Mary and Elizabeth MacNamarra, ex Lady Kennaway
Mary and Elizabeth McNamarra, age 16 and 17 on their arrival in on the Lady Kennaway in 1848, are presumed to be sisters. They were both hired by John Bullen, of Merri Creek (now the northern suburbs of Melbourne). See Irish Famine Memorial Database here.
Their employer, John Bullen, must have been a man of some social standing; it was reported in The Argus on 8 August 1855 that he was to be appointed a Magistrate for the colony of Victoria.
The following newspaper article is believed to refer to Mary MacNamarra and her sister Elizabeth. It represents only a glimpse of the sisters’ lives, but reveals much about Mary McNamarra’s character, and the events surrounding her sister.
In the Argus on 3 December 1855, Mary MacNamara, described as “a dairykeeper, residing in North Melbourne”, took her brother-in-law, Edward Fallen, to court for “using violent language and threatening her life”. Mary's sister had left Fallen due to his “habit of ill-using his wife for a long period of time”, and she went to live with Mary.
Mary showed a strength of character not only to stand up to Fallen but go through with the charge. Fallen was bound at £50 to “keep the peace for twelve months”.
It is not known what became of Mary and Elizabeth MacNamarra after this event.
© Barbara Barclay (2015)