The HOWARD Sisters
Father James HOWARD b.c. 17941 m. none d. aft. 1871
Mother Elizabeth aka Betsy BURTON b.c. 18252 m. none d. 18953
Brother James HOWARD b.c. 18414 m. 18705 Elizabeth Ann McKITT d. 19096
Sister Elizabeth HOWARD b. 18437 m. d. 18728
Brother William HOWARD b.c. 1845 m. d.
Brother John HOWARD b.c. 18469 m. 187010 Mary Ann McKITT d. 192911
Sister Mary Ann HOWARD b.c. 1849 m. 187012 John SLINGSBY d. 189913
Sister Harriett HOWARD b.c. 1853 m. none14 Edward AH SEE d. 192915
Inmate Ann aka Hannah HOWARD b.c. 1855 m. (see below) d. aft. 1873
Inmate Sarah HOWARD b.c. 1857 m. (see below) d. aft. 1873
Sister Rachel HOWARD b. 185816 m. none - d. 186117
Inmate (twin) Emma HOWARD b. 186118 m. 1881 (see below) d. 191019
Inmate (twin) Lucy HOWARD b. 186120 m. (see below) d. aft. 1877
Sister Rachel HOWARD b.c. 1862 m. none - d. 186721
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father James22 39 5' 6" brown mixed with grey brown dark scar under chin; scar ball of left thumb; scar back of forefinger of left hand; four scars back of forefinger of same
Sister Elizabeth23 31 5' 4" brown brown dark

Fourteen-year-old Ann, and her sisters, Sarah, aged twelve, and the twins, Lucy and Emma, both aged about nine, in company with Susan ARROW, were charged with stealing a shilling from a child named ROPER. Senior-sergeant WATERS deposed that they had been:

… strolling about the town, some of them in a state almost approaching to nudity, and were pictures of misery and destitution. Susan Arrow was found guilty and sent to gaol for one month ; the others were discharged, but were immediately rearrested on a charge of vagrancy. Senior sergeant Waters deposed that they were continually strolling about the streets, insufficiently clothed, and apparently ill fed ; previous charges of robbery had been preferred against them and they were being brought up in a state of ignorance and immorality. The mother of the children appeared at the Court, and said she was very poor but she pleaded with the Bench to allow the children to return home with her. She said her husband was living, but he was old and infirm and unable to do anything towards maintaining her and the children. She had had thirteen children, three of whom were dead ; two of her daughters were in service and two of her sons helped to support her. If the children were allowed to return home she would do her best to keep them better in future. The Bench were of opinion that it would be much better for the children to be sent to the Industrial School, where they would be fed, clothed, educated, and fitted to follow some useful occupation. They accordingly ordered that the children should be forwarded to the Industrial School at Newcastle, and the mother was informed that she would be allowed the privilege of corresponding with them, or, if she went to Newcastle, she would be allowed to see them.24

The HOWARD sisters were admitted to Bathurst gaol25 whilst awaiting their transfer to the Newcastle industrial school.26 They were admitted to Newcastle on 21 October 1869.27 This admission date occurred during the period when records for the institution have been lost so no confirmation of family, education, discharge or religion can be confirmed from this source. The four sisters transferred to Biloela in May 1871, and were recorded as 'In the Institution' on the list compiled by LUCAS in April 1872.28 The Biloela transfer lists indicated that they were Protestant.29


Because two of the HOWARD admissions, Lucy and Emma, were named and described in newspaper reports as twins,30 their birth registrations and subsequently their family can be positively identified. The sisters were four of the daughters of James HOWARD and Elizabeth BURTON who lived with their extended families near Bathurst. The identity of their family can further be verified because their mother was charged with a larceny and appeared in court on the Monday following the sisters' appearance for vagrancy. Elizabeth and an older daughter, Harriet, were charged with the theft of goods from Catherine WRIGHT and were sentenced to three months' hard labour in Bathurst gaol. Online Bathurst gaol records for this period only supply trial dates and provide no descriptions. While many online trees have identified that James and Elizabeth had married in 1840,31 it is almost entirely certain that they, and almost certainly many of their children, never married. The marriage of James HOWARD and Elizabeth TAYLOR in the Scots' Church in Sydney on 23 October 1843, by John Dunmore LANG32 is unlikely to identify their marriage. While this original record did indicate that Elizabeth was a widow, because it had occurred far from Bathurst, the identified location of the couple in 1841 and 1843, it is not thought to refer to the couple.

Elizabeth HOWARD née BURTON, was the daughter of James BURTON aka BOLTON, who had been transported on the Atlas in 1816. James BURTON's wife, Elizabeth BURTON née HILLYER, and their daughter, Sarah, had arrived free on the Surry (3) in 1819. James was subsequently assigned to his wife.33 Their daughter, Elizabeth, had been born in Windsor in about 1825 but no appropriate baptism has been located for her. Elizabeth was recorded as a three-year-old in 1828.34 The extended BURTON family eventually moved to and lived in the Bathurst area by about 1841. In April 1895, some family connections were outlined in a newspaper report of a fight between Peter ARROW and his cousins, John, Charles, Albert and William HOWARD. The report included references to their father, John. Peter stated that the '… accused [John] and my father are cousins.'35 Peter’s father was identified in the NSW BDM Index as James ARROW, whose birth was also unregistered. Other birth registrations for the children of William and Sarah ARROW confirmed that Sarah’s maiden name was BURTON. The 1929 death registration of John HOWARD, identified that his father was James and recorded that his mother's maiden name was also BURTON. The Susan ARROW who was arrested at the same time as the HOWARD sisters, but was too old to be sent to Newcastle, was therefore their cousin, baptised in 1854 as Susannah ARROW. Susan appeared in Bathurst gaol records as HARROW.

Elizabeth HOWARD, senior, was arrested for larceny at the same time as her daughters and was tried and sentenced to three months hard labour in Bathurst gaol. She was released in January 1870.36 At the time of her daughters' arrest in 1869, Elizabeth stated that:

[S]he had had thirteen children, three of whom were dead ; two of her daughters were in service and two of her sons helped to support her.

Elizabeth HOWARD died on 30 July 1895, and her death was registered in Dubbo. It is unknown with whom she was living at this time.

At the time of the arrest of his daughters, James HOWARD, was described that the:

… father of this unfortunate family … who, we understand has been eking out an existence somewhere in the bush, came into town a day or two ago, and procured an order to visit his wife and five daughters in the gaol. To judge from his appearance, the fact of his four children having been ordered to be sent to Newcastle is most fortunate. Age, poverty, and disease have rendered him a spectacle sickening to behold, and combined, they must eventually terminate what at present appears to be but a miserable existence.37

James' identity is difficult to establish. Some online trees have identified that he had been born in Gloucestershire, England, in about 1820. There are many trees that contain this unreferenced information and it must be questioned. One online query outlined a different origin and very strongly suggested that the contributor held a record that stated that James had been born in Bristol, England, in about 1810.38 While this query provided no exact dates, the query itself suggested a thorough investigation rather than a guess. James' actual age was unconfirmed but it must be considered that James was actually older than the age he declared and that it was closer to the age suggested in the newspaper report in 1869 at the time of his daughters' arrest. It is speculation only that this man was a convict but his children's arrest was a typical circumstance for many admitted to an industrial school so it is highly likely that he had been transported. A potential arrival that is believed to be correct, but is based only on supposition and circumstantial evidence only, is outlined below.

It is considered almost certain that the man imprisoned for vagrancy in Bathurst gaol on 14 November 1870, and who had subsequently been transferred to the Benevolent Asylum in Sydney on 15 December 1870, was the girls' father. He was very probably the same man who on 4 January 1871, at the age of 65, was admitted to Darlinghurst gaol after an appearance for vagrancy at Hartley before Thomas BROWN. In Darlinghurst he was detained at the gaol hospital and discharged on 10 February. James HOWARD was described as having arrived on the Susannah in 1835. He had been born in Bristol and was a Protestant.39 SRNSW identified only one ship named the Susannah. It had arrived in 1839. However, a search of convict indents indicated that James HOWARD, a farm servant, had been transported on the Susan in 1835 for seven years for sheep stealing. He had been born in Gloucestershire and had been tried in Bristol on 8 April 1833. This transportee was married with two children at the time of his transportation. The Susan indent recorded that he was 39 in 1835 so he had been born in about 1794. While this age does not match statements made by James, family researchers are unable to agree on his age and this suggested that the sisters' father had made inconsistent and conflicting statements concerning his age. It is also almost certain that an aged man from the same area as that known to be the abode of the HOWARD family has been tracked to this gaol admission and information matches the documentation on the scant records available to his descendants. It must also be considered that James had planned to hide and had effectively hidden his convict history from his family. The Susan (1835) transportee has been attributed as the father of the four Newcastle admissions.

The 1837 muster indicated that this James HOWARD had been indented to Thomas EVERNDEN in Bathurst.40 The James HOWARD who had arrived on the Susan had received his ticket of Leave in 1839 while resident at Bathurst. He received a certificate of Freedom in 1841.41 Although James had previously had a family in England, he would have been entitled to eventually remarry after his arrival in NSW but it is possible that he did not know this. The consideration that he had a wife in England may have personally prevented him from marrying Elizabeth BURTON. No death record can be confirmed for James. He was alive in early 1871 but was unlikely to have lived far past 1880 as by 1871 he would almost certainly have been close to eighty years of age.

Identifying the children of James and Elizabeth is ongoing and descendants have also found the same difficulty. Registrations for only five of the children of James and Elizabeth appear in the NSW BDM Index. The eldest children of the couple were probably James and Elizabeth, born in 184142 and 184343 respectively, who had been baptised in the Holy Trinity Church of England at Kelso.44 It is possible that their other children were baptised and the register containing their names has been omitted from the NSW BDM Index or has not survived. Three further birth registrations were made in Bathurst where Elizabeth was recorded as Betsy. Identifying the children is complicated because James and Elizabeth's son, James, married Elizabeth KITT aka McKITT, so their children also begin to appear on the NSW BDM Index mingled with the names of their cousins. It is thought that this younger couple's first child was registered as Dethia but only the actual registration45 will confirm her parents' identity. At least one of the elder couple's daughters, Harriet, didn't marry. Her son, Alfie, was arrested in Dubbo in 1897 and was admitted to the Sobraon.46 Their daughter, Elizabeth HOWARD, was arrested by O'Connell police in August 1875 for obtaining goods with false pretenses and who was to appear at the Bathurst Quarter Sessions where she was sentenced to six months hard labour in Bathurst gaol on 6 September.47 Elizabeth may have been the victim or a rape in October 1889.48

Ancestry trees are unreliable in the identification and fate of James and Elizabeth's children and no trees have been found that provide any references, actual birth, marriage or death dates or an identification of the Newcastle admissions – even those of the twins, Lucy and Emma. Of the four Newcastle admissions, only Lucy and Emma were registered. Although their mother was recorded as Betsy at the time of their registration, so was relatively 'hidden' on the NSWBDM Index, no tree has identified that Lucy and Emma were registered as twins and this fact can be easily identified by their numbering on the NSW BDM Index. Their older sisters, Ann and Sarah, were not identified on the NSW BDM Index as either births or baptisms. Because these four girls were removed from their family, they were rarely recorded on any trees or in the Bathurst area. It must be considered that the informant at the time of the death of Elizabeth HOWARD nee BURTON, may not have known or recalled the names of the four inmates who may have been missing from the family for decades and may never returned to Bathurst. Elizabeth's death registration has not been viewed and no obituary has been identified. It is also unknown whether any trees have analysed what was recorded on the registration or the name of the informant – who may have been Harriet.

It is believed that the Eliza HOWARD who was was mother to a Lucy Ann HOWARD – an illegitimate birth in 188049 – that occurred in Bathurst, may have been Elizabeth HOWARD who had been born in about 1843. The child, Lucy Ann, was admitted to the Benevolent Asylum in 1895. It should also be considered that this Eliza HOWARD was actually one of the four girls admitted to Newcastle who had assumed another given name.


Ann's birth has not yet been identified on the NSW BDM Index as either Ann or Hannah. Ann had been in the school for more than a year when, in about April 1871, she escaped. Ann, Mary Ann MEEHAN and Lucy AH KIN absconded from the Newcastle Reformatory around 14 April.50

They were found inhabiting a deserted hut on the Minmi Creek between Minmi and Teralba and the trio spent a week living in a deserted hut in the bush at Minmi.51

The three girls were arrested by constable LEONARD of Wallsend Police after having been concealed by Thomas HAFEY and two other men. HAFEY was also arrested by LEONARD at Wallsend and received one month’s gaol for concealing an absconder. Ann's associates in this escape were two girls known to have been in the Newcastle Reformatory at this time and this circumstance suggests that for some reason at this time, she had been accommodated in the reformatory section of the school. No proof other than the names of her associates has yet been found, but George LUCAS had taken over as superintendent by this stage and he was far harsher in his dealings with the girls than the former superintendent, Joseph CLARKE. Ann's involvement in the April riot may have necessitated isolating her from other industrial school rioters and the reformatory was nearby and effectively removed her from influencing other inmates.

Ann and Mary Ann appeared in Newcastle Court on 21 April 1871, charged with destroying Government property in the riot of 14 April, but their trial was deferred until the following day as the superintendent, LUCAS, was at the Maitland Assizes.52 Ann appeared again on 22 April but the charge against her was withdrawn and she was returned to the school.53

After her transfer to Biloela in May 1871, Ann was listed in LUCAS's letter to the Colonial Secretary on 23 June 1871, as eligible for service.54 LUCAS confirmed that she had been discharged as an apprentice in his report on 5 February 1872, but the name of her employer was not confirmed in this letter.55 It may have been Edward MOORE who lived on the property, Greenfields, Reedy Creek, near Singleton or she may have had an earlier apprenticeship that has not been identified. Ann absconded from her situation with MOORE some time around November 1872 and she had been with MOORE in November 1872. The Maitland Mercury reported that Annie 'formerly an inmate of the Biloela Reformatory' brought a charge of rape against MOORE. MOORE’s arrest for a rape that reportedly took place in November 1872, occurred in January the following year56 and Annie appeared in Singleton Court in January 1873.57 The court concluded that

the whole case appeared to be a trumpery affair, got up by the girl in revenge for Mr. MOORE applying for a warrant for (her) apprehension.

After Annie's cross-examination, no further witnesses were called, with the bench decided that there was no case to be sent to the jury, and dismissed the information.58

Where has She Gone?

No further confirmation of Ann had been located although many appearances for a woman of this name are recorded in the Darlinghurst Gaol records. No descriptions are available so it cannot be ascertained whether this woman was an appropriate age or whether her birth location would match what is known of Annie. One of the women of this name in gaol had been born in about 1824.59

There are no appropriate deaths for an Ann, Anne, Anna, Hannah or Annie HOWARD. There are no confirmed gaol entrances for an Ann HOWARD, so while it possible that she appeared in Sydney courts from 1876 until about 1898 and subsequently went to gaol, this can't be proved. An Ann HARTLEY aka HADLEY appeared in Darlinghurst admissions on 28 May 1877, and 27 November 1882, but no descriptions are available60 and no trial details have yet been located. No ages have yet been identified in any court cases.

Ann may have been the mother of the illegitimate son, James T. HOWARD whose birth was registered in Sydney in 1885.61 This man may have been the James Jefferson HOWARD who died in Sydney in 1964.62

Online trees strongly suggest that Anne:

1. did not marry Herbert BURGES in Maitland in 187463 as the parents of this woman don't match those of the Newcastle girl.
2. was unlikely to have married (Thomas) John Edward FIELD (1856 - 1928) as Ann E. HOWARD at Nandi, Coonabarrabran, on 1 January 1876.64 Online trees vary her date of birth from between 1853 to 1858 but most identify that she had been born in Maitland. No parents were recorded on the marriage registration and no online trees identified any parents. When this woman died on 9 June 1937, her death was registered in Narrabri. Because of this she is less likely to be the Newcastle girl.
3. Nothing is known about the woman who married John TURNER (1864-1911) in Cootamumdra in 1883 as the one online tree available indicated that this family went to Western Australia and John died in South Australia. It may be that this woman was too young but no marriage registration has been viewed.


Husband James EASTERBROOK b. 1850 m. 188165 d. 1913
Son Joseph Philip EASTERBROOK b. 188566 m. d. 1962
Daughter Hilda Ann EASTERBROOK b. 188967 m. d. 1953

Emma seems to have been remembered or recorded as Emily in the family and it may be that the name under which she was admitted to Newcastle was in error but she was certainly known as Emma during the time at the institution. Emma transferred to Biloela in May 1871. On 16 April 1873, LUCAS requested permission to apprentice Emma to Henry MURDOCK senior, of Cleveland Street, Redfern, for six years at the rate of a shilling a year for the first two years, two shillings a week for the next two years and three shillings a week for the last two years. LUCAS described Emma as twelve years of age and stated that she was conducting herself well. The Colonial Secretary's comment cannot be easily read and it is believed to question the apprenticeship.

The apprenticing in Sydney is ad?allmed[?] which ?? to permit[?] ?? it is believed informed.

This apprenticeship didn't go ahead because on 14 May 1873, Emma was apprenticed to Mrs BAYLEY of Liverpool at the same rate of payment as arranged with MURDOCK. This apprenticeship was approved.68

Where has She Gone?

Emma didn't marry Stephen BRYAN or Albert McGRATH as parents on the death records of these women do not match Emma's parents. The location of her apprenticeship to Liverpool makes the most likely marriage found much less likely.

It may be that as Emily Elizabeth HOWARD she married Joseph EASTERBROOK in 1881 in Tamworth69 and this marriage has been tentatively attributed to her but it has not been proved. It is unlikely that Emily's parents were recorded on her marriage registration as Joseph's do appear and are recorded on the online tree. This may suggest that Emma didn't know the names of her parents and this lends support to this being the marriage of the Newcastle girl. Emma was nine at the time of her arrest so it is possible that she didn't remember their names. She therefore may have died as Emma EASTERBROOK in 1910 in Moree at the age of 50. No parents were recorded at the time of her death.70


Lucy transferred with her sisters to Biloela on Cockatoo Island in May 1871. On 29 October 1874, the Church of England clergyman, Robert WILLIS, at Campbelltown, requested on behalf of Henry MORRIS, of Redfern, Clerk in the Audit Office of the railway station specifically for 'Lucy Howard from Bathurst … [who] has been recommended to him'. If Lucy wasn't available, MORRIS was happy to take 'some other country girl.' WILLIS recommended Mr and Mrs MORRIS ensuring that they would treat Lucy with kindness and look after her well. The relieving superintendent, J. DALE, sought and received permission for the four year apprenticeship. Lucy was to be paid one shilling a week for the first year, two shillings a week for the second year and three shillings a week for the final two years. He stated that Lucy had been conducting herself well.71 She was discharged72 but about two weeks later, on 13 November, Lucy disobeyed the commands of Mrs MORRIS73 and was taken to court74 where her indentures were cancelled by mutual consent.75 Lucy pleaded guilty and expressed her determination not to return to MORRIS, preferring to be sent back to Biloela. She was readmitted to the school on 18 November.76

On 29 April 1876, Lucy was again apprenticed, this time to Mr Joseph TERRY of Campbelltown. An apprenticeship for two and a half years with Mr Benjamin WARBY had been arranged by Selina WALKER and approved by the Colonial Secretary. Lucy was to be paid two shillings a week for the first year and three shillings a week for the remainder of the time.77 This apprenticeship with WARBY was declined by him at the last moment 'on account of the misconduct to take her on account of the misconduct of her sister who lives next door to him.'78 The indentures with TERRY were for two years and six months but they were also cancelled due to misconduct and Lucy returned to Biloela on 15 January 1877.79 This return was confirmed by WALKER in her report written on 22 January.80 By this stage Lucy was seventeen. Nine months later Lucy escaped from the island with two Biloela inmates, Ada SOLOMON and Mary FEENEY.81 Once the girls had been missed, the superintendent, Selina WALKER, notified the Water Police, providing them with their names and descriptions. The girls were recaptured at about 9.30 on Sunday night and were returned to the Biloela. It was noted that Lucy and Ada had been on the island for more than nine years. Mary had only been at Biloela for two years.

Escape from Biloela.
On Saturday last, three girls named Lucy Howard, Ada Solomon, and Mary Feeney, inmates of the Biloela Reformatory, made their escape and came on to Sydney. Information of the "bolt" was at once given to the police authorities, and on Sunday night about half-past 9 o'clock, the runaways were found, "doing" Castlereagh-street. They were arrested and sent back to the reformatory. It is supposed that the girls escaped by the 8.20 p.m. Parramatta steamer, but according to their own recount, they swam off to the nearest shore. This is highly improbable.82

The use of the word 'reformatory' in this case is deceptive and even at the time it was often used generically referring to the combined institutions. These girls were all admitted to the industrial school and although it is possible that there had been an internal transfer made to the Reformatory, all appear in the Discharge Register. Additionally, no record of any transfer between the schools has yet been located. After their return to the island on 22 October, WALKER reported that they

were placed in separate dormitories on bread and water diet.
Lucy Howard was yesterday 23rd Inst., was placed in a cell and refused this morning to come out. She will therefore be kept there until this evening when she will probably change her mind.

The location of the cells on Biloela referred to in this letter is unknown but further instructions from the Colonial Secretary instructed that

(i)t will be better simply to keep the girls separate on restricted diet.

WALKER's response confirmed that '(t)hese instructions shall be attended to.'83

On 29 November 1877, Lucy was discharged from Biloela as she had turned eighteen. No notation was made in the records about where she may have gone and it is thought that she was simply released. Her discharge was confirmed by WALKER in her report on 3 December 1877.84

Where has She Gone?

It may be that Lucy was the mother to the illegitimate son, William HOWARD who was born in 1895.85 No appropriate Police Gazette entries or gaol admissions for anyone named Lucy and born between 1859 and 1863 other than the arrest details indicated above. Lucy can't have married Silas CROSS, as the wife of Silas CROSS had parents named Edward and Jane; Herbert LOMAS, as the wife of Herbert LOMAS had parents named Thomas and Emma; or Edward BRAY, as all these women were too young. It is possible that Lucy adopted a new name and never registered a marriage. The Lucy McHUGH who died in Bathurst in 1889 cannot be a reference to Lucy as the Bathurst Headstone Transcription CD from the BFHG indicated that this woman was a nun.


Note Two girls with this name were admitted to the industrial school. The girl from this family was the elder of the two, was arrested from Bathurst and was discharged last to an apprenticeship and not back to her family. Only this girl transferred to Biloela in May 1871 as the younger Sarah HOWARD (2) was discharged to her father in January 1871.

Sarah was the thirteen year old girl recorded on LUCAS’s list of girls eligible for apprenticeship86 shortly after the school’s arrival at Biloela on Cockatoo Island. She was recorded as ‘In the Institution’ in LUCAS’s list of April 1872.87 Sarah was apprenticed by LUCAS at the age of fourteen, on 29 January 1872, to Mr. Henry MOORE, of the Hunter River. Her apprenticeship was for four years and she was to be paid a shilling a week for the first year, two shillings a week for the next two years and three shillings a week for her final year. LUCAS confirmed her admission date and stated that Sarah had 'generally conducted herself well.'88 This apprenticeship was cancelled and Sarah was returned to the school but the date of this readmission would also appear in the missing section of the book and an appropriate letter has not yet been located. Sarah, Mary CASHER, Jane WINSOR, Phoebe WILEY, and three Biloela Girls89 were involved in an altercation with the matrons on Biloela on 26 November 1872, when they barricaded the door of No. 3 dormitory with their bedsteads and refusing admission at lights out at 9 o’clock. They remained barricaded in the dormitory until the morning of 28 November when they voluntarily removed the blockage. LUCAS doesn’t elaborate on any punishment the girls may have received.90

LUCAS again reported that Sarah was discharged as an apprentice to Mrs Emily OXLEY, the wife or mother of Henry OXLEY,91 of Hunter’s Hill on 17 July 1873.92 She was to receive two shillings a week for the first year and three shillings a week for the second year. He confirmed Sarah's arrest details and her age of sixteen in a further letter written on 7 July 1873, and the Colonial Secretary approved the apprenticeship three days later.93 Sarah was returned to Biloela from this apprenticeship on 29 September 1874, and this was confirmed by J. DALE, the Temporary Officer in Charge, in his report on 5 October 1874.94 Sarah had run away and appeared at the Ryde Police Court where the indentures were cancelled. No newspaper report of this appearance has been located. Mrs OXLEY stated to the Constable who found and returned Sarah to her that she would not pay 'one fraction of her wages untill I am compelled to do so.' On 23 October a letter was written from the school by DALE to Mrs OXLEY concerning a complaint made against her. Sarah complained that she had received no wages for the fourteen months that she was there and was owed 6 pound and eleven shillings. She also complained that Mrs OXLEY had kept her clothing. DALE stated that he required a response otherwise he would need to take the matter to the Colonial Secretary which he did on 3 November. On 11 December Mrs OXLEY responded with a comprehensive list of very high quality clothing for which she stated that she had paid eighteen pound, twelve shillings and nine pence but she unfortunately had no receipts. The list was made up of sixteen pairs of boots, three of which were kid, seven dresses, two hats, three pairs of stays, two petticoats, six hair nets, ten pairs of stockings, 3 pairs of gloves, six handkerchiefs, a silk jacket and various items such as collars and cuffs, ribbons and aprons. She said that Sarah had some of her own clothes left at the house that she would forward on if applied for. DALE responded to the Colonial Secretary that:

I beg leave leave respectfully to state that the statement offered by this lady is in direct opposition to the acknowledgement made to Constable Turner of the Water Police Force who took the girl back to this Lady on the 27th September last "that she wanted to know what was "to be done with her wages this girl was readmitted on the 29th September two days after this assertion.
Admitting that this girl behaved in the manner described in this lady's letter, she had a remedy, wherewith she might have easily availed herself of, for I advised that lady some time ago what steps to to take on the matter however it seems this lady was quite satisfied with the girl in retaining her for fourteen months and then not giving her a penny of wages, the clothes alluded to she was [?] to furnish from the terms of the agreement

The Colonial Secretary stated:

Mrs Oxley may be furnished with a copy of the enclosed letter from W. Blaxland J.P. and informed that it is necessary that she should [?] show that she has paid the amount to which Sarah Howard was entitled[?] under her indentures, or make payment of the amount.95

Sarah remained on Biloela after this return and on 25 January 1875, DALE reported that she had been released because she had reached the age of eighteen.96

Where has She Gone?

It is unlikely, because she was probably released onto the streets of Sydney, that she was the mother of the illegitimate son, Edwin E. HOWARD, in Gunnedah in 1886.97 Sarah almost certainly didn't marry Paul PFOEFFER, Frederick LAWES or William PHILLIPS as online trees have identified the parents of these women. She did not marry Walter BURDEN as this Sarah HOWARD was too young. No further references can be confirmed until 1880 for Sarah on Trove and none appear in NSW Deaths.

Updated December 2016

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