Female convicts and/or their children spent time in various convict institutions in Van Diemen's Land. These included:

Different institutions operated at different times during the convict period—see timeline.

Their administration was conducted by the Comptroller General's Department, which was under the authority of the British Government in London.

Many women worked as employees at the female convict institutions. These positions comprised many of the few opportunities available to women in government employment in colonial Tasmania.



Further Information

  • Timeline
  • Female Factories
  • Probation Stations
  • Hiring Depots,  Brickfields Hiring Depot
  • Hospitals,  New Norfolk Asylum
  • Gaols
  • Nurseries
  • The Orphan Schools
  • Female Convict Searchers (PDF Extract)  When convicts of both genders arrived in Tasmania they were effectively strip-searched to record their physical description.  This initial frisking would take place onboard ship upon its arrival in Hobart, and similar searches might reoccur at a gaol, house of correction, or police watchhouse.  There were many reasons given for a strip-search, especially when apprehended prisoners recaptured after absconding were searched for stolen items and to remove objects they might use to harm themselves or others. Terry Newman's paper explores many questionable practices imposed on female convicts within various convict institutions, and highlights contemporary concerns expressed in the Tasmanian press that relate to the type of watchhouse keeper employed, and presents some personal background on some of these male ‘keepers’.  Full story available here.




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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 online [date].

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