The Female Convicts Research Centre promotes interest in the female convicts of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), by encouraging and facilitating research.
From 1803 to 1853, 12,500 female convicts were transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), as punishment for crimes, mainly theft. After serving their sentences they were released into the community. Their transportation left a lasting legacy.
The Female Convicts Research Centre encourages research into these female convicts, mainly through its database, website and twice-yearly seminars.
When you register with the FCRC, you gain access to our database where you will find information entered by our volunteers as we attempt to reconstruct the life course of each female convict.
We update this website and our database regularly and sometimes daily, as our volunteer transcribers continue to provide new information. Please bookmark this page and return soon.
White Rag Burning: Irish Women Committing Arson to be Transported
by Dianne Snowden
George Town and District Historical Society invites you to:
The 11th BIENNIAL CONFERENCE
of the George Town & District Historical Society Inc.
“COLONY TO COLONY - The Influence of Tasmanians on the Settlement of Victoria”
SATURDAY, 10 NOVEMBER (8.45 am for 9.15 am start to 4.15 pm)
Speakers and Topics:
Judy Walsh The David Collins Settlement at Sorrento
For bookings and further information:
From the Shadows Inc.
Following on from the hugely successful Footsteps towards Freedom project, a new not-for-profit project, known as From the Shadows, has been established to raise funds for three statues by renowned Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie. Rowan created the Footsteps towards Freedom statues on Hobart’s waterfront, receiving global media attention. The newly commissioned statues will include two statues of children for the Orphan Schools in New Town and a female convict statue for the Cascades Female Factory. Three community organisations have been acknowledged as Foundation Supporters: the Female Convicts Research Centre, the Friends of the Orphan Schools and South Hobart Progress Association. The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) is committed to the project as a Foundation Sponsor.
Visit the From the Shadows website at https://fromtheshadows.org.au
Contact email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can follow From the Shadows on Facebook.
Call for submissions for the next CWP book
Convict Women's Press has decided that their next book will be Convict Lives at the New Norfolk Asylum.
You are invited to submit a chapter (no more than 2000 words) with references about a convict woman admitted to the Asylum. Please contact Dianne Snowden at email@example.com
Spring Seminar, 28th October 2018 - Bookings full.
Topic: A Great Blessing? Convict Women and Orphan School Children
Lieutenant-Governor Arthur believed it would be ‘a great blessing’ for the children of convicts to be removed from their parents. Our next seminar explores the relationship between the Orphan School, the orphans and convict women. In 1828, women convicts transferred from the old Hobart Town Female Factory to the new Factory at the Cascades. In 1828, the King’s Orphan Schools opened. To mark the 190th anniversary of both institutions, our next seminar will be run jointly by the Female Convicts Research Centre and the Friends of the Orphan Schools and it will be held at the Orphan School, St John’s Avenue, New Town (http://www.orphanschool.org.au).
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania
Save The Dates:
|Spring Seminar: Convict women and Orphan School Children|
|Autumn Seminar: Topic to be announced
- The Prisons - Prison food, as listed by Surgeon John Grant Stewart M.D. of the Nautilus 1838. (11/10/2018)
- Ships - Nautilus 1838 Surgeon's Journal. (Transcription by Rhonda Arthur, 9/10/2018).
James Grant Stewart MD RN was Surgeon Superintendent in charge of 133 female convicts and 8 children departing at Woolwich. The Sick List has 171 entries and includes former occupations, where sent from, and the number of months in prison. There are 40 case notes and one woman despite careful nursing died. Overall though the women arrived healthy, except for a valetudinarian who was unable to walk the 2 miles to the Cascades Female Factory from the landing place. The General Remarks include many interesting observations and of particular interest is information provided by the prisoners of their diets while confined in jail. (p24).
- Petitions - Mary McVeagh and Bridget Egan per Tasmania 1845 (9/10/2018)
- Petitions - Anne Martin per Mexborough 1841; Bridget Hayes and Alice Moylan per Waverley 1847 (shared petition); Elizabeth Wright per Tasmania 1845; Margaret Dwyer per Lord Auckland 1849. (4/10/2018).
- The Ships' Surgeons - Robert Espie - As surgeon superintendent on the Lord Sidmouth he was in charge of 97 female convicts and 23 of their children; 50 of the women were destined for Hobart and 47 to Sydney. There were also 21 free women passengers and 49 of their children. Robert Espie served on four more ships to Sydney and Hobart so his career as Royal Naval surgeon aboard convict transport ships spanned nearly twenty years. Contributed by Colleen Arulappu (1/10/2018)
- About Us - New Rules of Incorporation 2018 as adopted 6th August 2018, at the FCRC Annual General Meeting and registered 11th September 2018 by Department of Justice (Tasmania) - Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.
- Ships - Majestic 1839 Surgeon's Journal, transcription by Colleen Arulappu (27/09/2018). The journal is a long and mainly medical report. The surgeon wrote up many cases which showed the common health problems encountered on the long sea voyages. He included instructions for diet which seemed to be an important part of the women’s recovery from illness. The notes about the illness and eventual death of an infant make sad reading but also give a glimpse of the concern of the convict mother who defied the surgeon to fed her child forbidden food.