The Parents of Susan Painter

Susan Livingstone née PainterSusan Painter married Adam Standish Livingstone, and they were my maternal grandmother's paternal great grand parents. They were married 2 Sep 1868 in Braidwood, NSW, lived much of her married life in the Tumbarumba area, and then died 29 Mar 1934 in Bondi, NSW.

Both Adam and Susan were the children of quite early immigrants to Australia. Adam's ancestry, starting with his father David, is discussed on a seperate webpage which leads on to a series of webpages discussing my more extensive study of Livingstones in Angus shire in Scotland. The descendants of Adam and Susan, my Livingstone family, are discussed in yet another webpage.

But this page focuses only on the colorful lives of two people: Susan's convict parents, John Painter and his wife Susannah, whose surname was either Wainwright or MacNally (or perhaps neither?).

I have been helped greatly by Bev Penfold and Jack Piper (who are the source of my photos) and Malcolm Gain whose work, passed around the family for some time, I found very difficult to improve upon, resulting in me using very extensive direct quotes from him.

Another webpage also exists which gives many details about the siblings of Susan. See

1. John Painter.

John Painter was from Tewksbury in Gloucester, around about 1801. Before I get on to plundering liberally from the work of Malcolm Gain, I can start by giving some information about earlier convictions. The following set of Assizes cases describe a group of inter-connected cases which include mention of the young John and the partner in crime with whom he was sent to Australia, Richard Moore.

Lent Assizes 1819
March 23 1819 197 Richard Moore 18 Tewkesbury

Lent Assizes 1819
March 23 1819 196 Charles Parker 18 Tewkesbury

Lent Assizes 1819
March 23 1819 196 James Collins 48 Tewkesbury

Lent Assizes 1819

Lent Assizes 1819
April 1st 1819 212 John Painter 18 Tewkesbury

And so we see that John Painter had an association in some way with his fellow 18 year olds Richard Moore and Charles Parker, and that the latter two were ex-soldiers. These were rough times, as the British people had been mobilised like perhaps no time ever before to fight Napolean, and this after a generation or more of industrialization had shattered the stability of the old parish communities and set people adrift in a new and larger British world which was increasingly linked to the colonies, Ireland and India. With victory the cities of Britain found themselves over-crowded with young men who were no longer tied down by, or supported by, an ancestral village. We don't know for sure where John Painter was from, though there is at least some evidence of Painters having lived in Tewkesbury a little while. His friends the ex-soldiers however can at least be said not to have been part of local militias. John would fit in the local family of John and Catherine Painter or Panter. Apart from the IGI, better extracts from the parish registers appear here wherein I could find, for example...


7 Dec 1794 Sarah Daughter of John and Catherine Painter
17 Apr 1797 Thomas Son of John and Catherine Panter
22 Aug 1805 George Son of John and Catherine Panter
11 Oct 1807 Henry Son of Benjamin and Sarah Panter
16 Jun 1811 Charlotte D of Luke & Mary Panter
30 Oct 1811 Mark S of Benjamin & Sarah Panter

The IGI gives DENIS PAINTER Christening: 20 JUN 1813 Tewkesbury, Gloucester, England, with parents John PAINTER and Catherine. He was still a resident in Tewkesbury in 1851 when there was a census. By this time he was a chimney sweep.

The following come from the marriage register transcribed on the above-mentioned webpage...

1 Apr 1810 Henry Townley of this Parish, bachelor, and Sarah (X)
Himmings of the same were married in this Church by Banns in the
presence of Joseph Burridge & Catherine (X) Painter
Banns of Marriage between Joseph Bookworth & Elizabeth Painter both of
this Parish were published 7, 14 & 21 February
Banns of Marriage between Wm Stokes & Catherine Painter both of this
Parish were published 27 February, 6 & 13 March
Banns of Marriage between John Warmby & Elizabeth Painter both of this
Parish were published 9, 16 & 23 June

So I wonder if a John senior died and Catherine re-married in 1814? It is tempting to speculate as to whether this might explain John's seeming waywardness as a teenager. In any case the first impression is that this family only appeared sporadically in the Tewkesbury registers. 

The neighbouring parishes seem to beckon. There also seems to have been a quite seperate John and Catherine in London who even had a John at the right time. I have toyed with the idea that there might be something to that, but I found the marrriage of this couple also in the London region (on the Boyds index) and don't give it much hope. As we shall see immediately below, nearby Ledbury and surrounds might also eventually be interesting for us, both concerning criminal and residency or work records for John and his partners in crime, and concerning possible Painter family connections with that area. There is even a family story that John's wife in Australia, apparently catholic and Irish, told her grandchildren that "George Painter" had been Welsh, and Wales was indeed very nearby. (I suspect, however, that John's wife was not very pro-English and possibly found it conventient to describe her husband this way.) could George be John's father's name?

Now we come to the more well-known crime which got John and Richard in big trouble, and sent to Australia. From here I will make an extended quotation from Malcolm Gain including his excellent collection of primary documentation...

According to available records, John Painter was born in 1803 in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire – in that part of the Midlands known as the Heart of England. He grew up at a time of increasing unemployment and poverty, leading to riots in 1811-17. John was 5ft 7 ¾in tall, with a florid complexion, flaxen hair and hazel eyes and unlike many people of his modest calling in Britain in the early 19th century, he had learned to read and write. He worked at the trade of stocking weaver, a skill which the Industrial Revolution was quickly rendering obsolete. It could therefore be surmised that he had some difficulty finding work, at least in his chosen field of employment.

In 1820, he and an acquaintance of his, Richmond Moore, a whitesmith who was two years his senior, were living in Ledbury, a town midway between Tewkesbury and Hereford (near Wales). One Summer evening they succumbed to the temptation to get richer quickly and illegally and decided to burgle a private house. They were apprehended and tried a few days later.

According to the indictment (and sentence) held in the Public Record Office, Kew, England, at the first Hereford Summer Assizes in the reign of George IV (31/7/1820), John Painter and Richmond Moore lately of the Parish of Ledbury in the County of Hereford were found guilty and initially sentenced to be hanged for the following offence comitted on 20th July 1820:

"about the hour of one in the night of the same day with force and arms at the parish aforesaid in the county aforesaid the dwelling house of one Edward Butt there situate feloniously and burglariously did break and enter with intent the goods and chattels of the said Edward Butt in the said dwelling house then and there being then and there feloniously and burglariously to steal, take and carry away and then and there with force and arms twenty shillings in monies numbered One piece of Gold Coin called an half Guinea of the proper coin of this realm of the value of ten shillings and six pence One piece of silver called a dollar of the value of five shillings Six Silver Spoons of the value of of twenty five shillings and One pair of Silver Sugar Tongs of the value of three shillings of the monies goods and chattels of the said Edward Butt and fifteen promissory notes for the payment of one pound each of the value of one pound each in the same dwelling house then and there being found feloniously and burglariously did steal take and carry away the said notes and each of them at the time of committing the felony aforesaid being the property of the said Edward Butt and the said several sums of money payable and secured by the same notes respectively being due and unsatisfied to the said Edward Butt the proprietor thereof against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his crown and dignity."

Edward Butt was recognized to prosecute and give evidence, and Francis Tucker, Elizabeth Hooper and William Butt to give evidence.  

Fortunately for countless descendants including over fifty grandchildren, the sentence for this burglary of £18/3/6d was commuted to transportation "beyond the seas for the term of his natural life" for John Painter (as well as for his accomplice Richmond Moore) as shown below.


August 1820
Oxford Circuit

Our Assizes terminated at noon on Friday.  The Calendar contained 36 prisoners, and the sentences were as follows:

Condemned - ...... J Stinton for breaking into the dwelling of Eliz. Hooper, and stealing different articles; Jas. Rea, for a like offence in the house of J. Fidoe; J. Painter and R. Moore, for the same offence in the house of T. Butt ......

(Commutation of Sentence)

The Justices of Assize                    Whitehall 28th August 1820
for the Oxford Circuit    


The following persons having been tried and convicted before you at the last Assizes holden for the Oxford Circuit ....... and had sentence of Death passed upon them ......  And you having by Certificate under your Hands, humbly recommended them as fit objects of the Royal Mercy on Condition of their being Transported beyond the Seas for the Terms hereafter mentioned viz:  ...... John Painter ...... For and during the Term of their Natural Lives.

His Majesty has thereupon been graciously Pleased to Extend the Royal Mercy to the said several Persons on Condition of their being transported to the Coast of New South Wales, or some  one or other of the Islands adjacent, for and during the Terms before mentioned, and has Commanded me to signify the same to you, that you may give the necessary directions accordingly.


With 155 other convicts, John Painter sailed from England on 22/12/1820 on the 473 ton Speke (built in Calcutta in 1790) under Captain Peter McPherson. They arrived in Sydney on 18th May 1821 after 147 days at sea.

In the earlier days of transportation, it was common practice for male convicts when their ship arrived in Sydney Cove to be kept on board for a day or so, often even longer. They were then brought to shore at the Government wharf on the western side of Sydney Cove whence they were marched up to the Government Lumber Yard. Here, in George Street, just South of Bridge Street, they were stripped, washed, inspected and measured and all their vital statistics recorded before being dressed in yellow convict ‘slops’.

At this time too they were "assigned", that is, given work. If they had skills (e.g. stonemasons, blacksmiths or carpenters), they would most likely be retained by the government for its own public works programs. Otherwise they were assigned to labouring work or given into the service of property owners, merchants and farmers, some of whom had themselves been convicts in their time.  Since John Painter did not appear on the 1821 victualling list, it is more than likely that he was assigned immediately, perhaps to Robert Higgins.
According to the September 1822 Muster, John Painter was at that time employed by Robert Higgins of Argyle, who was an ex-convict turned constable but later discharged.

EXTRACT FROM SYDNEY GAZETTE 4 October 1822 - 9 January 1823:
Absconded from Service: J Painter per Speke, aged 20, native of Tewkesbury, 5' 7¾", gray eyes, light hair, fair complexion, from Mr Bayley's clearing party.  [Liverpool]
(Note: Absconding was usually punished by flogging at the triangle – 25 to 50 lashes)

COLONIAL SECRETARY PAPERS (Reel 6023, 4/6671, p 90)
Penrith, 10 September 1824
Return of Fines and Punishments in the Police Office
John Painter: Run from a clearing party - an old offender: Treadmill for 28 days


9 December     1824 - 27 January 1825
Absconded from Service:    John Painter, Speke, 21, Tewkesbury, 5' 7¾", hazel eyes, flaxen hair, florid complexion, from Hyde Park Barracks. 

15 December 1825
Absconded from Service:    John Painter, Speke, 22, Tewkesbury, 5' 7¾", dark eyes, flaxen hair, florid complexion, Government servant to Mr Owens, Newcastle.

1 November 1826 - Police Reports
John Painter, a runaway since 12 December last, was sentenced to be worked in irons for 12 months at such place as His Excellency should think fit to appoint. (on 27/10/26)

18 November 1826 - 2 December 1826
Absconded from Service:    John Painter, Speke (2), Weaver, 24, Tewkesbury, 5' 7¾", hazel eyes, flaxen hair, florid complexion, from Parramatta Station.

3 January 1827 - Police Reports, Liverpool 23.12.1826
John Painter, runaway from Parramatta Barracks, and apprehended by the district constable of Upper Minto.  The prisoner acted in a very outrageous manner, while about to be taken in custody, by drawing a knife with which he threatened to cut the constable up.  To be forwarded to Parramatta with the deposition respecting his conduct, and to be dealt with by the Magistrates there.

20 January 1827
Wanted by Police:    John Painter, Speke, Weaver, 24, Tewkesbury, 5' 7¾", hazel eyes, flaxen hair, florid complexion, from No. 8 iron gang.

John Painter, tried 31 July 1820, Hereford Assizes, life, stocking weaver, Speke.
    Colonial Conviction - Sydney General Sessions, 22 January 1827, 3 years, transported to Moreton Bay 20 March 1827 per Mary Elizabeth.
Thus at the time of the 1828 Census John Painter was serving his sentence of 3 years at the Moreton Bay Penal Colony (the site of present day Brisbane) with a death rate of more than 10% per annum under the infamous Captain Patrick Logan. Therefore he was not around the Sydney area when the bushranger John Payne, or Wolloo Jack was active around Bulli/Appin, committing crimes for which he was hanged in 1829. (John Paine was no doubt N° 1209 of the 1821 victualling list.)

Letter Sent re Convicts 1826-32
Reel 1044, 4/3669, page 533-534  (most likely around March 1830)

Hyde Park Barracks.  The thirty eight prisoners named in the annexed list recently arrived on the Isabella from Moreton Bay.


John Painter, Speke

Letter Sent re Convicts 1826-32                              
Microfilm Reel 1043, 4/3667, page 306-307
30/775                            Colonial Secretary Office
                                    22nd September 1830

    In transmitting to you herewith the names of nineteen prisoners enumerated in the annexed list at present attached to the Establishment at Wellington Valley, I am directed by H.E. the Governor to request that you will report immediately which of them are fit for clerks or tutors and their respective qualifications, and that you will lay before the Land Board the names of the others in order to their immediate assignment.
                            Signed Alex. McLeay
F A Hely Esq.

List referred to in the annexed letter .....  .....   Painter, John:  Speke   .....   .....

According to the NSW Calendar and General Post Office Directory 1832:

Wellington Valley was formerly a government stock station located six miles from the confluence of the Bell and Macquarie Rivers. It was subsequently set apart for the reception and employment of a description of prisoners distinguished by the designation of 'specials' (essentially prisoners with sufficient education to read and write)

The first European visitor (to Wellington Valley) was John Oxley who had headed north-east after being blocked by reeds in his exploration of the Lachlan River. He appears to have climbed Mt Arthur and, from there, gazed down upon what he named the Wellington Valley, after the Duke of Wellington who had, just two years before, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
Descending the mountain, he came to a small river which he named the Bell after Brevet Major Bell of the 48th Regiment. He must have been standing in the future townsite as he recorded in his journal that he had 'scarcely rode a mile' along the course of the Bell before he came across its junction with the Macquarie River. Delighted by its contrast with the muddy, marshy Lachlan, he wrote of 'bright transparent water dashing over gravelly bottom..[with a]..brilliancy equal to the most polished mirror'.
In 1823, inspired by Oxley's glowing report on the area's agricultural potential, Governor Brisbane sent Lieutenant Percy Simpson to establish a camp with convicts and soldiers. It was situated about 3 km south of the present townsite on the high ground above the Bell River (on the eastern side of the Mitchell Highway) and was, for a short time, the only settlement beyond Bathurst. Although wheat was successfully grown, the settlement was abandoned in 1831, becoming a government stock station then, in 1832, the headquarters of an Aboriginal mission. Several weather-worn headstones are all that remain of this site, 3 km south (the earliest dating from 1825).
The property known as 'Gobolion' (still in existence) was established in 1824, 5 km north of present-day Wellington. Charles Sturt stayed overnight at 'Gobolion' during one of his journeys.
The Macquarie, just east of the Bell River junction, became a major river crossing used by explorers, settlers and coaches until 1870. A punt was used when the waters were high.

Around this time John Painter absconded again as indicated in the Sydney Gazette of Saturday 5 January 1832:            
Principal Superintendent of Convict's Office
Sydney, 31 December 1831

The undermentioned prisoners having absconded from the individuals and  employments set against their names, respectively, and some of them being at large with stolen certificates and tickets of leave, all constables and
others are hereby required and commanded to use their utmost exertions in apprehending and lodging them in safe custody.Any person harbouring or employing any of the said absentees will be prosecuted as the law directs:
Painter, John, Speke, 26, stocking weaver, Herefordshire, 5 feet 7 3/4 inches, hazle eyes, flaxen hair, florid comp. From Mr T F Hawkins,  Bathurst.”  (Blackdown Station )

Thomas Hawkins was born about 1781 and died in 1837 (V18372775 21). He and his wife Elizabeth had at least two sons, Thomas and Daniel.

From here, once more following in Malcolm's footsteps, we shall continue with John once we have introduced his wife.

2. Susannah MacNally?

In most records, there is not much doubt that Susannah's surname is Wainwright, a good common English name if ever there was one. There are however reasons to doubt that this was her real name. Most importantly, both on her own death certificate, as well as the baptism of her first daughter born to her as a free person (our Susan) the maiden name she reports is MacNally or Macanally (with various spellings). Somehow this fits. She was strongly Catholic, which not very common in England, and the only residence that we know of, Stockport near Manchester, was in an area where there must have been a very large amount of immigration from just over the Irish Sea.

There seems no reason to doubt, by the way, that her father's first name was Jeremiah as found for example on her death certificate.

Malcolm Gain says that his according to Jean Marchment late of Wauchope NSW, a cousin of his father "in the closing years of the 19th Century Susannah told her granddaughter, Susan and Adam’s daughter Mabel May (Jean’s mother) that she was Irish and had been born in Balbriggan, county Dublin (a town on the coast facing Britain). But she also told Mabel May that John had been born in Wales - which might again be true. He too might have lied to the English authorities about being born in Tewkesbury (which is not too far from the Welsh border). I have read that it was pretty customary for people to lie about their name and place of birth on apprehension then and probably still is."

Malcolm wrote:

"In the early 1830s, Susannah Wainwright,  daughter of Jeremiah and maybe Elisabeth, who was born in Manchester England in 1811-13 was engaged in some activity that was about to bring her into John Painter's arms. She had been baptized a Catholic and perhaps since formal Catholic emancipation did not come in England until 1829  there seems to be no record extant of her baptism. She had blue eyes, brown hair and a fair and slightly freckled complexion. On reaching adulthood she was 5'1½" tall and had learned to read and write."

"In 1832, at 19 years of age she was accused of receiving stolen money from
17 year old Peter Anderson who had obtained it by housebreaking. They were tried at Chester Assizes on 4th August 1832."

Extract from Chester Courant & Advertiser for North Wales :

Chester 10 August 1832
Cheshire Assizes
Crown Side
Before Mr Justice Alderson

Housebreaking - Peter Anderson (17) and Susannah Wainwright (19)  were indicted, the former of breaking into the dwelling house of George Parrott of Brinnington and stealing upwards of £400 in Bank Notes and £29 in silver; and the latter with feloniously receiving the same.

To quote Malcolm, "Anderson was sentenced to death and Susannah was sentenced to be "transported beyond the seas" for 14 years. On 11th December 1832, with 99 other female convicts, she set sail for NSW from Whitby on the "Diana". Hair shearing was one of the means of discipline used without success on board this ship which put in at Cape Town before continuing across the Indian Ocean to NSW. It arrived in Sydney on 25th May 1833 and Susannah was assigned to J Hassall, South Creek."

The Chester Chronicle
Friday August 10th 1832

HOUSEBREAKING – Peter Anderson, (17) and Susannah Wainwright (19) were indicted, the former for breaking into the dwelling house of George Parrott, of Brinnington, and stealing upwards of £400 in Bank Notes and £29 in silver; and the latter with feloniously receiving the same.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL and Mr J.H. Lloyd stated the case for the prosecutor; Mr DUNN appeared for the prisoner Anderson.
The facts of the case are briefly these:- The prosecutor Mr Greorge Parrott resides at Brinnington, near Stockport. On Wednesday night the 30th of May, the house was broken into through one of the windows, and the sum of £460 in notes contained in a pocket-book, carried away; together with several parcels of silver, amounting to £29. The notes consisted of £50 and £10 notes. The £50 notes he had received on the 15th of May., from a Mr Absalom Watkins, of Manchester. There was a large quantity of silver plate in the house, but although it was removed it was not taken away: the doors were left wide open. The robbery was not discovered until the servants came down at five o’clock the following morning.
Mr Watkins proved the dates and numbers of the four £50 notes and the £10 note, which he paid Mr Parrott on the 15th of May. On the 29th of May he made another large payment to Mr Parrott in bank notes, but had not taken any account of the dates and numbers.
Mr John Winstanley, watchmaker, of Salford, Manchester, proved that a person agreed with him for the purchase of a watch, promising to call and pay for it and the end of the week. He did not come, but referred witness to the prisoner Anderson as the person who would be the purchaser. On an interview with the prisoner, the latter agreed for the watch, and offered a £10 Bank of England note in payment. Mr Winstanley, on referring to a handbill he had in his pocket, found that the note in question was one of those stolen from Mr Parrott. The prisoner then proposed that witness should give him £5 for the £10 note; but the latter said he had not the money then, but would change him £50 or £100 of the other notes if he (the prisoner) had them. Prisoner said he had not, but his girl had; and ultimately an appointment was made for next day, at No. 4 Hope Street, Salford, to bring the notes. The prisoner said he got the notes from Mr Parrott’s, and that he did not go there for that purpose, but to take the “wedge” – a cant term for silver plate. Witness asked him if he was not afraid of being detected whilst he was in the house; prisoner said no, for he had fastened the door with a pair of scissors! He said he had got rid of the silver money in paying debts, &c. Mr Winstanley gave immediate information to the Salford Police. The prisoner Wainwright and an old woman came to the place appointed in Hope-street. The old woman left the room, and Wainwright produced five £50 notes from her bosom. Mr Winstanley, referring to the handbill, selected two of the notes the numbers of which were best known, and agreed to give her £50 for the two. He left the room, as if to go and procure the money, but gave information to the police, who came and took her into custody.
The witness was cross-examined by Mr DUNN at great length, with a view to shake his testimony, because of the great improbability of his story, and other grounds of discredit.
John Diggles, Police-officer at Salford, proved apprehending the female prisoner on the 11th of June, in the Public-house, No 4 Hope-street. When searching, three more of the £50 notes were found upon her; the signature and no. agreed with those noted by Mr Absalom Watkins. Another of the Salford Police apprehended Anderson the next day, and found only a few shillings in silver upon him. He lived at Stockport, close by the prosecutor’s house. Only £260 of the money lost had been recovered in the whole.
The Jury returned a verdict of Guilty against both prisoners: Anderson, Death Recorded ; Wainwright, transported fourteen years

Once again I turn to Malcolm to tell the main story...


30 October 1833

Absconded from service:    Wainwright, Susannah, No. 33-252, 20, Diana,
Manchester, All work, 5 ft 2in, bluish eyes, brown hair, fair little freckled comp., small raised mole back of right wrist, finger nails short, from Andrew Foss, since 27th instant.

6 November 1833

List of runaways apprehended during the week:  Wainwright, Susannah, Diana, from service with Andrew Foss.

There was a wedding at St Mary's Catholic Church, Sydney in 1833, that of Andrew Gandon and Sarah Flood which John might have attended. Maybe Andrew gave John his discharge papers, thus enabling him to marry Susan Wainwright using the alias of Andrew Gandon, but more likely than not, John would have obtained Gandon's discharge papers without their owner's consent or perhaps had them forged.

Susannah was working for Mrs Kennedy of Jinglemoney, County Murray around this time and she and John made an application for the publication of banns on 17th July 1834 - their daughter Elisabeth would have been conceived about mid June.

An Application to marry was lodged on the 28th July 1834, the Governor's permission for the marriage was granted on 2nd August 1834 and the couple were thus married by the Reverend John Vincent in the historic All Saints Anglican Church in Bong Bong (or Sutton Forest) on 15th September 1834.

Betsey, their first daughter, was born at Oronmeir the following year, on 12th March 1835 but less than five months later John was apprehended by the mounted police on the property of his employer, Major W S Elrington and by the beginning of August, questions were being asked of the Major:

Colonial Secretary Correspondence 35/5626

                    Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney
                        7 August 1835


It appearing by a report received from the commandant of the mounted police that the runaway prisoner named in the margin [John Painter alias Andrew Gandon] was apprehended by that corps while in your employment.

        I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to request that you will have the goodness to explain how you came to hire the runaway alluded to.

J C Harrington
for the Colonial Secretary

W S Elrington Esq.
Mount Elrington

Colonial Secretary Correspondence 35/7074 (4/2282-5)

                    Mount Elrington, Cty Murray
                    16 August 1935

In compliance with questions contained in your letter of the 7th inst relative to the runaway named John Paynter I beg leave to state for the information of His Excellency the Governor that he had been employed as a free man in this and another District in reputable service for more than three years, before he was engaged by me.  During that period his Banns were published in the Parish Church of Bong Bong to be married to a female prisoner of the crown assigned to Mr and Mrs Kennedy, under the name of Andrew Gandon, designated free, which I presume  could not have been done without due authority.  He also held a discharge from His Majesty's Ship Crocodile under the last mentioned name, which I had no means of ascertaining was a forgery, and therefore I in perfect confidence hired him.

He has left his wife on my estate which an infant at the breast.  I shall wish to know what is to be done with her.  If not out of order I would have no objection to her being assigned to my service if it were only to exempt the poor woman from the pain of travelling in her present state of health at this  inclement season.
I have the honour to be

Your Obedient Servant
W S Elrington

P.S.    I have enclosed a copy of the certificate in further elucidation.

Note written at end of letter:  Mr Elrington does not seem to blame.  Let the woman be assigned to him.

    Copy: Register 83

I certify that Andrew Gandon a bachelor aged 23 years (free)
    and Susannah Wainwright a spinster per Diana were married
    in All Saints Chapel, Sutton Forest by banns with consent of
    the Governor this fifteenth day of September 1834.

                        John Vincent
    Sutton Forest
    Sept. 15, 1834

A true copy
W S Elrington JP

Colonial Secretary Correspondence 35/5026

Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney
        14 September 1835
        In acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 16th ultimo I do myself the honor to acquaint you that the explanation furnished relative to your employing the convict named in the margin [John Painter alias Andrew Gandon] under the impression that he was a free man is satisfactory.

        In reference to the concluding part of your letter in which you state that the wife of this man, a prisoner of the crown with whom he obtained marriage by stating himself free, is now on your estate and that you would have no objection to her assignment to your service.  I have the honor to acquaint you that His Excellency approves of this and that the
(Female) Factory Committee have been apprised accordingly.

                    [Signature illegible]   
W S Elrington, Esq.
Mount Elrington

Shortly afterwards John possibly tried unsuccessfully to return to his wife and family:

23 December 1835

List of runaways apprehended during the last week:  Painter, John, Speke, T
J Hawkins, Bathurst.   

But Susannah met  William Chatterton, a ticket-of-leave holder who was employed as a sheep overseer by Captain John Coghill and by the middle of 1836 they knew each other well enough to want to get married.

Colonial Secretary Correspondence 36/7849 (4/2309)

                    To his Excellency Lt General Sir

Richard Bourke

                    Governor of the Colony of New South Wales

The humble Petition of Susan Wainwright per ship Diana which arrived in May 1833, a native of Manchester convicted at Chester and sentenced to transportation for 14 years

Humbly Sheweth

        That while an assigned servant to Mr Kennedy at Curwarry she formed an acquaintance with a man who represented himself to be an emigrant, and who stated his name to be Andrew Gandon who strongly solicited her to marry him, that your Petitioner considering him to be an industrious man and likely to make her situation more comfortable, consented, an application was made to your Excellency who gave permission.  They were accordingly married by the Reverend Mr Vincent at Bong Bong.

        At the expiration of about twelve months and when she had given birth to a child it was discovered that she had been grossly deceived, that her husband was and had for a long time been, a bushranger whose real name was John Painter, and who was assigned to Mr Hawkins at Bathurst from whose service he absconded.  That at the time of the discovery he was employed by Major Elrington of Mount Elrington in County Murray from which place he was taken in custody to be dealt with.  Your Petitioner has since been assigned to Major Elrington where she now is.

        Your Petitioner being informed that this marriage is to all intents and purposes null and void and that this man has not nor ever can have any claim on her, and she having another opportunity of being comfortably settled with a young man whose name is William Chatterton per ship Minstrel which arrived in 1825, a native of Manchester convicted at Carlisle, sentence transportation for life, but is now holding a Ticket of Leave and in the Employment of John Coghill Esq. JP of Kirkham at his station Gillamatong, County St Vincent.

        Your Petitioner having obtained the sanction of her master Major Elrington is induced to lay before your Excellency this plain unvarnished statement of facts, and humbly to solicit your Excellency's Permission to this second marriage.

        In presuming thus to address your Excellency your Petitioner has been powerfully induced by the conviction of your Excellency's disposition to promote at all times the happiness of those over whom you are placed and most particularly has your Excellency's Administration been marked by acts of kindness to the unfortunate prisoner. 

Thus assured your Petitioner humbly awaits your Excellency's answer to her Petition in the confident hope the answer will be favorable and your Petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray

                            Susan Wainwright
Mount Elrington
17th August 1836

Notes written on back of petition: 

Let me see the Application for her marriage with And w Gandon. 
Explain to this poor woman the law of the case and that it is not of my power to authorize the marriage she now desires to contract.

In the 1837 Convict Muster, a clerical reconstitution of people's whereabouts after the fact, corresponding rather to their situation in 1836, Susannah is listed as being 27 years of age and working for Mr W.S. Elrington in the Shoalhaven area. At this time John Painter was working for the "government" in the "vale of Clywdd", so named by Governor Macquarie in April 1815 and situated to the west of Mts York and Victoria. He was presumably being punished for absconding from private service and being kept under surveillance, perhaps involved in the building of the Hartley courthouse.

William, the son of Susannah Wainwright and William Chatterton was born on 16th April 1837 at Ballalaba. In August of that year Susannah was in the employ of Ann Simanton, Philip St, Sydney. She and William Snr made another application to marry on 15th August 1837 and applied for the publication of banns on the 18th . On the 26th August, permission to marry was granted but it seems that they never did marry. (Could Susan have gone to confession before the marriage and been dissuaded by the priest?)  William Jnr was baptized at St James' Church, Sydney on 30th December 1837. In April of the following year, Susannah was sponsor at the baptism of Mary Ann Nicholls, the daughter of Thomas Nichols and Ann Keal, a prisoner at the Female Factory at Parramatta and on 23rd  August 1838, Betsey Painter, daughter of Susan and Andrew Painter, was baptised at St Saviour's Anglican Church, Goulburn. At the time she was said to be living at Orenmeir, Co. Murray, no doubt at Mt Elrington.

Towards the end of February  1839, Susan's second daughter Martha would have been conceived. At this time William Chatterton was employed at Bedarvale.
He had various problems leading to the cancellation of his ticket of leave around April 1839 but was able to get it back again by proving that he had been in the Sydney area in February 1839, therefore unable to have committed an offence in the Braidwood area. Susan was allowed to remain in the Braidwood district by the Campbelltown Bench on 28th February 1839 and granted a ticket of leave on 11th July. Martha was born on 28th November 1839. But the winds of change were about to blow...

In May 1840 the Bathurst Bench decided to grant John a ticket of leave and Susannah's ticket of leave was altered from Braidwood to Bathurst on 14th August 1840. In October 1840, according to the Ticket of Leave Muster Roll, John was still in the employ of Mr T. J. Hawkins JP (see the view from the homestead of Hawkins’ property “Blackdown” in the above contemporary watercolour by the well-known Sydney artist Conrad Martens) where he remained for at least a further year. About this time Susan conceived his son George. (During this time William Chatterton was employed by Major Elrington).

George was born in the Bathurst area on 4th July 1841 and baptized at the Catholic Church, Bathurst on 24th November 1841, his family living at a place called Lui at the time.

On 9th June 1842, John and Susan were issued ticket-of-leave passports N°42/636 and N°42/637  allowing them to travel together between Bathurst and Mudgee for 12 months in 1842/43, in the carrying business. John and Susan were both allowed to return to the Braidwood area on 20th March 1843.

When John, their second son together and Susannah’s third, born on 18/7/1843  was baptized (a Catholic, like all ensuing baptisms) on 21st June 1846, his father was working as a shepherd at Charleyong north of Braidwood. That is where their third daughter, Sarah, was born on 4th Sept. of the same year. By the time she was baptised on 22nd April 1847, her parents were working as servants or at least one of them was, at the Verge-designed Bedarvale homestead in the Braidwood area. About this time John Painter, who had been sentenced for life 27 years earlier in 1820, received approval for a conditional pardon which was granted on 1st June 1848 and a copy sent  by the Principal Superintendant of Convicts on 14/2/1850.

Susan, their fourth daughter, was therefore born to free parents on 4th October 1849 and when she was baptized on 27th November 1850, her parents gave Braidwood as their place of abode but no profession was indicated. Susannah gave her name as Susan McNalley on this occasion, perhaps to "celebrate the break" with the convict past and mark a new chapter in the life of the family, perhaps also to cover past tracks.

Betsey, the eldest daughter, was married to Edward Goulding at Braidwood on 1st July 1851 by the Priest from the Catholic Church of Broulee, 10km NE of Moruya, on the South Coast of NSW in 1851. Broulee was the coastal access town to the Araluen gold fields south of Braidwood. The gold rush was in full swing in the area at that time. Edward was born in County Tyrone about 1832 and arrived in NSW in about 1844. He and Betsey had nine children together but apparently Edward was a bit of a tyrant and Elizabeth left him for another man by whom she had four more children: George 1869, Susan 1870, Christopher and Joseph 1871.

When Catherine, the fifth daughter, born 12th October 1851 was baptized on 29th June 1852 by the Priest from the County of Dampier, on the South Coast of NSW, her father was a labourer in Braidwood.

In May 1854 when Martha (doubtless the daughter of William Chatterton) was finally baptized and in October of the same year when Betsey was re-baptized a Catholic as Elisabeth Goulding* Painter, their parents were at last farmers at Orenmeir, no doubt the realization of a long-standing dream.

On 2nd April 1855 John Painter purchased a 120 acre farm at Tantulean Creek, Tinderry for £167. It is surprising that a labourer and father of eight could have saved this sum.

On 29th November 1856 Martha married Joseph Dooley at Braidwood. They had twelve children over a 29-year period between 1857 and 1886.

On 14th October 1861 John Painter Snr took out a mortgage on his farm for £50 at 10% per annum.

On 8th August 1862, according to the 'Braidwood News', Mr. French brought an action against John Painter Snr in the Small Debts Court before J W Bunn and James Larmer Esq. to recover £1 12s 6d for pasturing a horse and advertising the same. The verdict was in favour of the plaintiff. Later in that same year, on 11th November, John and Susannah Painter sold their land at Tantulean creek to William Jonas, In 1863 John Painter’s name appeared on the electoral roll as living at Tantulean Creek, near Mongarlowe.
In 1865 Sarah Anne died of rheumatic fever, pleurisy and pneumonia at 19 years of age. Her gravestone on the eastern edge of the old Braidwood cemetery indicates that she was the aunt of Susan Goulding. Edward and Elizabeth indeed had a daughter Susanna, born in 1860 who died in infancy, perhaps  mentioned for this reason on Sarah Ann Painter's gravestone. Edward and Elizabeth had a daughter whom they named Sarah Ann in 1866, the year after her aunt died. In fact, Sarah's name was given to four of her nieces, the daughters of Elizabeth Goulding (b1866), Martha Dooley (b 1869), Susan Livingstone (b. 1870) and of Kate Cole (b. 1874). Living confirmation of the truth of Adam Standish Livingstone’s inscription "and greatly beloved was she" on the back of the photo of the original Sarah.

On 24th October 1865, 2 months after Sarah died, for the first time, John Painter and Susannah Wainwright were together sponsors at the baptism of their grandson George Dooley at Braidwood.

On 14th January 1867 Catherine married Henry Cole in Queanbeyan. They had eight children. They separated in the mid 1870s and Kate lived with Henry’s brother James and bore him a number of children. (In later life, Kate Cole lived for many years near Crown St Hospital, East Sydney until her death in 1922).

In September 1868, with her father's permission, being under age, Susan married Adam S. Livingstone. They had 13 children over a 26-year period between 1869 and 1895.

On 29th December 1870 George Arnfield (Paynter) married Amelia Mullins in Sydney. They had six children. At the time of the marriage, George was living at Castlereagh. None of his family members signed the register and George, a labourer, signed with an x and did not use his family name at the time but either his middle name or an alias.

On 17th January 1871, a couple of weeks later, William Paynter married Mary Frances McCormick at Queanbeyan. They had eight children together and some of their descendants still live around the Tantaluen area.

From 1863 to 1878  John Painter regularly appeared on the electoral roll first as living at Tantaluen and later at Maughan’s Flat, Black Range, in the Hoskinstown area. In 1875 his name was even in Greville’s Post Office Directory as a farmer living at Maughan Flat. But…

The final pitiful charge proven against 75-year-old John Painter (unless it was his son):

('The Queanbeyan Age' - Wednesday 27 March 1878)
Queanbeyan Police Court Saturday 23 March

Before the Police Magistrate   Dog Stealing
John Painter, who had been arrested on a warrant charging him with stealing a dog, the property of Thomas Mulqueeny, was convicted on his own plea after hearing the evidence and fined 20s or fourteen days imprisonment with hard labour in Queanbeyan jail, the dog to be returned to his owner. The prisoner not paying the fine was sent to jail.

John may have died at 82 under the alias of John Payne at Liverpool Asylum, 1884.

In later life Susan Painter lived in a modest abode at Laurel Hill, between Batlow and Tumbarumba, about 10km north of "Berlang", Adam Standish's property at Courabyra. Malcolm's uncle Ron said that she smoked a clay pipe.

She apparently served as midwife for many of the Livingstone children's births (the Mrs. Painter on their birth records). In any case, she was much loved and appreciated by them. She kept a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings & family mementos.

Nothing seems straightforward in this history though, and Malcolm found some very surprising records concerning her last years. Firstly, Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, Friday 6 October 1899 p17, reporting from "TUMBARUMBA. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)"

Mrs. Painter (mother of Mrs. A. S. Livingstone, of Berlang) had the misfortune to become dazed, and, falling on the floor at her daughter's residence, she sustained a fractured thighbone, which by reason of her extreme old age it seems impossible to set. The esteemed old lady lies in a helpless condition.

But the surprise comes next year, when Susan does not seem so "esteemed". She suddenly appears in far away outback Bathurst, in strange circumstances. BATHURST DAILY FREE PRESS, Saturday, November 17th, 1900, under "Local and General" reports:

A Hard Case. -At the Orange Police Court on Wednesday, says the Orange Advocate, a particularly distressing case came on for hearing. An old woman named Susan Painter, who gave her age as 90, was charged with being an idle and disorderly person having no lawful means of support or fixed place of abode. From the evidence it appears, that some three months ago the old woman was turned into the streets by her relatives, and Sergeant Butler, acting on the instructions of Mr. King P.M., got her admission to the hospital, where she has been ever since, but the hospital authorities could not keep her any longer; as her temper was a menace to the welfare of the other patients. She refused to go to any Benevolent Asylum, and asked to be sent to her relatives at Tumberumba. The police there were communicated with and they reported that her relatives refused to take her. The old woman, who is very deaf and feeble, could only reiterate her request to be sent to Tumberumba. She could not understand that her relatives would not have her. Sergeant Butler explained that the only course was to send hor to gaol, as she refused to go to a Benevolent Asylum, and they could not compel her to go. If she was sentenced to a short term her relatives could be again communicated with and she could be released if they would take her. The Bench sentenced her to one month in Bathurst gaol, where there is a hospital and plenty of attendants and she would bo properly looked after.

A hard case indeed. Not only Adam Standish Livingstone was still well-and-truly alive, but also Susan's daughter Susan Livingstone.

Susan Painter née Wainwright died on 4th February 1901 at the Newington Asylum (home for the aged) in Sydney and is buried in the Catholic Cemetery at Rookwood, Sydney. Her death certificate indicates that she was married at Bong Bong, but gives her maiden name as McNalley and among her children only refers to her son John and a daughter whose name she didn’t remember but she had raised 8 children, who in turn gave her no less than 64 grandchildren!

But despite this turn late in life away from the surname Wainwright, it was presumably also a name her family really went by as shown by a record Malcolm found in January 2010 on the NLS newspaper website. In the 31st January 1870 issue of the Sydney Morning Herald, a personal message was published:

Any information concerning John Wainwright, a native of Manchester and reported to have been recently a resident of New York, will be thankfully received by his sister Susan Painter, Braidwood NSW.

Malcolm also mentioned a family story that Susannah was buried with a brown scapula. He explained to me that "a scapula is a little piece of cloth worn on a ribbon round the neck. It represents clerical robes (a monk or nun's habit) and so one can perhaps draw the conclusion that Susannah was in minor orders, sort of like a nun, but not living in a convent."

Thanks go to Bev Penfold and Jack Piper for this photo...

Susannah Painter and her granddaughter Lily Livingstone