Convicted of stealing a bolt of muslin valued at six pounds in 1788, Barnsley was transported for seven years. John Nicol described her as 'a noted sharper and shop-lifter' whose family 'for one hundred years back, had been swindlers and highwaymen'. According to Nicol, she petitioned the government agent to wear her own clothes instead of convict dress and she was 'very kind to her fellow convicts, who were poor. They were all anxious to serve her. She was a queen among them'.