By Lucy Frost
From the crowded tenements of Edinburgh to the feminine manufacturing unit nestling within the shadow of Mt Wellington, dozens of Scottish girls convicts have been exiled to Van Diemen's Land with their teenagers. this can be a wealthy and evocative account of the lives of ladies on the backside of society 200 years in the past. within the early 19th century, crofters and villagers streamed into the burgeoning towns of Scotland, and households splintered. Orphan ladies, unmarried moms and girls on their lonesome all struggled to feed and dress themselves. For a few, petty robbery turned part of existence. Any lady deemed "habite & reputation a thief" may perhaps locate herself prior to the excessive courtroom of Justiciary, attempted for one more minor robbery and sentenced to transportation "beyond Seas." Lucy Frost memorably paints the portrait of a boatload of ladies and their young ones who arrived in Hobart in 1838. rather than serving time in felony, the ladies have been despatched to paintings as unpaid servants within the homes of settlers. Feisty Scottish convicts, unaccustomed to bowing and scraping, frequently aggravated their middle-class employers, who charged them with insolence, or refusing to paintings, or getting inebriated. A stint within the girl manufacturing unit grew to become their punishment. many girls survived the convict process and formed their very own lives when they have been unfastened. They married, had young children and located a spot locally. Others, although, persisted to be stricken by error and mess ups until eventually demise.
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Extra info for Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas
Indd 48 12/12/11 1:02:37 PM Finding a Bearable Place 49 co-accused, Donald McAllan, said he was 26. They may have left their native Caithness together, lured to the city by dreams of something better than rural poverty. Donald McAllan’s ‘native place’ was recorded as the coastal village of ‘Johnny Groats north of Scotland’. His family and Elizabeth’s—about whom she said only that she was born in Caithness—may have been farmers left landless by the Highland Clearances. At the time of his arrest McAllan told the magistrate simply that he was unemployed, but when he arrived in Van Diemen’s Land and was required to state a ‘trade or occupation’ before being assigned, he said ‘clerk and schoolmaster’, and ‘schoolmaster’ is the occupation written onto the register when he and Elizabeth were eventually granted permission to marry.
Matron Hutchinson, whose attitude was described by the editor of the Colonial Times as ‘petulant’ while she escorted the gentlemen of the jury on their tour of inspection, had given birth to her eighth child a few weeks before the Henning inquest. Three of her children had died at the Female Factory, but whether as she looked down from the window of her apartment into the nursery yard, she felt at times some sort of bond with the suffering mothers and their children, I do not know. indd 41 12/12/11 1:02:33 PM 42 Abandoned Women: Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas By 1834 a second large enclosure, known as Yard 2 or the washing yard, was added to the original distillery compound because the factory needed space to wash and dry the dirty clothes and bedding sent from recently arrived convict ships, the Orphan Schools, the General Hospital, the men’s prison, and other colonial institutions.
In front of them ran the double-storeyed wards, built onto the Cascades Female Factory’s perimeter wall. The nursery yard was a prison for babies and children. Those who did not arrive on the convict transports were born to mothers who became pregnant while working as assigned servants. Pregnant convicts were returned to the Factory to give birth, and then went into the nursery to breastfeed until their babies were weaned at the age of nine months. At that moment mother and child were separated.
Abandoned Women. Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas by Lucy Frost