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Female convict labour and absconding rates in colonial Australia


Maxwell-Stewart, H and Quinlan, M, Female convict labour and absconding rates in colonial Australia, Tasmanian Historical Studies, 22 pp. 19-36. ISSN 1324-048X (2017) [Refereed Article]

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In early 1837 Mr Jones residing in Erskine Street, Sydney, discovered that two of his female convicts were missing. As he later related in court, Jones suspected that Mary Ann Mansfield and Mary Smith had gone, or intended to go, to the nearby settlement of Parramatta—a short trip away by water. Anxious to intercept his absconding servants Jones hastened down to the quay where he boarded the Experiment steamer—a vessel that made regular trips to Parramatta as well as occasional pleasure cruises on Middle Harbour. There he discovered the two women ‘comfortably seated’ and ‘fashionably attired’ in the cabin. Having clapped eyes on his absconding felon servants, Jones placed them in the custody of a constable. They were subsequently charged and each sentenced to two-months hard labour in the female House of Correction (an institution that was, ironically, located in Parramatta).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Penal Colony, Convict, Slave, Indentured Labour, Desertion, Absconding
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Maxwell-Stewart, H (Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart)
UTAS Author:Quinlan, M (Professor Michael Quinlan)
ID Code:130567
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP140100783)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-02-04
Last Modified:2019-03-07
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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