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, 13,500 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 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.
200 year anniversary of arrival of the Providence in Hobart Town
After the Morley’s arrival in August 1820, it took another 16 months before the second female convict transport vessel arrived in Van Diemen’s Land. The 200-year anniversary of the arrival of the Providence falls on 18 December 2021. Fifty-four women were landed at Hobart Town and the ship continued with the remaining female convicts to Port Jackson, New South Wales, arriving on 7 January 1822.
David Reid RN was appointed surgeon superintendent of the Providence. It was his third and last voyage on a transport ship and his medical journal has not survived. Rhonda Arthur has researched what little is known about the voyage and the women who landed in Van Diemen’s Land. You can read more on our Blog page here….
Vandemonians: The Repressed History of Colonial Victoria
By Janet McCalman
From award-winning author and historian Janet McCalman, the engrossing tale of Tasmanian convict settlers in colonial Victoria.
It was meant to be 'Victoria the Free', uncontaminated by the Convict Stain. Yet they came in their tens of thousands as soon as they were cut free or able to bolt. More than half of all those transported to Van Diemen's Land as convicts would one day settle or spend time in Victoria. There they were demonised as Vandemonians Some could never go straight; a few were the luckiest of gold diggers; a handful founded families with distinguished descendants. Most slipped into obscurity. Burdened by their pasts and their shame, their lives as free men and women, even within their own families, were forever shrouded in secrets and lies.
To be published 28th September 2021. Pre-orders available. Available in paperback or ebook. Pages: 352
Cascades Female Factory Historic Site is temporarily closing to the public on 26 May
The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site is temporarily closing its doors on Wednesday 26 May 2021 in order to begin construction on a NEW History and Interpretation Centre. An entirely new experience, the History and Interpretation Centre will be a world-class facility that emotionally connects you to the stories of triumph and tragedy of Australia's convict women and their children. Construction by Hansen Yuncken will commence in early June, with a view to reopening to the public in December later this year. Read more...
Save The Date:
FCRC's 2022 Seminar: Young female convicts in Van Diemen’s Land
- 200 year anniversary of arrival of the Providence in Hobart Town
- Special Recognition for FCRC Committee Members
- Cascades Female Factory Historic Site is temporarily closing to the public on 26 May
- Peter MacFie, Tasmanian Historian, Writer and Musician
- Norah Cobbett's story marks Fifty great Female Convict Stories from Don.
- From the Shadows: Installation of their first statue, 'Martha Gregory'.
- Transcribing Tasmanian Convict Records by Susan Hood
- ARMISTEAD, Hellen Copeland (arrived free). By Don Bradmore.
- WATT, Isabella (per Hector, 1835). By Helen Menard.
- WATT, Hannah (per Gilbert Henderson 1840). By Helen Menard.
- KENNY, Bridget (Duke of Cornwall, 1850). By Don Bradmore.
- DYKE, Ann (per Angelina, 1844). By Don Bradmore.
- BRASH, Jean (per Sir Robert Seppings, 1852). By Don Bradmore
- WOOD, Sarah (Aurora, II, (2), 1851). By Don Bradmore.
- DRAKE, Maria (per Margaret 1843). By Don Bradmore.
- OGILVIE, Agnes (per Hector, 1835). By Helen Menard.
- COTTERELL, Mary (per Elizabeth and Henry (2), 1847. By Don Bradmore
Ships - Tory 1848 - Transcript of Surgeon's Journal (Transcribed by Colleen Arulappu 20/08/2021). Charles Smith included brief remarks about each of his patients. His General Remarks described the voyage and he shared his philosophy of the positive effect on the mind when the prisoners were occupied and feeling more cheerful about their prospects ahead. The women on the Tory made 500 shirts during the voyage and were busy with knitting and regular schooling in the morning and evening.
Resources: Books: Vandemonians by Janet McCalman (13/08/2021)
Launceston Female Factory - Image of the Launceston Female Factory from 1914. Source and permission Tasmanian Archives (Weekly Courier 1914). (Updated 18/06/2021)
Image Gallery - Grace McIntosh per Tasmania 1844; (source and permission: Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives); Helen Brown per Tory 1845; Anastatia Kenny per Martin Luther, Jane Campbell per Waverley, Isabella McCall per Martin Luther, source PROV. https://vagrantsandmurderesses.com (8/04/2021)
Punishments - Gaol (Imprisonment) (9/10/2021), Separate Treatment, Solitary Confinement (23/09/2021).