By Lucy Frost
From the crowded tenements of Edinburgh to the feminine manufacturing unit nestling within the shadow of Mt Wellington, dozens of Scottish girls convicts have been exiled to Van Diemen's Land with their little ones. it is a wealthy and evocative account of the lives of girls on the backside of society 200 years in the past. within the early 19th century, crofters and villagers streamed into the burgeoning towns of Scotland, and households splintered. Orphan women, unmarried moms and girls all alone all struggled to feed and dress themselves. For a few, petty robbery turned part of existence. Any lady deemed "habite & reputation a thief" could locate herself ahead of the excessive courtroom of Justiciary, attempted for one more minor robbery and sentenced to transportation "beyond Seas." Lucy Frost memorably paints the portrait of a boatload of girls and their little ones who arrived in Hobart in 1838. rather than serving time in legal, the ladies have been despatched to paintings as unpaid servants within the homes of settlers. Feisty Scottish convicts, unaccustomed to bowing and scraping, frequently annoyed their middle-class employers, who charged them with insolence, or refusing to paintings, or getting inebriated. A stint within the woman manufacturing facility turned their punishment. many ladies survived the convict method and formed their very own lives when they have been loose. They married, had kids and located a spot in the neighborhood. Others, although, persisted to be stricken by blunders and failures until eventually demise.
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Extra resources for Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas
In fact, as the True Colonist told its readers on Friday 16 March, this was an inquest ‘some of the neighbours, much to their credit, had demanded to be held on the body of the little victim’, a ‘poor little helpless, innocent child’ named Thomas Vowles who had entered the Female Factory with his mother as a healthy infant, had sickened there, and was retrieved by his father in time to die at home. On the following Tuesday the Colonial Times gave readers a blow-byblow account of the inquest in a lengthy article of small print covering four and a half columns.
They were probably matched to their new employers by the Factory’s superintendent and matron, John and Mary Hutchinson, since it seems unlikely that Josiah Spode was interested in masters without social or political clout. Most people approved by the Assignment Board were socially unimportant, small shopkeepers in Hobart or in villages dotted across the island, struggling farmers on bush blocks, minor officials in the government or lower-ranking officers in the army. For masters far from town, it took time to make the arrangements for a new servant to be collected, which may explain why 40 women remained on the Factory list for two weeks, and 28 for three.
Spode passed the problem on to the Colonial Secretary for the Lieutenant Governor to deal with as a medical matter outside the responsibility of the Convict Department. Lieutenant Governor Franklin directed the Principal Medical Officer to investigate, and he in turn sent an assistant colonial surgeon to examine the women. The visit was a fiasco. Retreating quickly to town, the doctor reported that the ‘outrageous and insubordinate’ women of the crime class met his ‘calm’ request with ‘general shouts and uproarious laughter’.
Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas by Lucy Frost