Mary (Bligh) O'Connell
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Mary (Bligh) O'Connell (1783 - 1864)

Lady Mary O'Connell formerly Bligh aka Putland
Born in Lambeth, London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 1805 in England, United Kingdommap
Wife of — married 8 May 1810 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Oct 2016
This page has been accessed 1,068 times.


Notables Project
Mary (Bligh) O'Connell is Notable.

As Mrs John Putland, Mary Bligh was the Lady of Government House, Colony of New South Wales (Australia) during the period her father was the Governor of the colony. As Mrs Maurice O'Connell, she was once more the Lady of Government House whilst her husband was acting governor of the colony.

Mary Bligh was born on 1st April 1783 at Douglas, Isle of Man, the daughter of Captain William Bligh RN, Governor of New South Wales 1806-08, and his wife Elizabeth (Betsey) Betham.

In 1805, she married John Putland, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy who had served in the victory of the Battle of the Nile under the command of Horatio Nelson. John was appointed aide de camp to Mary's father so that she could accompany him to New South Wales. John died of tuberculious on 4th January 1808, just weeks before the infamous mutiny by the New South Wales Corps that deposed her father. John was buried in the grounds of (the original) Government House.

In 1810, Mary Putland was courted by Maurice O'Connell, encouraged by Elizabeth, the wife of the colony's new governor, Colonel Lachlan Macquarie. Maurice had come to the colony with the Macquaries as he was the commanding officer of the 73rd Regiment of Foot.[1] Only days before the ship on which the Blighs was to depart the colony, Maurice proposed marriage. Mary readily accepted and the couple were married on 8th May 1810 at Government House. Mary remained in Sydney with her new husband, while her father returned to England alone; later to be promoted Admiral. It was the tensions between Mary, as the commanding officer's wife and daughter of William Bligh, and those who had deposed Bligh that caused Macquarie to request the 73rd Regiment by re-stationed. The unit was re-located to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1814.[1]

As Lady O'Connell, Mary returned to Sydney in 1838 beside her husband, now Major General Sir Maurice O'Connell; as he took up the appointment of commander of all British troops in New South Wales and a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. That year they built their residence, Tarmons. Maurice was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1841 and, in 1845-46, served as acting governor between the terms of Governors George Gipps and Charles FitzRoy. Once again, Mary was the Lady of Government House, but this time in the recently completed "new" Government House (still in use today as the Governor's residence).[1]

After the death of her second husband in 1848, Mary returned to Europe, living mostly in Paris.[2] She died in London on 4th November 1864.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wikipedia profile: Maurice Charles O'Connell; accessed 20 Sep 2019
  2. SOURCES: 1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Her Father's Daughter: The Story of Mary Putland, Captain Bligh's doughty daughter!". Site Gazette. Friends of the First Government House Site Inc. 8 (3). July 2003. ISSN 1326-2017. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 2. ^ a b "Putland, Mary (1783-1864)", Trove, 2012, retrieved 5 March 2015 3. ^ a b c "O'Connell, Mary". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 4. ^ "Classified Advertising.". The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. NSW: National Library of Australia. 4 January 1807. p. 1. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 5. ^ "Modelling the First Government House". Museum of Sydney. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 6. ^ "Coup-ee: an Armed Insurrection – 26 January 1808". Botany Bay Medallion. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 7. ^ Ward, R., (1975), p. 36 8. ^ "The Governor Exhibition Guide" (PDF). The Governor – Lachlan Macquarie. State Library of NSW. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 9. ^ "TO CORRESPONDENTS.". The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. NSW: National Library of Australia. 12 May 1810. p. 2. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 10. ^ "DEATH OF SIR MAURICE O'CONNELL.". Sydney Chronicle. NSW: National Library of Australia. 27 May 1848. p. 2. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 11. ^ "FUNERAL OF SIR MAURICE O'CONNELL.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 30 May 1848. p. 2. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 12. ^ Frappell, Samantha (2012). "Tarmons". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 5 March 2015.


  • Bligh-150 was created by Chad Farrell through the import of Farrell Family Tree.ged on Sep 29, 2016.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Is Mary your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message private message a profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of Mary's DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 1
Mary Bligh
Mary Bligh


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.

B  >  Bligh  |  O  >  O'Connell  >  Mary (Bligh) O'Connell

Categories: Australia, Notables | Colony of New South Wales (1788-1900) | England, Notables | Notables