Jewish Convict & First Lady (c.1771 - 1846)
Esther arrived in Australia on the "Lady Penrhyn". On the voyage out from England to Australia, Esther was taken up by George Johnston, 1st Lieutenant of Marines, future head of the New South Wales Corps, Aide-de-Camp to Governors Philip and Hunter. Johnston led the troops that deposed Governor Bligh (1808) and for six months, he acted as Lieutenant Governor. Esther was the colony's unofficial First Lady.
When Johnston was cashiered for his role in the mutiny, he was allowed to keep his land grants. He returned to New South Wales four years later and continued his career as an influential landowner, becoming the trusted friend of Governor Macquarie. In his absences, Esther administered Johnston's estates - and bravely stood up to those who tried to take advantage of Johnston's absence.
Esther became a successful farmer and received her own land grant (1809). Johnston finally married Esther (1814) - she bore him seven children. Yet it was impossible for Esther to maintain a secure social position in her own right - this may have been due to her gender, her convist origins, her long-held de facto status, and possibly her Jewishness.