Florence McCarthy in Tasmania

When Catherine arrived she was met by her father who was then working as a tailor and lived in Liverpool Street, Hobart Town. He was born around 1817 in County Cork and had been convicted in Cork on 14 March 1848 of stealing a sheep belonging to David Bride. He pleaded guilty and, as it was his first offence, was sentenced to seven years transportation.

Florence arrived in Tasmania on the convict transport
Hydrabad (2) on 26 February 1849. His record indicates that he was 31 years old and an illiterate Roman Catholic tailor from County Cork. He was tall (5ft 5 ins.) of sallow complexion with an oval head, dark brown hair a medium forehead and hazel eyes. He had a tattoo of a woman on his right forearm. It appears likely that his father had died but his mother Ellen, was alive and he had a brother McOwen? And a sister Julia Catherine. He admitted that he was married and had one child. Although his proper name was Florence the British convict system decided that he would be referred to as Thomas McCarthy, No 21938.

Florence was a model convict with just one entry on his record – one month of hard labour in September 1849 for ‘not proceeding in accordance with his pass’. He probably had much of this remitted for he obtained a ticket of leave on 29 November 1849 eighteen months after his conviction and just nine months after arriving in Hobart Town. (He collected his certificate of freedom on the day his seven year sentence expired - 14 March 1855.)

It seems that word of Mary’s death reached Florence in Hobart for in July 1851 he sought and received permission to marry a convict named Mary Connell. Mary Connell was also from County Cork. When she was 26 years old she was convicted in Cork City on 17 November 1848 of stealing a coat and also received seven years transportation. Mary may have been an attractive woman. We know she was 4ft 11in tall, with a fresh complexion, black hair, oval head, long visage, small mouth and short nose, high forehead and light hazel eyes. Mary was probably an orphan but she had two sisters Joanna and Peggy in Cork and had lived with a man called Carey for the past two years. She took her twelve-month old child James Carey on board the transport
Australasia with her. The Australasia left Dublin with Mary and her son and almost 200 other women, arrived in Hobart a month after the Hydrabad. Mary probably did not know or care that her ship was commanded by a James Connell!

Mary Connell was classed as a ‘good’ convict on the
Australasia and had only one misdemeanour on her record in Tasmania. In July 1850 she was sentenced to two months hard labour at the female factory in South Hobart for being absent. The wedding took place at St Joseph’s 28 July 1851 and was celebrated by Father George Hunter and witnessed by Patrick and Mary Sullivan. Florence was married as Thomas McCarthy and indicated that he was a widower. She was married as a pass holder and did not get a ticket of leave until 10 August 1852. She was recommended for a conditional pardon in July 1853 and received it on 10 May 1854. She collected her certificate of freedom on 14 December 1855.

Prior to the seeking approval to marry Mary placed the three old James Carey in the Hobart Infant School (Orphanage) in what is now St John’s Park at Newtown. He stayed there until Boxing Day 1851 when he was retrieved by his mother. Florence and Mary had a child of their own on 5 June 1852, a daughter, Hannah, She was born at Liverpool St. and registered by her father who still referred to himself as a tailor. Hannah was baptised on 2 July 1852 by Father Ball at St. Joseph’s. The witnesses were Patrick and Mary Connell. Catherine Fitzpatrick was the witness. Florence and Mary had a son, whom she registered by as Eugene, born 10 October 1855, but he was baptised as Owen by Father Charles Woods at St. Joseph’s on 16 November of that year. Here the witnesses were Owen Moriaty and Julia McCarthy. (Owen Moriaty was a neighbour.)

Catherine Fitzpatrick appears in the list of bounty ticket holders for the
Sir W F Williams published in the Mercury 9 Dec 1856. While she and Catherine McCarthy were assisted migrants the ship also carried Patrick and John Cahill who were sons of Bridget Cahill who had been transported on the Australasia with Mary Connell. Mary and Florance (aka Thomas) were the witnesses when Mary Smith married Patrick Fitzpatrick at St Joseph’s in 1855. The bride had been another shipmate of Mary’s on the Australasia.

After a night of celebrations on 23rd February 1857 Florence was arrested by Constable Gray for being drunk in the street. He spent part of the night in gaol and in the Hobart Magistrates Court the next morning he was fined £1. Four men and three women (neighbours?) were similarly dealt with that morning.