Eliza Ward (1827–?)
Eliza Ward, 22-year-old housemaid and cook, was convicted of ‘setting fire to an outhouse, the property of
William Carter’. Arson was more commonly a female crime. The record does not show whether it was accidental or
intentional. Its seriousness meant she was given 15 years.
She arrived in 1847, and spent her six-months’ probation on the Anson, in the Derwent River. Next she was assigned to a master in Launceston. There is only one mention on her convict record, the birth of an ‘illegitimate’ child (Susanna) at the Launceston House of Corrections in 1850. It’s a curious entry because Eliza and William Eltham had been married for more than a year.
For a time the family lived next to Hobart’s Theatre Royal. After the birth of their sixth child in 1860, Eliza and William Eltham disappear from the public record.