• Subject Name : Arts and Humanities

Introduction to Mary Reibey Biography

Mary Reibey was born in the year 1777 as Molly Haydock in the city of Lancashire located in England (Gilchrist, 2016). She was prisoned at the age of fourteen for being found guilty of stealing a horse in the attire of a boy. At around that time, she presented herself as James Burrows, a boy who she had known and who had died at around that point of time. Her actual look of a girl was unveiled only at the time when she was put into trial. Mary Reibey was known to be the first business women of Australia.

This essay will concentrate on discussing about the personal life of Mary Reibey and also discuss about the time and place in which she lived. This will include evidence-based information about the New South Wales Colony in Australia in the initial few decades of the British Colony in the later part of the 18th century.


Mary Reibey was just fourteen years old, when she had stolen the horse and for which the accused in those days were punished to death. However, Mary managed to skip the death penalty because of her age and hence she was sent as a captive to the New South Wales Colony in October 1792 (Nicole, 2017). As soon as she reached the New South Wales, she had written a love-filled letter for her aunt which still exists in the State Library of the New South Wales. In this letter she described the beauty of Sydney and the way it appeared to her from the ship. Also she expressed her sadness when she thought about the 7 years of imprisonment that was given to her. Through this letter she even promised her aunt that she will attempt to be as happy as she can in her life.

Mary reaped the maximum benefit out of the new life that was given to her. Though she wished to come back to her protracted family in 1792, she ultimately came back to her native land not for the purpose of settling down (Gilchrist, 2016). Thus, Mary visited her hometown in the form of a rich as well as dignified lady of the British Colony. Mary Reibey got married at the age of 17 to Thomas Reibey, who was known to be a free-traveller and an assistant commander in the ship of the East India company, namely Britannia. Both husband and wife were engaged in running an initial business, highly accomplished commercial activity in the cargo field on the Hawkesbury and this was prior to the time when they returned to the city of Sydney. Furthermore, they were engaged in developing a house as well as a business, currently known as the Reibey Place, which is located passed by the Macquaire, located at the Circular Quay (Gilchrist, 2016). Mary’s husband died in the year 1811 and she had her seven children along with a business to run for herself. Again, in the year 1812, Mary took the initiative of opening a warehouse that was located in the George Street. Moreover, she even widened her shipping business and by the time she turned 40 in the year 1817, the value of her business was determined to lie somewhere between two and three million Australian dollars of the present years (Gilchrist, 2016).

However, in terms of making purchases the worth of these dollars was much higher than that of the present time. Mary Reibey did not marry again and she spent her life taking care of her big family, her expanding commercial activity as well as the interests on her assets in the next forty years of her life. Mary ended her life at her pervasive country-based residence in Newtown on 30th May 1855 when she was 78 years of age (Gilchrist, 2016). She had survived five among her seven children and also few of her grandchildren. Her memories still lie in the twenty dollars note of Australia, that has been depicted o the basis of a mini copy. This printed copy can still be found in the State Library of the New South Wales and it is also known to be the single form of evidence that is available in relation to her existence. Mary Riebey played an influential role in building the first banking organization in the country of Australia. When she first came to Australia, she was a 14 years old captivated girl and emerged to be a well-accomplished as well as dignified lady (Moreover, she emerged as a lady important Christianity associated impact as well as generosity. Her image can be frequently seeing in the $20 dollar note of Australia.

Time & Place

At around the time of the British Colonization in the initial few decades of the later part of the eighteenth century, Mary Reibey identified herself as one of the best people in the eyes of the Governor of Macquarie. According to the concerned Governor, Mary Reibey had the potential to set a perfect example of the importance of combining the accused who had been determined to complete their years of punishment in that particular era of time. Furthermore, Macquarie made this an official system and gave it the name of the Emancipist regulations (Frost et al., 2001) . Moreover, in the era, wherein Mary Reibey lived, the literature of the British structure was ruled by the record of the prisoners as well as the penalties imposed on the accused of that time (Frost et al., 2001). In this context, even Mary was convicted and she was sent to Sydney to serve her life imprisonment period. It was after the year 1767 that the majority of the prisoners were sent to the country of Australia from Britain as well as from Ireland which was very clearly depicted in the situation faced by Mary Reibey, who eventually turned into first commercial lady in the country of Australia. In the early phases of such kinds of transportation of the convicts to the New South Wales or even to the region of the Van Dieman that has holded back many of its attributes that had further led to the enhancement of the transporting the accused in both the seventeenth as well as the 18th century in the Atlantic.

The very significant gap in this respect was the basic non-presence of the private industry of the British Colony. The penalty system which was imposed by the British was initially a component of the transportation structure and it was not considered to have been developed against the transportation structure of that time. Moreover, as the norms of such penalty structure imposed by the British government, the prisoners were supposed to be confronted with strict consequences of their deeds prior to being shipped to other foreign countries. In this context, at the time when Mary committed the offence of stealing a horse in the disguise of a boy, she managed to skip her death penalty because of her being under age, however she was sent as a captive to Sydney. Furthermore, with the passage of time, when the transport structure of the British Colony recoiled in the modern as well as in the time when people were against the colonial setting, the penalties provided in England as well as in the Ireland was brought into a national level ( Walsh, 1967).

Additionally, in that phase of time when the final group of the culprits reached the Western part of Australia in the ship in the year 1868 the handling of the accused workers in both England as well as in Ireland was safely lied with the general people in those days. Furthermore, comparing to the history of the British Colony, even Mary Reibey was arrested for stealing a horse and she was transported for seven years to the city of Sydney in Australia, where she was allocated the task of working as a nurse in the house of Francis Gose who was a Major in the army of that time. Moreover, as per the view points of the people living at around that time as her, Mary was known to have progressively achieved her dignified status as well as her level of popularity in the society of that time. The society in concern was known as the Emancipist Society. Mary was also known to make a great amount of investment in the property of the concerned country.

Conclusion on Mary Reibey Biography

Through this essay, it has been determined that Mary Reibey was the first commercial women in the country of Australia who has slowly achieved the respect as well influence among the people of that time. Moreover, it has also been determined that her journey started from the time when she was caught stealing a horse and that also in the appearance of a boy, who she was acquainted with it and who had died in that particular phase of time. Furthermore, as a form of a penalty she was transported to Sydney where all her journey towards emerging as the first business women had all started. In this essay different scholarly articles were researched and it was also determined that Mary during her job as a nurse met her husband in collaboration with whom she started her own business, which was a big achievement in her life.

References for Mary Reibey Biography

Walsh, G.P. 1967. 'Reibey, Mary (1777-1855)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Available at http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/reibey-mary-2583

Nicole, 2017. Mary Reibey: Australia’s pioneering businesswoman.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Arts Assignment Help

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