Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 222

Biographical information provided by Michael Keir-Morrissey for the He Tohu exhibition:

Mary-Anne (or Mary Ann) Perrett was born in England in May 1855. At eight years old she was orphaned and adopted by her aunt and uncle. By 18 she was a general servant in the household of an innkeeper in Hampshire and a year later she became a dressmaker for Elizabeth Kipling in London.

Elizabeth's half-brother, Edward Hancock, was a frequent visitor, and in 1874 Mary Ann became pregnant with his child. They fled to Paris and their daughter was born on Jersey Island. Eventually the couple married in London in 1876 and they sailed to New Zealand in November of that year. They changed ships in Melbourne and arrived in New Zealand on the Albion in January 1877 and settled in Christchurch. Here they had six further children.

Although successful at first, Edward’s businesses collapsed and in 1884 he was declared bankrupt. He made some money photographing people on the New Brighton pier, and as a floorwalker in a department store, and Mary-Anne contributed to the family’s funds by dressmaking and hand rolling cigarettes for a tobacconist.

Mary-Anne died in 1904, aged 49.

Related images:

M. Hancock M. Hancock

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'M. Hancock', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 26-Jun-2018

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