Mary Reiby (nee Haydock)
Haydock was born in England in 1777, and transported to the Colony of New South
Wales for horse stealing in 1790. When arrested she was dressed as a boy and
using an alias, however her identity was revealed during the trial. She was
13 years old when sentenced. Arriving in Sydney in 1792 she was assigned as
a nursemaid in the household of Major Francis Grose.
In 1794 she married Thomas Reiby, formerly of the East India Company, who established a trading enterprise called Entally House. By 1803 Thomas owned three boats and traded coals and wheat up the Hawkesbury and Hunter rivers. In 1807 Thomas bought a schooner for trading with the Pacfic Islands, however he fell ill after a voyage to India in 1809.
After his death in 1811 Mary was left with seven children and control of a large business which included rural properties, Bass Strait sealing operations and overseas trading. Through enterprise and hard work she became one of the most successful businesswomen in the Colony. As she rose in affluence, she also rose in respectability and socialised in Governor Macquarie's set. Mary opened a new warehouse in 1812 and extended her fleet with the purchase of two more ships in 1817. In 1820 Mary returned to England with her daughters.
Returning to Sydney she began buying property and erecting buldings in the centre of town. Mary was soon able to retire from management and live on her investments. In 1825, noted for her interest in church, education and charity, Mary was appointed one of the governors of the Free Grammar School. She settled in Newtown in her later years, where she lived until her death in 1855.
Mary's face now appears on the Australian $20 note.
Mary Reiby's Death Certificate