Although there is some uncertainty about aspects of Jane Grady’s life – both before and after her arrival in Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) as a convict in 1844 - it is fair to say that it was an unhappy one.[1] She had been convicted of theft at Liverpool, England, and sentenced to transportation for ten years in December 1842. Put aboard Emma Eugenia, which sailed from London in November 1843, she had been fortunate to survive the journey. While handcuffed at the time as a punishment for an assault upon the ship’s chief officer, she had flung herself overboard in mid-ocean in an apparent attempt to take her own life and had been saved only by some quick-thinking on the part of the surgeon-superintendent who had managed to grab her by the hair and pull her from the water. Not surprisingly, she was a troubled and troublesome prisoner in the colony. Between her arrival in April 1844 and the completion of her ten-year sentence in December 1852, she was charged with offences - most of which were committed while she was drunk – on no fewer than thirty-four occasions. In 1848, she gave birth to an illegitimate child, the father of whom remains unknown. Just prior to her release in 1852, she married former convict, George Evans (Agincourt, 1844). Frustratingly, very little more is known about her. Did she manage to curb her drinking? Did she live a happy life with her husband, avoiding further trouble with the law? Did she have more children? Did she leave the colony? Unfortunately, there are no answers to these questions yet.


This is Jane’s story …


[1] Conduct record: CON41-1-1, image 60; description list: CON19-1-4, image 17; indent: CON15-1-2, image 276 and 277; Police No: 348; FCRC ID: 4779.


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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].

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




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