Elizabeth Surridge (aka ‘Emma Surrage’) had a shocking childhood.[1] The daughter of a notorious thief, she grew up in Wapping, one of the poorer parts of London. In 1847, at the age of twelve, she was convicted of theft and sentenced to transportation for ten years but pardoned because of her age. She was sent to live at London’s Refuge for the Destitute but two years later she was convicted of theft again and once more sentenced to transportation for ten years. This time the sentence was carried out. She arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) aboard Baretto Junior on 25 July 1850. In the colony, she led a remarkable life. Often in trouble with the law, she was gaoled several times. In 1859, she married former convict Samuel Longbottom and gave birth to a number of children before her husband deserted her, forcing her to support herself. In 1870, she sought a divorce – a rare and bold thing for a woman to do at that time - in order to protect her assets from creditors who might have wished to claim upon Longbottom. In 1871, now calling herself ‘Elizabeth Kenworthy’, she applied successfully for the license of the Golden Cross Hotel in Murray Street, Hobart. It was another audacious thing for a young woman to do – especially one who not only had a convict past but was also without the support of a male. That venture, however, may not have been a happy one and within a year or two she had relinquished the license. For the next thirty years, she lived quietly at New Town, Hobart, where she passed away in September 1907. She was in her early seventies.

This is Elizabeth’s story:   


[1] Conduct record: CON41-1-27, image 165; indent: CON15-1-6, images 216-217; description list: CON19-1-8, image 216, Police No: 940; FCRC ID: 2672


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

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