Name Variations BARKER, Susan Elizabeth BAKER
Father James BAKER b. 18281 m. (1) 18522 d. aft. 1874
Step-father Garrett NOLAN b. 18413 m. (2) none d. 18724
Mother Alice Jane BALDWIN b. 18325 m. (1) 1852 (2) none d. 18746
Inmate Susan Elizabeth aka Jane BAKER b. 18527 m. 1873 (see below) d. aft. 1874
Sister Harriett Alice Clark BAKER b. 18548 m. none - d. 18549
Husband Charles BRADLEY b.c. 185010 m. 187311 d. aft. 1874
Son James BAKER b. 187012 m. d. aft. 1870

The most detailed newspaper article about Jane, reportedly the first13 girl sent to Newcastle under the Industrial Schools Act, appeared in the Empire where she was erroneously identified as Jane BARKER.14 Although she was not the first arrest nor the first admission to Newcastle, her court appearance was widely and variously reported throughout the state. The COLLYER sisters had been arrested and charged under the act over a week earlier in Eden court.15 Jane appeared in the Entrance Book,16 KING's list17 and SELWYN’s list18 as Jane BAKER. Jane was fifteen and 'of decent appearance' when she appeared in court on 28 August 1867.19 She had been apprehended on a warrant by sergeant LEE the night before her appearance. She 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 had known Jane and her mother for over three years. He said that Alice had kept disorderly houses 'all over the city' although 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 police had never seen Jane going to school and that she was often 'idling' in Hyde Park with '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 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 stated at this point that 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 indicated that an earlier court appearance, where Jane had been charged with being drunk in the Government police paddock, Haymarket, had occurred. 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 of this case has been found. A decision was made to send Jane to Newcastle and she left the court crying. Jane was admitted to Newcastle in company with a large group of girls on 31 August 1867. Their order of admission was by age, beginning with the eldest so Jane’s name appeared fourth.21 Her mother's name was recorded as Alice Jane. She was recorded as Protestant and her educational attainment was noted as 'sequel No. 2 writing large hand.' Jane’s medical assessment by Dr HARRIS showed that she was not a virgin.22

Jane's behaviour was often refractory at Newcastle and in her report attached to KING's report to the Colonial Secretary on 18 May 1868, KELLY indicated that Jane's behaviour in class on one afternoon was very insubordinate manner.23 At about six o’clock on the evening of 8 July 1868, Jane was one of ten girls,24 who escaped from the school25 They were all recaptured26 by the Newcastle police less than four hours later – some at Borehole and some at Waratah – and 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. Jane signed her statement, transcribed 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.27

Jane was admitted to the school hospital with a severe cold a week later on 15 July.28 She was then one of two girls involved in assisting in the escape of Mary Ann CREGAN from the school in November 1868.29 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,30 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.31

In an additional letter on 29 December 1868,32 CLARKE further outlined Jane’s indenture of twenty months. At the end of this time 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 but in a later 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 appearing in the Newcastle Bench.33 A second entry was made in the Entrance Book recording her age as seventeen but there was no new admission number ascribed to her. The second numerical identifier, for which no explanation has been found, recorded the number 85.34

In a letter written on 10 December 1869, after Jane had been at the school for about sixteen months, her mother,35 applied to the Colonial Secretary, John ROBERTSON, to have Jane returned to her. Her letter identified Jane with her baptism name.

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 1869,36 where she was recorded as having been in the school for two years and was recorded as currently aged seventeen and a half. On 30 December 1869, Jane was discharged from the school by order of the Colonial Secretary into the care of her mother,37 Alice Jane. This discharge was confirmed by LUCAS in his list compiled in April 1872.38 CLARKE stated in his letter of 1 August 1870,39 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.40 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.

Before his marriage BRADLEY had almost certainly spent at least one period of time in gaol for wilfully destroying a constable's uniform coat.41 Charles again appeared in court on 14 August 1873.42

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.43

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 almost certainly the man who was sentenced to six months in gaol for an aggravated assault on his wife, Elizabeth BRADLEY, on 23 March 1874.44 The man imprisoned in Darlinghurst in 1874, and recorded as Charles BRADLY, indicated that he was a labourer who had been born in America in 1850 and had arrived on the Chelsea in 1870.45 The Darlinghurst punishment records for June 1874 indicate that this man was part of a trio who climbed to the bell window and defaced the wall so spent 24 hours in the cells as punishment.46 Charles was a Catholic with brown hair and eyes who could read and write. This appearance and sentencing has been attributed to the husband of Jane BAKER. 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 and this would explain he was named in Alice's Funeral Notice. In September 1874 Charles was discharged from Darlinghurst47 and no further confirmation of him has been made. Only the marriage registration would confirm whether Charles was American and this record hasn't been viewed.

No confirmation of Jane as Jane or Elizabeth or Susan BAKER or BRADLEY can be made after the Funeral Notice for her mother in August 1874 and it isn't possible to ascertain whether she and Charles reconciled after his release from Darlinghurst.


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 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. Susan Elizabeth BAKER was born shortly after the marriage on 3 February 1852, and James was recorded as a baker or confectioner. 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 A. C. 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.48 This burial record stated that the child, Alice, was buried on 3 April 1854, she had died on 1 April, 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.49 Sometime during the following days James placed an advertisement in the SMH.50

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 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.51 Alice died as Alice J. BAKER in Sydney in August 1874 and Charles BRADLEY placed a funeral notice in the SMH. 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.52

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 184053 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 in February 1885 and was discharged on 25 March 1885. His ship and occupation were confirmed. He was 68-year-old so his year of birth was about 1817.54

Where has She Gone?

After the death of her mother and with her husband still in gaol, it may be that Jane decided to escape from a violent relationship. It may be that reuniting with her father, as implied in the Funeral Notice for Alice, permitted her some financial assistance. All this is speculation but not impossible.

Descendants of the BALDWIN and CLARKE families55 have also been unable to trace Susan Elizabeth BAKER. It is very likely that after her marriage she was again known as Jane as this was a name she had used of long-standing. Appearances for Charles, Jane or Susan BRADLEY can’t be confirmed on the NSW BDM Index or in Trove after 1873. No births or deaths have been found for Susan or Jane BRADLEY in Queensland. Charles and Jane may not have remained together or they may have left the state after Alice’s death. Alice Jane BAKER's family associations and Garret NOLAN's family associations were in the Hunter Valley and on the Liverpool Plains. These places may indicate a possible location for Susan Elizabeth aka Jane if she left her marriage and formed a liaison but never remarried. If Charles was American then it is possible that Charles and Jane left Australia and returned to his place of birth but this possibility cannot be verified by any US census records found to date.

Might Jane have adopted her mother's given name, Alice, after her death? The marriage of Henry Bain CARMICHAEL and Alice Jane BAKER in Sydney in 189356 looks very interesting. This couple had three children, Alice Katherine Myra aka Kit CARMICHAEL, Ena Bain aka Eva CARMICHAEL and Colin Henry aka Henry Colin CARMICHAEL, outlined on an online tree. Henry Colin was born in 1903. Alice Jane CARMICHAEL died in Sutherland in 1958. This tree identified an approximate date for Alice's birth as 1865.57 The NSW BDM Index identified Jane CARMICHAEL's parents at the time of her death as Charles and Alice. The Ryerson Index indicated that Alice Jane CARMICHAEL died at the age of 83 on 22 August 1958. Her Death notice appeared in the SMH on 27 August 1958. This age of 83 calculated to a year of birth of about 1875 ten years after that identified by CARMICHAEL family researchers. This woman is unlikely because her birth was registered in 187558 as Alice Jane BAKER with parents Charles BAKER and Alice MARSHALL who had married in 1874.

If the boy, James BAKER, was an illegitimate child of Jane then this boy has not yet been traced.

The dreadful death of Jane BAKER in Dublin, SA, in October 1876, has a life history that contains compelling similarities to the Newcastle admission's background.59 Any suggestion this this is the Newcastle girl is speculation and increasingly unlikely but the story is included until it can be disproved – which may never happen – or Jane can be located. Details of the life of Jane and her one-time partner, John Henry HUBERT may be found on the BERESFORD website.60 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.

Jane isn’t the woman who married Eli GILLARD because the marriage announcement identified her father.61 Online trees identified that the Jane Elizabeth BRADLEY who married George LINDSAY in 1880 was born in Queensland in 1863. Jane didn't marry Edward HARDMAN as this woman's maiden name was very probably BRAMLEY and she was almost certainly born in 1840.62

Victoria is looking good for an interstate location of 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.63 A Charles BRADLEY, described as a recent immigrant, drowned in South Australia in 1876.64 These possibilities are yet to be investigated fully.

Updated November 2015

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