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.
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Seminar, 28th October 2018
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
Forty South Publishing 'The Van Diemen History Prize 2018/19'
To foster quality writing about Tasmanian history, Forty South Publishing is initiating a biennial prize for non-fiction history articles written for a general audience. Entries open July 1, 2018 and must be lodged by September 24, 2018. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $500 and publication in Tasmania 40°South magazine.
A selection of the best entries will be published in an edited volume, The Van Diemen History Anthology 2019
(publication estimated to be in mid-2019). For further details, Terms and Conditions and entry form, please visit https://fortysouth.com.au/tasmanian-writers-prize/
Save The Dates:
|Spring Seminar: Convict women and Orphan School Children|
|Autumn Seminar: Topic to be announced
- The Ships' Surgeons - New page. A series of stories about the Surgeons who sailed on the female convict ships to Van Diemen's Land, by Colleen Arulappu. After transcribing many of the surgeons medical journals, Colleen considered that the surgeons deserve their own stories and recognition for their role in the history of transportation. They were men the Royal Navy could be proud of with their records of successfully delivering prisoners to the colonies. Colleen takes interesting aspects of the usually long medical journals and condenses them into readable short stories. This series starts with Joseph Steret who sailed on the Edward in 1834. (5/09/2018)
- Ships - Mary Anne III, 1841 Surgeon's Journal, transcription by Rhonda Arthur (4/09/2018).
James Barr M.D. was Surgeon Superintendent. 125 female convicts, 19 emigrants and 39 children were sent on board in Dublin. There were 4 case notes and each one is unusual. The first case was a woman who in despair attempted to commit suicide by hanging herself from a cleat above her head. Suffering seasickness and unable to eat any solid food she died exhausted. The surgeon regretted that he did not perform an autopsy, party to spare the feelings of the other women and also as his attention was taken up with a case of Tetanus. This woman, the keeper of the lower deck, received a splinter of wood in her forefinger which was removed and dressed with a poultice. Two days later she complained of acute pain and was then seized with muscular spasms followed by lockjaw. Treatment included large quantities of opium suppositories and drastic purgatives and amazingly she was cured. The third case was a delicate infant who died from convulsions following the sudden disappearance of an eruption on his head. The final case was a woman in very low spirits who prior to embarkation was eating ground glass in the hope of becoming sick and being left behind. All along she had been very sea sick and was vomiting blood. This was relieved with liberal doses of nitric acid and bitters, cupping and having her bed taken up on deck daily where she remained for several hours and was eventually discharged cured. A few mild cases of cholera occurred which yielded at once to calomel and opium.
The Surgeon’s General Remarks summarize his views on these cases and are recommended reading.
- Ships - Gilbert Henderson: Life onboard a female convict ship. An article published in
The ENGLISHWOMAN’S DOMESTIC MAGAZINE – Vol I Pages 311-317, 1866. (31/08/2018)
- The East London - The Final Journey The final chapter of the East London story (25/08/2018). Colleen Arulappu concludes her series of chapters with a look at the final journey for the convict women aboard the East London. Return to Ireland remained a dream for the women from the East London. There was no evidence of any woman making the journey back to the land of her birth. The final chapter looks into the events shaping the lives of these women in the colony.
- The Orphan Schools - a new page linking the female convicts and their children to the orphan schools at New Town. Children were admitted when they arrived with their parents on convict transports, when their parents were undergoing punishment, or when they were destitute.