Saturday, September 25, 2010

Molly Morgan (1762 - 1835)

City Foundress

Molly Morgan was transported to Australia (1790) for stealing hemp from a linen factory. Joined by her husband, Molly opened a shop in Parramatta (suburb of Sydney). She then escaped from Australia, without her husband, in the ship the "Resolution" and returned to England. In England she bigamously contracted a second marriage, but was then accused by this second husband of burning down their house. Molly was charged and transported again to Australia (1804).

Back in Australia, Molly acquired another husband (her third) and together they bought some land. However, Molly was caught branding government cattle as her own and she was sent to Newcastle Penal Colony. For her good behaviour, Molly was sent with a party settlers to the Maitland area (1819) and was given some land for settlement. Here Molly opened a wine shanty which became quite popular due to it being on the route to the north of Australia.

Aged 61yo, Molly acquired a fourth husband - and one that was much younger then herself. her shanty became the Angel Inn, which prospered as more lands were granted to her. Molly's business expanded and her Inn marked the beginnings of the City of Maitland. After her own creature comforts were dealt with, Molly helped those less fortunate, dealt out summary justice and medicine to the sick, and donated freely to set up church and schools.

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