Born: 1809; Died: 1862; Married: 1. Isabella Bradford 2. Mary Sullivan 3. Mary Harris
Edward Milligan was born in 1809 in County Carlow, Ireland. In 1827 he was convicted of 'Bleach Green robbery' (he stole three shirts from a clothes line) and transported to NSW on the ship 'Morley' to serve seven years. He was assigned to Robert Campbell in Sydney (County of Cook). Upon his release he wrote to Robert Campbell for permission to marry Isabella Bradford, who was also assigned to Campbell. The marriage occurred in Sydney on 12 November 1832. It is reported in the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser of 30 November 1841 that Edward didn't stay long with Isabella before he absconded. Without divorcing, on 1 January 1838 he married Mary Sullivan, whom he took out of the Parramatta Female Factory. Edward was charged with bigamy.
Meanwhile, in 1840 Isabella was convicted and sentenced at Liverpool for drunkenness and imprisoned in the Parramatta Female Factory under the name of 'Isabella Bradford', dropping the Mulligan name. She died two years later under her maiden name and was buried at Windsor.
Edward received a Ticket of Leave 20 July 1832 and a Certificate of Freedom 30 May 1834. This Certificate was replaced on 2 December 1840 because of damage to the original certificate.
Little is known about Edward's movements in the decade 1841 to 1851. Family tradition has it that he received a grant of land at Mulligans Flat, which is named after him. However, the descendants of another Mulligan convict - Cornelius Mulligan - also claim that Mulligans Flat was named after their ancestor.
Edward reappears in 1851 married to Mary Harris and working for Henry Hall as a gardener at 'Charnwood'. No record can be found of such a marriage however. Mary was born on 5 February 1828 at Harlington, Bedfordshire, England. She arrived in Australia at age 18 aboard 'Penny Park' as a servant assisting Mr & Mrs Richard and Joanna Bowen, and their two children.
Edward and Mary produced five children, all born at 'Charnwood': Ellen born 16 March 1852; Catherine (6 June 1854); William Edmund (24 August 1856); Thomas (17 April 1859); and James (24 April 1861).
Edward was sick with heart problems for the last few years of his life and was treated at Queanbeyan Hospital during 1861 for 'organic disease of the heart' before dying at 'Charnwood' on 10 January 1862. He is buried in the Roman Catholic section of Riverside Cemetery, Queanbeyan (the exact location is not known to the cemetery administrator).
Shortly after Edward's death on 22 May 1862, Mary married George Robert Clarke, another employee of 'Charnwood' (and a former convict), at St John's Church of England, Canberra. George and Mary and all the children moved to Cudal, NSW in 1874. The marriage didn't last however and George came back to the region he was familiar with. George died 27 April 1889 near Yass. On 3 October 1896 at Molong, NSW Mary married yet another time to John Crabtree who died 22 June 1909.
Mary died 15 March 1918 at Canowindra and is buried in Canowindra Cemetery with John Crabtree.
- Christine Whitelaw, 2005. Who was granny Crabtree?: convicts, bushrangers, pioneers stories of our ancestors. Moruya NSW. C.Whitelaw.