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 twice-yearly 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, Spring 2019:
The next FCRC seminar will be held on Sunday 20th October, 2019 at the Hobart Town Hall. The topic will be Convict Lives at the New Norfolk Asylum. More information coming soon.
From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles
edited by Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine.
Robyn Greaves. Transnational Literature Vol. 10 no. 2, May 2018.
Reading the stories in From the Edges of Empire as a whole gives a disquieting sense of how the British Empire, with its extensive colonies, affected the lives of people across the world with far-reaching consequences, helping shape the Australia we know today. Jan Richardson sums up the lives of these women: ‘from the small fragments that have been gathered piece-by-piece from around the world ... fascinating and heart-breaking stories are now revealed, encapsulating themes of poverty, crime, prostitution, bigamy, illegitimacy, insanity, slavery and emancipation’ (128). While the internet and digitisation of material have made information more accessible, tracing stories such as these is still a painstaking and time-consuming task, so we can be grateful to the contributors of this book, its editors and publisher, for making this research available to the public. I hope From the Edges of Empire is widely read and serves as a catalyst for the revelation of more forgotten stories such as those contained here.
Dr Robyn Greaves
Read the full review here.
From the Shadows Inc.
Following on from the hugely successful Footsteps towards Freedom project, a new not-for-profit project, known as From the Shadows, has been established to raise funds for three statues by renowned Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie. Rowan created the Footsteps towards Freedom statues on Hobart’s waterfront, receiving global media attention. The newly commissioned statues will include two statues of children for the Orphan Schools in New Town and a female convict statue for the Cascades Female Factory. Three community organisations have been acknowledged as Foundation Supporters: the Female Convicts Research Centre, the Friends of the Orphan Schools and South Hobart Progress Association. The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) is committed to the project as a Foundation Sponsor.
Visit the From the Shadows website at https://fromtheshadows.org.au
Contact email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can follow From the Shadows on Facebook.
Save The Dates:
|2019||5th May||Autumn Seminar: The Anson and the Probation System
|Spring Seminar: Convict Women at the New Norfolk Asylum
- Ships - Women who had Children on the Margaret 1842 - 1843. Contributed by Jan Westerink 17/05/2019).
- The Ships' Surgeons - John Grant Stewart. The voyage of the Nautilus 1838 (contributed by Colleen Arulappu 15/05/2019)
- Ships - Royal Admiral 1842. Surgeon's Journal contributed by Rhonda Arthur 9/04/2019).
John R Roberts was surgeon superintendent. Many had travelled distances by train and arrived with only the clothes they were wearing having been told at the prisons that they would be confiscated or destroyed. Two women with chronic diseases died. There were seven births but five infants died. Four matrons and a Governess, who wore a whistle suspended from her neck, regulated all movements and woe betide anyone who misbehaved – the punishments are set out in General Remarks. The ship put in at the Cape of Good Hope for supplies and although the voyage took a further seven weeks, the surgeon said ‘no cases of any importance occurred’ – except a mutiny!