4. Margaret Hicks nee Daley – Wife of James Hicks

Under Construction

James Hicks was married, on 10.11.1834, at Castlereagh to Margaret Daley  (1819-18.11.1905) – (daughter of Ann Daley and step daughter to Ann’s husband Thomas Brain).

It was Margaret Ann Grey, a granddaughter of Deborah Woodford, nee Hicks, who provided some initial insights into her great grandmother,  Margaret Daley and into Margaret’s parents, Thomas Brain and Ann Daley.  In particular she raised the influence of the Reverend Henry Fulton on Ann Daley, and her daughter Margaret Daley.

Margaret Grey believed that it was most unlikely that her grandmother Deborah Woodford was aware that all of her grandparents were convicts transported to the Colony – Richard Hicks (Canada 1801), Margaret Howe (Experiment 1804), Thomas Brain (Coromandel 1802)and Ann Daley (Elizabeth 1818). For an interesting perspective on convict life – see Early Australian History – Convict Life written by Charles White in 1889.

And Margaret Grey pointed out that Ann Daley, a Convict and Seamstress, was not sent to the Parramatta Female Factory on her initial arrival in the Colony, from Ireland on the Elizabeth in November 1818. Ann was one of only five female convicts privately allocated – in her case to Captain Brabyn of Windsor/Wilberforce, whereas the majority of female convicts were sent to the Parramatta Female Factory – Source Free Settler or Felon  Convict Ship Elizabeth. Perhaps it was her occupation as Semptress – Seamstress that assisted ?

Both Reverend Henry Fulton and Captain Brabyn are included in the Early Days of Windsor, NSW. Henry Fulton had been an Irish Rebel in 1799.


However as more details are digitised, a fuller picture of Ann Daley emerges, and it appears that she may have been a little troublesome, or was she simply a feisty Irish woman ?

Ann Daley was born in Ireland about 1783, and was a Seamstress before being tried and convicted in Dublin, Ireland in June 1817 – Source Convicts to Australia – NSW Convict Women Arriving 1788-1828 from England and Ireland. She was sentenced to be Transported to the Colony for 7 Years, but was not an Irish Rebel – source Irish Convicts to New South Wales 1788-1849 by Peter Mayberry.

Ann Daly was 35 years old at the time of her arrival as a convict – had she been previously married ? Did she have any children before being transported ?

After her 1817 trial and 1818 transportation, Ann was allocated to Captain Brabyn on her late 1818 arrival, as noted above. However, after this, a  picture of a possibly troublesome convict seems to emerge ?

In 1819 Ann was on the list of female convicts to be sent to Newcastle on the Lady Nelson -according to the Colonial Secretary’s Papers 1788 – 1825 – perhaps it had not worked out with Captain Brabyn. Newcastle has been reported as a place of secondary punishment for convicts, though not as harsh as Port Arthur and Norfolk Island were to become. Note Jen Willets has Honora Daly of the Elizabeth 1818, being sent to Newcastle in 1819 – presumably this was our Ann ? There was an Honorah McCue who was on the Elizabeth 1818, and in 1820 she married Peter Daly, ie in 1819 she would not have been known as Honora Daley ?

It is uncertain when Ann’s daughter Margaret was born – but believed to be around 1819, from details given on Margaret’s marriage and death certificates, ie well before Ann married Thomas Brain/Brein/Bryan in 1824. However Margaret Daley was raised as Thomas‘ child – her mother Ann died by drowning in 1830. Margaret Daley could read and write, a great advantage for her husband James Hicks, in their various land dealings and legal matters over the years. Note – There were no children of Ann and Thomas’s marriage – then in her 40’s it appears that Anns childbearing days were over.

By August 1820 Ann must have been at the Parramatta Female Factory – and appears to have absconded. She was listed in the Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser Newspaper as one of absconding convicts.

In March 1821 Ann is listed in the Gaol Description and Entrance Books as being before the Sydney Bench and to be sent to the Female Factory. That certainly doesn’t not seem like a reward for good behaviour, or was it more of an administrative processs ? Although at least the sentence did not include hard labour at the Female Factory, unlike others before the Bench about the same time. And presumably Ann’s toddler age child, Margaret, must still have been with her.

In 1822 Ann was sent as servant to the Reverend Henry Fulton – and from here a more stable situation seems to emerge.

In 1824 Ann is listed in the Windsor Population books, and in August that year she was married to Thomas Brain in the Castlereagh Christ Church by the Reverend Henry Fulton. 1825 saw Ann gain her certificate of freedom, her seven years penalty finally completed.

At the time of 1828 Census Ann, Thomas and Margaret are listed as living in Sydney Road Concord, just two years before Ann’s death by drowning in 1830. She was buried in the Castlereagh, with the Reverend Henry Fulton performing the service, in the Parish of Castlereagh, Christ Church ?.

Some in the Hicks family consider that Margaret Hicks nee Daley named her eldest son as Henry Thomas Hicks – ie Henry in honour of the Reverend Henry Fulton, and Thomas, after the man who raised her as his biological daughter, Thomas Brain. The name Henry was continued through generations of Margaret’s descendants.

Ann’s husband Thomas Brain was born about 1773, possibly from Gloucestershire, as it was there that he was tried and convicted in 1800, where he was sentenced to be Transported for Life. The WikiTree site shows many people named Brain from Gloucestershire – click here. Thomas was transported on the Coromandel and arrived at Sydney in 1802. Note – he is not the Thomas Brain who was transported in 1819 – and was not on Norfolk Island. Thomas is listed in the 1811 and 1822 Convict Musters as Thomas Bryan. In 1816 he was unconditionally pardoned.

Note – The 1828 Census has the family as Thomas Brein, Ann Brein and Margaret Brein – living in Concord.

Later in life, Thomas Brain’s 1846 death is listed as registered in Dapto – so it is possible that he may have been living with Margaret and her husband James Hicks in the  Russell Vale area of the Northern Illawarra.

James is listed in the 1841 Census as being in Pitt Town. Much more seems to have been recorded of the Hicks than of their Brain-Daley connections.

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