By Lucy Frost
From the crowded tenements of Edinburgh to the feminine manufacturing facility nestling within the shadow of Mt Wellington, dozens of Scottish ladies convicts have been exiled to Van Diemen's Land with their childrens. this can be a wealthy and evocative account of the lives of ladies on the backside of society 2 hundred years in the past. within the early 19th century, crofters and villagers streamed into the burgeoning towns of Scotland, and households splintered. Orphan women, unmarried moms and ladies all alone all struggled to feed and dress themselves. For a few, petty robbery turned part of lifestyles. Any girl deemed "habite & reputation a thief" may locate herself sooner than the excessive court docket of Justiciary, attempted for one more minor robbery and sentenced to transportation "beyond Seas." Lucy Frost memorably paints the portrait of a boatload of girls and their kids who arrived in Hobart in 1838. rather than serving time in felony, the ladies have been despatched to paintings as unpaid servants within the homes of settlers. Feisty Scottish convicts, unaccustomed to bowing and scraping, frequently aggravated their middle-class employers, who charged them with insolence, or refusing to paintings, or getting under the influence of alcohol. A stint within the woman manufacturing unit turned their punishment. many ladies survived the convict approach and formed their very own lives after they have been unfastened. They married, had little ones and located a spot locally. Others, although, persisted to be stricken by error and failures till loss of life.
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Extra info for Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas
Indd 24 12/12/11 1:02:23 PM ‘Transported Beyond Seas’ 25 authorities on the periphery of Empire was an occasion for extensive paperwork. As soon as the anchor dropped, Dr Leonard wrote officially to the Colonial Secretary ‘to acquaint you for the information of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor that this Ship sailed from Woolwich on the 29th September and arrived here today’. The efficient surgeon superintendent had ensured that his paperwork was ready: Enclosed are the following lists—of the convicts specifying the behaviour of each during the Voyage—of their Children—of the Free Women & Children Passengers—of the Sick at present on board—a Return of Casualties—and the usual list sent from the Home Office of the Convicts embarked.
A watchman happened to be nearby, and before there was ‘time for any of the prisoners escaping’, two policemen and McLean confronted his assailants, and took Elizabeth straight to the Calton Watch-house. When a policeman tried to take the stolen watch from her, she dashed it upon the floor and broke the glass. In the evidence gathered for the precognition, witnesses disagreed about what had happened. McAllan denied going into the passageway while Elizabeth was struggling with McLean, and did ‘not think that Williamson had a candlestick in her hand, in the passage or in the rooms—there was no use for it as the house was lighted’.
In the two corners nearest the entry gate were the yards for the nursery and the hospital. Offices were located directly inside the gate, and over the gate was the apartment where the superintendent and his wife the matron lived with their family in a few rooms. Matron Hutchinson, whose attitude was described by the editor of the Colonial Times as ‘petulant’ while she escorted the gentlemen of the jury on their tour of inspection, had given birth to her eighth child a few weeks before the Henning inquest.