Mary Ellen TOBIN

Female Abt 1829 - 1905  (~ 76 years)


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  • Name Mary Ellen TOBIN 
    Born Abt 1829  County Waterford, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Prison records give year of birth as 1829. Marriage certificate has no age. When arrived at Port Phillip on 9 August 1949, her age was listed as 18, giving year of birth 1830 - 1831. Death certificate has age 79 at 27 Apr 1905, giving year of birth about 1826. Death certificate also says she was 24 when married. She was married in 1850, which gives year of birth about 1826.
    Gender Female 
    Physical Description 5' 1", brown eyes, brown hair  [1
    Immigration 9 Aug 1849  Port Philip, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    • Mary arrived at Port Phillip on 9 August 1849 per "New Liverpool" which left Plymouth, England 25 April 1849. She was one of 201 Irish famine orphan girls on the ship. The ship was 720 tons and carried 219 passengers. Mary was listed as aged 18, from County Waterford, a Roman Catholic, a house servant and could neither read nor write. Between October 1848 and August 1850, over 4,000 female orphans arrived in Australia from Irish workhouses as part of Earl Grey's pauper immigration scheme. After her arrival, Mary left the Depot 17 September 1849 to work as a kitchen maid for James Boucher, a farmer of Geelong. Her term of employment was 12 months at 10 per annum.
    Prison 12 Feb 1875 to 11 Aug 1875  Geelong, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Prisoner No. 2571
      12 Feb 1875 at Colac Petty Sessions convicted of using threatening language, sentenced to 6 months imprisonment in default of sureties. Geelong Gaol. Freedom by time 11 Aug 1875.
    Prison Jun 1876  Geelong, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6

    • At the Colac Police Court on Friday last Ellen Gamble and Mary Lennon, two well known characters, were each ordered to pay a fine of 5, or in default fourteen days imprisonment, for being drunk and disorderly. As these two dames are unable to pay the fine, they will be taken down to the Geelong gaol this morning. Senior-constable Flahive stated that it was Mrs. Gamble's thirty-third appearance before the Bench, and that Mrs. Lennon had been repeatedly brought up at the Court. The presiding magistrate (Mr. C. Beal) recommended that when next these women were arrested, they should be brought up on a different charge to that of being drunk and disorderly, so that they might be sentenced to a long term of imprisonment. There were no other cases of any importance heard.

      1876 'NOTES AND EVENTS.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 13 June, p. 2, viewed 13 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91997448
    Prison 1 Nov 1876 to 26 Jun 1877  Geelong, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 5
    • Prisoner No. 2571

      1 Nov 1876 at Colac Police Court convicted of having no visible means of support and damaging government property, sentenced to 9 months imprisonment. Geelong Gaol. 24 hours solitary confinement for giving paper with writing to another person. Freedom by remission 29 Jun 1877.


      Two degraded looking specimens of humanity, named Patrick Lennon and Mary Lennon, his "better-half," were brought up at the Colac Police Court on Wednesday last, charged with being vagrants. The pair presented a shocking appearance. Both of their faces were bruised and battered about, the woman particularly looking very repulsive. A fine "blue eye" greatly increased Mrs. Lennon's personal attractions. Two children, belonging to this unfortunate couple, were brought before the Court at the same time, charged with being neglected children. The evidence of the police disclosed the fact that the cause of all this misery and wretchedness was excessive indulgence in strong drink. Senior-constable Flahive stated that the residence of the Lennons was in a horrid state. The door was battered down, and everything in the place had been broken. The man was found lying asleep, drunk, in a public house yard, and the woman was found in a similar condition, with "her head in the fireplace," at her own house. The children were in the habit of sleeping in an old building frequently all night, because they were frightened of their mother. They had not tasted food for two days, and were in an exhausted state. The senior-constable kindly took the little girl and fed her on Monday, but it was no use. The parents kept drunk, and there was no food in the house, and no fire to cook anything. The man and woman were in the habit of nearly killing each other, for they always fought "like two cats," as the senior-constable stated, when they were drunk. Lennon, who is familiarly known about Colac as "Paddy from the Hollow Tree," stated that he had been working at Watch Hill station for the last five weeks. The woman also said she earned money by washing. The Bench ordered "Paddy" to be imprisoned for twelve months, with hard labor. Mrs. Lennon, who is by far the worst character of the two, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. The two children, aged respectively six and three years old, were ordered to be sent to the Industrial Schools for twelve months. The woman received an additional three months' imprisonment for damaging Government property while in the lock-up.


      1876 'NOTES AND EVENTS.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 3 November, p. 2, viewed 13 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91997339


      COLAC POLICE COURT.
      WEDNESDAY, 1ST NOVEMBER.
      (Before Messrs. Rout and Hamilton.)

      Patrick Lennon and Mary Lennon, his wife, were brought up in custody, charged with being vagrants, and with having no visible means of support.

      The prisoners, both of whom were cut and marked about the face in a shocking manner, pleaded not guilty.

      Senior-constable Flahive deposed that on Sunday afternoon, a little boy, son of the prisoners, came to the police camp, and stated that the female prisoner was choking his little sister, and that they had nothing to eat. He went to the house, and found it in a most deplorable state. Everything in it was broken, such as cups and saucers, furniture, &c. The place was in a dirty, filthy state. Both Lennon and his wife were lying about drunk. When he went inside, Lennon staggered to his feet, and commenced to show the cuts and bruises about his face and head, which his wife had inflicted. Mrs. Lennon then followed his example and showed cuts and bruises, which, she said, her husband had done. As he was afraid, owing to their excited, drunken state that murder might be committed, he watched the place for the best part of the night. On Monday morning at six o'clock, Lennon came to the camp with one of his children, a little girl three years of age, and said that there was no place for them to stop, and that the little girl had been out in the cold all night. The girl was shivering and shaking, and was evidently in a neglected state. Gave her breakfast, and kept her at his house for the best part of the day. Lennon then went away to the public houses, and got drunk. Heard that the boy had no food from Saturday until Tuesday last. On Monday night sent Constable Armfield down to Lennon's residence to see about the children. Armfield found the two children outside the house, shaking with the cold, and they were frightened to go inside. They were then arrested as neglected children. He (witness) went down to the house himself about eight o'clock on Monday evening. Found Mrs. Lennon lying dead drunk on the floor. Visited the place at ten o'clock, and she was still in the same state. At twelve o'clock again went to the house, and found that the woman had never moved. He thought she might have been suffocated through the drink, and examined her. Found that she was in a drunken sleep. About a month ago something of the same kind had occurred between the prisoners. The neighbors were constantly complaining about them. The woman got drunk whenever she got a shilling to buy liquor. The neighbors would have given the children food, only they were afraid to go near the place on account of the woman's bad tongue. The place presented, when seen by him, the most wretched scene ever exhibited in any civilised community. The blacks did not live in such a bad state. There was no alternative but to take up the poor children. On Tuesday morning, before eight o'clock, watched the woman go into two public houses, and she came out of the last one with a bottle of beer (produced) under her arm. Shortly after this he arrested her, and had to hire a conveyance to take her to the lock-up. Her abuse when arrested was something very bad.

      Constable Armfield deposed that on Monday night he found the two children lying outside the house, as stated by the previous witness. The little boy said he had nothing to eat since the Sunday. Then went inside the house, and found Mrs. Lennon lying drunk with her head in the fireplace. All the things in the place were broken, and the front door was smashed down. Went to the house again the same night, and found the woman had never moved. Searched for Lennon but could not find him. Afterwards ascertained that he had been lying asleep in the back yard of a public house.

      In answer to the Bench, Senior-constable Flahive stated that he had cautioned the prisoners about three weeks ago, when he was called in to them, that he would have them severely punished if he again found them in such a dirty, drunken, quarrelling state.

      The female prisoner said that her husband had been spending his money in drink, and that this annoyed her. They had quarrelled over it, and she had taken a drop of drink in consequence.

      Lennon stated that he had been working at the Watch Hill station for the last five weeks, and intended to go back there again. He was working ten weeks for Mr. A. Chapman previously.

      Before the decision of the Bench was given, a charge against the female prisoner, for damaging Government property, was heard.

      Senior-constable Flahive swore that the prisoner had taken up a bucket and smashed the bottom out of it in a fit of temper. Constable Armfield gave corroborative evidence. The Senior-constable also stated, in reply to a question from the justices, that he had not known Lennon to do any work for the last twelve months. If he did work, he spent every shilling he earned in drink.

      Mrs. Lennon stated that while her husband was away at Watch Hill he sent her 30s., and that she got 1 6s. from one of her daughters. She earned money by washing besides.

      The magistrates retired for a short time, and, upon their return into Court, announced that the prisoners had gone beyond the bounds of all moderation. They had been going on for years in this disgraceful state, and the punishment allowed by the law was not severe enough to meet the case. They had decided that the male prisoner should be imprisoned for twelve months with hard labor, and the female prisoner, his wife, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. For damaging Government property, she would receive an additional three months' imprisonment.

      Lennon said- It's very hard, a man's to be sent to gaol for-

      Mr. Hamilton, one of the presiding magistrates, replied -It's not at all hard. You are a disgrace to your kind, and the law does not admit of your being properly punished.

      John and Alice Lennon, son and daughter of the above unfortunate couple, aged six and three years respectively, were then charged with being neglected children.

      Senior-constable Flahive deposed that the two children were brought to the camp by Constable Armfield on Monday night. The boy was in an exhausted state from hunger, and said that he had been without food since the Saturday previous. When their parents got drunk, the children were turned out, along with another brother. They slept in the old mill for two nights. Know for a fact that the children had repeatedly slept out when the mother was in liquor. The neighbors were well aware of it, but they were afraid to come forward and give evidence, for fear that Mrs. Lennon, who is a desperate character, would burn their houses down when she got out of gaol. When he wished to put the children in the cell along with their mother, when she was sober, yesterday, they cried bitterly, and begged him not to put them near her. They were now destitute, and without any means of support.

      Constable Armfield deposed to finding the children as previously stated. They told him that they were frightened to go inside, because their mother would beat them. There were no provisions in the house, nor any fire for cooking.

      The Bench ordered the children to be sent to the Industrial Schools for one year. They did not wish to send them for a longer period, as their parents would then be out of gaol, and could maintain them. It was only when the parents got drunk that the children suffered.

      The Court then adjourned.


      1876 'COLAC POLICE COURT.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 3 November, p. 3, viewed 13 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91997336
    Religion Roman Catholic  [3
    FamilySearch ID KH5X-YWF 
    FamilySearch link https://familysearch.org/tree/#view=ancestor&person=KH5X-YWF 
    Died 27 Apr 1905  Elliminyt, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8, 9, 10
    Cause: Senile decay, heart failure 
    • Death certificate gives age as 79

      Mrs. Mary Lennon, relict of the late Patrick Lennon, died at Elliminyt yesterday at the age of 79 years. The funeral will leave her late residence to-morrow afternoon.

      1905 'NOTES AND EVENTS.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 28 April, p. 2, viewed 13 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89705646
    Buried 29 Apr 1905  Colac, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [11, 12
    • Colac Cemetery, Grave 26-21 double with son, Edward
    Person ID I35  Colston & Wenck families in Australia
    Last Modified 25 Apr 2017 

    Father John TOBIN,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Mary McNAMARA,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F139  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Patrick Alexander LENNON,   b. 1820, County Down, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Apr 1902, Elliminyt, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 10 Jun 1850  Geelong, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [13
    • Marriage ref. 864 - married 10 June 1850 Geelong, denomination Roman Catholic. Married by John Fitzpatrick of Geelong, Minister of St. Francis Church, Melbourne. Patrick Lennon of Barrabool Hills and Mary Tobin of Geelong both made their mark. Married in the presence of Patrick Murphy of Barrabool Hills and Mary Coghlan of Geelong.
      No record of parents of bride and groom on marriage certificate or of their ages. Patrick Lennon's death certificate notes that he was aged 31 when he married Mary.
    Children 
     1. Edward LENNON,   b. 4 Apr 1851, Barramunga, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Oct 1903, Murroon, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years)
    +2. Thomas Alexander LENNON,   b. 2 Jul 1852, Fyansford, Geelong, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jan 1892, Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)
     3. Mary Jane LENNON,   b. 1854, Barramunga, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1855, Barramunga, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 1 years)
     4. William Raglan LENNON,   b. 1855, Winchelsea, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1933, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    +5. Catherine LENNON,   b. Abt 1859, Geelong, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1907, Tongio West, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 48 years)
    +6. Margaret Ann "Maggie" LENNON,   b. 1859, Birregurra, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Nov 1937, West Footscray, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    +7. Mary Jane LENNON,   b. 1862, Irrewillepe, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1941, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    +8. Walter Alfred LENNON,   b. Abt 1864, Colac, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct 1903, Mansfield, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 39 years)
    +9. Bridget LENNON,   b. 12 Jul 1866, Colac, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     10. John Patrick LENNON,   b. 28 Apr 1870, Colac, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Feb 1937, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
    +11. Alicia Matilda Louisa Christina LENNON,   b. 24 Sep 1872, Colac, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jul 1955, Essendon, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
    Last Modified 3 Oct 2008 
    Family ID F31  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1829 - County Waterford, Ireland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 9 Aug 1849 - Port Philip, Victoria, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 10 Jun 1850 - Geelong, Victoria, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPrison - 12 Feb 1875 to 11 Aug 1875 - Geelong, Victoria, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPrison - Jun 1876 - Geelong, Victoria, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPrison - 1 Nov 1876 to 26 Jun 1877 - Geelong, Victoria, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Senile decay, heart failure - 27 Apr 1905 - Elliminyt, Victoria, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 29 Apr 1905 - Colac, Victoria, Australia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Farm Town Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S91] Victoria: Prisoner Register Females (Victorian Public Record Office), VPRS 516/5 Prisoner # 02571.

    2. [S89] Barefoot and Pregnant? Irish Famine Orphans in Australia, Trevor McClaughlin, (Melbourne, The Genealogical Society of Victoria Inc, 1991), pages 1, 182, 190.

    3. [S90] Nominal List of Female Orphan Girls per the Ship "New Liverpool" (Public Record Office of Victoria), 4B/22 TOBEN, Mary.

    4. [S77] State Records NSW, (http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/), AONSW 4/4816 Reel 2144, Folio 339 - 346.

    5. [S342] Australian Newspapers, National Library of Australia, 1876 'NOTES AND EVENTS.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 3 November, p. 2, viewed 13 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91997339.

    6. [S342] Australian Newspapers, National Library of Australia, 1876 'NOTES AND EVENTS.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 13 June, p. 2, viewed 13 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91997448.

    7. [S11] Edwardian Index Victoria 1902-1913, (Melbourne, The Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, 1997), 1905/4947.

    8. [S12] Victoria: Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, 1905/4947.

    9. [S342] Australian Newspapers, National Library of Australia, 1905 'NOTES AND EVENTS.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 28 April, p. 2, viewed 13 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89705646.

    10. [S342] Australian Newspapers, National Library of Australia, 1906 'Family Notices.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 4 April, p. 2, viewed 14 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87334300.

    11. [S12] Victoria: Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, 1905/4947 Death certificate.

    12. [S342] Australian Newspapers, National Library of Australia, 1905 'NOTES AND EVENTS.', The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918), 1 May, p. 2, viewed 14 January, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89710957.

    13. [S14] Victoria: Certificate of Marriage, Marriage in parish of St Francis Church, Melbourne.