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A short history of the Bailey and Bradley Family from 1790

Presented to the 2008 Reunion of the descendants of Thomas Mordaunt Royes and Ellen Caroline Crossley

The first member of our family arrived in Australia on the Lady Julianna in 1790. Her name was Elizabeth Jones and came to Australia on the Second Fleet. An account was given by Elizabeth Macarthur, wife of the infamous John Macarthur of the Rum Rebellion fame, who was on the Second "Death" Fleet of 1790. This was three months of sheer hell for all concerned, both Military and convict persons.

The Fleet was sent to "save" the first Fleet of 1788 and add more working men and woman to the Colony's numbers. This means that any one who claims descent from William Arthur Crossley knows that this family has a part of the history of Australia for 218 years of the European presence. This is a great contribution to our country and all of the Crossley descendants should be rightly proud. There are not many of those hundreds who became famous but we are thankful that others have written about those early times to allow us a glimpse of the lives they lived.

Elizabeth Jones was listed a domestic who was born circa 1761 so that would make her about 27 years old when the Fleet arrived. From the Convict records Elizabeth was convicted at the Liverpool Assizes and received a 7years term. She was assigned to a Publican in Sydney to perform house/pub duties. We know from the Pioneer Register of 1828 that she had a Common Law Marriage with James Bradley and was the mother of Gabriel (born 1800) and Margaret (born 11 June 1804). The date of her death was 16 April, 1837 at the age of 75 years and was buried on her son-in-law's farm at St Albans, N.S.W. It was here that our Anne Bailey, her first granddaughter was living before her marriage to Thomas Crossley.

William Bailey was convicted at the Lincoln Assizes 16th March 1789 and received a 14 years sentence. He sailed on the Matilda was a 460 tons vessel which was built at the French yards in 1779. Mathew Weatherhead was the Master and the Matilda sailed from Portsmouth 27 March 1791 with a compliment of 230 male convicts. She broke the record set by the Mary Ann by making the passage from England to Port Jackson in 127 days - 16 days faster than her rival. It is thought that many of the 25 deaths suffered by the convicts were due to the leaky state of the ship. Many were old and infirmed at the time they embarked. Matilda arrived on 1st August 1791.

In 1797, William Bailey married another convict, Ann Archer at St. Johns in Parramatta. That union produced two sons, John (born circa 1797) later to be called the Gov'nor and William Jnr (circa 1798) who received the title of the Squire in his district. John died 16th May 1878 aged 81 years at "The Glen" St. Albans N.S.W. after two marriages, first to Elizabeth Smith, producing five children, and then to Eleanor Perkins producing thirteen more children.

William Bailey jr married firstly to Margaret Bradley, daughter of James Bradley and Elizabeth Smith. Their first child was Anne Bailey. Another seven followed before Margaret died 8 April 1840. William remarried in 1842 to Jane Knight and this second marriage produced a further twelve Bailey grandchildren for William sr and Ann Archer, a total of 40 descendents in two generation. William died at age 67 years 12 December 1865, only five months after his last child Reuben was born. John, his brother died on 16 May 1878, only ten days after his last child, Sarah Ismina May was born on 6 May.

Anne Bailey married a felon Thomas Crossley 12 October 1840, when she was 19 years old. Thomas had been transported in 1828 on the Phoenix for his crimes. From records which included his Certificate of Freedom in 1834, he was convicted of Highway Robbery at the Lincoln Assizes 28 July 1827. His description was 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm) tall with dark ruddy complexion, dark brown hair, and light hazel eyes. We know these facts because the authorities of the time needed full description of any felons who absconded.

Thomas and Anne lived at Waligan Creek Wollombi. N.S.W. They produced eleven children, one of whom died in childhood. Anne died 4th October 1864, aged 43 years old after 24 years of marriage to Thomas who was 62 years at this time. He did not marry again so, as custom had it, his oldest daughter Margaret became his housekeeper. She married after Thomas died on 29 September 1874. Her brother William Arthur Crossley had, by this date, traveled to Queensland and had established his carrier business and family with Margaret Anne Tighe.


Owner/SourceAileen Cochrane
Date3 May 2008
PlaceTownsville, QLD, Australia
Latitude-33.2918671
Longitude150.9704462
Linked toFamily: Bailey/Archer (F759); Family: Bailey/Bradley Jones (F757); Family: Bradley/Jones (F760); Family: Crossley/Bailey (F1828); Family: Royes/Crossley (F259)

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