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 little ones. 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 ladies, unmarried moms and girls all alone all struggled to feed and dress themselves. For a few, petty robbery grew to become part of existence. Any girl deemed "habite & reputation a thief" could locate herself prior to the excessive courtroom 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 criminal, 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 turned their punishment. many girls survived the convict approach and formed their very own lives when they have been unfastened. They married, had teenagers and located a spot in the neighborhood. Others, even though, endured to be tormented by error and mess ups until eventually demise.
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Extra resources for Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas
The servant he selected for his own household, Sarah Stewart, had been born in northern Ireland, though convicted in Scotland, and his general prejudice against the Scots informs a message he asked the Colonial Times to pass along to its readers on the day the women left the Atwick for the Female Factory: We are requested by the Principal Superintendent of Convicts, to say, that so numerous are the applications for female servants, ex the last vessel [the Atwick], that it is impossible that he can comply with one half the demand.
To distinguish this Factory on the edge of Hobart Town from others in the colony, it was unofficially given the name of the area and called the Female Factory at Cascades, or simply the Cascades Female Factory— ‘the Cascades’ being the name of the area alongside the Hobart Rivulet where the factory was located. The high windowless walls of the compound left the women and children in no doubt that they were entering a prison. indd 28 12/12/11 1:02:25 PM ‘Transported Beyond Seas’ 29 they left the ship, recorded the women’s admission into the establishment, and sent them to their allocated space in this compound of walls within walls.
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’.
Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas by Lucy Frost