Mary Reibey

12th of May, 1777 in Lancashire, England, I Mary Reibey was born during the industrial revolution. Two years later after my birth, my parents had died and I was taken in by my grandmother to raise me. At the age of 13 she had sent me to be a house maid but my refusal to do any work I ran away from my employer. I dressed up as a boy and went under the name of James Burrow hoping that no one would discover me. Unfortunately I was caught stealing a horse and was exposed of my real identity. Even though the trial of my identity was disclosed I was sentenced for 7 years and was to be transported to New South Wales.
I Arrived in Sydney, Australia on October 1792, immediately I was assigned as a nursemaid in the household of Francis Grose. Time went by and I met a guy named Thomas Reibey, he was a young Irishman in the service of the East India Co. Time after time he would occasionally propose to me but I would always refuse. Eventually I agreed and we wedded on the store ship ‘Britannia’ on the 7th of September, 1792. After our marriage we were granted land on the Hawkesbury River where we engaged in the grain-carrying business, we were also able to build a farmhouse which we named Reibycroft.
My husband was then able to up take a cargo business along the Hawkesbury River to Sydney. His business thrived enabling him to build a substantial stone residence on a further grant of land near Macquarie Place. On the 5th of April, 1811, Thomas Reibey, my husband had died from ‘coup de soleil’ a disease which we was suffering from while he was in India. He had then left me in the care of our seven children and his entire business.
Luckily I already had had experiences in assisting my husband and managing part of the business while he was absent on voyages. Soon after it became very tough within the economy due to the aggressive competition with the American, Chinese and Indian traders. The business continued to rapidly expand and I was able to open a new warehouse in George...