Betty King's Grave

Elizabeth Thackery (c.1765 - 1856) of Manchester, Lancashire was an English convict tried on 4 May 1786, and sentenced to seven years' transportion for the theft of five handkerchiefs to a value of one shilling.   She is the last-known female survivor of the First Fleet, and is reputed to have been the first ashore at Botany Bay when she arrived on 26 January 1788 on the Friendship.   This would make her the first white woman to set foot on Australian soil.

After conviction, she spent a year as a prisoner in the hulk Dunkirk, until she left England on board the convict transport Friendship on May 1787.   She was about 20 at the time.   The records show she was placed in irons a number of times during the voyage.

After arriving in Australia, she received 25 lashes on 14 July 1791 for "coming in from her settlement without permission".   She lived for a while with James Dodding and subsequently made her way to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on board the Porpoise.   There she married Samuel King and they settled here in the Derwent Valley.

Betty King was buried 6 August 1856, aged 93 at the Methodist Church on Lawitta Road, Magra near New Norfolk.   She lies in peace surrounded by undulating hills and open pasture....

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