About Mary Ann Burton
Mary Ann was born at Tottenham High Cross, London. She was in The Royal Victoria Asylum, Chiswick Mall, which was run by the Children’s Friend Society where destitute girls were trained to be Servants before being sent to the Colonies “to give these children the chance of a better life”. Mary Ann was 16 when they left London on the Perfect, arriving in Cape Town on 2nd June 1837.
Mary Ann was apprenticed to John Barry in Swellendam where she worked as a housemaid.
The firm of Barry & Nephews was formed in 1834. Their main business was buying local produce from the farmers and shipping it and selling it in the markets in Cape Town. The firm issued their own bank notes which could be redeemed in Cape Town or Swellendam.
CHILDREN NAMED IN 1840 REPORT FROM THE GOVERNOR OF THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE TO THE SECRETARY OF THE COLONIES, RELATIVE TO THE CONDITION AND TREATMENT OF THE CHILDREN SENT OUT BY THE CHILDREN'S FRIEND SOCIETY.
BURTON Mary Ann Aged 15; comes from Tottenham High Cross, London; has been upwards of two years in the service of Mr Thomas Barry of Swellendam as housemaid; health indifferent but when indisposed has proper medical attendance and advice; personal appearance clean; is generally regular, industrious and obedient; morals good; the family have prayer in English night and morning, and goes to church most Sundays; could read and write before she came to Mr Barry; has written several times home and has received answers; can write whenever she pleases; has 2 pounds in the savings' bank, which includes her pocket-money; is well clothed and fed, and sleeps with Margaret Watts in the nursery; has been corrected several times by Mr and Mrs Barry, by receiving a slap with the open hand on her face for disobedience and inattention; general treatment good and kind; Mr Barry complains of frequent inattention and incivility to his wife, by not saying 'Good morning and evening' etc.