New PDF release: Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas

By Lucy Frost

From the crowded tenements of Edinburgh to the feminine manufacturing unit nestling within the shadow of Mt Wellington, dozens of Scottish ladies convicts have been exiled to Van Diemen's Land with their teenagers. this can be a wealthy and evocative account of the lives of girls on the backside of society 200 years in the past. within the early 19th century, crofters and villagers streamed into the burgeoning towns of Scotland, and households splintered. Orphan ladies, unmarried moms and ladies on their lonesome all struggled to feed and dress themselves. For a few, petty robbery grew to become part of lifestyles. Any girl deemed "habite & reputation a thief" may perhaps locate herself earlier than the excessive court docket of Justiciary, attempted for yet one more minor robbery and sentenced to transportation "beyond Seas." Lucy Frost memorably paints the portrait of a boatload of ladies and their teenagers who arrived in Hobart in 1838. rather than serving time in legal, the ladies have been despatched to paintings as unpaid servants within the homes of settlers. Feisty Scottish convicts, unaccustomed to bowing and scraping, frequently annoyed their middle-class employers, who charged them with insolence, or refusing to paintings, or getting inebriated. A stint within the girl manufacturing facility grew to become their punishment. many girls survived the convict process and formed their very own lives after they have been unfastened. They married, had youngsters and located a spot locally. Others, notwithstanding, endured to be stricken by mistakes and failures till loss of life.

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Extra info for Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas

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Three of her children had died at the Female Factory, but whether as she looked down from the window of her apartment into the nursery yard, she felt at times some sort of bond with the suffering mothers and their children, I do not know. indd 41 12/12/11 1:02:33 PM 42 Abandoned Women: Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas By 1834 a second large enclosure, known as Yard 2 or the washing yard, was added to the original distillery compound because the factory needed space to wash and dry the dirty clothes and bedding sent from recently arrived convict ships, the Orphan Schools, the General Hospital, the men’s prison, and other colonial institutions.

More surprising is the Highland Scot, Elizabeth Williamson, whose background does not suggest submissiveness, and who went to a family with a history of rapid turnover in its assigned female servants. Even though Elizabeth’s record under sentence is a blank page, some insight into her experience of assignment is possible because her master was Thomas James Lempriere, an officer at the Port Arthur penal settlement to which male convicts were sent for further punishment if they re-offended in the colony.

Catherine McBrayne, transported for theft, was described in her gaol report as a woman ‘of dissipated habits, in prison before, connexions very bad. Married’. ‘Stealing money from the person’, she said, ‘tried with my Husband’, and she went on to talk about her family: ‘Married, 5 children, Husband John transported to VDL [Van Diemen’s Land], 2 Children on Board, James 13 years, George 5 years’. She may have said more, may have named the three children left behind, but the clerk recorded only what might be relevant while she served her sentence.

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Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas by Lucy Frost


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