MARY GREEN drowned on 18 January 1793 along with her pregnant friend ELEANOR MAGEE and ELEANOR’s daughter MARY MAGEE when a boat they were in overset on the Parramatta River. MARY GREEN was buried on 21 January 1793 in the parish of St. John’s and likely in the cemetery itself, though its exact location in the cemetery is unknown since it is not marked. Baby MARY and ELEANOR, however, were not buried at the cemetery, even though they were registered in the St. John’s Parish burials. CHRISTOPHER MAGEE instead buried his wife ELEANOR, the unborn MAGEE child, and MARY MAGEE metres from his front doorstep on their farm at Camellia, overlooking the Parramatta River. Their lone grave in unconsecrated ground remains in situ to this day.
Just who MARY GREEN was, though, is unclear, as there were two convict women with the same name who arrived in the colony prior to this burial date. There are two possible candidates: First Fleeter MARY GREEN per Prince of Wales (1788) who was tried and convicted at the Old Bailey in 1787 and sentenced to seven years transportation. One reason to think the First Fleeter was the correct person is that ELEANOR MAGEE herself had been a First Fleet convict who spent part of the voyage to the colony on the Prince of Wales. However, Mollie Gillen has accounted for the First Fleeter MARY GREEN per Prince of Wales as living on Norfolk Island well after 1793. A second option is MARY GREEN per Royal Admiral (1792), who was tried and convicted at Nottingham Assizes on 11 August 1791. There is also the third possibility that GREEN was not the name the woman was transported under, as many women married soon after arriving in the colony. Further research required.
- Drowned in the Parramatta River with ELEANOR MAGEE and MARY MAGEE: 18 January 1793, near Breakfast Point, Parramatta River, Colony of New South Wales
- Buried: 21 January 1793, Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta)
- unmarked grave, exact location unknown, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta
The Magees: The First Burial (2019)
Abstract: Even a burial ground, where so many stories ended, has many beginnings. The story of St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta begins among knee-high native grass on ‘a gently sloping hill’ in the life-sustaining hunting grounds of the Burramattagal clan of the Darug people. It also begins with newcomers enclosing that once open space to preserve their cattle from wandering. Yet the story of this cemetery just as surely begins with its first burial; a tale for which three saints of London, St. John, St. James, and St. Giles, shall serve as our guides. The three saints will lead us to a plantation in the American colonies, a royal palace, and even among the ‘swarm[s]’ of ‘strumpets’—the ‘notoriously lascivious and profligate’ ‘ladies of the pavement’—on ‘Lewkner’s Lane.’ more>>
- David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1, (London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1798), p. 264, https://books.google.com.au/books?id=yOpOAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA264#v=snippet&q=eleanor&f=false, accessed 29 March 2019. For slightly different wording of the same episode see David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, (Melbourne and London: Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, n.d.), p. 172 https://archive.org/details/accountofenglish00colluoft/page/172, accessed 29 March 2019.
- Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
- “MARY GREEN,” in Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), pp. 49–50.
# Grave: unmarked
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