Judith Quinland was born circa 1783 in London, Middlesex, England and died 1853 Richmond, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes.

Judith Quinland - convict on the Experiment in 1804

Judith's arrival in the Colony of New South Wales on 12 June 1804

Judith arrived in the Colony of New South Wales as a convict aboard the Experiment on 12 June 1804. The ship sailed on 2 January 1804 making the voayge over 5 months in length. Judith had arrived in the Colony sentenced to transportation for life. She did receive a Conditional Pardon during her time in the Colony.

Judith's conviction on 27 October 1802

Judith was sentenced to death on 27 October 1802 at the Old Bailey in Middlesex for violet theft and highway robbery committed at Tottenham, London. The full charge was "making an assault on the King's highway upon William Bangs , on the 4th of October, putting him in fear, and feloniously taking from his person a pocket-book, value 1s. 6d. and three Bank notes, value 15l. the property of the said William". Judith was prosecuted together with Morris Hayley and James Brown. Her stated age at the time was 22. Judith Quinland's sentence of death was later commuted to transportation for life.

In evidence the man who had been robbed, James Bangs, a plumber & glazier, stated that he had been walking along the road when he had joined company with another young man. In the evning they reached Tottenham and entered a public-house for refreshment. Quinland, Hayley & Brown were at the bar. Bang's companion joined them. Bangs, at first reluctant to become familiar with "trangers of an appearance so ragged and suspicious" eventually relented and drank gin with them. Desiring some change he showed them his pocket-book containing three 5 pound notes. After about three-quarters of an hour Bangs went to leave the public-house and the others accompanied him, with "the woman" taking his arm.Hayley said that she was his sister. The party then agreed to enter another public-house and again drink together. After a time Bangs again went to resume his journey while the others accompanied him. It was about 8 o'clock and "the moon shone bright". They had not walked far when Hayley knocked Bangs 3 times with a stick. He fell on the 3rd knock. As he fell Hayley, with the assistamce of Quinland, took the pocket-book. It still contained the three 5 pound notes and some bills of work executed in his trade. Browns watched the events but did not assist. The 3 accused and the other young man then ran away in great haste. Bangs raised the cry of robbery and managed to get up an pursue them. Others joined in the pursuit. A young man, a gentleman on horseback, and a coachman managed to catch Hayley and Quinland before they had disappeared from sight. Brown was not caught until the next morning after Bangs found him in a public-house at Tottenham and managaed to have him caught as he fled.

The pocket-book was found near where the robbery had been committed but it was empty. Some of the bills of work were found where they appeared to have been dropped by Quinland.

Brown gave his defence in writing, but Hayley and Quinland "cross-examined the witnesses with spirit and shrewdness". In substance they argued that they were strangers who had met accidentally at the public-house. Bangs had gotten drunk in their company. Bangs had then offered Quinlan his money "to entice her to go with him as his mistress". In his intoxicated state he then took off his coat and challenged those around him to a boxing match. The prisoners had decided to quit the public-house and proceed on their way to London leaving Bangs behind in the public-house. Soon after they left Bangs had managed to get himself "knocked down, and deprived of his money" and "in his drunken inability to distinguish who were the robbers, he had fixed on them, whom he reollected to have been in his company".

The jury deliberated for about a quarter of an hour before bringing in their verdict. They aquitted Brown of the crime, but found both Hayley and Quinland guilty, sentencing them both to death. There is no record of Hayley arriving in the Colony of New South Wales so his death sentence may have been carried out. (Of interest is that in an earlier trial on the same day Hayley had been found guilty of stealing on 30 August 1802 a printed bound book. For this his sentence was to be whipped.)

In 1810 Judith petitions the Government of New South Wales

On 30 January 1810 Judith petitioned the colonial secretary for amelioration of her sentence. Daniel McKay supported the petition of his common-law wife. It is known that she did receive a conditional pardon, though her petition may not have been a factor in this decision.

Son placed into the Orphan School at Parramatta

Judith's son John, the son of Daniel McKay, was admitted into the Orphan School at the age of 8 on 1 January 1819 while both of his parents were still living. The Orphan School took in children of convicts, not just orphans, and in this instituation boys received an education and vocational training. The record for his admittance shows that his parent was Judith Quinland, and that his place of residence had been Richmond. Records at the Orphan School also show that he "quit the school" on 2 May 1823, but that did not mean that he then left the institution at that time. He stayed to begin an apprenticeship. Remarks in his file state that he was Apprenticed to the Institution as Tailor May 1823.

Judith's life with Daniel McKay

There is much about Judith's life with Daniel McKay (c1768-1819) contained on his page. Refer to his page for the details.

Judith's life with William Bannister

After Daniel's death in January 1819 Judith began a defacto relationship with William Bannister. Their 1st child Mary Ann Bannister was born the same year. William Bannister had arrived in the Colony as a convict in 1810 on the Indian. He had been tried in Chester on 20 April 1808 and sentenced to 14 years transportation.

The 1822 Muster records Judith Quinland as “employed by William Bannister, Windsor”. She had a Conditional Pardon and was living with four children, all born in the colony, the eldest being 13 (this was Louisa and she was 14-15).

The 1825 Muster records Judith Quinland as “with John Bannister, Richmond”. Also with her are her children Lucy (Louise) 16 (she was 17-18), Hugh 10, Mary 5 and Ann 2.

By the 1828 Census Judith is shown with Bannister’s surname.

  • Bannister, Wm., 63, free by servitude, Indian, 1801, 14 years, Protestant, farmer, Richmond, 40 acres, 40 acres cleared and cultivated, 2 horned cattle
  • Bannister, Judith, 45, conditional pardon, Experiment, 1804, life, Protestant
  • Bannister, Mary 9 born in the colony
  • Bannister , Nancy 6 born in the colony
  • McKay, Louisa 18 (she was 21) born in colony
  • McKay, Hugh 13 born in colony
  • There were two 'Government Servants' also at the farm - Abraham Isaac aged 20 (Florentia, 1827, 14 years) and James Steward aged 24 (Ann & Amelia, 1825, 7 years).

In the 1841 census Judith is shown as married to William (they never married), and they are living in the parish of Ham Common, County of Cumberland, district of Windsor. With them is their daughter Nancy. Also there are 2 male farm workers, both born in the Colony. One farm worker is aged 7-13, and the other is aged 21-44. The farm worker aged 21-44 could be Judith's son Hugh McKay.

Judith's children

Birth records do not exist in the New South Wales for many children born in the early years of the colony. Knowledge of the existance of these children comes from other sources like government documents including censuses, other documents including newspapers, the existance of descendants, family bibles, church records that have not been recorded into the NSW indexes, or family lore.

Birth records exist for only 3 of Judith's children - Louisa, John & Hugh. In addition a death record exists for her son Daniel McKay who died as an infant in 1809. It is known that she had 2 daughters before the birth of Louisa (who she called Lucy in the 1825 muster), and 2 children after the birth of Hugh.

In the 1822 and 1825 musters & the November 1828 census Judith is living in a defacto relationship with William Bannister and is recorded with her children who are then living with her. In the 1822 muster it just states that they were 4 children born in the colony but gives no other details. In the 1825 muster & the 1828 census it names the 4 children and gives their ages. These children are shown in the 1828 census as: Louisa McKay 18 (she was 21, but Judith consistantly showed Louisa at a younger age than she really - and she is shown as Lucy in the 1825 muster), Hugh McKay 13 (he was 14), Mary Bannister 9, and Nancy (shown in 1825 muster as Ann - Nancy is a commonly used pet-name for Ann) Bannister 6. Her son John was not living with her but in the Orphan School. The 1825 muster & the 1828 muster give us the names of the children that Judith had with William Bannister & confirms their parentage.

Judith was living as the defacto of Daniel McKay prior to his death in 1819 and there are many contemporaneous documents that attest to this fact, including, most importantly the birth records for Louisa, John & Hugh between October 1807 and April 1814. It is for this reason that we know that the 4 children that are recorded with Judith Quinland in the 1814 muster include Louisa, John and possibly Hugh. (Infants, and Hugh was an infant, were often not included in the musters. It is also not known if the census details were taken before or after Hugh's birth in April.) The 1814 muster also tells us that Judith had 1 or 2 older children. The 1805-1806 muster, before Judith had given birth to Louisa, John or Hugh, shows Judith Quinland living with Daniel McKay as "concubine" and having 2 female natural children. This tells us that she did indeed have 2 daughters who were born before Louisa. The record in the 1814 muster is then for both these daughters and Louisa & John, or for one of these daughters and Louisa, John & Hugh.

Who was the father(s) of these 2 daughters? Judith arrived in the colony on 12 June 1804, and Louisa was born on 23 October 1807, a period of 3 years and 4 months. This short space of time in which to give birth to 3 children shows that Judith either brought her eldest daughter out on the voyage with her, or that she was born very soon after landing. Either way Daniel McKay cannot be the father of Judith's eldest child. Judith was in a defacto relationship with Daniel McKay well before 31 July 1805 as it was well known at this time, when Daniel McKabe was charged with rape, that Judith was his defacto and was running a public-house on David's behalf. It is then highly possible that David is the father of her second daughter. There is unfortunately, however, no way to prove this.

Family lore for the McKay family is that these 2 girls are daughters of Daniel McKay from an earlier relationship with a woman by the name of Mary, that the girl's names were Mary and Elizabeth, and that they were born about 1798 & 1799 respectively. This piece of family lore, unfortunately, does not agree with the evidence which is that these girls were the daughters of Judith Quinland, and that Daniel McKay cannot be the father of the eldest girl. He was, regardless, her step-father and would have more than likely raised her as his own daughter and given her his surname. If their names were Mary & Elizabeth, then the first daughter Mary would have been deceased before Mary Bannister was born in about 1819. As there is often something to family lore, the girls names are shown in the Children's box below as Mary & Elizabeth, and it is assumed that Daniel McKay is the father of the 2nd girl, something that is also highly likely.


Offspring of Judith Quinland and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Quinland (c1804-)

Offspring of Judith Quinland and Daniel McKay (c1768-1819)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth McKay (c1806-)
Louisa McKay (1807-1885) 23 October 1807 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 13 October 1885 Richmond, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia George McGuire (1812-1850) George McGuire (1812-1850) Richard Skuthorpe (c1791-1880)
Daniel McKay (1809-1809)
John Harris McKay (1810-1830)
Hugh Lord McKay (1814-1855)

Offspring of Judith Quinland and William Bannister (1765-1853)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Ann Bannister (c1819-1875)
Ann Bannister (c1822-1857)

Changes of surname by daughters:

  • Louisa McKay married George McGuire in 1833
  • Mary Ann Bannister married George Hough in 1838
  • Ann Bannister married Patrick Kenny in 1851


Footnotes (including sources)

2 Wedding 2
  • Defacto relationship with Daniel McKay
2 Wedding 3
  • Defacto relationship with William Bannister


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