth, her father was transported to Van Diemen’s Land. It’s not known if father and daughter had contact over the years, because neither of Ann’s parents could read or write.
When Ann and her father next meet, she’s a married woman, Mrs. Bell Starsmore. And she named her infant son Samuel Phillips Starsmore.
Ann’s marriage crumbled, so she and her son lived with her parents. The 1861 census noted her at their farm, describing her occupation as ‘farmer’s daughter’.
Because she was born ‘illegitimate’, Ann had no automatic right to inherit. Although Samuel was illiterate, he made a will to ensure Ann’s inheritance. After his death Ann Starsmore, owner of the family property, was ‘a farmer’ in her own right.

Choosing permanent separation from a husband was an unusual step for a woman to take in Ann’s day, though the improved circumstances of the Phillips family must have bolstered Ann’s courage.
Choosing permanent separation from a husband was an unusual step for a woman to take in Ann’s day, though the improved circumstances of the Phillips family must have bolstered Ann’s courage.

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