Two Hundred years ago the Morley sat at Gallions Reach on the River Thames and female convicts from various prisons in England and Scotland commenced embarking in April.  On the 20th May the ship set sail on a voyage to New South Wales and arrived in Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land on  29th August 1820. Two days later, fifty women disembarked, forty-four were immediately assigned positions. The six remaining women were placed in safe comfortable lodgings until ‘proper places could be procured in which to employ them'.


The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter Sat 2nd Sept: 

SHIP NEWS – On Tuesday last arrived from England in 99 days, the ship Morley, Captain Brown, having touched at no port on her voyage, and bringing out 120 female convicts, and several free women, to whom passages have been allowed, to join their husbands...

Early on Wednesday morning last [August 30th] this Settlement was visited by a very heavy fall of snow, which continued nearly the whole of the day. In some places, the snow was several inches deep; and it remained on the high grounds the major part of the following day. It was considerably heavier than the fall we experienced in 1814, which was the first known on the island by the settlers. Mount Wellington, which is partly, and sometimes wholly covered with snow, has now an immense weight on it. We trust that we shall not hear of any losses amongst the flock-owners in the interior of the country, by this snow storm.

By comparison, with snow falls in Hobart yesterday, Tuesday 4th August 2020, the minimum temperature was 1.6C. and the maximum 9.1C.

Thomas Reid, surgeon superintendent on the Morley recorded a list of clothes that the women were provided with on their arrival: brown serge jacket, petticoat, linen shift, linen cap, stockings, shoes, neck-handkerchief, along with a change of linen, and their bedding consisting of a flock bed, a pillow and a blanket.

In acknowledgement of the annniversary of the arrival of the Morley 200 years ago, we present the story  The Voyage of the Morley transcription and editing by Rhonda Arthur, based on the journal of Thomas Reid, R.N. surgeon.




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For academic referencing (suggestion only) Database: [http address], FCRC Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land database, entry for xxxx ID no xxx, accessed [date].

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Website:  Female Convicts Research Centre Inc., accessed [date] from [http address].