Have I Found Australia’s Secret King?

I’ve written a book revealing clues to a secret hidden until now in the Third Fleet of female convicts sent to the new colony of Australia.

The ship was named the ‘Mary Ann’.

Here is the cover of my true story showing a painting of a small boat with secrets being smuggled ashore even before she offloaded her cargo of suffering female convicts.

So what was the big hurry?

This rare unknown painting shows a small boat leaving the ‘Mary Ann’, the only all-female convict ship and one of eleven to sail to Australia from England in 1791 as the Third Fleet.

She sailed hastily a month ahead of the rest “under strange circumstances”.

“You have discerned an amazing story.” – Writer’s Digest

Right from the start there’s a paranormal mystery.

Why did the ‘Mary Ann’, the only all-female convict ship among the Third Fleet of convicts to Australia, leave England in 1791 in such a hurry before the rest of the fleet and “under strange circumstances”?

Who was the Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ and what was his true shocking identity?

Have I found the unsuspected unknown missing children of George IV?

Even legitimate children.

What happened to them?

Maybe I know.

ORDER your copy o this explosive new book HERE.

Best wishes.


I’ve written a knockout book to expose a cover-up.

What was the secret of the ‘Mary Ann’ all-female convict ship in the Third Fleet to Australia?

Only a ghost could have known about it.

Because the truth was covered up and the evidence destroyed.

Then 200 years later a paranormal experience, quite a few in fact, fell into my lap and off I went on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Across 5 countries.

I was in Australia and the cover-up occurred in England.

Involving the Prince of Wales.

And his mistress.

They were married in a secret ceremony.

Officially it never happened.

I’m not so sure.

Back then a liaison between a Protestant and a Catholic was dynamite.

At the time the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots were causing fear amongst the population of London.

This happened in London.

I was in Australia.

The Prince of Wales and a Catholic widow.

That would have been dynamite too.

Officially it never happened.

My paranormal clues said otherwise.

And so, sensing an amazing story, I went for it.

I responded to the clues.

Which led me to Regency England, New Zealand and, yes, right back home to Australia.

I uncovered an amazing story

The writer’s magazine Writer’s Digest called it a “blockbuster”.

And more.

You can read the awesome reviews HERE.

Or buy my blockbuster 230 page book HERE.

It’s a “fun and entertaining” book says another reviewer..

See for yourself.

Love and Peace.


It’s a Cover-Up!

. The evidence was destroyed.

But a ghost led me to paranormal clues –

* to unknown secret lives of some British Royals,

* the English Doctor banished to the antipodes for knowing too much,

* mystery ships like the ‘Lady Nelson’ and the ‘Mary Ann’,

* a secret Royal marriage,

* Australia’s only military coup,

* a sequel to ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ involving William Bligh,

* an unsung hero of the South Seas


It’s a “fun and entertaining” book says one reviewer.

See for yourself.

Love and Peace.


What Was The Mystery of the All Female Convict Ship the ‘Mary Ann’?

The ‘Mary Ann’ was a convict ship, the only ship of the First Fleets to Australia to carry an all-female cargo.

It’s said she sailed “under strange circumstances”.


One hundred and fifty female convicts were brought to the ‘Mary Ann’ from counties and cities throughout England. An article in The Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette describes a Court Session at the Old Bailey in 1789 when the sentence of Death was first handed down to some of the women who were later transported on the ‘Mary Ann’.

The Judge at the Old Bailey passed sentence of death upon 26 capital convicts. He stated that it was a circumstance much to be lamented, and too plainly deplored the increasing depravity of the times, to have so many wretched criminals standing at the bar to be prematurely cut off from society for their several offences.

The boys, eight in number, and the seven women presented a most dreadful spectacle; they continued several minutes in the bar, some on their knees, filling the Court with their lamentations and cries for mercy.

It is the determination of Government, that all future pardons shall be on condition of transportation for life. And as a further means of clearing the country of thieves and vagabonds the destination of all felons convicted on transportable offences, is to be New South Wales (as Australia was called then).

Over fifty-two years from 1788 to 1840 when transportation of convicts came to an end, more than 12,000 women were transported to New South Wales. A woman transported on the ‘Charlotte’ in 1788 could potentially have been great grandmother to one of the last sent on the ‘Surry’ in 1840.

“With a devil-may-care attitude aided by subterfuge, coquettishness, prostitution or redemption, many in their own way embraced their new life.” (www.jenwilletts.com)

Of the female convicts sent on the ‘Mary Ann’, Susannah Bray was sentenced for 7 years for stealing a bedsheet, Mary Brown to Life for shoplifting (commuted to 7 years), Sarah Donnelly to 7 years for stealing 10 yards of silk ribbon.

The ‘Mary Ann’ was the only ship in the fleet to carry exclusively female, and no male, convicts. Although officially one of the Third Fleet the ‘Mary Ann’ sailed independently of the rest of the fleet, leaving England forty days before the first of the other ships.

I wonder why?

Under the command of her part-owner, Mark Munroe, the 298 ton vessel sailed from England on the 16 February, 1791, arriving in New South Wales on 9 July. This was the fastest voyage yet made by any ship of the three fleets. Bateson in ‘The Convict Ships’ reports a cargo of 150 female convicts but the records of ‘Shipping Arrivals & Departures, Sydney, 1788-1825’ show this to be incorrect. The ‘Mary Ann’ (officially) carried 141 female convicts, six children and one free woman.

There were a number of indications of a hasty departure. As reported by Collins, the Master of the ship “had not any private papers on board (but what added to the disappointments everyone experienced), he had not bought a single newspaper, and having been but a few weeks from Greenland before sailing for this country, he was destitute of any kind of information.” (“An Account of the English Colony of New South Wales” by David Collins)

After a gruelling 143 days at sea “possibly because she called at only one port en route to refresh her prisoners with fresh provisions” a very strange thing happened. “The Master landed a boat in a bay on the coast about 15 miles to the southward of Botany Bay; but no other observation of any consequence to the colony, than that it was a bay in which a boat may land.” (Collins)

How odd.

There’s more.

“Of the ten sail of transports [the Third Fleet] lately arrived, five, after delivering their cargo, were to proceed on the southern whaling fisheries – the ‘Mary Ann’, ‘Matilda’, ‘William and Mary’, ‘Salamanda’ and ‘Brittania’. Two of the whalers, ‘Matilda’ and ‘Mary Ann’, came in from the sea the day on which the others arrived. The former found a boat in a bay on the coast six miles to the southward of Port Stephens …” (‘The Convict Ships’ by Charles Bateson)

First, a boat was landed in a bay apparently before offloading the sick and dying women passengers. Then, later, a boat was found in a bay south of the main settlement.

What were these boats up to?

Read about this all female convict ship and other strange but true mysteries in my acclaimed book.

Best wishes

Neil Smith

PS. To read the whole story of the ‘Mary Ann’ and of my chasing the clues to the mystery around the world click here.