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Seminar Registrations are now open

The Female Convicts Research Centre warmly invites you to register for our next seminar Riots, repression and reform: the Cascades Female Factory.

We have some fascinating papers lined up, telling us about many facets of life at the major institution for female convicts in Van Diemen’s Land – as well as music from the convict period. To be held on Sunday 24 April 2016, from 9.30am to 3.00pm at the Hobart Town Hall, Macquarie Street, Hobart, Tasmania

Cost: $30 (includes morning tea and light lunch) to be paid in cash on the day. To register, please complete the form on the Seminar Registration page.



Acknowledgement to FCRC


The work of FCRC is praised in an article by Janet McCalman et al: 'Building a Life Course Dataset from Australian Convict Records: Founders & Survivors: Australian Life Courses in Historical Context, 1803–1920' in the recent release of Gerrit Bloothooft et al. (eds), Population Reconstruction, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2015.​  The article is a great overview of how the FCRC gather data and how it's used by the Founders and Survivors project.


New Book by Stephen Lucas This book tells the story of an Australian family from a Quaker village in Ireland, through transportation, Eureka Stockade and Outback Queensland. It examines the incidence of PTSD in female convicts and transmission to their offspring. Details of the book along with purchase details can be found at


From the Edges of Empire: convict women from beyond the British Isles:  edited by Lucy Frost & Colette McAlpine, the latest publication fromCONVICT WOMEN’S PRESS INC was launched by The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Sue Hickey, on Sunday 8th November.

Most Australians today will be surprised to learn that women were sent to the Australian colonies after trials in Mauritius, the Cape Colony (South Africa), India, Honduras, or Barbados. This book tells stories of women born in places outside the British Isles, women whose journeys across the world began well before they stood in a courtroom to be sentenced to transportation “beyond the Seas”.


Latest Release by Alison Alexander:

Corruption & Skullduggery: Edward Lord, Maria Riseley and Hobart's tempestuous beginnings

The story of Van Diemen's Land's most successful female convict, set among the corruption, drunkenness, immorality and general shenanigans of early Hobart. Book is available online at


Convict Women’s Press Inc now has its own website, with an online shop, at  FCRC members are reminded that the two organisations are separately incorporated. If you would like to become a member of CWP, contact the organisation at:


Two new books from Douglas Wilkie.

The Journal of Madame Callegari

This tells the true story behind Alexandre Dumas’s 1855 book The Journal of Madame Giovanni. Who was Madame Giovanni? She was really Madame Callegari. And before that, she was Louisa La Grange a young Frenchwoman transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1843. The story of her adventures must be one of the most remarkable tales of a woman’s travels in the mid nineteenth century. Brochure (PDF) on The Journal of Madame Callegari


The Life and Loves of Eugene Rossiet Lennon, Professeur Extraordinaire

Louisa La Grange’s original accomplice in crime was Eugene Lennon. He too was transported to Van Diemen’s Land. But he led a totally different life as a tutor, teacher, villain and hero. Eventually, after marrying and moving to Geelong he was head master of the Flinders National School for nearly thirty years and was hailed as ‘the father of modern education’ in Geelong. His school still exists today, as does his legacy. Brochure (PDF) on Eugene Lennon


Details of both books along with purchase details can be found on the Historia Incognita website at

Recent Updates

  • Seminars - Seminar 24th April 2016: Programme and Registration now available (10 February 2016)
  • Petitions - Mary Braid, Catherine McKay, Agnes Ogilivie, Margaret Watson per Hector 1835 (10 February 2016)
  • Petitions - Jane Gardener, Eliza Lock, Frances Marten, Hannah Mathers, Mary Noble, Mary Onions, Mary Taylor, Harriett Walless, Catherine Welch, Ann Westwood per Edward 1834. (6 February 2016)
  • Genealogy - Transported by mistake - Mary Clayton, Hindostan 1839 and Eliza Ellis per St.Vincent 1850; Letter from condemmed husband Thomas Sale to his wife Ann Jones per Cadet 1849  (26 December 2015)
  • Genealogy - A new page on our website introducing the research and transcription work of FCRC volunteers working in Tasmania, on the mainland and overseas tracing each convict woman’s story.