The Women of the Great North Road

8.0 The Women of the Great North Road

This article provides an overview of some of the key women figures associated with the Great North Road, spreading across a range of levels in society. These include Hester Simpson, Sarah Matthews, Eliza Dunlop and Mrs. Finch.

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8.01 The Two Mrs. Dowlings

This article gives a background to the two wives of Judge Dowling. His first wife was Maria Sheen, who he married in London in 1814, and after her death twenty years later he married his second wife Harriet Ritchie. The article gives a history of their lives, and explains what became of their children.

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8.02 Anne Morgan (nee St John) of Kissing Point & her assigned servant Maria Taylor

This article tells the story of Anne St John, who came out to the colony as an orphan. In 1821 she married Lewis Morgan and they lived near Bedlam Point Road. It also explains the life of her assigned servant Maria Taylor, who was a female convict.

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8.03 The Wiseman Women

This article explores the women in Solomon Wiseman’s life. He married twice, first Jane, and then Sophia. The movements and marriages of his daughters and their husbands are also explained, and some of their experiences are covered in more detail. Issues of insolvency are also discussed.

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8.04 The Women of the Simpson Household

This article explores the lives of Percy Simpson’s wife, Hester Simpson, their daughters, and female employees. Hester may have been lonely in this large house full of women, as none had her level of education or class.

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8.05 Mary Devine

This article outlines the life of Mary Smith who came to the colony as a convict. She married Owen Devine in 1817 and settled on his land in the Hawkesbury. In 1824 she was widowed when Owen died of a heart attack. Mary had to take up new roles and harvest their land. The article refers to her connections with the Great North Road and Devines Hill.

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8.06 Ann Caswell, Wiseman's Neighbour

This article explains the experience of Ann Caswell who was neighbour to Solomon Wiseman. After her husband’s death, she faced alone the terrorising tactics of Wiseman who wanted Caswell’s adjoining land.

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8.07 An Unfortunate Emigrant

This article explores the plan implemented to overcome the shortage of women in the colony. It was advertised that women of good character were wanted to sail to New South Wales to join the colony. As it turned out, many of these women were in fact considered condemned by society ladies. One of the unfortunate emigrants was Sarah Henshall, who was later gang raped by Aborigines.

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8.08 Eliza Dunlop - More than a wife

When a magistrate was needed at Wollombi in 1839, David Dunlop was appointed. He brought with him his wife Eliza and their four children. This article explores some of Eliza’s life, and particularly her poetry, which reflects upon her experiences and social and political debates of the time.

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8.09 Sophia Budd

Sophia Budd was Spanish, and came to the colony with her husband Thomas Budd. She had followed him to the UK and India, but they finally settled in New South Wales. Sophia had six children, who are explained further in the article.

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