Hannah Steele (c.1817–)

HANNAH STEELE (II) came to the colony of New South Wales per Eliza (1833) with her four other siblings and parents, GEORGE STEELE and HANNAH STEELE (I) (née HANNAH EDMONDS), free Irish immigrants from Dublin.

GEORGE STEELE was a farmer by trade but, prior to sailing, had worked as a sub-sheriff in Dublin. In the colony, GEORGE was appointed gaoler at Windsor, New South Wales in 1835.

In May 1838, GEORGE’s wife HANNAH STEELE (I) was charged with stealing a quantity of money. She was found not guilty, but it was the beginning of a downward spiral for the family. It is not clear if the events are in any way connected, i.e. that, as a gaoler, GEORGE had been ashamed that his own wife had been accused of a criminal act, but his wife deserted him and the children and, on 9 January 1839, GEORGE committed suicide.

On the first anniversary of her father’s suicide, HANNAH STEELE (II) was admitted to Sydney Gaol on a charge of theft while working as a servant to RICHARD WINDEYER Esq. She was found guilty of the crime at the Court of Quarter Sessions. The Bench deemed it prudent to not send her to the Parramatta Female Factory, citing her youth—the journalist reported that she was “apparently only fourteen or fifteen years of age,” though she was much older—as well as the fact that her father had been a gaoler in Windsor and, as such, many of the inmates would have “entertained an ill-feeling” towards her. HANNAH STEELE (II) was, therefore, confined in Sydney Gaol for three calendar months, with every third week spent in solitary confinement.

During her imprisonment in Sydney Gaol, however, the “interesting looking girl” became pregnant, so it seems HANNAH ultimately did find her way to the Parramatta Female Factory after all. Her daughter, ELIZABETH STEELE, born on 2 December 1840, was recorded as being from the Female Factory when she was baptised at St. John’s Church, Parramatta on 20 December 1840. The same year, HANNAH’s mother had remarried one GEORGE TREE. However, by 30 July 1840, Mr. TREE put out a public notice in the newspaper cautioning the public against giving credit to his wife, as he would not be responsible for her since she had, (once again) deserted her home.


Names

  • Alternate: HANNAH STILL (c.f. daughter’s baptism record)
  • Alternate: HANNAH STEEL (c.f. newspaper law report)

Timeline

  • Born: c. 1817, Dublin Ireland
  • Sailed with her family to the colony of New South Wales per Eliza (1833): 9 July 1833
  • Arrived with her family in the colony of New South Wales per Eliza (1833): 24 November 1833
  • Father appointed gaoler: 10 April 1835, Windsor, New South Wales
  • Mother HANNAH STEELE (I) accused of stealing money and found not guilty: May 1838
  • Father GEORGE STEELE committed suicide after his wife deserted him and the children: 9 January 1839, Windsor, New South Wales
  • Entered the service of RICHARD WINDEYER and MARIA WINDEYER: October 1839
  • Gaoled for stealing from the WINDEYERS: 1 November 1839, Sydney Gaol
  • Out on bail: 15 November 1839, Sydney Gaol
  • Tried and convicted of theft: 9 January 1840, Court of Quarter Sessions, Sydney
  • Sentenced to three months imprisonment with every third week in solitary confinement: Sydney Gaol
  • Fell pregnant with ELIZABETH STEELE: c. March 1840, Sydney Gaol or upon release.
  • Released from Gaol: 9 April 1840, Sydney Gaol, New South Wales
  • Daughter ELIZABETH STEELE born: 2 December 1840, likely at the lying-in hospital, Parramatta Female Factory
  • Daughter ELIZABETH STEELE, baptised: 20 December 1840, St. John’s Church, Parramatta

Relationships

  • Daughter of GEORGE STEELE (I)
  • Daughter of HANNAH STEELE (I) (née HANNAH EDMONDS)
  • Sister of GEORGE STEELE (II)
  • Sister of EDWARD STEELE
  • Sister of HAMILTON STEELE
  • Sister of ELEANOR MARY STEELE (aka ELLEN STEELE)
  • Servant to RICHARD WINDEYER, Esq
  • Servant to ANN MARY “MARIA” WINDEYER
  • Mother of ELIZABETH STEELE

Law Reports


Religion

  • Protestant

Multimedia

The lying-in hospital, Parramatta Female Factory, viewed from where the original main barrack building of the factory once stood. Photo: Michaela Ann Cameron (2014)
The lying-in hospital, Parramatta Female Factory, viewed from where the original main barrack building of the factory once stood. Photo: Michaela Ann Cameron (2014)

Sources

  • Quarter Sessions, “Windsor. Friday, May 18.,” Commercial Journal and Advertiser (Sydney, NSW : 1835 – 1840), Wednesday 23 May 1838, p. 2.
  • CORONER’S INQUESTS, WINDSOR,” Commercial Journal and Advertiser (Sydney, NSW : 1835 – 1840), Saturday 12 January 1839, p. 2.
  • QUARTER SESSIONS. TUESDAY, JAN. 7,” Commercial Journal and Advertiser (Sydney, NSW : 1835 – 1840), Wednesday 15 January 1840, p. 3.
  • New South Wales Government, Clerk of the Peace, Index to Quarter Sessions, Criminal Cases, 1839-1888, Series: NRS 846, Reel: 2728, (State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Entrance books [Sydney Gaol], NRS 2514, Reels 850-853, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Entrance books [Sydney Gaol], NRS 2515, Reel 1864. (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Inward passenger lists. Series 13278, Reels 399-560, 2001-2122, 2751, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Quarter Sessions: Sydney: Registers of cases, 1839, 1845; Series Number: NRS 847; Reel: 2431, (State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • New South Wales Government, Reports of vessels arrived (or Shipping reports). Series 1291, Reels 1263-1285, 2851, (State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia).
  • Parish Baptism Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Domestic and Miscellaneous Intelligence,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Friday 17 April 1835, p. 2.
  • Shipping Intelligence. ARRIVAL,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Tuesday 26 November 1833, p. 2.
  • NEWS OF THE DAY: SUICIDE,” The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (NSW : 1838 – 1841), Monday 14 January 1839, p. 1.
  • WINDSOR QUARTER SESSIONS,” The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), Tuesday 22 May 1838, p. 2.
  • Court of Quarter Sessions. THURSDAY,” The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (NSW : 1838 – 1841), Wednesday 15 January 1840, p. 2.
  • Advertising,” The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (NSW : 1838 – 1841), Tuesday 28 July 1840, p. 3.
  • J. B. Windeyer, “Windeyer, Richard (1806–1847),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/windeyer-richard-1060/text4017, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 17 October 2018.