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, 13,500 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.




Search the Female Convicts in Van Diemen's Land Database

Research Seminars

Convict System Administration

Convict Institutions

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Convict Lives


Latest News:

FCRC Seminar, Sunday, 2nd May, 2021 - Registration is now open

Topic: The Early Years 1803-1828

Hobart Town Hall 

The program and registration for the next FCRC Seminar are now available here


Two hundred years ago, the Morley sailed from London to Hobart Town. This was the first time that convict women arrived in 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 2021 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? 


Bookings are through TryBooking. Further information available here.


Newly Digitised Items at Tasmanian Archives

Newly digitised updates from the Tasmanian Archives and State Library heritage collections are now available via their blog.  Items featured on the blog are also available to view via their Newly Digitised Items webpage, this will be trialled for the next 3-6 months to find out which format works best.


Tasmanian Archives welcome any feedback you might have, helping to preserve and provide access to these wonderful collections.


Digitisation Services
Government Archives & Preservation Collections | Libraries Tasmania

91 Murray Street | Hobart | Tasmania | 7000

Ph (03) 6165 5587 www.libraries.tas.gov.au



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Save The Date:

2021 2nd May FCRC's 2021 Seminar:  The Early Years.


Whats new?

Recent Updates



Convict Ships:

Ships - Princess Charlotte 1833 -  Transcript of Surgeons Journal (Transcribed by Colleen Arulappu 1/03/2021). There was cholera aboard the Frances Charlotte and the cases began after the prisoners, free government persons and crew, embarked at Woolwich.  The brief notes on each patient show the sudden and violent onslaught of the disease and the rapid decline of the eight people who died. In the General Remarks the surgeons wrote that the use of calomel to treat cholera failed. He also described the measures taken to prevent spread of the disease in the hospital. 

Ships - Tory 1845 - Transcript of Surgeons Journal (Transcribed by Colleen Arulappu 16/02/2021).  Surgeon J. Sloan’s General Remarks section is an interesting read. He briefly noted the cold weather and said the women appeared to suffer little from expose to it but the clothing provided was inadequate and the shoes were useless in keeping out the wet and damp. He found that many were delighted to be on board ship away from the monotony of prison, particularly the despondency cause by the silent system adopted at Millbank Prison.  But older women suffered from depressing passions of the mind.  He had a cabin erected where he occasionally held refractory prisoners but he said severe punishments tended to render them more reckless. He wrote that they were more easily led by kindness.

Ships Lloyds 1845 -  Extracts from the Log Book containing proceedings on board by Lloyds' Master David Lewis.  This resource is part of Libraries Tasmania’s collection and the full text can be viewed online: Item Number CRO82-1-23.  (Transcript courtesy of Rhonda Arthur 26/01/2021)

Convict Ship Punishments - Edited:  Added punishments on the Barque Lloyds 1845  (26/01/2021)

Other Updates:

Probationary System - Regulations of the Probationary Establishment for Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land (July 1, 1845)   (Courtesy of Rhonda Arthur, 28/1/2021)

Seminar Papers - Tales of the unexpected (Spring 2017):  Bodies from the grave by Leonie Mickelborough.

Punishments - Crime Class 22/02/2021) Wash Tub (5/01/2021) Relocation/Removal to the Interior, Macquarie Harbour (12/11/2020), Admonishment and Reprimand (29/10/2020); 





Please acknowledge our work, should you choose to use our research.  Our work may be subject to copyright therefore please check our Copyright Policy, and Disclaimer policy.

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Database: [http address], FCRC Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land database, entry for xxxx ID no xxx, accessed [date].

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Website:  Female Convicts Research Centre Inc., accessed [date] from [http address].