My GGG grandmother, Jane Tipping appears to have been a poor but enterprising widow with five children to support. She lived in the area of Moy and Dungannon, County Tyrone and was convicted of “uttering base coin” on March 12 1839.
The local Church Minister organised Memorials for her which pleaded for clemency because of her children and her health. The final response to the Memorials revealed that the recorded conviction did not give the full story. It turned out that she had been previously convicted of imprisoned for manufacturing and circulating base money. The judgement stated that on this occasion she had “in her possession certain preparations for colouring and masking base coin to make them resemble shillings and half pennies”. The judgement also suggested that she had used her children to circulate the coins. The verdict stated “The Law Must Take Its Course” but as clemency Jane was allowed to take her children with her to NSW on the convict ship “Isabella” in 1840.
There were 25 Irish children on the ship, many of whom were used as guinea pigs for an injection to stop sea sickness - unfortunately it had turned rancid and many of the children suffered badly, although Jane’s children were not listed as getting sick.
The Ship’s Surgeon described the journey as “long and tedious” but on arrival in Sydney he reported that the Governor passed flattering comments about the “Irish Gems” even though they had no petticoats (as none had been put on board). The children, however, arrived in “a ragged state” as no clothes had been put on board for them.
Jane was initially in the Female Factory before working for Mrs Jones and gaining her Ticket of Leave and then Certificate of Freedom, living in Castlereagh Street. She died in 1849 and was buried in Devonshire Street Cemetery before being reinterred in Gore Hill Cemetery in 1901 when Devonshire St was redeveloped for Central Station.
Her children settled in Sydney, the Victorian goldfields, Melbourne and possibly Queensland. Through Ancestry I have discovered descendants of three of the children: William George, Mary Jane and Emily (my GG grandmother), but have found none yet for Elizabeth or Thomas yet.
I look forward to hearing from other descendants of Jane.