Topic: "A more hopeless class of subjects?"
Convict Women at the New Norfolk Asylum
Held on Sunday 20th October, 2019 at the Hobart Town Hall.
In 1859, the Commissioners of the Hospital for the Insane at New Norfolk wrote, ‘It must be borne in mind that a large majority of the patients … confined in the asylum have been of the convict class, the offspring of diseased parents, inheriting in very many cases a defective intellect, brought up from the earliest childhood in misery and vice, and leading in after years a life of sensual debauchery and crime, resulting in enfeeblement alike of body and mind – a more hopeless class of subjects it would be impossible to collect together in one institution’ (cit Gowlland, Troubled Asylum, p.54)
This seminar explored the lives of convict women admitted to the New Norfolk Asylum. Presentations included:
The New Norfolk Asylum: an overview – Dianne Snowden
Women convicted at Liverpool and admitted to NNA – Stephanie McComb
Mary Ann Lowe – a convict – Margaret Schmidt
Balancing silent treatment and silent histories – Catherine Rees
The Last Ladies – Chris Woods
Apprehended in Liverpool Street: Female delinquency and madness in the Van Diemen’s Land colony – Honey Dower
Deaths at the New Norfolk Hospital for the Insane – Leonie Mickleborough
Solitary confinement exposure and psychiatric admission rates – Hamish Maxwell-Stewart