Catharine Malone (c.1770-1841)

Inmate of the first Female Factory, the “Factory Above the Gaol,” located at present-day Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta. To date, this is the earliest police report relating to the Parramatta Female Factory that has been found in the colonial newspapers (earlier reports may still be found as research continues).

Catharine Malone, an Irish convict, was convicted along with her accomplice Ann McNamara in 1792 and transported for seven years per Sugar Cane in 1793 for stealing money in Dublin, Ireland. Catherine married fellow convict William Butts at St. John’s Church, Parramatta in 1794 and around six months later gave birth to their daughter Sarah.  By 27 January 1797, the couple’s only child was buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta as “Sarah Malone.” Following Sarah’s death, the couple’s relationship fell apart. In October 1805, for example, William printed a public notice in the Sydney Gazette effectively “disowning her”:

“William Butts, Settler, hereby Forbids any person accreditting on his account Catharine Butts, his Wife (formerly Catharine Malone), as no debt or debts by her contracted will be acknowledged or discharge by him, the said William Butts.”

And by 1805 Catharine was sentenced to twelve months labour in the cloth factory at Parramatta, i.e. The Factory Above the Gaol. [see “Police Reports” below]

Afterwards, Catharine worked as a “nurse” at the Parramatta General Hospital, the remains of which can still be seen in today’s Parramatta Justice Precinct Heritage Courtyard. Her husband William died in 1821 and was buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. Catharine herself, however, went on to have another relationship with a man named Edward Bennett.


  • Alternate: Catharine Butts


  • Spouse of William Butts
  • Spouse of Edward Bennett
  • Parent of Sarah Butts aka Sarah Malone

* Note: there are other relationships for Catharine Malone. See “Catharine Malone: A Tale of Two Catharines?” for further details.

Police Report

Yesterday CATHARINE MALONE was accused before a Bench of Magistrates with riotous and disorderly behaviour, and escaping from the custody of a peace officer; for which she was ordered to work twelve months in the cloth factory at Parramatta.



# Convict

# First Female Factory

# Year: 1805

# Crime: Riotous and Disorderly

# Punishment: 12 months