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This meticulously researched story of Catherine McMahon is unusual in that it t only covers her time as a convict in Van Diemen's Land but also her life before, and perhaps more importantly, after she became a Pass Convict. The lives of her two husbands are also covered. First John Copley, a Yorkshire man convicted of sheep stealing, who survived a term on Norfolk Island, before meeting and marrying Catherine. They struggled for permission to marry, established a business, were declared insolvent and moved, illegally, to Victoria. They lived and raised a family on the Victorian goldfields before selecting land at Jallukar, near Stawell. Their lives pre and post convict are covered giving a detailed picture of the times. John died in 1876 and Catherine struggled to keep the land. She fought a bushfire, the Lands Department, land selection laws prejudiced against women, the local Shire Council and squatters. She won. She sold the land in 1888 and three years later married Thomas May.