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 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.
FCRC Seminar 2020: Sunday, 5th April.
Topic: THE EARLY YEARS 1803-1828
Two hundred years ago, the Morley sailed from London to Hobart Town. This was the first time that convict women were sent to Van Diemen’s Land directly from England. The convict women on the Morley arrived at a time before the Hobart Town Female Factory was established, raising the question of how they were managed. The Morley disembarked 50 of its cargo of 121 women; the reminder sailed to Sydney. This pattern of shared voyages continued for some time and it was not until the Providence in 1826 that a female convict ship disembarked its entire shipment of convict women in Hobart.
Our Seminar for 2020 will explore the experience of those convict women who came directly to Hobart Town and compare it with those who came via Sydney. Why was the system changed? What impact did it have on the lives of the convict women?
Registrations for the seminar will open early January. The venue will be the Hobart Town Hall.
Save The Dates:
|2020||5th April||FCRC's 2020 Seminar: The Early Years.
- Convict Stories - Ann Margaret Wright per Providence II 1826 by Don Bradmore (11/12/2019).
In 1825, Ann Margaret Wright was convicted in England of stealing money from her employer and transported to the colony - and she was still a prisoner there thirty four years later! In that time, she had been sentenced to death on two separate occasions, had absconded from the colony and fled to India where she had suffered terribly before being recaptured and returned to VDL, had married twice and had spent many years in gaol.
- Convict Stories - Charlotte Harris per Anna Maria 1852, by Rhonda Arthur (4/12/2019). Charlotte Harris was convicted of murdering her husband at a time when there was a groundswell of people calling for the abolition of capital punishment as being cruel and immoral. Charlotte was to be hanged but the sentence was suspended until she gave birth. In the meantime, an abolitionist, Charles Gilpin, was active in organizing petitions for clemency on behalf of Charlotte and on 8 November 1849 he presented petitions with 15,000 signatories to Sir George Grey at the Home Office.
- Convict Stories - Eleanor Lyons per Blackfriar 1851 by Don Bradmore (26/11/2019)
- Convict Stories -Catherine Adams (Sir Robert Seppings) and the Dean Poisoning Case by Colette McAlpine (17/11/2019). Not many convicts appeared before a Royal Commission, not many were sketched as often as Catherine, and few had photographs taken due to giving evidence. This woman's story also shows how convicts kept in touch with each other, changed partners, names and identities, but also how the past caught up with some of them in the strangest ways.
- Convict Stories - Julia Mills per Providence 1826 and Rosannah Cavanagh per Abercrombie 1841 by Don Bradmore (16/11/2019)
- Convict Womens Image Gallery - Isabella McCall per Martin Luther 1852, (Source: PROV); Catherine Adams per Sir Robert Seppings 1852 (Source: NLA), 12.11.2019.
- Convict Stories - Sarah Leggatt per Providence II 1824, and Elizabeth Wicks, Brothers, 1824 by Don Bradmore (28/10/2019)
- Ships - Letter from the Secretary’s Office dated 16th May 1820 - with list of prisoners on Janus 1820 - who were transferred on Princess Charlotte 1820 to VDL, also mentioning the names &c of two male convicts, viz Thos Crougham and John Popjoy who were also on the Princess Charlotte. (Transcribed by Rhonda Arthur)
- Petitions - Mary Meaghar (or Maher) per Tasmania 1845 (Courtesy of Colleen Arulappu 16/10/2019)
- Featured in Publications - An updated list of Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land, who are mentioned in a selection of publications, by Ros Escott (10/10/2019).
- Ships - Baretto Junior 1850. (courtesy Colleen Arulappu 9/10/2019). The surgeon described ten cases which showed his treatment and gave a glimpse of the difficulties of keeping up clean linen when his patients were very seriously ill. Included is a newspaper report of the terrible gale the ship went through on the voyage and the surgeon’s remarks about how frightened the women were and how many of them helped bale water despite being thrown about and bruised.
- Convict Stories - 2 new additions written by Don Bradmore (6/10/2019): Sarah Bennett per America 1831 and Elizabeth Jones per Siren 1835.