Description List (Westmoreland, AOT CON 19-1-14 p. 438)
Transcription provided by Female Factory Research Group
PoLICE No. 253
Millan Mc Agnes
Westmoreland 3 December 1836
Ayr Court of Justiciary 3rd May 1836 7 years
Transported for theft, habit, repute and previous convictions.
Gaol Report: twice before convicted, bad character, single.
Stated this Offence: robbing a shop; tried with Houstan on board, [previous convictions] once for Housebreaking 18 months, once 60 days for theft; 3 years on the town; single. Surgeon’s Report: bad.
22 March 1837 (Donahoo) Absent without leave & insolent - Crime Class 3 months & not again assigned in Town (PS*)
3 November 1837 (Parker) Disobedience of orders - 2 months Crime Class (HBT) Hobart vide Lieutenant Governor’s decision 11 November 1837
8 September 1838 (Sweet) Refusing to return to her service - cell 10 days on bread & water & returned to her service (PS)
28 September 1838 (Harvey) Out after hours - cell on bread & water 6 days & returned to her service (PS)
8 October 1838 (Harvey) Absent without leave & taking 2 young children with her - Crime Class 1 month, first 6 days on bread & water (PS)
7 December 1838 (Palmer) Absenting herself without leave - hard labour at the wash tub for 2 months sleeping in a cell at night (PS)
25 February 1839 (Evans) Absenting herself without leave - 7 days cells on bread & water (RCG)
3 April 1839 (Ross) Absent without leave - returned to Government & not to be assigned in any township (WHB)
17 June 1839 (Amos) Absent without leave - 2 months in the Crime Class, Female House of Correction Hobart & recommended to be assigned in the Interior (BB & JH)
13 October 1840 (Walker) Insolence - 14 days solitary confinement (JW)
30 March 1842 (Nursery Liverpool Street) Absent without leave and representing herself to be free - 4 months hard labour in the House of Correction (WG)
22 February 1843 (McDonald) Absent 2 nights and a day without leave - 3 months at the wash tub (PS)
Free Certificate No. 388 1843
2.4.39 Richmond office 28.7.40 Richmond 4.8.40 Oatlands office 24.4.43 Police Superintendent
*These are the initials of the sentencing magistrate, which in this case is the Principal Superintendent. Agnes was imprisoned at Cascades Female Factory on each occasion.
Transcription provided by Female Factory Research Group. Reference: AOT, CON40-1-8 p.9
Description List (William Miles, AOT CON 18-1-21 p. 76)
Description List (Westmoreland, AOT CON 19/1/14 p. 415)
PoLICE No. 284
Houstan Janet [name misspelled in record]
Westmoreland 3 Dec 1836
Ayr Court of Justiciary 3 May 1836 7 years
Transported for Theft habit repute and previous conviction. Gaol report, bad character before convicted twice. Single Stated this offence, Theft stealing money at Ayr, 4 times convicted for Theft, 60 days twice, 6 months twice, four years on the Town, single, Surgeon’s report, orderly
Aug. 12, 1837 Mrs. Ray/disobedience of orders. Cell on bread and water 3 days returned to service / P.S.
July 24, 1838 Ray /Insolence to her Mistress. returned to the factory for country assignment / P.S.
Nov 7, 1838 Rev W. Orton / Absent all night without leave Rep@ / W.G. (Rev Joseph Orton is Chairman of the district, Institute of Wesleyan Ministers)
Nov 14, 1838 Orton/ Absent all night without leave and found in a disorderly house Sentence - working cells for one month, first six days on bread and water thru assignment in country/ P.S.
Dec 20, 1838 Ratcliffe / Disorderly conduct
March 23, 1840 Misconduct
Aug 2nd, 1841 Misconduct living in a state of adultery with a free man / being advanced in pregnancy / 12 Months Labor Female House of Correction
March 17, 1842 Misconduct 6 days of solitary
May 3, 1843 - Free Certificate #339
Reference: AOT, CON 40-1-6 p.9
Description List (Hindostan, AOT CON 19/1/13 p. 299)
Transcription provided by Female Factory Research Group.
POLICE No. 151
Hindostan 11 September 1839
Central Criminal Court 17 December 1838 10 years
Transported for larceny. Gaol Report: poor connexions. Surgeon’s Report: the most attentive & best behaved on board doing duty as nurse; widow & 5 children. Stated this Offence: stealing plate from my master Mr F Kenneth, Keppel Street on Banister; widow & 5 children.
22 June 1842 (Nursery, Liverpool Street) Misconduct in taking advantage of her situation as nurse in the Hospital at the House of Correction to obtain articles & money for the purpose of clandestinely delivering the same to “Eliza Morgan,” a prisoner of the crown then in confinement, the articles having been obtained from Mr Smith in Elizabeth Street - 12 months hard labour in the House of Correction and to be placed in the separate working cells until the Lieutenant Governor shall be pleased to consider her case (PS)
Confirmed this female was placed in a situation of great trust under promised indulgence of the Principal Superintendent considering her to be a fit subject, to be placed under this sentence to separate confinement vide Lieutenant Governor’s decision 23 June 1842.
Ticket of Leave 15 May 1844
Conditional Pardon for Australian Colonies recommended 27 May 1845
Approved 22nd May 1846
Certificate of Freedom 21 December 1848
28.4.42 Principal Superintendent office 25.6.42 Principal Superintendent office 8.6.43 Superintendent 13/2/44 Morven 29.2.44 Principal Superintendent 8/3/45 Launceston
Transcription provided by Female Factory Research Group. Reference: AOT, CON 40-1-10 p. 113
Description List (Blackfriar, AOT CON 19/1/9)
Transcription provided by Female Factory Research Group.
POLICE No. 1231
1 MARCH 1855 NEW NoRFoLK
Tried Co. Cavan 1 March 1850
Embarked 10 years
Arrived 29 May 1851
Roman Catholic neither read nor write
Transported for having stolen goods in possession. Gaol Report: never convicted before, very good, single. Stated this Offence: receiving a milk can prosecutor unknown at Cavan. Single. Surgeon’s Report: very good.
Services: 5 June 1851 Brickfields Hiring Depot; 17 October 1851 House of Correctiona; 10 November 1851 Brickfields Hiring Depot; 30 January 1852 H Martyn, Battery Point; 20 August 1852 Brickfields Hiring Depot; 11 September 1852 John Gill, Davey Street; 15 October 1852 House of Correction; 12 November 1852 J Bandall, New Norfolk; 18 March 1853 Mr Charles Menzie, New Norfolk; 12 July 1853 J Randall, New Norfolk
Offences & Sentences 3 January 1854 Marriage with George Jones approved.b Ticket of Leave 1 May 1855 Ticket of Leave revoked 15 March 1859 absent &
Certificate of Freedom to self 1 December 1862.
Transcription provided by Female Factory Research Group. Reference: AOT, CON 41/1/30 Blackfriar
Description List (Tortise 19 Feb 1842, AOT CON 18-1-30 p. 80)
Rules and Regulations for the Management of the House of Correction for Females
HOBART TOWN COURIER
Saturday 10 October 1829, page 4
Rules And Regulations
(The regulations for the management of the House of Correction for females being in themselves so excellent, and so many of our readers having expressed a desire that they should be printed in the Courier, we have determined, though they occupy a very large share of our Journal of this week, to give them at large.)
1. A House of Correction having been erected for the reception of Female Convicts, and for the punishment and reformation of female offenders, the following rules and regulations are to be observed for the due management of the establishment,
2. The Principal Superintendent of convicts being a magistrate, is charged with the general direction of the house of correction. He is to visit it daily for the purpose of hearing and determining offences committed within the walls, of seeing that all the records hereinafter described are correctly kept, of examining minutely into the state of the establishment, and of issuing instructions in writing, to the superintendent upon all such matters as requite his interference.
3. He is to countersign all requisitions, examine the accounts, (and certify that he has so done) as well of the articles supplied for the use of the establishment, as of those manufactured by the women, and he is to transmit such reports and returns as shall place the Lieutenant Governor in possession of the requisite information as to the increase or decrease of crime amongst the female convicts, the quantity of work performed, the general state of the establishment, and most especially the expense of the institution.
4. He is to submit, for the more efficient control, or for the reformation of the females, such measures as he may be enabled from time to time to suggest from his own observations, or from the information of the superintendent; and on the Lieutenant Governor’s sanction being notified to him by the Colonial Secretary, he is to record the instruction in order that it may thenceforth be observed as a standing regulation of the establishment.
5. Cleanliness, quietness, regularity, submission and industry are inserted in the general regulations, as being expected by the government to be observed throughout the establishment, and therefore they are to be uninterruptedly enforced by the principal superintendent, and he is to allow no excuse whatever in justification of the slightest occasional departure from the strict observance of all these essential points which are required un-varyingly to characterise [sic] the house of correction.
6. With all the attention that can be bestowed, the establishment must necessarily be a heavy charge up on the government, and the most scrupulous attention to economy is therefore expected to pervade the whole system of the establishment.
7. It is alone by frequently visiting the different classes, and by constantly inspecting the treatment, the food, and the employment of the women, that the principal superintendent can conscientiously satisfy himself, or faithfully assure the government, that they are neither allowed improper indulgences, nor subject to unnecessary harshness, and that the rules and regulations for the management of the establishment, and for the punishment and reformation of the female offenders, are duly observed and punctually enforced in every department.
8. For the management of the establishment, the following officers are or will be appointed—a superintendent, a matron, an overseer and task mistress for the crime class, a porter, a clerk and two constables.
The Superintendent—He is intrusted [sic] with the immediate management of the establishment, under the directions of the principal superintendent of convicts, and held responsible for the safe custody of the women, and for the strict observance of the rules and regulations for the house of correction.
Every article within the walls is also intrusted [sic] to his charge, and he is responsible that the public property is carefully preserved and accounted for.
He is to communicate to the subordinate officers, in writing, such instructions as he may receive from the principal superintendent, and to see that they are duly carried into effect.
He is to keep a regular journal, noting in it all occurrences of importance, especially cases of misconduct, and the measures thereupon adopted. This book is to be submitted to the principal superintendent whenever he visits the establishment.
Before breakfast every morning, and after supper every evening, he is to read to all the classes assembled in the chapel, a portion of Scripture, accompanied by a short prayer; if the chaplain should be present, this duty will of course be performed by him.
He is to inspect all the rooms and yards of the building after the women have proceeded to their morning’s labour, and see that they are kept in order, and perfectly clean throughout the day.
He is from time to time during the day to visit all the classes while at work, to satisfy himself that quietness is observed, that idleness is not permitted by the task women, and that in every way good order is strictly maintained.
He is to inspect the provisions when issued to the cooks, and again when divided into messes, and to be present during dinner for the purpose of preventing any irregularity.
He is to give instructions daily to the overseer of the crime class, and through the matron to the several task women respecting the employment of the convicts under their charge; and at the close of the day, is to require from each a report of the manner in which the work has been performed, and of the general conduct of each class, and comparing them with his own personal observations during the day, is to note the result in his journal.
He is, with the assistance of some of the well-conducted task women, to devote a portion of every alternate evening during the week to the instruction of such women as may be inclined to learn, and on Sundays he is to cause such as cannot read to be assembled and instructed.
He is to inspect all articles of provisions when furnished for the use of the establishment, and to satisfy himself that they are wholesome, and supplied according to the terms of contract. When any of an unwholesome or inferior quality are supplied, he is to reject them, reporting the circumstance to the principal superintendent.
He is empowered to confine any female in a solitary cell, for disobedience of orders, neglect of duty, or other improper conduct, for a period not exceeding 24 hours, but he is to enter the full particulars of each case in his journal, and to report the same to the principal superintendent, on his visiting the establishment.
He is to visit the females confined in the cells every morning, to satisfy himself that they are in health, and that their punishment is duly enforced. Should any female, while confined in a cell, represent herself to be sick, he is to report the same to the medical officer when he visits the establishment, and, immediately, if the case be urgent, remove her to the hospital yard.
He shall be allowed a clerk for the regular keeping of the undermentioned books:
1. A victualling book according to the scale of rations allowed the establishment, (in the form furnished by the commissariat).
2. A register in which shall be entered the names of the females as they shall be received into the establishment, with the date of entry, and the day on which they shall be assigned or discharged, (Form A).
3. An alphabetical book which shall contain the names of all females received into the establishment, their offences, general conduct, description, temper and habits during their confinement, (B).
4. A record of all offences committed within the walls, distinguishing the cases adjudged by the principal superintendent, from the minor offences disposed of by himself.
5. A book in which shall be entered the receipt and expenditure of all articles furnished for the employment of the females, and which shall exhibit their daily employment, the proceeds of their labour, and the value and appropriation of the articles manufactured.
6. The convicts’ private property book, in which all articles received shall be entered, and their mode of disposal recorded.
7. A book in which shall be inserted these regulations, together with such additional regulations as shall from time to time be issued for the government of the establishment.
8. A memorandum book containing a journal of daily occurrences, in which any directions given by the principal superintendent are to be inserted.
He is to furnish the following returns weekly to the principal superintendent, who will certify as to their accuracy, and transmit them through the Colonial Secretary for the information of the Lieutenant Governor.
1. The weekly state of each class, the mode of employment, the number admitted, and the number discharged.
2. Return of offences within the walls, by whom adjudged, nature and extent of the punishment.
3. Enumeration of the articles manufactured, or work performed by the females, and how disposed of.
4. A list of those females who shall be assignable, exhibiting their names, ship, date of arrival, the service from which they are received, date of entrance into the establishment, the description of work they are capable of performing, together with the particulars of their conduct, character and habits, as far as they can be ascertained.
He shall note in his journal his own absence and that of the matron, whenever either of them may have occasion to leave the establishment.
The Matron—The matron shall superintend such part of the employment of the women as falls within the province of a female, and shall attend to such matters as could not be properly performed by the superintendent, and shall generally assist him in the care and control of the establishment.
She is to give instructions to the task women about the employment of the females, and shall receive from them the articles manufactured.
She is to inspect the females in their separate wards at the morning muster, and shall see that they are clean and properly dressed.
She is to visit the sleeping rooms daily, and see that they are kept perfectly clean and in order by the wardswomen.
She is to visit constantly throughout the day, the hospital, nursery and kitchen yards, and to superintend and give directions in all that is going forward in either, most watchfully observing that in every thing extreme cleanliness, and order, and industry, and economy prevail.
Overseer and Task Mistress of the Crime Class—The overseer is to superintend the crime class at their several occupations, keep an account of all the implements and tools required for their employment, on occasions when the superintendent is necessarily absent, he is to act his deputy, and in the general management of the establishment, shall render the superintendent such assistance as he may require, conforming himself to his instructions. The women confined in the cells are most especially under his charge, he is to visit them at least morning and evening to watch them whilst they are alternately permitted to be in the cell yard, to issue to them their daily allowance of bread and water, to cause the cells to be cleaned in his presence, and to take especial care that no person whatever is allowed to hold conversation with the convicts under confinement.
The task mistress of the crime class it to assist the overseer in all his duties, and on her vigilance and unremitting attention the order and general improvement of the women greatly depends.
Minute instructions for the direction of this class will be prepared and signed by the principal superintendent, and having been approved by the Lieutenant Governor, are to be affixed in some conspicuous part of the yard, and even the slightest deviation is on no account to be allowed or passed by without the severest animadversion.
The Porter—The porter is to keep a book (form C), in which he shall enter the name of every individual who comes into or goes out of the establishment, with the exact hour of such entry and departure, and he is not to suffer any person attached to the establishment to leave it without a written order from the superintendent, which he is also to enter in his book.
He is not to permit any person to enter the inner door of the establishment, except the members of the executive and legislative councils, magistrates, chaplains, and medical attendants, without the written authority of the principal superintendent.
He is to keep an account of all articles as they are supplied for the use of the establishment, and of such as may be taken away.
When any articles shall be delivered at the establishment, he is to give notice thereof to the superintendent or matron, who is to attend for the purpose of receiving them.
He is to ring the bell at such times as are required by the rules and regulations of the establishment, and as the season varies the stated boors will be notified on a board fixed in the lodge, under the hand of the principal superintendent.
Constables—Two constables are to be attached to the establishment, one of whom shall be constantly on duty, and they shall act as messengers.
They are not to be permitted to enter the inner gate, unless their aid should be required in quelling any riot or disturbance, nor are they to speak to or converse with any female confined within the walls of the establishment. More detailed instructions will be issued to them by the principal superintendent, task women, and wards women.
For each class a task woman it to be selected, of approved conduct. She is to have the immediate superintendence of the women in her class. She is to see that they rise at the proper hour in the morning as the first bell rings, that their persons are washed, their bedding properly made up, and that they are in readiness for the inspection of the superintendent and matron at the general muster, when they shall proceed to the performance of their several duties.
In case of any irregularity, neglect of duty, or disobedience of orders by the women under their charge, the task women are immediately to report the circumstance to the superintendent or matron.
One wards woman is to be allotted to each sleeping room; her duty will be to superintend the care of all the bedding and utensils which belong to her room and to see that the apartment is kept in proper order.
Female Convicts—No female convict shall be received into the establishment (excepting such as may be placed there on their arrival from England) without the written authority or warrant of a magistrate, stating the offence of which she has been guilty, and her sentence, if any shall have been passed.
Every female brought to the establishment shall be placed in the reception room until she shall have been examined by the surgeon, she shall then be bathed, washed and dressed in the clothing of the establishment; and if incarcerated for any offence she shall have her hair cut short. The clothes which she shall have brought with her shall be burned if foul or unfit to be preserved, but if otherwise they shall be washed and kept for her benefit on her discharge from the establishment. All articles so kept shall, in the presence of the female, be entered in the “Private property book,” be made up into a parcel, numbered, and marked with the name of the female to whom it belongs, and shall be kept in a place appropriated for that purpose, and shall be delivered up to her on her discharge from the establishment.
The females are to be placed in three distinct classes, which shall on no account be suffered to communicate with each other.
The first class shall consist of those women who may be placed in the establishment on their arrival from England, without any complaint from the surgeon superintendent,—of those who are returned from service with good characters,—and of those who have undergone at least three months’ probation in the second, after their sentence in the third class has expired. The women of this class alone shall be considered assignable, and shall be sent to service when proper situations can be obtained.
The second class shall consist of females who have been guilty of minor offences, and of those who by their improved conduct merit removal from the crime class.
The third or crime class shall consist of those females who shall have been transported a second time, or who shall have been guilty of misconduct on their passage to the colony,—of those who shall have been convicted of offences before the Supreme Court, who shall have been sent in under the sentence of a magistrate, or who shall have been guilty of offences within the walls,—they shall never be removed from the 3rd to the 1st class.
The dress of the females shall be made of cheap and coarse materials, and shall consist of a cotton or stuff gown or petticoat, a jacket and apron, with a common straw bonnet of strong texture, and the classes shall be distinguished as follows, viz:
The first class shall wear the dress without any distinguishing mark.
The second class by a large yellow C on the left sleeve of the jacket.
The third class by a large yellow C in the centre of the back of the jacket, one on the right sleeve, and another on the back part of the petticoat.
Each female is to be furnished with clean linen every week, viz: 2 aprons, 2 shifts, 2 caps, 2 handkerchiefs, and 2 pair stockings.
The first class shall be employed as cooks, task women, hospital attendants, or in such other manner as shall he directed by the principal superintendent.
The second class shall be employed in making clothes for the establishment, in getting up linen, or in such other manner as shall be directed by the principal superintendent.
The third class shall be employed in washing for the establishment, for the orphan schools, penitentiary, in carding wool, spinning, or in such other manner as shall be directed by the principal superintendent.
The hours of labour shall be as follows:
The diet of the several classes shall be as follows:
Breakfast: ¼ lb. bread and a pint of gruel.
Dinner: ½ lb. bread and a pint of soup.
¼ lb. bread and pint of soup.
The soup to be made in the proportion of 25 lbs. of meat to every 100 quarts of soup, and to be thickened with vegetables and peas, or barley, as may be most convenient.
Ox or sheep heads may be used advantageously for making the soup.
The females in each class are to be formed into messes consisting of twelve each,—the best conducted woman is to be named overseer of her mess, and to be responsible for the conduct of the other eleven. Each mess is to sleep in the same room, and their hammocks are to be slung together.
Females guilty of disobedience of orders, neglect of work, profane, obscene, or abusive language, insubordination, or other turbulent or disorderly or disrespectful conduct, shall be punished by the superintendent with close confinement in a dark or other cell, until her case shall be brought under the consideration of the principal superintendent.
Hospital and Nursery—The internal economy of the hospital and nursery yards will be regulated by the medical attendant, who will accordingly frame a code of regulations which, when approved by the Lieutenant Governor, are to be strictly observed by the individuals intrusted [sic] with the duties of these yards. The medical officer is punctually to attend the establishment every morning, whether there are or are not any sick women.
1. None of the inferior officers shall absent themselves from the establishment without first obtaining the superintendent’s authority.
2. No officer belonging to the establishment shall be permitted to receive under any pretence whatever any gratuity or present, either pecuniary or otherwise from persons with whom the government shall have contracted for the supply of any article for the establishment, or from persons who may visit the establishment, or have any work performed in it,—in plain language, no persons employed in the establishment are, either directly or indirectly; to receive any gratuity or reward whatever beyond the salary and allowance granted by the government.
3. No female who shall have been returned from service for misconduct, shall be allowed to be again assigned until she shall have undergone a probation of not less than three months in the second class; in cases of frequent misconduct in previous service not less than six months, and in all cases of dishonesty not less than twelve.
4. The conduct of the task women, wards women and overseer, will be considered when they apply for any indulgence.
5. The testimony of the superintendent as to the character of any female applicant for indulgence, who has been placed in the house of correction, will be indispensable before her application can be considered.
6. No female will be allowed to marry from the second or third classes, nor indeed from the first unless she can obtain a favourable certificate from the principal superintendent.
7. Every female, except such as may be exempted by a certificate from the medical attendant, will be required to attend prayers both morning and evening, and divine service whenever performed in the chapel.
8. One bible, together with such books as the chaplain may recommend, will be allowed to each mess, of which the task woman of the class shall have charge, and for she preservation of which she shall be held accountable.
9. No officer or servant of the establishment shall supply any female convict with other provisions or comforts of any kind than those allowed by the regulations. Neither is any clothing, nor other articles whatever, to be permitted to be delivered to any convict in the House of Correction, nor are any letters or notes to be given them unless the same shall have been first opened and perused by the superintendent, by whom they will be destroyed if they be not from relatives or approved friends, and of a proper character and tendency.
Any person, connected with the establishment who shall disobey the orders contained in this regulation, if free shall be immediately dismissed, and if a convict shall be severely punished under the sentence of the principal superintendent.
10. No fires are to be allowed but such as are sanctioned by the principal superintendent, and be is to define the supply of fuel for the superintendent, free overseer, porter, constables and others, according to the general regulations of the government.
11. No poultry, pigeons, or pigs shall be kept within the walls of the establishment, nor is smoking on any account to be allowed.
12. It is to be distinctly explained by the principal superintendent to all the free officers employed within the establishment, and by the superintendent to all the female convicts on their admission that the utmost cleanliness, the greatest quietness, perfect regularity, and entire submission are laid down as fundamental laws of the establishment; and according to the degree of offending against any of them, punishment of some kind is invariably to follow. If these be observed, patient industry will appear, and reformation of character must be the result.
13. The Rev. Mr. Norman will superintend the religious instruction of the establishment occasionally during the week, and will perform divine service at least once every Sunday, and the resident superintendent will at all times give facility to any arrangement proposed by the chaplain for the more convenient assembly of the women, provided such arrangements do not militate against the established regulations of the House of Correction.
14. A general inspection of the establishment shall be made on the first Tuesday in every month by a committee, which shall be appointed by the Lieut. Governor, when a general return of the receipts and expenditure shall be furnished, together with a report exhibiting the number of females received and discharged during the preceding month, and a particular statement of their conduct, and the quantity of work performed. The observations of the committee, or of any authorized visitor will be entered in a book kept open for that purpose.—(D).
By His Excellency’s command, J. BURNETT.
Colonial Secretary’s Office, Jan. 1, 1829.
Friday 4 March 1831, page 4
Rules and Regulations for Young Ladies
At fifteen.—Affect vivacity, and line your bonnets with pink. If in company with an agreeable gentleman, hold your breath long enough to blush when he speaks to you, and incline your eyes downwards when giving an answer.
At sixteen.—Seem to have a high spirit, but show the most unbounded submission to the opinion of the favoured [sic] one. You may now (when in conversation) look in a gentleman’s face, but be cautious that the eyebrows are kept well arched. Affect a great liking for little babies, and get the credit of being an excellent nurse.
At seventeen.—Read the news of literature and fashion, and form your opinion of the follies of the day, upon their mode. Condemn a taste for public amusements, and talk of the happiness of retirement, and of domestic life. Simper “nimming pimming,” to put your lips in pretty shape, and kiss children before gentlemen, that they may look and envy. Wear frocks as low as the fashion will allow, but still leave much to conjecture.
At eighteen.—Look out seriously for a husband, and be everywhere upon your best behaviour [sic], taking great care not to smell of bread and butter.
At nineteen.—Go to routs and parties, but avoid general flirting. Dress fashionably, but with great neatness and propriety. Wear no flowers in your hair, but let the curls have an appearance of simple negligence.
At twenty.—Consider yourself in some danger of remaining single, and suit your conduct to your circumstances.
At twenty-one.—Be less particular than heretofore, for time begins to wane.
At twenty-two.—Think seriously of paying a visit to some friend at Madras or Calcutta.
At twenty-three.—Marry any body that is not downright intolerable.
At twenty-four.—You cease to be a young lady, and must manage as well as you can.
Tuesday 10 March 1840, page 4
Female Factory—The Flash Mob!
On more than one occasion, as our readers may recollect, have we directed the attention of the proper authorities, to the laxity of discipline, which is practised at the Female House of Correction, near this town. Did nothing further result from this heedlessness, than a winking at certain harmless pastimes, indulged in by the inmates, we should not again bring forward the subject, thus prominently; but information has reached us of so flagrant and revolting a character, that we cannot, under any consideration, remain silent.
We have appended to the title of this article, the term “Flash Mob”; that this term is technical, is sufficiently obvious; but few of our readers,—few, indeed, of any who possess the ordinary attributes of human nature, can even conjecture the frightful abominations, which are practised by the women, who compose this mob. Of course, we cannot pollute our columns with the disgusting details, which have been conveyed to us; but we may, with propriety, call the notice of the proper Functionaries to a system of vice, immorality, and iniquity, which has tended, mainly, to render the majority of female assigned servants, the annoying and untractable animals, that they are.
The Flash Mob at the Factory consists, as it would seem, of a certain number of women, who, by a simple process of initiation, are admitted into a series of unhallowed mysteries, similar, in many respects, to those which are described by Goethe, in his unrivalled Drama of Faust, as occurring, on particular occasions, amongst the supposed supernatural inhabitants of the Hartz Mountains. Like those abominable Saturnalia, they are performed in the dark and silent hour of night, but, unlike those, they are performed in solitude and secrecy, amongst only the duly initiated. With the fiendish fondness for sin, every effort, both in the Factory, and out of it, is made by these wretches, to acquire proselytes to their infamous practices; and, it has come to our knowledge, within these few days, that a simple minded girl, who had been in one and the same service, since she left the ship,—a period of nearly six months,—very narrowly escaped seduction (we can use no stronger term) by a well known, and most accomplished member of this unholy sisterhood.
This practice constitutes one of the rules of the “order;” and we need not waste many words to show how perniciously it must act upon the “new hands,” exposed to its influence. Another rule is, that, should any member be assigned, she must return to the Factory, so soon as she has obtained (we need not say by what means) a sufficient sum of money to enable herself and her companion to procure such indulgences, as the Factory can supply,—or, rather, as can be supplied by certain individuals, connected with the Factory. This sufficiently accounts for the contempt, which the majority of female prisoners entertain for the Factory, while it shows, also, why the solitary cell is considered the worst punishment.
Presuming that neither the Superintendent of the Female House of Correction, nor the Matron, can be cognizant of these things, we have thus publicly directed their attention to them; while we cannot but remark, that, their want of knowledge can only originate in direct and palpable negligence. In more than one sense, is this place deserving of the title of the “Valley of the Shadow of Death;” and in reflecting upon, what we can vouch to be true we do not, know, whether horror of indignation prevails most in our mind. Good God! When we consider that these wretches in human form, are scattered through the Colony, and admitted into the houses of respectable families, coming into hourly association with their sons, and daughters, we shudder, at the consequences, and cannot forbear asking the question: “Are there no means of preventing all this?” Is the Superintendent of the Female House of Correction (!) afraid of these harpies? Or is he too indolent or too good-natured to trouble himself about the matter? We cannot think that either is the case; for we believe Mr. Hutchinson to be a righteous man, and not likely to tolerate such rank abomination. If he be ignorant of the practices to which we have referred, we will willingly afford him all the information, that we possess. In concluding this painful subject, we may observe, that a favorite resort of this Flash Mob, when any of its members are out of the Factory, is the Canteen of a Sunday afternoon, and the Military Barracks of a Sunday night, where comfortable quarters may be procured until the morning! The whole system of Female Prison Discipline is bad and rotten at the very core, tending only to vice, immorality, and the most disgusting licentiousness.