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 ladies 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 women, unmarried moms and ladies all alone all struggled to feed and dress themselves. For a few, petty robbery grew to become part of existence. Any lady deemed "habite & reputation a thief" may possibly locate herself prior to 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 ladies and their young children 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 annoyed their middle-class employers, who charged them with insolence, or refusing to paintings, or getting inebriated. A stint within the lady manufacturing unit turned their punishment. many girls survived the convict approach and formed their very own lives after they have been loose. They married, had kids and located a spot locally. Others, even though, endured to be affected by blunders and failures till loss of life.
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Extra info for Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas
The convict overseer told the jury that 25 weaned children with ten convict nurses were currently in the ward, but when she first took charge in February, ‘there were forty one children, besides nurses there, in the big nursery—fourteen of those children were removed to the orphan school last week’, including the Scottish children from the Atwick. For more than seven weeks of summer, from late January until midMarch these boys and girls had been incarcerated within much less space than they shared on the ship.
He may have eaten nothing during the five days before his mother saw him. When Mary joined the other mothers for their visit to the nursery yard on the one day of the month when Superintendent Hutchinson permitted them to see their children, ‘I did not know my own child, it was looking so sickly, and altered so much for the worse; the baby, after being with me a few minutes, recognised me’. It may have been after Mary’s visit and her evident distress that the convict mother appointed as overseer for the weaning ward put Thomas on another diet: ‘the children that were sick had sago and wine; the deceased child got sago and wine; I gave it to him myself, because it was ill’, she said, adding defensively, ‘not very ill’.
The girl told her mother what had happened. Keep a look-out for that thieving woman, said the mother, and the little girl did. A few times the five-year-old caught sight of Margaret scurrying along the street, but the thief had disappeared before the child could fetch her mother. At last they were lucky. One day the mother was along when the girl cried out—there she is, she stole my silk handkerchief! ’ A crowd gathered, and someone ‘said she ought to be sent to the Police office’. Yes, said the mother, and started off with a seemingly compliant Margaret.
Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas by Lucy Frost