Sarah Lyons

Sarah Lyons (1763- 1837)

In May 1788 Sarah, aged about 25, went shopping for silk handkerchiefs at a haberdashery shop in London. After discussing her needs with a salesman she bought and paid for some items and ordered others. As she walked from the shop a piece of silk material she had concealed under her skirts fell to the floor and was noticed by the manager. The police were called and Sarah was arrested, tried and sentenced to transportation to NSW for seven years. She was sent to Newgate gaol to await transport to NSW.

The “Lady Juliana” (the first ship to sail for NSW since the First Fleet) carrying 226 female convicts including Sarah sailed from Plymouth on 28th July1789. Following the same route, “Lady Juliana” had a slow voyage arriving at Sydney on 3rd June 1790.

On 1st August 1790 “Surprize” carrying 150 of the female convicts from “Lady Juliana” sailed for Norfolk Island. Sarah was therefore at Norfolk Island when William arrived there in November 1791.

Sarah and William Tunks became lovers on Norfolk Island and a daughter Ann was born of their union. No record can be found of a marriage between William and Sarah, nor of the birth of their daughter. However there is documentation of Sarah, William Tunks and their daughter Ann leaving Norfolk Island for Port Jackson on 7th March 1795.

For the story of the rest of Sarah’s life see the above information on William Tunks.

After William’s death in 1821 Sarah worked as housekeeper for Jacob Isaacs, a business man. Later she lived with her son, John, at Norfolk House, Parramatta. She died on 27th July 1837 aged 74 years and was buried in St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta.

Timeline William and Sarah

Follow their life milestones from their births in England to their deaths in Australia


Tunks Descendants Family Tree

Five generations of descendants of William Tunks and Sarah Lyons.  Update your own part of the Tunks Family Tree.