My great-great-grandmother Ann Paget's journey from Birmingham UK to Newcastle NSW started on 13 December 1845 when, aged sixteen, she was committed to a 'House of Correction' for 'disorderly conduct' at Solihull.
Less than a year later, on 19 October 1846, aged seventeen, she was '... convicted of stealing a chemise and other linen from a house in Park-Street, Birmingham ...'. Several previous convictions, and a list of summary punishments showing a history of petty crime ensured that she was sentenced to be transported for seven years.
Still aged seventeen, Ann arrived in Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land on the fifth voyage of the convict transport Asia on 21 July 1847. The surgeon's report on her conduct during the voyage was 'Bad'. In her description as recorded in her convict record she had a 'large mouth'. This is a physical attribute, but it may well have also referred to her penchant for insolence to her superiors.
Read more: Ann Paget, Biography of Ann Paget,
Ann Pickett was a troubled and troublesome prisoner who re-offended many times. Although she seems not to have been a particularly likeable person - and to have brought a lot of her problems on herself - it is difficult not to feel some sympathy for her. These were not easy times to be a woman, especially one who was single and alone in a male-dominated penal colony.
Read more on Ann Pickett.