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.
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...
Latest Publication from Convict Women's Press
Convict Lives: Female Convicts at the New Norfolk Asylum
The latest publication from Convict Women's Press Inc was launched on the 1st May 2021, by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania.
The sixth publication in the series of Convict Lives in Van Diemen’s Land has been edited by Dianne Snowden and Jane Harrington.
Initially opening as an invalid hospital in 1829 at New Norfolk, the hospital was shortly renamed the New Norfolk Asylum for the Insane. It housed both convict and free men and women, and its inmates included hundreds of convict women.
Recounting the lives of 15 women using archival material and family records, the book’s 22 authors reconstruct the lives of individual convict women, the reasons for their admission and their treatment in the Asylum.
The stories highlight there is much more to the life of a convict than a crime, trial and sentence. Seven of the authors are descendants of these women and share family stories of fractured and fragmented lives.
Copies of the book can be bought from selected book stores or online through the CWP website at https://www.convictwomenspress.com.au
Newly Digitised Items at Tasmanian Archives
Newly digitised updates from the Tasmanian Archives and State Library heritage collections are now available via their blog. Items featured on the blog are also available to view via their Newly Digitised Items webpage, this will be trialled for the next 3-6 months to find out which format works best.
Tasmanian Archives welcome any feedback you might have, helping to preserve and provide access to these wonderful collections.
Government Archives & Preservation Collections | Libraries Tasmania
91 Murray Street | Hobart | Tasmania | 7000
Ph (03) 6165 5587 www.libraries.tas.gov.au
- 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
Save The Date:
|2022||to be advised
||FCRC's 2022 Seminar: Topic will be Female Convict Youths.
- CALLAGHAN, Elizabeth per Providence (II) 1822. By Don Bradmore (29/05/2021).
- MAGEE, Ellinor per Mexborough (1) 1841. By Don Bradmore (10/05/2021)
- CONNOLLY, Mary - Lord Auckland 1849. By Don Bradmore (1/03/2021)
- HUNT, Mary Ann per Baretto Junior. By Debra Norris (22/02/2021).
- COBBETT, Norah per Persian 1827. By Don Bradmore (19/02/2021)
Ships - Earl Grey 1850 - Transcript of Surgeon's Journal (Transcribed by Colleen Arulappu 7/06/2021). The surgeon wrote up the fatal cases and those of the patients sent to Hospital on arrival. He said that the children who died came from the Union Work Houses in emaciated states and had little hope of surviving illness. The women sent to hospital suffered mostly from Dysentery . In the General Remarks the surgeon noted that bloodletting aggravated the degree of debility of his patients. No post mortems were carried out due to lack of privacy and the prejudice against it by the prisoners.
Ships - Frances Charlotte 1833 - Transcript of Surgeon's Journal (Transcribed by Colleen Arulappu 1/03/2021). There was cholera aboard the Frances Charlotte and the cases began after the prisoners, free government persons and crew, embarked at Woolwich. The brief notes on each patient show the sudden and violent onslaught of the disease and the rapid decline of the eight people who died. In the General Remarks the surgeons wrote that the use of calomel to treat cholera failed. He also described the measures taken to prevent spread of the disease in the hospital.
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 - Penal Servitude (7/05/2021), Indulgences Revoked (3/04/2021).