First Fleet Indent

Jane Langley was one of a small number of First Fleet female convicts recorded as having given birth to a child during the course of the voyage to Australia. She had been tried with Mary Finn for theft at the Old Bailey 14 September 1785. During the trial she was described as ‘a very tall woman, with a very dark complexion and her hair was very rough’.

There appears to be some uncertainty as to which First Fleet ship transported Jane – the Charlotte or Lady Penrhyn. Mollie Gillen in Founding Fathers believes that she may have been sent to the Lady Penrhyn for the birth of her child Henrietta, whose father’s identity is also in doubt.
From Port Jackson Jane and (child) Henrietta were sent to Norfolk Island on 4 March 1790. Jane married Thomas Chipp, a private marine, on Norfolk Island. In November 1794 they left Norfolk Island for Sydney. Jane had seven children by Chipp and stayed with him until her death in 1836.
The two series from which these extracts are taken can be seen as ‘founding documents’ for the penal colony of New South Wales. In both cases, they include records of events that predate the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.

Source: NRS 1150 Colonial Secretary: Indents First Fleet, Second Fleet and ships, 1788-99 [SZ115 page 29], Fiche 620 COD9. Entry: Seven Years Jane Langley [London] September Sessions 1785

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