|Age when admitted:||3yrs 6mths|
|Date admitted:||20 Nov 1854|
|Date discharged:||15 Jun 1864, 17 Aug 1864, 7 Aug 1868|
|Institution(s):||Queens Orphan School|
|Discharged to:||Francis Sherrin, New Norfolk, Thomas Price, New Norfolk, brother, Walter Machell|
|Remarks:||born at Female Factory - illegitimate|
|References:||SWD6, 28, 32/1|
Catherine Machall (AKA Matchell) was born illegtimately to Margaret Machall (AKA Marshall) in Launceston May 1851 - her convict mother had absconded from her Master Mr Dean on 13 July 1850. A notice was put out in the Police Gazette on 23 Sept 1850 and she was apprehended and sentenced to 9 months. Between 1852 and 1857, Catherine's mother was in and out of trouble with her masters and spent time in the House of Correction at Launceston and Female Factories at Ross (Jun 1854) and Cascades (April 1855) and finally she received her Certificate of Freedom after her Cascades Female Factory internment.
It is not known if Catherine was with her mother all this time but can only assume so and it is also not known why she was placed in the Queen's Orphange 2 years after her mother won her freedom. No information has come forth on her mother's whereabout after 1857. With Catherine's release, she was assigned to Francis Henry Sherrin in Jun 1864 then to Thomas Price in New Norfolk in August 1864 who then transferred her to his brother Walter on 7 Aug 1868 at which point her indenture expired. It is here that she likely met John Wilton who had been widowed of his second wife in June 1868 (Ann Drayson) and by 14 Jun 1869, Catherine married John who likely needed a mother for his young children, the youngest aged 4 when his mother Ann died.
Catherine had two children, George and Peter, aged 7 and 2 when John Wilton died in 1876, leaving Catherine two more very young children to raise by herself - she may have received assistance from John's daughter Mary Ann who married Samuel Townsend and who was 28 years older than her daughter-in-law, Catherine! As the Townsends lived in Lachlan, they were close to Catherine's abode. Catherine eventually moved to her birth home, Launceston and at least by 1919, she was living at 191 Wellington St, working as a Laundress. She died listed at age 75 in 15 August 1925 and was buried at Carr Villa (Section MON, E 281). Both her sons moved to Victoria after marrying in Launceston.