Ann Westwater -William Law

Arrived 6 August 1827 "Princess Charlotte"

Descendant Terry Smith

Ann Law nee Westwater and William Law 1875My connection with the Female Factory. dates back to 1827, through my 3x GreatGrandmother Ann Westwater. Ann with several friends including one William Law were arrested together in October 1826 for housebreaking in Edinburgh, Scotland. William got off, but Anne was convicted and transported to NSW on the "Princess Charlotte" arriving in Sydney Cove on 6 August 1827 (not disembarked until the 27th)! Ann was not the best behaved young lady, she was reported to have absconded from her assignment in January 1828.

When apprehended she was sent to the third class women's section of the Factory. Here in February 1828, she was placed into solitary confinement for fighting. Later she suffered the most egregious punishment for a young woman, she had her head shaven for getting drunk and assaulting another inmate in October 1829.

During her time as a convict, Ann was assigned out to Bathurst and returned to the factory pregnant to another convict. The child Isabella, was sent to the Female Orphan School at Rydalmere. Later again she became pregnant giving birth to a son William. She named the father as William Law whom she had obviously found a way to keep in contact with. Within a year of Ann's conviction, William Law was convicted of another crime and sen t out on the "Eliza" in 1828. He was a blacksmith (a very sort after skill) and he was assigned to Major Druitt. When he received his ticket of leave in 1836, he went to the Factory and asked Anne to marry him.

Major Druitt was incensed and wrote to the Governor to stop the marriage because he had wanted to employ him at 25 pounds per year, but he didn't want a third class convict woman Ann, to reside at the Mount Druitt Farm. Rev. Samuel Marsden, always anxious to see any of the "abandoned convict women" properly married, ignored Druitt and posted the Banns in July 1836. Ann and William were eventually married by Marsden at St John's Church, Parramatta on 6 October 1836. They became pioneers of the South Coast near Bega and in their old age moved back to Mulgoa. They are buried together in St Stephen's Church Yard, Penrith. Ann died following amputation of an arm which had been seriously broken in a fall 2 June 1887 aged 78. William died of senile debility 15 April 1893, aged 82.

Story abbreviated from one I wrote for the Exhibition "Her Story". Photo of Ann and William Law c. 1875 (my family branch's rather heavily restored photo - there are at least two other branches of descendants of Ann & William who have the same photo)

Copyright - Terry Smith

Other Descendants Jo O'Dwyer 3xGreat Grandmother from daughter Margarette