Mary Bryant: no ordinary highwaywoman
This is an ABC podcast peachy yourself. The eleven ships of the first fleet sailing from Portsmouth on the south coast of England only away across the seas to the edge of the known world on board. One of those ships was a pregnant young convict named Mary Bryant Mary's life was already one of Dr hardship and second chances. And after she arrived at botany bay Mary took part in a daring escape from the colony the only female convict to ever do. So successfully Mary Brian story is the basis of the novel fled by making Neely harm Meg on visitation. Thank you for having me. How did you first hear the story of six ordinary woman? Well, my father as you know, like telling yon or to speak tonky. And when we were little we went on lots of road trips, and this is in the days before I pads so mom and dad had to be creative in stopping my sister. And I'm motoring each other in the backseat at a lot of the ways that they chose to do that was through tilling stories, and some of them would be made up that would tell us about talking volcanoes and miniature children and all sorts of fantastical things like that. And in the he would track some true stories as well. The Bush range of been whole was favorite and Mary Bryant with another one. So when I was little I just assumed it was another YoM that died was spinning, and it was only when I when I returned to the stories and adult that I found that he actually hadn't embellish much at all which for those who know him knows, Courtney's trickery statement, and Wayne did you decide or what made you decide that? This was a woman who's life? You wanted to turn into a fiction while she just wouldn't leave me alone. She's a strong willed woman. And she just kept on nudging at me. It started. When dad ni- were researching the soldiers curse, which is the first book in the monster at series that we right to give up and that sit in port MacQuarie, and we were having a glass of wanted to riverside pub in port MacQuarie after a long day traipsing around, and we were talking about how many extraordinary stories there are in history, which have been undetailed or not told his all, and he said to me, you know, what some much drought a book about Mary Bryant, wink, wink, and people have written books about Mary, Bronco Corson and beta miniseries. But I went back to the story. And I looked looked at it. And I started raiding more in depth about it and the more I read the more I thought no that kind of happened. All mock what a coincidence every every couple of pages of each of the history books. I read they was something which popped out as something that you could never make up that being accused of being implausible. So when. When it got to the point where my friends started avoiding the because I can't talking about Mary Bryant. I thought I exercise these ghost by rotting. Was married born what was Hurley lifelike? She was born in a little town called for in Cornwall just across the river from Nick, which is the childhood home of Daphne Damara, insulin Cornwall and her father was America as many in that community were most people were either Mariners or worked in the ten months. He she would have had quite a poor upbringing. She had a sister Dolly and a young brother who died in infancy, and it was a believe affiliate hand to mouth existence. But it got a lot worse when the schools of pilchards which the Mariners and their families relied on as a staple diet, which showed up like clockwork every summer one year. Simply didn't they just didn't show up which pushed a lot of people to the brink of starvation, particularly what people were surviving for food, but they also selling pilch there were selling pilchards, and I were. Were there were selling what they call it? And there was salting tilting the fish for us over the winter months, and that was another part of the problem because in Mary's childhood teenage years, the the revolutionary war was happening. And as a result, the British government was taxing everything they could lay hands on. I'm one of the things that I would taxing was the salt that was used to preserve the pilchards. So it was becoming increasingly difficult for people. Not only get get good money for the catch when everybody was being taxed like crazy, but also for them to to fold the salt to simply be able to faith themselves. And if you go through rural England today PayPal modest saying boarded up will break up windows old houses that was to avoid the window tax. They taxed windows, they text weeds, they tax everything that moved and quite a few things that didn't. So this deal. The pressure of the sudden lack of fish and the high taxes drive a lot of families to the brink of of starvation and Mary in her family would have Eytan limpets. They would've gone out to the. Yeah. Yeah. Once pooches disappeared. They would've gone out to the rocks and tried to scrape limpets off. Enough to feed a growing go. No, no, it's not as well as people being under the extraordinary precious people turned to crime issues what happened to marry. Let's the first record or what we know about that move from her being the daughter of of official into becoming a criminal not much. Unfortunately historical records silent so many crucial areas of Mary's live. What we do know is that she was tried at the extra sizes for highway robbery for the robbery and assault of Agnes like man from whom she'd taken a it in a few other items, and she was in company with with two other girls. She was a highway woman, she was a high woman. She wasn't the kind of stand and deliver to pistols highway woman. But she was yes, she was convicted for robbery on the kings highway with two other girls, we don't know invented. A character called Mr. black who's who's the runner of rhythm faves. We don't know whether she had Fagin so to speak, but we do know that she was with these two other girls that she assaulted and robbed this woman on the kings highway. This woman had been walking from from the Plymouth ferry wind. She was sitting on by these girls use a weapon against when you say salted. What would that have meant that don't believe idea? I think it was more fists, but. And I've got my character Jenny using her fists in this Inara salt as well. Although she deemed sometimes he's not. But what we do know stitching together the story you grab onto the smallest little details that you can. And what we do know from court documents is that she is listed as a forest dweller at the time of her arrest. What does that mean hot to say, but I chose to interpreters her living in the forest as an outlaw with these two other goals to to avoid capture, and she was obviously a reasonable distance from home by now four to two Plymouth would be I think a couple of days walk. So she would have been unlikely to be able to afford lodgings in Plymouth, the pickings in Foy would have been fairly slim into of papal traveling the highway with valuables to steal and she probably would have known half of them. Anyway. There was also, and I don't know whether this played on her mind, but I chose to incorporated in the book, they was near four a place called the fourth earnings, which worried is definitely Damara might recognize and it was a place where executed criminals were hanged to rot as a warning to others. So whether that also entered into calculus with she wanted to get away from from that grim remind we'll never know how old was she when she was being charged as a. Nineteen. Yes, she was born in seventeen sixty five once she was arrested. Meg is there any sense of how long that she'd been living in the forest or how many people she'd attacked cores it just we get this snapshot one crime. We just get that snapshot here, it's really really hard to to fill in the blanks in a lot of these things, which is one of the reasons why chose to rot as as fiction because I had to make so much. So once she was arrested for assaulting poor Agnes like man, what happened to her next achieve been executed. Yes. In fact, her her original sentence was death. So she was sentenced to be hanged, and that was Lynn commuted to transportation for seven years, and when that commutation of his sentence came through she didn't know with I would be going because Britain's former dumping ground in the United States had just decided that they weren't going to play nice. Anymore? So that was no longer available. There was some thought it was important is sending the transportation to Africa. So she wouldn't have known until either quite late in her time on the hulk or early in the voyage where she was going. So I she was sent to prison whole prison hulk. Yes, that's right. A d mastered. Decommissioned ship called the Dunkirk which was bobbing up and down in Devonport harbor, and she was there for for for quite some time. The what conditions like on those prison holds for female convicts would have been pretty grim for starters on the Dunkirk. The men in the women were in separate sills. But though within shouting distance each other, the men were given canvas slops to way, which is what they call, you know, convict clothes and. And I. While the white awaiting transportation that would take an shore regularly to work, and and so on so at least I got to see the outside world, and they had close which while not clean. We're not the clothes. They stood up into here. The sentence of the court the women on the other hand, we're not given clothes no thought being given to what to do with. So one would assume that they were and some of the women were in there for years before being transshipped to a strategy. This is just below below Daesh Inari boat. That's stationary both. And. You have to wonder as well with some of those who conceded jumping overboard to escape what he given second thought when they saw the quality of the water in the habit because that's where they dumped the dead bodies. They would. When when somebody does though is stitched up in his shroud. And the undetake we put a stitch through the noise of the dead person to make sure that they weren't still alive and plotting to escape, and then I would just don't. Wall. Marry with was leaving on this prison home on the Dunkirk. What happened to her? Well, we again, it's one of those things that we don't know interestingly too on the Dunkirk would have been quite stinky in that whole as you might imagine. And one side is where I've been to the breeze on the seaside, but the land hatches we kept closed because the residents we complaining about how badly it stinks. So we we don't know what happened to her on the Dunkirk, but we do know that something happened because she can saved a child on the Dunkirk could that how could that have happened? Make what's your supposition about how would get pregnant in? Stand could have been the ripe or a transaction. Another prisoner officer with with an overseer or someone of that nature and. Whoa. It's unlikely to have been another prisoner to Mary Phil pregnant because the minimum we kept separate and. Another prisoner wouldn't have been in a position to give her improved rations and so on which. Which was raising that many women do these things I really didn't order shy away. From was the fact that women did have to use the body sometimes to to to help them survive and with whether that was Mary story or with she was forced we'll never know. And we'll also never know the man who did it because she gives the name of her child's father as Spence and no one appears on the manifest of the Dunkirk by that name. So it's one of the many mysteries surrounding Mary. But the done coke would have wishy conceived. We did she give birth. She gave birth near the Cape. Good Hope on the Charlotte. So Spidey stage the first fleet had set off. Yeah. And she gave the thin New South Africa. And who did he give birth to she gave birth to a little girl called Charlotte who was named after the ship that she was being transported in and I've I've kept the names of the children. In the book as little non to them. And what they went through incredible to think about what conditions must have been liable to to. Yes. Oh, yes. Wouldn't have been any order all tells. Thing that nature. Did she meet on the ship because there are two men who come into her life aboard the ship, Charlotte? The turn out to be significant tell me about them. So the two menu came into Mary's live on the Charlotte were I will Bryant he was a he was Cornish. Like, Mary he knew how to handle the boat like Mary did and he had been transported for resisting revenue officer. So in other words, the high likelihood is that he was a smuggler, and he was popular with the other men on the Charlotte on the Charlotte as on the Dunkirk the minimum. We kept separate. It was one of the few ships with I had mixed genders the minimum Kip separate, but they will within shouting distance of each other. And now we're allowed time on dick when it say, so they would have interacted that way as well. But yeah, we'll was popular with the other convicts was given the job of. Distributing the Russians. So he was you know, will liked by the offices apparently given that otherwise I wouldn't have allowed him to do that. And for whatever reason he seems to court Mary's I because she ultimately win they landed manage to convince him to marry her almost straight away they were married in February with with four other convict couples. And that was I'm sure a survival strategy than anything else. But they do seem to have had it some points a transactional relationship at other points, quite a quite attend to one before we move on more to to marry in Will's relationship wills did she encounter on the Charlotte who reappeared throughout the rest of her life? Yes. So the other men that she encountered on the Charlotte is one of my absolute favorite figures from colonial history. What contents who was? A marine on the first fleet. He had been on the Dunkirk with Mary as well. We've Marianne will. And hey was when you read his journals? He comes across as very progressive, man. Full the age, in fact, sometimes you rating, and you sort of almost low yourself into thinking rating a contemporary Roger. And then he says something which is very, you know, eight hundred tree, and you sort of jolted out of that. And you realize this man was writing over over two hundred years ago, but he was a big fan of Thomas Paine, the author of the rights of man, he had been imprisoned fighting the revolutionary war. He was well regarded by. By he's superiors. And he seems to have had a. A very friendly relationship with Marian will he even as he's fictional counterpart? Does the book even went help them fish? Sometimes he helped them on its and the last time that we know of that he saw Mary was in very different circumstances late in the book when they come across each other again entirely by chance and the kind of in Canada that you would never dream of writing in fiction because people tell you obeying too implausible, but he rush at that time that hey looked on the convicts with astonishment because they had miscarried in a heroic struggle liberty. So there was some sympathy which for an officer lock him would have been quote. An extraordinary view wouldn't have been commonly Hillview, and he published so when Mary and will and and the other passengers aboard the dollar rod. In botany bay. You say that she she got him to marry her as a safety precaution. It's no one about what happened to female convicts in those early days and weeks of settlement at botany bay. Well, at botany bay, the women never came ashore. So they got the miniature, and I started looking for water and setting things up and found that the wonderful water supply that could promised was actually a trickle and wasn't sufficient to keep everyone alive. So they could mentioned saying the entrance to a harbor a little bit further north, and I decided to go and check that out and Sydney Habur opened up before them. And they so Mary and the other women went take insurance until I got to Sydney cove, put Jackson and the the day the women would take an. Sure that night. There was a monster storm a real deluge and the men basically went at the women willingly or not. We'll never know. I think probably some willingly some not that recorded make how do we know that that's mentioned by tench? It's mentioned by a fellow officer of he's called wealth clock. It's mentioned by Wiley the surgeon by by David Collins. Judge advocate is mentioned by quite number of a number of people and. With a it was a mess ripe or mess orgy, or you know, I think I think it's highly likely that a lot of the women involved were not involve willingly economy after eight months on borders, stinking prison ship that would have been the first thought in my mind. But it was it was very much the first thought in the in the in the men's Monde, unfortunately. And it does seem as though that we just lift lift to the devices by the and so Mary may have attempted to protect her so phrase being along with that's that's my sup of supposition again, we'll live. No. So, but my supposition is that she went after will and try to convincing to marry her to protect her. And also her newborn daughter from the violence, which I am assuming she knew would happen because she was on a mixed six ship. So would imagine. And once again, I used to I would imagine a lot and a lot of I have had to imagine. I would imagine that suggestions were being called up from into the women as are approaching. You know about what they were going to do to them. So that was one reason why I think Mary probably married will the other was that he was one of the only trained Fishman in the first place, and they had arrived at this place with no idea how to find that the cows escaped knew immediately, the dogs were the hunting hands that the governor brought with him with too slow to catch kangaroo. And so so fish were one of the only sources of food for them. I'm. Would have done Mary. I think no harm to align herself with with somebody. Who was suddenly a very useful, man? And as a Mark of the regard, if the governor for him, the Bronx, we given there are in hush that I didn't have to leave in the convict barracks with everyone else and Dan sorry. I'm getting my fictional and historical characters will was allowed to Cape a share of the catch. So they were among the luckiest convicts if you can use such word in the settlement, and Mary would have foreseen that in this situation where crops aren't growing the cows of escape the dogs can't cut kangaroo stuff. Asian must have been real Ritz. It was it was it was what contents in in one of his journals that. Can't remember the exact phrase, but it was something like feminism approaching with great strides, in fact, so seriously did they take that stealing from the stores was carried the the death penalty? And when six marines stole from the stores, they were hanged. So it was taken that seriously that you know, a uniform didn't protect you. Paypal. So people were dying of starvation, certainly in this one. One six in the book that are fictionalized which actually occurred which was a man. Wanted into the store. He put his hands up your save the hands Addy received the dried pays part of his ration. And he just within stealing these hand just collapsed and died of starvation. And as well as starvation. There was scurvy to deal with scurvy was he? Now, I it sort of sounds almost quaint. But it was it was deadly. As will. So it was they were they were very lucky to survive at all the colony was lucky to survive. Mary's husband is flogged. Yes. In your novel that happens in history to lock he was flunked for selling powder catch for exchanging powder as catch for for vegetables. And by this stage, it seems unfair to me because he was told he could keep share of the catch and the implication of that is you can do with a what you want. I think possibly part of the reason behind he's flogging is that the governor was regretting the deal. He'd made to let will Cape part of the catch as the situation worsened as food got more and more scarce. I think that he was regretting having been so so generous to lease convict. So yes, we'll was given a hundred. Hundred lashes. And given these happened against the backdrop of colony with offices, a hanged fist dealing food. You have to assume that he was too useful to hang. As as is by the stage. He was running a fleet of little boats fleet of little fishing boats. And there was no one else who was quite as skilled at it as he was so hanging him would've, probably hastened, everyone else's demise. A lot to think that Mary made that point to the governor. And I've certainly put that in the book, but we just don't know for certain. But you've got to assume that if they're hanging offices. They would have no trouble hanging convict unless it was against their interest to do. So Mary already had her daughter from an unknown father that she gave birth to is the Charlotte. Did she and will have children together fed? Did they had one son call the manual who was about a year old when they when they've actually made their escape, and he would have been this. No nothing been able to find on his condition when he was born where he would have been born into a world of. Anger, especially as of two will was flogged. They were dispossessed of their heart an extra ration. So those sent back to the convict huts and had to share eventually we'll and Mary we given back with Fe hunt. But at the time of manuals birth things would have been preteen dia for them. And then the second fleet Roques up and says, thank goodness we here. Can we have some food and the Columbus? Go we we thought you brings. All of a sudden, they're another fifteen hundred feet. It is as you say strawberry, any what Phillips evolved. Battle. This is conversations with Sarah can ski when I see right here. You can subscribe to the conversations podcast to find out more just hate to see dot net slash conversations. Make if the convicts and their masters were at such Dr risk of starvation. Did they ask the local Birgitta PayPal for help or forgotten in in how to feed themselves? It appears not it appears not what we do know that will new been along and took members have been alongs family up fishing and presumably would have got knowledge from him of the best places to fish, the the powers that be it seems to just not occurred to them to wonder why these people who are already here who healthy and strong. In fact, the sub suburb that I leave knee. Manley is in Sydney is named after the physique of the of of Arab anew. And the others. Really? Yeah. I never knew this. Yeah. It's named after the appearance of the of the average. Who who were very healthy? So, you know, would make sense you would think to say excuse me, how you surviving. But they didn't. And you know, there there are a number of extraordinary assumptions made that brought them to the brink of starvation among them, the idea that farming in Sydney would be just like farming in England the lack of. Skill farmers who would transport it. I mean, there was poster the idea of it was that I was supposed to transport farmers fishermen stonemasons, you know, the kind of people who could help build the call anybody in practice. It just didn't happen. So they were very few James Roose, another Cornishman. Was one of the few who had skilling farming. But but many didn't. In new novel. There's a friendship that develops between the Carrington based on Mary and an aboriginal woman, and that aboriginal woman gives Mary leaves still me that and if that's based on on what's known of the historical record that particular interaction was made up by me. Although although Mary was. Did know Beranger which is in the lawns wife. There's no evidence that Beranger was the one he showed her how to use native cesspool to ward off scurvy, but presumably one of the aura deed show, the colonists had to do that. And these leaves they have a slight aniseed taste to them. Very shop taste absolutely packed to the gills with vitamin C. Very very powerful anti scope. Would once they once the colonists became aware of their properties. Everyone was drinking this t- made from these leaves end. In fact, Mary took a little packet of leaves with her when she when she made her escape she ultimately gave them to James Boswell who will get to laser nine that are now in Yale. The only thing in the world that we know fitting that Mary touched his little packet of leaves from Sydney that it now a yell university in the US, let's talk. About her escape Meg because the way or describing the situation in the early days of the colony. Sounds sounds die is risk of starvation. The unknowing the the floggings violence, but still to take this extraordinary risk to to set off onto unknown seas. Why do you think she and some of the other convicts to this extraordinary risk to try to escape the colony? Yeah. It's it's it's incredible. Isn't it? One of the thoughts that drag me through the whole book was why why would you put a children in such peril? The governor's counter, which they stole was not made for long save wages. They didn't know whether we're going they didn't know the waters, but can on the issue that she must've felt it was this chance of survival. There was another event to along with the starvation, which I don't know whether it entered into Mary's thinking but wanted to put it in there to demonstrate. How brutal Assadi it was an eight year old girl was raped by marine, and he was not hanged as his brother marines being stealing food, but just sentinel Colin and Mary as the mother of little goal may have feed that that that her daughter Charlotte would would ultimately make with a similar fate. But but there's no question that survival was by no means is short in the colony. So let's start with the boat way. Did they get a boat from it was the governor's cutter? And we'll head back into good graces of the governor. And hade said look these little fishing boats that we have aunt really up to going as far as we need to go. Can we take the cutter? And he was allowed to do. So and it was the only only really that had half a chance of making a long journey. Big is a cutter it was about six majors. Six pages sores it had a sale it had a siege. Rogue which which which is a piece of shape fabric that you can throw out the back to steady the boat. So yeah, it was it was raisin -able linked boat. But it wasn't a ship, and it wasn't made for long long long save wages, and how many people were in on this plan to make an escape will ultimately they were living people in the boat, including the children Mary will three from the first leash and four from from the second place. I've reduced the number of people in the vote for narrative reasons in the book, but what is extraordinarily to me is that they all survived were there any other women. Besides mary. Okay. So they decided to make these daring escape they have a boat. Did they have any means of of telling direction Ori maps knowing with? I might be hitting not I until and this is one of the extrordinary things that really grabbed me about the story. Everything had to go. Exactly right for them to succeed. The the the windows success was was painfully Tani. And yes, while they might have been thinking about escape they didn't know where to go how to get there. How long it would take how many provisions they might need for the journey and so forth until one day. A Dutch sea-captain cool Dennis Smith sailed into Sydney cove on his ship Vauxhall hade, and he'd been sent with supplies which had been purchased by the colony, but the supplies. We're listen what had been asked for? Philip had asked him to take some passengers back, and he was charging user areas rights to do that. So he and didn't meet and fulfill up had absolute blazing row. Whereupon Smit retreated to his boat to sort of up and down and sulk. And it seems that at that point Mary and will to advantage of the bad blood between the two men by cultivating Smit. So Mary was often seen in Smith's company and paper be confused because we'll was quite possessive over, but he was being friendly to this guy who is washed was hanging around with as well. Mary did some washing four. He came to the hunt for Dina. They said about cultivating him quite deliberately and what did they get from him? Well, it paid off because they were able to get from him some rice some pork to muskets and munition and most importantly at chart and a quadrant. And on the charge. He had pointed out to them place. Call to co Pango Kupang as it is now known in in west t more, which the time was a Dutch colony is the same place that Bligh had gotten to a few a few years earlier when he'd been sage drift. So were suddenly, they not only had the will to escape they not only had the boat, but they knew where to go and how to get there. And so I guess they would have said off what at night or do. We know about the the starting point of vision is set off at night. And they this is another one of the things that had to go EPs Lutely right for them. Just before they escaped Smits ship was the last one in the harbor little supply had been sent off for supplies. So this Dutch ship was the only one bobbing up and follow them on could follow them. And it was a new moon. So it was dark, and I were also under time pressure. They needed to go. They were scared that somebody would betray them. They knew that the say was about to get rougher along their route. It was the twenty eighth of March. And I knew that they had a window of weeks. And all of a sudden there was no sheep in the havoc capable of pursuing them. And there was a new moon. So it was nice Doxa. The look at on south. Hey wouldn't be able to save him? And that's when I went. What's known about that journey? Well, I am just so incredibly grateful to an academic cool team caused at University College London because hey found the only existing firsthand account written by one of the convicts tucked away in the papers of Jeremy Bentham of all papal. And he he's interpreted them and he's put them online. If anybody is interested, you can just Google mountain memorandum's University College London, and it will come up, and what's what's outline what what would things like on the ship where did they go? It's pretty big bones as a novelist, I do wish James Martin convict to wrote it would've put more in about how they were feeling. Exactly. But no, he just putting we went. He this was longer to this is our latitude this is what we ate what we and without that that whole journey from Sydney to Kupang, which took sixty nine days would have been a complete mystery without that. But we do know a lot about where I with a stop. Thanks to Martin they stopped at wrote lagoon ne-new council, they discovered coal there that will probably the first Europeans to discover call thanks stopped at what was probably put Stevens and would driven off to an island in the middle of Nielsen bay stayed there for a little while they probably stopped Morton bay, and they were blown off course by ferocious three weeks storm and wound up on lady Elliot island in the Great Barrier. Reef. Where we know. It's lady Elliot Holland because Martin mentions turtles they would dry strips of turtle meat to take with them on the journey. They would use rented turtle fat to seal cracks in the boat crusade run out of risen, and so on Cy Quant extrordinary and on this journey Mary had her two little children, a toddler and the baby is keep them safe. Well, it's been suggested by one academic woman called Kerley Erickson rentable call the goal from botany bay. It was suggested by her that Mary Todd them to the bench or to a self and adopted that because it's just possible to see how they could've survived. Otherwise, particularly given that they faced some monstrous seas really really extreme with us waves of potentially up tweet Mehta's. And so on in six parts. So it seems like it would be Neville that one of the full and Ivan body fan went timid in some way is there. A record of of how they're scape was received. In the colony in what happened back back in the colony once it's discovered these contracts escaped and take the boat with them urgent messages were sent back to the home secretary and the colonial secretary, David Collins, who was the judge advocate at the time writes that he believes that the reason that Mary went is because she was unaware of the plan discovered it, and then they say that she would don't the media if they didn't take her. He also wrote that will Bryant had been heard talking about escape any this this in his journal before their escape, but Judith cook who wrote to brave every danger, which is fantastic book suggests that she thinks he inserted that after the fact because it would have been extraordinary. Fahim to become aware that will Bryant was planning to escape not to do anything about it. Not to take him off the boats. It would have been terrible Aegon the face of the officials as well as the loss of the manpower played. Absolutely. I'm one of the one of the things I liked think went on between the Bryant's didn't Dittmer Smith. For Dutch see kept in the Dutch were really, irritated English. Both for the the appetite for conquest and for setting up. A penal colony on the other side of the world. The Dutch will worry that the British was sort of muscling in on the on the turf, and they they felt British quite quite arrogant. So I like to think that Papp's Mary, Ann Wilson. Hey, if you really want to embarrass the governor. We're gonna plant so back to Mary, and will and and they kids in the rich of the convicts only spout that struggle sixty-nine days to get to west team will but they will arrived. They in one there in one pace, which to me is a phaser survival, which is up they were Shackleton. Quad extraordinary quad extrordinary that will arrive alive. And what story did they tell once they made it ashore? They said that they were the crew from wrecked whaler, and that was the most plausible story for them because well is we're loud sometimes to take their families. So that they perceived by the Dutch colony yet the time they were received by the governor of the Dutch colony in by the colonists exceptionally Conley. They were put up in a house. They were given work. They were an object to fascination, obviously, but they were seen as honorable survivors of an extraordinary event. And of course, this wasn't first time that that had a drag will group of people show up in a boat Bligh hat as mentioned a few a few years earlier. So. Quite extraordinary that two boats would show up in the period of fees. But thank just took the convicts at face value. Mary must have thought that last my life is turned around here in this place. My kids safe we're able to make a living got food year. Absolutely. She must've, and that's why you know, their eventual recapture must have been the ultimate cruelty. So what happened? How did that happen? Again. We don't know for sure but Martin James mountain convict. He wrote the first hand account says that will Bryant had words with these wife informed on us. All I think that probably only tells part of the story because because it wouldn't have been in wills just to inform. No, that's right. He would have known that such a move with luckily, resulting zone death. But we do also know that we'll was quite a proud man, quite boastful had actually said to many people in the colony that as soon as my sentence expires on on Twitter. Ship, but I'll leave their wife and kids behind because it's not a real marriage. Anyway, it doesn't exist anywhere. But but here as a direct result of him continually saying that tool and sundry the governor actually issued an edict the convicts with dependents were able to leave the colony even after the sentence expired, which might have been something to prompt him towards escape, but we know that he was very masculine. Very proud filth. A little bit shackled to Mary at tons, and my best guess as to what happened was that? He got drunk and boasted about how he had had a part in this daring escape, and so that's how I interpreted in the book. And so what happened once once it's knowing that they are in fact, escaped convicts, I were arrested, and they were healed by the Dutch until the next English ship showed up on fortunately for the convicts that ship was kept in by Edward aid woods who was the cruelest man in the Br. Teach navy. He had been sent to find the bounty mutiny is and he had found the ones in auto heart Taihiti as it's known. He he didn't get the ones in Pitkin, but he had a cage on the dick ship called Pandora's box in which he kept news. He liked to drive his crew. He liked to make you know, really good spayed. And so at night of the coast Queensland, the pen Dora was wrecked. And he's crew members big into release the bounty mutineers, and he refused they sank in Pandora's box along with the along with the ship. So he commandeered another ship and showed up at coping. So how did he treat Marian will and the other convey polling -ly appallingly? They would to be given no water for washing not-i'm on dick half. Rations rail aren't to to the hull of the shipping. Other words, you know, chain to the to the hull am I stating that in that condition for months and months and months include? Adding the children that children were were down in the sheep is. Trained as well. Some some accounts say, yes, some say, no, I'm not sure of the answer to that one. But that was he had no sympathy for them. And it's in my view his at his door that the children died. I think he's responsible for their it's because I had been getting healthier in Kupang. And then because he's treatment of them. They they both said Lee passed away what happened to marry next. Well, she came back to England. And she suddenly found she was a cool celeb-. You know, she was historian had so engaged people. I'm surprised she wasn't executed or sent back to the colony in Australia. How did she manage to be sent back to England because the ship that it would had had common deed was hitting direction. It stop. In Batavia, Indonesia. Where where will an little manual passed away? So it was just Mary Ann, Charlotte. I would transshipped to a ship called the golden and on board the golden marines being taken back from the tour of duty in Sydney and one of them was what contents and so he saw. He saw the ships in xactly. Mary received better treatment with challenge on board the golden than she had on the rim. Beg the previous ship. But it wasn't enough. And sadly, her daughter dot at sea. So Washington scribe what sort of state she was in when he encountered her after the escapee. No, no, he doesn't describe what sort of physical state. She was in. But she would have been in a pretty awful state. And for me, you know, that was one of the challenges are rotting imagining what? Sixty nine days. I'm not boat would do to you the sun bird the chafe from the salt water. You know, the impossibility of having anything of clean and dry. And then try to imagine what months in the stinking hold of ship would do to you both mentally and and physically so they they wouldn't have been in in very good condition at all. But Charlotte Mary would traded more commonly on the golden, but it was too late fish island. She was to seek and she died and Mary survives and arrived back in England as of celebrity. Yes, yes. She is taken to negate prison, and a stipend remeasure straight has a hearing to decide whether she is going to be hanged or sent back goal. You know, what we're gonna do with the problem was she was a little bit put like like will had bane when he was accused of. Trading fish for vegetables. He was too useful to hang she was cheap popular, Hank. And one morning over his breakfast. A well known lawyer Russia and womanizer and drinker read her story in the paper. This is James both will come into crazy. And he decided that he James balls will was a bit of a bit of eighteenth century cleaver green. But he was he does seem to have had a genuine belief in injustice, and he decided that he would bend all of his if it's toward securing Mary and the other convicts because in in the book, Mary Mary, the one who marry in one other the only ones come back there were there were a number survivors. So he'd been always if it's toward securing pardon for them, all but most especially for Mary. After which he put her up in a cottage on little teach field streak when they interrelationship are tend to think so it walks like a duck quacks locker tuck. But we'll never know for sure there was a risque poem. Go doing the rounds of London. Tom about the pair of them way. Mary yearns for her Paulo Vulcan lick which was the name of his. He was Lord of. And when he was a hugely popular and Wilno and feeders. Log refer of Samuel Jones. That's right. It was like having the biggest rod or the one of the biggest age take you under his wing and put you up in a house. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's quite extraordinary. It's quite extraordinary. And he's that women airy spent the the the lost of her days. Well, we don't know has she spent the last of her days, but we know it wasn't him courage because she eventually returned to Cornwall where she seems to have been welcomed by her family boss will paid her monthly stipend for the rest of his life. Which is what I made about walking and quacking luck talk. And the last we know of her is a letter that she got someone else to write because she was still a liter thanking him for the money, and then at the ripe old age of about twenty nine she disappears from history. Twenty nine all of that by twenty nine hundred. Have you found a great? No, no looked and Minneapolis of looked as well Jonathan king. Dr Jonathan king who some listeners might remember is the man behind the first fleet rain accident on a stray nineteen Eighty-eight has written a book about her. He's looked as well he and his wife troll through the records into fingers bled. He's said to me in front of his wife that he's in love with Mary. But. Think I might have found her. But the because it was another Mary Bryant that got married and different powder corn will sometime later. I'm just not sure because Al Mary would have been forty like forties at the time. This Mary brunt, married and female life expectancy was forty. So no, we just we will never know what happened to I completely fabricated the Baloch 'cause I wanted to to give her a happy Hindin Vard's after all she paint through. But it will just never know. Just extraordinary story. I'm so glad to have discovered. Mary Bryant coda save you and your noble. Thank you so much me. Thank you so much for having me. Conversations today was made Kinealy and makes noble based on the life of convicted Mary Bryant is cold flayed. This conversation will be up on our website shortly ABC dot net. Dodi use slash conversations. I'm Sarah, no ski thanks for listening. You've been listening to a podcast of conversations with Sarah can ski for more conversations interviews head to the website. I Bassi dot net dot AU slash conversations. Discover more great ABC podcasts. Live radio and exclusives. On the ABC. Listen up.