This article is about a convict girl. For other uses, see Elizabeth.
"Winston is a prickly porcupine. If ever I speak to him, his answers are miserly—almost as if he cannot bear to spare me too many words. His lofty attitude always reminds me that I am a convict-girl and am thus to be despised. At the same time, he tells his papa that our legal system is unfair and that it should be changed."
—Elizabeth Harvey[2]

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Harvey (born c. 1777) was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey, and the older sister of Edward. She worked as a miliner's apprentice in London, after her parents passed away. Lizzie was wrongly accused of stealing and transported to Sydney Cove.


Early life

Elizabeth was born sometime during 1777[1] to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey. She lived in the small village of Cranham in the Cotswolds area of west England. Her father was a farmer, who leased land from George Grainger, while her mother worked as a dressmaker for George's wife, Jane.

After her parents' death, Lizzie worked in London as a miliner's apprentice and Edward stayed with their mother's younger sister, Flossie. Lizzie was falsely accused of stealing a dress and sent to Newgate Prison, where she met her "protector", Sarah Burke. After a eight and a half month journey on the Lady Penrhyn, they reached Sydney Cove.


Sarah and Lizzie worked as housekeepers for Henry Dodd in Rose Hill for the following two years. Lizzie traded with Winston Russell for his journal, which she used to write to her brother. A few weeks later, Lizzie saved a young girl, named Emily, from the well-meaning, Simple Sam. Emily's and Winston's father, James Russell, employed Lizzie to work as his daughter's caretaker.

Lizzie moved to the Russells hut, and spent everyday teaching and taking care of Emily. In May 1790, James Russell, who worked as a surgeon, was transferred to Sydney Cove. Lizzie was excited to finally leave Rose Hill, but sad to be far away from Sarah. They settled in their new home, after a few days journey. The conditions of their new house were more pleasant than their last. Lizzie continued caring for Emily, who was learning the alphabet quickly.

In late March, Lizzie and Winston helped hide Simple Sam, who was accused of kidnapping. An angry mob eventually found Sam and had him hanged, despite the accusations being false. A few days later, Emily became sick and passed away. Following his Emily's death, James and his son were ordered back to England. Lizzie asked Winston to give her journal to her brother, before leaving. She presumably went back to live in Rose Hill with Sarah.

Personality and traits

Elizabeth was extremely homesick, often dreaming of her old home in Cranham and her family. Her experiences, including her parents' deaths, time in prison and the voyage to Australia, left her somewhat traumatized. She was also hardworking and obedient.

She had a high level of intelligence, especially if compared to the other convicts. Lizzie was able to read and write, and also talked like a "gentry".

Family tree

The Harvey Family Tree
Mr. Harvey
Mrs. Harvey
Elizabeth Harvey
(b. 1777)
Edward Harvey
(b. 1780)

Behind the scenes


Elizabeth as she appears on the UK cover

  • Elizabeth is the main character of Goldie Alexander's Surviving Sydney Cove (published in the UK as Transported).
  • She is partly based on the real person, Elizabeth Hayward, who was the youngest female convict on the Lady Penrhyn.[3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Transported, Goldie Alexander, page 46
  2. Transported, Goldie Alexander, page 121
  3. Transported, Goldie Alexander, Historical Note, page 179
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