Frances (Williams) Ryan - Cropper - Mortimer [Convict "Prince of Wales" 1788]

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Frances (Williams) Ryan - Cropper - Mortimer [Convict "Prince of Wales" 1788]'s Geni Profile

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Frances Ryan - Cropper - Mortimer (Williams)

Also Known As: "Frances Ryan", "Frances Cropper", "Frances Mortimer"
Birthdate: (44)
Birthplace: Wibnant, Flintshire, Wales, Ireland
Death: 1801 (43)
Norfolk Island
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Morgan Williams and Dorothy Wright
Wife of Robert Ryan [Marine "Prince of Wales" 1788] and Noah Nathaniel Mortimer [Convict "Charlotte" 1788]
Partner of John Cropper [Convict "Alexander" 1788]
Mother of Sarah Williams / Ryan; Elizabeth Collis-McDougal (Williams); Jane Davis and James Jacob Williams
Sister of Unknown Williams

Occupation: Convict
Managed by: Kathleen Mary Moore
Last Updated:

About Frances (Williams) Ryan - Cropper - Mortimer [Convict "Prince of Wales" 1788]

Frances WILLIAMS was born c1762 Wibnant, Whiteford, Wales

Frances was convicted of two counts of buglary and sentenced to transportation for life (other records say 7 years). She arrived in Sydney Cove on 26/1/1788 on "Prince of Wales"

Frances had a relationship with Robert RYAN and they had the following children

  • Sarah 1789
  • Elizabeth 1791
  • Jane 1793
  • James/Jacob 1796

Frances and Robert were sent to Norfolk Island, arriving on "Sirius" in 1790

Frances had a relationship/married John CROPPER in 1792 at Norfolk Island

Frances had a relationship/married Noah MORTIMER c1796 at Norfolk Island

Frances died c1801 at Norfolk Island

Do NOT confuse with

  • Frances REARDON married Thomas WILLIAMS, born 1794 Norfolk Island
  • Fanny Frances WILLIAMS, convict "Brothers" arrived 1824


In 1783, Frances had been living with her brother for some time when she was charged with breaking into the house of Moses Griffith on 1st August 1783. She was tried at Mold, Flintshire for two counts of stealing clothes and cloth valued at 1 pound 17 shillings and sixpence. She had lent the clothes at an Elizabeth Pulley for her wedding.

Frances was given a death sentence and spent the next 3 years in Flint Gaol waiting to be hanged.

In 1784 Frances was pardoned "On condition of being transported beyond the seas for seven years'.

In March 1787 after spending three years in gaol, she was taken from Flint to Portsmith in irons, escorted by two men. On 13th May 1878 Frances left Portsmith England on board the 'Prince of Wales' as part of the First Fleet. She may have been only one of two women from Wales on that First Fleet, and certainly the only one from North Wales.

On board the "Prince of Wales' was Marine Robert Ryan, with whom she has a relationship during the voyage as, shortly after they arrived in NSW, she gave birth to a daughter Sarah at Sydney Cove. The father is named as Robert Ryan. Her daughter Sarah was baptised on the day of her birth at Port Jackson.

The First Fleet arrived in NSW on 26th January 1788 and by 7th February, all prisoners had been unloaded.

On 4th March 1790, Frances Williams (on board 'Prince of Wales') and John Cropper (on board "The Alexander') set sail for Norfolk Island arriving on 13th March 1790. Frances later 'took up' with John Cropper on Norfolk Island.

At the same time, Robert Ryan was also sent to Norfolk Island with his regiment.

NOTE: On NI, the convicts were encouraged to form family groups and encouraged to cohabitate. This may explain why Frances 'took up' with John Cropper. Women were regarded as a commodity and could be bought and sold for a gallon of rum.

In 1793 on 28th August, Francew Williams gave birth to a daughter Jane by John Cropper. Jane was baptised on NI 6th May 1804 aged 10 with Frances Williams and John Cropper recorded as her parents. (Later in 1812 when Jane married a William Davis, she gave her parents names as Robert and Frances Ryan.

The 1794 victualling list had Frances and two children being supported by Robery Ryan - presumably Sarah and Elizabeth, however Jane, who (born 1793) could also have been one of these children.

In July 1794 Frances Williams gave birth to Elizabeth on NI - her father was recorded as Robert Ryan.

Sometime before November 1794 Frances receives her TOL as on 6th November that year, she returns to Port Jackson with Robert Ryan and their children on board the 'Daedalus'.

NOTE: John Cropper, having also received HIS TOL was also on board the same ship.

In 1795 John Cropper decides to return to England but is ship was scuttled near New Zealand and he was returned to Norfolk Island.

In October 1795 (or March 1796) Frances Williams, Robert Ryan and their three children return to Norfolk Island with Ryans 102nd Regiment.

By 1799 Robert Ryan has returned to Port Jackson and served with John McArthur.

In 1800 Roberts service was recognised and he was granted 120 acrs on the north shore of Sydney, now known as Kiribilli,but he ossibly sells it straight away because sometime in 1801 Robert returns to Norfolk Island yet again as part of the NSW Corps.

It is unknown as to where or when Frances dies. Possibly around or before 1801 as she was not on thew victualling book for January 1802.

Around 1804, Robert Ryan left NI for the final time, selling all his land holdings and returned to England on board the "Dromedary'.


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Frances (Williams) Ryan - Cropper - Mortimer [Convict "Prince of Wales" 1788]'s Timeline

March 9, 1757
Flintshire, Wales, Ireland
July 1789
Age 32
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Age 33
Norfolk Island
August 20, 1793
Age 36
Norfolk Island
December 10, 1796
Age 39
Norfolk Island
Age 43
Norfolk Island