Name Variations BARKER, Susan Elizabeth BAKER
Father James BAKER b. 18201 m. (1) 18522 d. 18853
Step-father Garrett NOLAN b. 18414 m. (2) none d. 18725
Mother Alice Jane BALDWIN b. 18326 m. (1) 1852 (2) none d. 18747
Inmate Susan Elizabeth aka Jane BAKER b. 18528 m. 1873 (see below) d. aft. 1874
Sister Harriett Alice Clark BAKER b. 18549 m. none - d. 185410
Husband Charles BRADLEY b.c. 185011 m. 187312 d. 187713
Son James BAKER b. 187014 m. d. aft. 1870

Jane was the first Newcastle admission who had been arrested and tried in Sydney. Her court appearance was widely and variously reported throughout the state where newspapers erroneously reported that she was the first girl tried under the act in the state. The most detailed newspaper article about her appeared in the Empire15 where she was erroneously identified as Jane BARKER.16 Jane was probably about the fourth girl arrested under the Act. The COLLYER sisters had been arrested and were charged in Eden court17 over a week before Jane's arrest and Catherine WALKER had almost certainly been arrested with her brother in Tamworth in late August.18

Jane was fifteen and 'of decent appearance' when she appeared in the Sydney courts on 28 August 1867.19 She had been apprehended on a warrant by Sergeant LEE the night before her appearance and had been taken from a brothel in Castlereagh Street, Sydney, run by her mother, Alice Jane BAKER. Jane's name had appeared on the list of girls compiled by the Sydney constables a month before her arrest.20 This list described her health as 'delicate'. In court, Sergeant TAYLOR stated that he had known Jane and her mother for over three years. He said that Alice had kept disorderly houses 'all over the city' but conceded that the women in the houses had never been convicted of being prostitutes. LEE named two of the prostitutes as Alice DEVONSHIRE and Catherine SWEETMAN. Evidence was given that the police had never seen Jane going to school and that she was often 'idling' in Hyde Park with both 'vagrant boys' and girls who were known prostitutes. Further evidence was given by Mary Ann, the wife of George BURCOMBE (or PINCOMBE), a dairyman of Botany Road, who said she had known Jane for six years and who stated that she had agreed to take Jane into service on Saturday, September 1. Mary Ann said that she had delivered milk to Jane’s mother twice a day for a long time and had never seen Jane misconduct herself in any way. The report in the Empire recorded that at this point in the trial Mary Ann was found to be drunk and 'appeared in the humour to swear anything' so no more of her evidence was accepted. Constable J. P. VIZZARD reported that Jane had appeared in court some time earlier where she had been charged with being drunk in the Government police paddock, Haymarket. At this time she had been accompanied by two other girls and they told him that they had been drinking rum and champagne and all three had been causing a disturbance by running in and out of Sunday schools on a Sunday. By the time VIZZARD reached the scene Jane smelt of liquor and was in company with 'about one hundred boys … some pulling her about.' VIZZARD stated that the Bench had dismissed this earlier case but had cautioned Jane against appearing again. No report concerning this case has been found in the newspapers. A decision was eventually made to send Jane to Newcastle and she left the court crying.

Jane was admitted to Newcastle on 31 August 1867, in company with a large group of girls. Their order of admission was by age, beginning with the eldest so Jane’s name was the fourth name recorded in the Entrance Book. Her mother's name was recorded as Alice Jane. Jane was recorded as Protestant and her educational attainment was noted as 'sequel No. 2 writing large hand'21 which was a reasonable level of educational attainment compared to other girls admitted to Newcastle. She was recorded on KING's list22 and SELWYN’s list23 as Jane BAKER. Her medical assessment by Dr HARRIS recorded that she was not a virgin.24

Jane's behaviour was often refractory at Newcastle and in the teacher's report attached to KING's report to the Colonial Secretary on 18 May 1868, KELLY indicated that Jane had behaved in class on one afternoon in a very insubordinate manner.25 On 8 July 1868, at about six o’clock in the evening, Jane was one of ten girls,26 who escaped from the school27 They were all recaptured28 by the Newcastle police less than four hours later – some at Borehole and some at Waratah – and were returned to the school. Jane was subsequently one of the eleven girls interviewed by Frederic CANE after the riots that occurred the day after this event. She signed her statement, transcribed in full below, with a cross.

Jane Baker age 16. says I was one of those who ran away Wednesday evening 8th July. My mother had been up 3 Times to see me. I overheard Mrs King it makes a great confusion if mothers come up to see the children and that she always brought persons with her who said they had husbands which[?] she did not believe it. I could not rightly catch the last words. I heard it when Mrs King was talking to Mr Nicholson in her parlour the door was shut and I was sweeping the stairs whatever we do wrong Mrs King always throws up the past to us and says we cannot do that here. One night in [the] dormitory we were making a noise Mrs King said we were like the bull and the cow in the field we were too hot we wanted dipping down the well and did we want the old Apple man in the Hill? This happened on one Sunday Evening in here[?] Mrs King had beaten me with a slipper for misbehaving myself.29

Jane was admitted to the school hospital with a severe cold a week later on 15 July.30 She was then one of two girls involved in assisting in the escape of Mary Ann CREGAN from the school in November 1868.31 On 16 December 1868, CLARKE wrote to the Colonial Secretary requesting permission to find an apprenticeship for Jane. This permission was granted and in a further letter on 21 December,32 CLARKE confirmed Jane's apprenticeship to Mr A. HAY, an upholsterer, of Newcastle. She was to be apprenticed as a domestic servant but would also learn the skills involved in French polishing. The apprenticeship would provide her with:

five shillings per month for her exclusive use in addition to also being supplied according to the terms of indentures with "sufficient competent[?] and suitable meat, drink, clothing, lodging and bedding articles all other things needful and [?] for an apprentice.33

In an additional letter on 29 December 1868,34 CLARKE added further detail to Jane’s indenture of twenty months. After this apprenticeship period she would be eighteen. Jane began her apprenticeship on 23 December 1868, but absconded from HAY on 14 March 1869. She was recaptured that night. In a further report to the Colonial Secretary, CLARKE stated that she had left the apprenticeship, the indentures had been cancelled and she was readmitted to the school the following day after having appeared before the Newcastle Bench.35 Upon her readmission a second entry was made in the Entrance Book recording that she was seventeen but there was no new admission number allocated to her. The second numerical identifier, for which no explanation has been found, recorded the number 85.36 It is believed that this second number was some type of academic identifier.

In a letter written on 10 December 1869, after Jane had been at the school for about sixteen months, her mother,37 applied to the Colonial Secretary, John ROBERTSON, to have Jane returned to her. As significant proof of her identity that the letter referred to her with her baptism name Susan Elizabeth, rather than the name by which she was known and had been admitted.

I beg respectfully to apply to you for the release of my daughter, Susan Elizabeth, from the Industrial School at Newcastle. I enclose her baptism lines[?] by which you will see that she is of age on 3rd Feby next. Would you kindly favour me by permitting her to return home before Christmas as I am about going to the country.

Jane was named in CLARKE’s list of girls eligible for apprenticeship on 15 December 1869,38 where she was recorded as currently aged seventeen-and-a-half. It was confirmed that she had been in the school for two years. On 30 December 1869, Jane was discharged from the school by order of the Colonial Secretary into the care of her mother,39 Alice Jane. This discharge was later confirmed by LUCAS in his list compiled in April 1872.40 CLARKE stated in his letter of 1 August 1870,41 that Jane was 'now in Sydney and I am informed gone to the bad.' Because of this statement, the illegitimate son, James, born to Jane BAKER in Redfern in 1870, has been tentatively attributed to her. Only his registration would show his mother's age and potentially confirm the relationship.

On 5 May 1873, Jane, recorded as Susan Elizabeth BAKER, married Charles BRADLEY.42 The marriage announcement stated that:

On the 5th May, by the Rev. Canon Vidal, Christ Church, Charles Bradley, to Susan Elizabeth Baker, only child of Alice J. Baker, and granddaughter of the late Edwin Baldwin, Esq., Gunnedah, New South Wales.

The marriage appeared in the records of Christ Church in the Parish of St Laurence, Sydney. Charles stated that he was the son of the publican, Charles Harris Bradley and Harriett Lamont. He had been born in New York and gave his occupation as 'professional'. One witness was Charles Wallace but the name of the other witness is illegible.43 Before his marriage BRADLEY had almost certainly spent at least one period of time in gaol for wilfully destroying a constable's uniform coat.44 Charles appeared in court again on 14 August 1873.45

Charles Bradley was fined 2s 6d, for assaulting Jane Baker. The parties were related, and complainant was not desirous of pressing the charge, but wished that defendant should be required to give security for future abstinence from violence towards her. Mr. Smart said that if she wished defendant to have been bound over to keep the peace, she should have brought her case in another form.46

This report almost without doubt referred to this couple but it is unclear if ‘Jane’ was Charles's wife or his mother-in-law, Alice Jane. Charles was the man who was sentenced to six months in gaol some months later for an aggravated assault on his wife, Elizabeth BRADLEY, on 23 March 1874.47 The man imprisoned in Darlinghurst in 1874, and recorded as Charles BRADLY, confirmed that he was a labourer who had been born in America in 1850. He had arrived on the Chelsea in 187048 although no record or arrival for Charles BRADLEY has been confirmed. The Darlinghurst Gaol punishment records for June 1874 indicated that this man was part of a trio who climbed to the bell window and defaced the wall. As a result they spent 24 hours in the cells as punishment.49 Charles was a Catholic with brown hair and eyes who could read and write. Shortly after this court appearance Jane's mother Alice Jane, died. Because Charles was still serving his six month gaol sentence it is considered likely that Jane placed the Funeral Notice in the paper on Charles' behalf. This would explain why he was named in Alice's Funeral Notice. In September 1874 Charles was discharged from Darlinghurst50 and no further confirmation of his whereabouts has been found.

No confirmation of Jane as Jane or Elizabeth or Susan BAKER or BRADLEY can be made after the Funeral Notice in the Sydney Morning Herald for her mother in August 1874. It isn't possible to confirm whether she and Charles had reconciled after his release from Darlinghurst although a report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 16 March 1877 suggests that this may have happened. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the court case at the Central Police Court:

Elizabeth Baker was fined 5s. for assaulting Margaret Casey; and on the complaint of Margaret Casey, that Charles Baker had put her in fear by threats of violence, he was ordered to enter into a recognizance with two sureties in, £10 each to keep the peace six months.51

While these surnames do not match, the given names for those involved in the incident are very interesting.

The identity of the man named Charles BRADLEY who died in Liverpool in 1885 at the age of 3252 is still being investigated.

There was a Charles BAKER seriously injured in May 1877. He was thought unlikely to survive but no death registration appeared in the NSW BDM Index under this name. He had been taken to the Sydney Infirmary in a serious condition with 'a severe scalp wound and injuries to the back, through a fall from a house.'53 Before his injury he had been in company with a man who had been stabbed so was unable to give evidence at the trial.54 Could there have been a confusion between the names of the two men and the BRADLEY death registration actually refers to the BAKER newspaper report? It is believed that the man who died in May 1877 in Sydney55 for whom nothing further is recorded on the NSW BDM Index, is this man but only the death registration would confirm the cause of death and perhaps also whether he was Jane's husband. No Funeral Notice has been located under either name. This death has been tentatively attributed to Jane's husband.


Jane was the daughter of Alice Jane BAKER née BALDWIN and the baker, James BAKER. Her mother was recorded in the Entrance Book as Alice Jane BAKER but no father was named and the book recorded that he had abandoned his family. This was almost certainly based either on what was stated in court or at the time of Jane's admission so may have been an embellishment of more accurate events. Jane’s parents, Alice Jane BALDWIN and James BAKER, were married by Charles F. D. PRIDDLE by Banns at St James, Sydney, on 19 January 1852. The witnesses were Alfred and Ann ABBOTT of Phillip Street. Their eldest daughter Jane,was baptised as Susan Elizabeth BAKER on 3 February 1852, shortly after the marriage. James was recorded as a baker or confectioner on the baptism. It seems likely that after her parents separated, or possibly even earlier, Susan began to be called Jane, her mother’s second name, and this name was probably not an alias intended to deceive. A sister, Harriett Alice Clark BAKER, was born on 6 March 1854, and James was again recorded as a confectioner. Harriett died at seven weeks of age, about the 26 April 1854, and was possibly buried as Alice BAKER.56 This burial record stated that the child, Alice, who had died on 1 April, was buried on 3 April 1854. She was ten months old and her father was a cabinet maker so this is an uncertain record.

The relationship between James and Alice was volatile. They appeared in court on 9 March 1855, when James was charged with assaulting Alice after he'd taken her to the police for stealing money from him.57 Alice stated that it was the money inherited by her that she was protecting from James and that she kept it in the bank under her maiden name.58 Sometime during the following days James placed an advertisement in the SMH.59

CAUTION TO THE PUBLIC – ALICE JANE BALDWIN, or BAKER, my wife, has left her home without any cause or provocation; I hereby notify to the public that I will not be responsible for any debts she may contract from this date, and any person harbouring the said Alice Jane Baldwin, or Baker, after this date will be prosecuted according to law. She is about twenty-three years of age, dark complexion, and has a large mole on the right cheek. JAMES BAKER, Baker, No. 130, Parramatta-street. March 13.

Between 1863 and 1872, Alice appeared often in the Sydney courts but no further appearance has been found in company with James. At the time of Jane's court appearance, Alice was reported to be cohabiting with a man named James [sic] NOLAN. This man was more accurately identified in the NSW BDM Index and Funeral Notices as Garrett NOLAN when he died. His funeral was to leave from the residence of Mrs. Alice BAKER at 376 Elizabeth Street, near Goulburn Street – the place he died.60 Alice died as Alice J. BAKER in Sydney in August 1874. Her mother was unnamed on the registration and her father was identified as Edward.61 Charles BRADLEY reportedly placed a Funeral Notice in the Sydney Morning Herald but it is thought that Jane placed this as Charles was in Darlinghurst Gaol at this date. It seems possible that Alice and James had reconciled by the time of her death, as James BAKER also placed a funeral notice in the paper.62

James stated on the baptisms of his children that he was a baker and a man of this name with this occupation appeared in the admission records of Goulburn Gaol in 1884. He was Church of England and had been born in England. He had arrived on the Woodbridge in 184063 He was 5' 7" tall and had grey hair and blue eyes. He was recorded as 74 years of age so this has a birth date of about 1810. This man was admitted to the Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute on at least two occasions, in 1881 and 1882. He was admitted again in February 1885 and was discharged on 25 March 1885. His ship, the Woodbridge and occupation of baker, were confirmed. On this document he was recorded as a 68-year-old, putting his year of birth at about 1817. On 16 June 1885, he was admitted again to Liverpool by the manager of the asylum and died in the asylum on 14 November 1885.64 No parents were recorded on his death registration on the NSW BDM Index.

Where has She Gone?

Descendants of the BALDWIN and CLARKE families65 have also been unable to trace Susan Elizabeth BAKER and what happened to her poses many questions. After the death of her mother and with her husband still in gaol, might Jane have decided to escape from a violent relationship? Did Charles and Jane remain together? A possible reconciliation with her father James, was implied in Alice's Funeral Notice. Had this occurred it may have permitted Jane some financial assistance even though her mother appeared reasonably financially secure. There has been no indication however found that Jane did maintain contact with her father. No Funeral Notices or In Memoriam notices for him have been located either at the time of or after his likely death in November 1885. Might she have sought out members of her mother's family? Both Alice Jane BAKER's and Garret NOLAN's family associations were in the Hunter Valley and on the Liverpool Plains. These places may perhaps suggest a possible location for Jane. If Jane left her marriage and formed a liaison but never remarried then she is virtually impossible to trace. If the death of Charles did occur in 1877 did she remarry? If the boy James BAKER, born in 1870, was an illegitimate child of Jane, then this boy has not yet been traced. No appropriate death has been found for him. As Charles was American, might the couple have returned to his place of birth? This possibility cannot be verified by any US census records found to date. It is considered unlikely that Charles and Jane left NSW after Alice’s death.

What name did Jane eventually adopt? She had been known as Jane before and during her time in Newcastle but she used her official name when she married. Might she have adopted one of her given names identified on her baptism? Might she have adopted her mother's given name, Alice, after her death? While appearances for Charles, Jane or Susan BRADLEY can’t be confirmed on the NSW BDM Index, Queensland BDM or in Trove after 1873, there was at least once instance where Jane was almost without any doubt referred to with the given name Elizabeth.66

The death of Elizabeth BRADLEY in Sydney in 1899 identified the death of a 42-year-old woman who had been born in about 1857. While this age is five years too young to be Newcastle admission, the death is worth investigating. The death registration for Elizabeth BRADLEY identified that she had been born in New Zealand and that the couple had married in New Zealand before coming to Australia in about 1876. Their only child Florence had been born the year after they arrived in Australia. The informant was C. J. CHAMBERS. This registration is not conclusive and doesn't eliminate this woman as the Newcastle admission although it does make her a slightly less likely possibility. Elizabeth's Funeral Notice67 provided no family detail but she left a will and probate was granted to Florence Adell CHAMBERS.68 Elizabeth's death registration confirmed that Florence CHAMBERS was Elizabeth's daughter who had married Cluxton James CHAMBERS at Christ Church,69 Sydney on 16 March 1898.70 The minister Rev. J. F. ALBERY indicated that the marriage was performed at Christ Church, St Lawrence, and these records are available on the SAG reels. When Florence died in Marrickville in 1953 her parents were identified as Charles and Elizabeth.71 Florence was 75 when she died so she had been born in about 1878. No birth for her has been found in NSW or New Zealand. No trees available show any parents for Florence and her marriage registration has not been cited. To date the marriage has not been found in any Ancestry or Family Search church record.

Jane did not marry:

  1. Eli GILLARD because the marriage announcement identified her father.72
  2. George W. LINDSAY in 188073 as online trees identified that this Jane Elizabeth BRADLEY had been born in Queensland in 1863. This couple had one recorded child, James G. LINDSAY who had been born in Paddington in 1881.74
  3. Edward HARDMAN as this woman's maiden name was very probably BRAMLEY and she had almost certainly been born in 1840.75
  4. John Alexander EASTON as Lizzie BRADLEY in 1883 as this woman was the daughter of Captain Joseph BRADLEY.76
  5. William Neil YOUNG as Elizabeth (Lizzie) BRADLEY in 1889 as the records of the Anglican St Andrew's Cathedral identify that she had been born in London in 1859 and that her parents were John William BRADLEY and Elizabeth HODGES.
  6. Jane was not the woman who married Henry Bain CARMICHAEL as Alice Jane BAKER in Sydney in 1893.77 This couple had three children, Alice Katherine Myra aka Kit CARMICHAEL, Ena Bain aka Eva CARMICHAEL and Colin Henry aka Henry Colin CARMICHAEL. Henry Colin had been born in 1903. Alice Jane CARMICHAEL died in Sutherland in 1958. The researcher's tree identified an approximate date of birth for Alice of 186578 making her at least ten years younger than the Newcastle admission. Further the Newcastle admission was unlikely to be having children into the early 1900s. The Ryerson Index indicated that Alice Jane CARMICHAEL had died at the age of 83 on 22 August 1958. Her Death notice appeared in the SMH on 27 August 1958. Her age of 83 calculated to a year of birth of about 1875 ten years later than that identified by CARMICHAEL family researchers. The NSW BDM Index identified Jane CARMICHAEL's parents at the time of her death as Charles and Alice and her birth had been registered in 187579 as Alice Jane BAKER with parents Charles BAKER and Alice MARSHALL who had married in 1874.

The dreadful death of Jane BAKER in Dublin, South Australia, in October 1876, is of a woman who has a life history that contains compelling similarities to the Newcastle admission's background.80 Any suggestion that this this was the Newcastle girl is speculation and increasingly unlikely but the story is included until it can be disproved – which may never happen – or until the Newcastle admission can be located. Details of the life of Jane and her one-time partner, John Henry HUBERT may be found on the BERESFORD website.81 While the two women were approximately the same age, the SA woman was recorded as being slightly younger – or born in about 1855. The SA Jane had come from an Adelaide Destitute Asylum and had been with HUBERT in excess of three years in 1876. The date of her arrival with HUBERT is very close to, and possibly before, the last known verification of Jane BAKER in NSW.

Victoria may perhaps be an interstate location for the BRADLEY family but it hasn't been investigated to date. A court appearance for cruelty to animals featured an Elizabeth BRADLEY who had a son named Charles.82 A Charles BRADLEY, described as a recent immigrant, drowned in South Australia in 1876.83 These possibilities are yet to be investigated fully.

Updated February 2020

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