2-Ann Lawson was born on 3 Feb 1837 and died on 12 Jun 1884 in Deloraine, Tasmania at age 47. Edward Griffith was probably her the father but was not named in the birth record. Her mother, Euphemia, later married him and Ann was sometimes known as Ann Griffiths.
Ann had a relationship with John Wignal. John was born about 1826 and died on 16 Jul 1869 in Launceston, Tasmania aged about 43. They had two daughters:
- Jessie Maude and
Ann next married Samuel Davenport on 28 Mar 1872 in the private house of Mrs Ann Wignall, Greens Creek (now Frankford) Tasmania. Samuel was born about 1831 and died on 16 Oct 1898 in the New Town Charitable Institution, Hobart, Tasmania aged about 67.
Ann next had a relationship with an unknown person. They had one son:
- Tasman George.
Ann was born in February 1837 and once weaned, placed in the Female Factory prison nursery. On 10 Mar 1838 her mother was charged with "appearing drunk at the Female House of Correction, where she had permission to see her child". Her mother married Edward Griffith at St Matthews Anglican Church at New Norfolk on 23 Nov 1840 and, with a Ticket of Leave, she was able to claim and care for her Anne. However, Euphemia was sentenced to 14 days hard labour in the Female Factory for drunkenness on 4 Dec 1843 and then she was sentenced to a further two months and her Ticket of Leave was suspended on 26 Jan 1844. As a result, on 6 Mar 1844, she was admitted to the Girls Orphan School at New Town.
Just over a year later, on 31 May 1845 Ann was returned to her mother’s care. But it was not to last and she was returned, this time known as Anne Griffiths on 29 Jan 1847. She was to remain there until, aged 14, she was assigned to A. McDowell of Bothwell on 28 May 1851.
Archibald McDowell was a Scottish immigrant who arrived with the Murray families on the Portland in 1824. He was one of the first settlers at Bothwell (there were just three houses), purchasing Logan about 1825. He was the district catechist and commissariat clerk and was said to be very kind to the convicts in his care.
Notwithstanding his positive influence, Ann took up with John Wignall from the Huon River district where he was a sawyer and, at age 17 on 6 Apr 1854, she bore his child, Jessie Maude. It was less than two years later when she both she and John were charged with drunk and disorderly offences. She appeared in Court again in 1862:
The Hobart Mercury Tuesday 6 Feb
Before N. Gresley
Assaulting the Police – Ann Wignell pleaded guilty to assaulting sub-Inspector Dorsett in the execution of his duty.
The defendant had been taken into custody for using obscene language, when she threw stones at the Sub-Inspector. She was fined 10 shillings.
She was before the Hobart court again in 1865. John died in Launceston in 1869 and his 43-year-old wife Ann migrated to the Deloraine district. She served several short prison terms for drunkenness related offences and married widower Samuel Davenport in 1872, although that marriage does not appear to have lasted long because he married again in 1880.
The Launceston Examiner 29 April 1875
Ann and one other stole clothes on 20 April - a group of women were drinking in a house in York St. Convicted under provision of 31 Vict. No 12 during week ended 8 May 1875. Ann Wignell, free, offence larceny, sentenced to 3 months aged 47, height 5’ 4”
Euphemia had been discharged to Ann’s care in 1876 but she was returned to the New Town Charitable Institution when daughter Ann was sentenced to three months’ gaol in September 1877. In July 1882, Ann bore a child Tasman George Wignall, father un-named. She was sentenced to nine months gaol a few months later and the baby died while she was incarcerated. In June 1884 she died in Deloraine, according to the inquest, of heart disease exacerbated by a long history of alcohol abuse.
Ann failed to overcome the traumas of life in the Female Factory Nursery, the erratic few years with her mother and the harsh environment of the Orphan Schools. She made an unfortunate choice of partner and, like her mother, allowed alcohol to destroy any chance of a successful life. Her only surviving child Jessie fared much better.