Ann Taylor (d.1799)

ANN TAYLOR was an Irish convict who was tried and convicted in Dublin, Ireland and sentenced to seven years transportation in July 1790. She had a previous charge on her record at the time of her trial. TAYLOR sailed from Cork, Ireland per Sugar Cane (1793) on 12 April 1793 and arrived in the Colony of New South Wales on 17 September 1793.

On 18 March 1794, she married SIMON TAYLOR at St. John’s, Parramatta. In early April 1799, however, ANN and SIMON became intoxicated together and retired to the bush. The next morning she was discovered lying dead, with evident marks of violence on her. ANN was buried at the Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery) on 6 April 1799 and SIMON was promptly charged with her murder.

When David Collins recounted SIMON’s arrest and subsequent trial and execution, he attributed the whole to abuse of alcohol and was in no doubt about SIMON’s guilt. RICHARD RICE, the gaoler and “left-handed flogger” served as hangman, according to SIMON’s headstone inscription. However, the headstones on ANN and SIMON’s graves, presumably paid for and erected some time after by close friends of theirs, indicate that not everyone was convinced of SIMON’s guilt. ANN’s headstone is still extant, but SIMON’s is not. His inscription was fortunately reproduced in an 1834 edition of the Australian—it is the only indication that SIMON was ever buried there as he does not appear in the St. John’s Parish Burials.


  • Alternate: ANN SMITH
  • Alternate: ANNE SMITH
  • Alternate: ANNE TAYLOR
  • Colloquial: “His old tin pot”


  • Born: c.1763 or 1773
  • Charged: < sometimes before July 1790 (a previous charge)
  • Tried and convicted on another offence: July 1790, Dublin, Ireland
  • Sentenced to seven years transportation: July 1790, Dublin, Ireland
  • Sailed per Sugar Cane: 12 April 1793, Cork, Ireland
  • Arrived per Sugar Cane: 17 September 1793, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, Colony of New South Wales
  • Married SIMON TAYLOR, a Third Fleet convict per Matilda (1791): 18 March 1794, St. John’s, Parramatta
  • Murdered: c. 6 April 1799, Kings Highway, Parramatta
  • Buried with a recorded age of 26 years (but note that this is inconsistent with convict indents): 6 April 1799, Parramatta Burial Ground (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta)
  • Husband accused of her murder and taken into custody and reserved for trial: c. 6 April 1799, Parramatta
  • Husband tried and convicted of ANN’s murder: 16 May 1799–17 May 1799, Court of Criminal Judicature
  • SIMON received death sentence: 17 May 1799, Court of Criminal Judicature
  • SIMON executed by RICHARD RICE: 20 May 1799, Parramatta
  • Headstones erected at the TAYLORS’ graves indicating SIMON’s innocence: c. 1799, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

Burial Location

  • Section 2, Row O, No. 9, St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

Related Content

‘I Am But Sleeping Here’: The Taylors

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: On 31 May 1794, Anne Smith and Simon Taylor exchanged their wedding vows at Parramatta in Burramattagal Country. Before the decade was over, the bride, the groom, and the first of their three witnesses, Simon Burn, were all dead as a result of unrelated violent crimes. Indeed, Anne’s Sugar Cane (1793) shipmate, Mary Martin, would also die a terrible death at the hands of a murderer or ‘gang of ruffians’ within the close-knit community, while the Taylors’ Field of Mars neighbour, John Kenny, would have the dubious honour of becoming a rare recipient of the worst punishment reserved for murderers when he was gibbetted at Parramatta for the murder of Mary Smyth in 1807. It says a lot about the colony that horrific murders were so commonplace. Read more>>


Curious Epitaph, Simon Taylor, Ann Taylor, Murder, Parramatta, 1799, 1790s, Old Parramatta, Old Parramattans, St. John's Cemetery Project, St. John's Cemetery, Parramatta Burial Ground
Domestic Intelligence,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 25 November 1834, p. 2. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia.


Primary Sources

  • David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales From Its First Settlement, in January 1788, to August 1801, Vol. II, (London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1802), pp. 137, 141 [of pdf], (Sydney: University of Sydney Library, 2003),, accessed online 5 August 2019.
  • New South Wales Government, “Simon Taylor, Murder of Ann Smith otherwise Ann Taylor, 16–17 May 1799,” Appendix A: Schedule of Prisoners Tried, 1788–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Minutes of Proceedings, 1788–1815, Series: NRS 2700; Item: [X905]; Reel 2651; Page 199, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales). See Catalogue
  • New South Wales Government, “Simon Taylor, Murder of Ann Smith otherwise Ann Taylor, 16–17 May 1799,” Appendix D: Indictments, Informations and Related Papers, 1796–1815 – Court of Criminal Jurisdiction: Informations, Depositions and Related Papers, 1796–1824, Series: NRS 2703Item: [5/1145]; Reel: 2392; Page: 65, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales). See Catalogue
  • “Burial of ANN TAYLOR, Wife of SIMON TAYLOR, aged 26 years,” 6 April 1799, in Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • “Marriage of SIMON TAYLOR and ANN SMITH,” 18 March 1794, in Parish Marriage Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Domestic Intelligence,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 25 November 1834, p. 2.

Secondary Sources


# Convict

# Irish

# Trial Place: Dublin, Ireland

# Punishment: Seven Years Transportation

# Ship: Sugar Cane (1793)

# Marriage Place: St. John’s, Parramatta

# Murder victim

# Burial year: 1799

# Grave: marked