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Reibey, Mary (1777–1855)

Reibey, Mary (1777–1855)

Australian entrepreneur. Name variations: Mary Raby or Raiby; Mary Haydock. Born Molly Haydock, May 12, 1777, at Bury, Lancashire, England; died at Newtown, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, May 30, 1855; dau. of James Haydock and Jane (Law) Haydock; m. Thomas Reibey (Raby, or Raiby), Sept 1794; children: 3 sons, 4 daughters.

Orphaned when young, was sent into service but ran away; at 13, while in male disguise and using name James Burrow, was arrested for trying to sell a horse that had been stolen (1791); was sentenced to 7 years transportation (1792); in New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), married a junior officer for East India Co. (1794); with husband, took up farming and prospered; in husband's frequent absences, ran a hotel as well as the business; on death of husband (April 1811), having inherited substantial property, opened new warehouses, bought more ships, and purchased 2,000 acres in Van Diemen's Land; became a noted philanthropist and religious worker.

See also Nance Irvine, Mary Reibey: Molly Incognita (1982); and Women in World History.

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