The first gaol at Parramatta was built in 1796 and stood in what later became known as Alfred Square. It was damaged by fire three years later. The first female factory was established over the old gaol and became known as the 'Factory above the Gaol'
Weaving looms were established in two upper rooms and Master weaver, George Mealmaker (per Royal Admiral
), was appointed by Governor King to oversee operations in August 1803. The women who were sent there worked hard spinning and weaving. Those who could be accommodated slept in the same premises. Others were left to find their own shelter
Fire destroyed part of the premises in 1807 and George Mealmaker died on 30th March 1808.
Work at the factory probably lapsed for about two years at this time.
In May 1809 the Sydney Gazette published the latest General Orders issued by Government and the public were informed that the Factory was re-established under the direction of Mr. Benjamin Barrow (arrived per Glatton
). The Factory was open for the reception of Wool and Flax for the fabrication of Woollen and Linen cloths under the same terms as when under the Superintendence of the late Mr. Mealmaker.
In August 1810 Lieutenant Robert Durie of the 73rd regiment (arrived per Anne
) received instructions from Governor Macquarie to prepare the Old Granary for the reception of female convicts. This would have been the women who were due to arrive on the Canada
. In March 1811 some of the women who had been sent to the factory as punishment but who had conducted themselves in a regular and becoming manner had been given permission by Lieut. Durie to live away from the factory. This was not approved by the Governor who ordered them back to the factory where they were to be confined both day and night.
- Female Convicts
| Newcastle Female Factory
| Punishment of Female Convicts 1822
William Henry Alcock
Benjamin Barrow was dismissed in 1814 and William Henry Alcock (arrived per Minerva
) was appointed superintendent. He commenced his duties on 10th January 1814.
By November 1815 a new workshop and barrack had been built. William Evans was paid in part from the Police Fund for the work.
Francis Oakes 1815? - 1822
Francis Oakes who arrived free on the Nautilus
in 1798 was appointed Superintendent at the factory after William Henry Alcock. Select here
to read the evidence he gave to Commissioner John Thomas Bigge in 1819 regarding the distribution of female convicts and their transfer to Parramatta.
The accommodation became unsuitable there being too many women sent and not enough space to house them...... Extract from a Copy of a Letter from Governor Macquarie to the Earl Bathurst; dated Government-House, Sydney, New South Wales........
When the female convicts arrive they are regularly mustered by my secretary on board ship, and the usual questions are put to them in regard to their good or bad treatment during the voyage; and if they appear healthy, and do not complain of ill-usage, they are either assigned to such married persons as require them for servants, or sent to work at the Government-factory at Parramatta. It is very true that there are no suitable buildings for them to lodge and reside in, provided by Government, excepting the factory at Parramatta, which is only sufficient to contain about sixty women, whilst there are sometimes not fewer than two hundred employed there.
These are, therefore, in common with the male convicts, obliged to find lodgings for themselves; but in order the better to enable them to do so, they are allowed half of the day to work for themselves; it therefore often happens that they are exposed to form bad connections which lead to vicious and profligate conduct. This evil is as old as the original establishment of the colony, and certainly should be obviated or totally removed on every ground of moral or political expediency; and, viewing it thus, it has long been my most sincere wish to remedy the evil, as far as practicable, by erecting a large factory and commodious house at Parramatta, within a high inclosure, for the employment and residence of the female convicts, and within a large space of ground for recreation, so as to keep them always within it, and prevent them having any intercourse with the people of the town, until such time as they should either be married, or assigned as domestic servants to married persons.
The variety of other public buildings required in the colony, and the inadequacy of the colonial funds to defray the expenses of erecting them all at once, have hitherto precluded the possibility of my realizing my wishes to have a factory and dwelling-house on a large scale erected at Parramatta for the above purpose. I expect, however, to be now very soon enabled to have these very necessary works commenced upon, and to defray the entire expense from the colonial funds. I take the liberty of here calling to your Lordship's recollection that I suggested in one of my dispatches some years ago, the expediency of erecting a factory and dwelling-house for the female convicts at Parramatta
In 1816 it was decided to establish a new factory and architect Francis Greenway
was employed to draw up the plans. The foundation stone was laid by Governor Macquarie on 4th May 1818.
The land on which the factory was erected was originally a grant to Charles Smith dated 20 September 1792. Smith held the grant until about 1812 when it was acquired by Rev. Samuel Marsden and renamed 'Mill Dam Farm'; as on the eastern side of the boundary was a mill race or dike which had been formed in the times of Governor Hunter and King. 
..Sydney Gazette 27 January 1821.
In August 1819 Messrs Watkins and Payton were paid 400 pounds from the Police Fund for building a new Factory at Parramatta. Another 600 pounds was paid in December 1819.
The Factory was completed in January 1821 and the women transferred in February. Quite a number married from the old Factory just prior to the removal. It was rumoured that conditions in the new Factory would be more severe than in the old institution, and marriage offered what they considered an easy way out.
William Tuckwell 1822 - 1826
Francis Oakes resigned in July 1822 and the position of Superintendent passed to William Tuckwell.
William Tuckwell resigned in June 1826 and James Orr was appointed Clerk at the Factory.
A Government Notice dated 20 April 1826 announced the appointment of Thomas Jones as constable at the factory in the room of James Mulkoon who was dismissed for improper conduct.
Elizabeth Falloon (nee Raine) 1825 - 1827
Elizabeth Falloon was the first Matron at the Factory. She arrived on the Brothers
in 1824 with her five children. Rev. Samuel Leigh visited the factory at this time. ...... Remarkable Incidents in the Life of the Rev. Samuel Leigh
Ann Gordon 1827 - 1836
Discipline caused the authorities some anxious times. An outbreak took place in October 1827 just as the new Matron Mrs. Ann Gordon was taking over duties. The cause being the substitution of salt for one ounce of sugar, which had been previously allowed the women of the third class for the morning meal. The women got possession of tools and smashed one of the gates.
They poured forth, thick as bees from a hive, over Parramatta and the adjoining neighbourhood. About one hundred came into the town exclusive of numbers that took different routes. Constables were seen running in all directions. A Captain, a Lieutenant, two serjeants and about forty rank and file, were in immediate requisition by the Magistrates and were seen flying in all directions with fixed bayonets; and so violent were the Amazonian banditti that nothing less was expected but that the soldiers would be obliged to commence firing on them.
On reaching the town the women proceeded to raid the bakers and butchers shops. A number of the bakers to avoid being raided threw the bread into the streets.
The police of the town were mustered and strengthened by the assistance of the townspeople, and proceeded to drive the women back to the old quarters. The women shouted as they went along, and carried with them their aprons loaded with bread and meat.
On their arrival at the Factory, Major Lockyer, the Superintendent of Police, at Parramatta, directed the ringleaders to be selected and confined in the cells but so determined were the rioters that, though opposed by a military force they succeeded in rescuing their companions declaring that if one suffered, all should suffer.
Ann Gordon remained Matron at the Factory until 1836.
Parramatta Factory in 1830's
There was another riot at the Factory in February 1831. Many of the participants were sent to Newcastle
on 5th March 1831 and more in the following fortnight. This must have stretched the facilities at Newcastle Gaol
to the maximum. It would be interesting to know the reaction of surgeon George Brooks
when these recalcitrant and defiant women began arriving. They had been sentenced to three years transportation to a penal settlement however under orders of George Brooks, most had been assigned to private service in Newcastle and Maitland by September of that year.
to find out more about these women who were sent to Newcastle on 5th March 1831. The women who participated in the 1831 riot arrived on the convicts ships Lucy Davidson, Competitor
, Roslin Castle
, Princess Charlotte
In September 1831 another seventy-one female prisoners from the Hooghley
were sent straight from the ship to the factory.
Committee of Management - 1831
In the 1830's the Female Factory at Parramatta was divided into three different classes. e different classes.
1st Class included - Those women employed at the factory or awaiting assignment. Those who were homeless and those who had been returned from assignment without complaint and who were eligible for immediate reassignment. They were employed at spinning and carding and similar occupations.
2nd Class (Probationary) - Those returned from assignment because of bad behaviour and those being promoted from 3rd class or demoted from 1st class. They were employed at the same work as the 1st Class but could not be assigned to private service. Females who became pregnant while in service were included in the 2nd Class.
3rd Class- These women were kept at hard labour such as breaking stones. They may have been deprived of tea and sugar, may have been placarded or had their heads shaved.'
Quaker Charlotte Anley visited the Factory on 17 June 1836. She had arrived on the Camden a short time before with the intention of gathering research for a Report on women's prisons commissioned by Elizabeth Fry. She remained in Australia for about two years, fifteen months of which were spent with her relatives the Dumaresq family at Port Stephens.
In her 1841 publication The Prisoners of Australia Charlotte Anley describes her visit to the Factory where she interacted with the prisoners. Below is an extract from her narrative in which she describes the different categories of the females within the walls of the Factory :
On the following morning, immediately after breakfast, Mr. Marsden, having recommended an early visit to the prisoners, we sallied forth to the Factory, again accompanied by our valued friend. I found it a large and airy building, admirably situated for its purpose, but in all other respects ill-adapted, I thought, to be either a refuge for the unassigned convicts, or a prison for the more refractory. It was, however, capable of better arrangements, and the extreme cleanliness of every part of the establishment was worthy of praise.
The prisoners were divided into three classes, the whole numbering at that time nearly seven hundred! My first introduction was to the first class, in which there were but few; being composed only of such as had returned to the Factory from service, either in ill health, or for some slight aggression; and for unassigned convicts, among whom were a few recently arrived from England, and one or two of these betrayed considerable emotion of shame and sorrow. Having spoken to them seriously, but I trust kindly, of their past conduct and present opportunity to reform, I distributed tracts, which they all received willingly, and some with thanks.
I then visited the second class, comprising a larger number of prisoners, all of whom were there for punishment of deeper offences. In this class also, were the mothers of illegitimate children, or of infants too young to separate from the parent. These I addressed in more solemn exhortation, to which, nevertheless, they listened most patiently. I appealed, more especially, to the mothers of some of the really sweet-looking children, whose playful and unconscious innocence formed a touching contrast to the wretched beings who nursed them; but, depraved as they were, many among them appeared deeply affected by my appeal to their maternal feelings, when I reminded them of the double guilt they must incur, if these helpless infants were trained as partners of their own sin and shame. Many wept bitterly, and some answered me, that they would, indeed, rather see their children die, than live to be what they themselves had been, and were ! These also received the tracts I distributed among them with apparent pleasure, and many of them thanked me for what I said.
I had now to pass on to the third class; and here, I confess, I experienced some feeling of nervous timidity, from which I had before been remarkably free. Having been led to expect, from the prisoners of this class, (all of whom were women of the lowest description,) if not personal insult, at least, such language as delicacy might shrink from hearing, I felt that I would rather meet it alone, than with the gentlemen by my side; I therefore requested my companions not to follow me further, as I feared nothing of personal violence.
only by the under matron, I then entered a large inner court, where I found, alas! the far greater proportion of prisoners assembled together, all looking fearfully depraved ; and had it not been for a sense of God s sure protection and strength, I might have shrunk appalled from such a scene, where nearly three hundred women, of desperate and most degraded characters, were gathered in groups of sin and infamy! some lying on the ground, apparently in a state of intoxication ; some sleeping, others quarrelling, swearing, and singing! Immediately upon my entering the court, several of the women, as if from curiosity, gathered round me; some with an air of defiance, as if expecting some unwelcome reproach: but this soon passed away, as I called those especially to come forward who had been in Newgate prison previously to their transportation, as to such I was the bearer of a message. I then explained to them that I was a stranger just arrived from England, and stood there as their friend, deeply concerned to see so many fellow-creatures of my own sex thus abandoned and punished.
of Mrs. Fry; her unremitting zeal on behalf of all prisoners; her anxious prayers -her unwearied exertions to benefit and reform them; and I appealed to them all, whether she deserved to be so soon forgotten, or her counsels so disregarded, as to have one of those for whom she had laboured, in that class of infamy and disgrace! I heard nothing in reply but some heart-drawn sighs, and I gathered courage to speak more fully upon their deep ingratitude to God, who had done so much to reclaim and save them, and still bore with them in so much tender mercy and long suffering ! Nothing could exceed the quietness, the attention, and apparent interest with which they listened.
They answered not one word, either of insult or impatience; but some of them, gathering closer round, entreated me to listen while they told of wrongs which no one heeded, or seemed to care for : That bad masters and cruel mistresses often made them worse than they were; that in service they were treated like dogs, and seldom spoken to without an oath, or as devils, more than human beings. I heard
these complaints without contradiction, as, of course, I had no means of judging as to their truth; but I endeavoured to soften their feelings by reminding them, that whatever their sufferings, they had brought it on themselves; and although I was willing to believe that in some instances their complaints might be just, yet I called upon them patiently to bear with the results, to examine their own souls, and seek for pardon and repentance, leaving it to God to visit others for injustice, cruelty, and unkindness, rather than add to their own guilt by revenge and irritation.
Such is the outline of my first interview with these unhappy outcasts, and truly was I both surprised and gratified in being received amongst them, as I was, with so much patience and forbearance. Many, I may say the greater proportion, were in tears, and when about to leave them, many voices exclaimed, Come and see us again, - do come and see us again ; which I promised, if possible, to do
. The Prisoners of Australia
Mrs. Sarah Bell 1836 - 1838
In 1836 Mrs. Sarah Bell was appointed Matron. Her husband Thomas Bell was keeper.
Mrs. Julia Leach
In 1837 at In 1838 at the instigation of Elizabeth Fry, Mrs. Julia Leach was appointed Matron. In the
Historical Records of Australia, correspondence dated 5 July 1837 from Lord Glenelg advised Sir Richard Bourke that..... he had appointed Mrs. Leach to the office of Matron in the Female Factory at Parramatta and Mr. John Clapham to act in the capacity of House Steward. Mr. Clapham's wife, who accompanies him, will also be employed in instructing the Female Convicts in the Factory. Mrs. Leach is probably already known to you, her late husband having as I am informed, been employed in instructing the convicts in Norfolk Island; and, from the high testimonials which I have received in her favour and the experience which she has acquired in the management of female prisoners in this country, I have no doubt that she will prove well qualified to maintain the good order and discipline of the Establishment. Mr. Clapham has been for some years acting in the capacity of Turnkey in the cold Bath Fields Prison, where he appears to have performed the duties entrusted to him to the entire satisfaction of the visiting Magistrates and others under whose superintendence he acted. I propose that the responsibility of the charge of the prisoners should rest with the Matron and that Mr. Clapham should have the general superintendence of the buildings and the charge of the stores.
The Establishment will then be as follows:
1 Matron (Mrs. Leach)
1 House Steward and Storekeeper (Mr. Clapham)
3 Turnkeys (Male)
4 Turnkeys (Female)
1 Roman Catholic Priest
1 Schoolmistress (Mrs. Clapham)
Mrs. Leach and the Clapham family arrived on the Bencoolen in January 1838
. Just a f. Just a few months later her management of the Factory came under criticism in the Sydney Herald
We are afraid that there is something exceedingly rotten in the state of the management of this place. We occasionally hear of great changes being about to take place in the discipline, but if we are to judge from the effect, there has been but little alteration since it was under the management of the 'Mother of the Maids,' and His Excellency's Private Secretary. The present matron, Mrs Leach, is doubtless a very respectable woman, but we question if any single female is calculated to manage such an establishment, indeed it requires a man of more than common nerve to he able to control such a number of depraved characters as are congregated within the walls of the Factory. The late Hobart Town papers give horrible accounts of the state of the Factory there, and this is what we complain of, that the punishment of transportation is ' unekal,' as Sam Weller said when his grog was not half and half, for while in Hobart Town it appears that the punishment is dreadful, in this Colony the Convict women make no scruple of asserting that they would as soon be in the Factory as at service, and their conduct shews that their assertion is true
The Sydney Gazette
May 1838.- We receive the most deplorable accounts from Parramatta of the state, of the Female Factory since it came under the management of the new ' Mother of the Maids' and her co-adjutors. We predicted as much when we first learned that Lord, Glenelg had been so ill-advised as to displace an officer so every way self qualified to discharge the duties of the situation to make way for Mrs Leach, a woman possessing no extraordinary qualifications for the office. We alluded some time since to the dissensions in the Factory between Mrs. Leach, and Clapham, 'the store- keeper appointed by Lord Glenelg, on the subject of their respective duties ; to such a height, have these dissensions grown latterly, that both parties. have appealed to the Governor, accusing and recriminating each other to such an extent as to render his personal interference necessary. His Excellency left Sydney for Parramatta on Friday last, and immediately on his arrival instituted certain inquiries, the result of which have been an order to Clapham to shift for himself at three days' notice. It is to be hoped that this decisive step will at least restore peace within the walls of the Factory, but we very much doubt whether anything like proper discipline will be maintained, while the Factory remains under its present management
In July the Sydney Monitor
reported....We understand that Mrs. Leach the Matron of the Factory has resigned, finding that the charge of the women in that hot bed of infamy, is quite beyond her control. The vacancy will be filled by Mr. Bell who formerly had charge of the factory. The cells which we have been given to understand are being proceeded rapidly with will in a short time be completed, and the only effective punishment for these women solitary confinement and bread and water will be tried upon an extensive scale
The Sydney Gazette
.....Our readers will receive, with much satisfaction, the intelligence that His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to direct Mr. Bell to resume the superintendence of the Female Factory at Parramatta, which has become vacant by the resignation of Mrs. Leach, Lord Glenelg's nominee. In no case could the evil of leaving the power of appointing persons to offices of trust and power in the Colonies, in the hands of a Secretary of State some sixteen thousand miles distant, be more strongly exemplified than in the case of the Female Factory. It would be difficult, we believe, in the whole compass of the Colony, to find a person better qualified than Mr. Bell to fill the office of Keeper of the Factory, whether from personal qualifications, or from actual experience ; yet Lord Glenelg, in the profundity of his ignorance of the Colony and Colonial affairs, took upon himself to upset one of the very best of the few judicious appointments made during Sir Richard Bourke's reign, and to appoint in Mr. Bell's stead, a female as much qualified for taking charge of an establishment like the Female Factory, as for taking the command of a regiment of dragoons ; and that at the very time when Mr. Bell had just succeeded in rescuing the establishment from the state of disorder and confusion in which it had been left by Mrs. Gordon. Lord Glenelg, we believe, has had enough of interfering with the Female Factory, and will, we have no doubt, gladly assent to Mr. Bell's re-appointment, backed as it will be by the wishes and the approbation of all classes of men in the Colony whose opinions are worth a straw. His Excellency Sir George Gipps has taken much interest in the reformation of the Factory since his arrival. The cells which His Excellency directed to be built are fast progressing, an additional force to accelerate their completion having been put on within these few days
The Factory in the 1840's
The abandonment of Moreton Bay as a penal station deprived the Government of the usual place of transportation for females convicted of secondary offences. A new block of seventy-two cells was erected at the Factory in 1839. The construction of these cells met with adverse criticism in England as some were to be used as a place of solitary confinement and this system was abandoned in consequence. 
Another outbreak occurred amongst the women in February 1843 when Thomas Bell was superintendent. It was reported that three hundred Amazons rushed into the outer yard and commenced a vigorous assault upon the outer gates
. Messengers were dispatched to the police and military who on arrival succeeded in driving he women from the gates into the inner yard where the gates were barracaded. The Chief constable received a severe blow on the side from a brickbat and another of the soldiers was injured by a stone. Although the women held out a siege until the following morning they eventually surrendered. The worst of the rioters were committed to the gaol and the remainder put in solitary cells to quell the riot. Altogether eighty women were said to have been confined.
A Court Case and Rations at the Factory
A court case involving Sarah and Thomas Bell, John Hamilton and Mary Corcoran in October 1843 regarding rations and the number of children at the Factory reveals some of the people associated with the Factory:
Mary Corcoran - came to the colony as a prisoner; first held an office in the Female Factory at the time Mr. Bell was there the first time ; was then acting as overseer of the third class; was appointed Sub-Matron a duty she was paid for. Her duties included receiving women into the Factory and taking account of those going out. She sometimes issued rations to the monitors for distribution.
Mr. Snape was acting as store keeper when Thomas Bell was first at the Factory.
John Hamilton was agent for the contractor who supplied food.
Thomas Bell acted as Storekeeper the second time he came to the Factory. Mr. and Mrs. Bell and four children all lived at the Factory.
John Johnson kept the books at the Factory from June 1839 until October 1842. He kept a diary from June 1841 to March 1842 in which the names of the women were kept. On 10th August 1842 1193 women and 264 children were entered in his books.
Alexander Cameron was employed as Clerk of the washing and needlework at the Factory since June 1840.
Thomas O'Neale from Parramatta supplied the milk for the factory for the previous five years; from 200 to 280 pints a day.
Jane Edge, prisoner of the Crown had charge of the orphan children in the school of the Female Factory.
Elizabeth Reinhart was matron or overseer over the 2nd and 3rd classes; had charge of all the children except those at the school.
Dr. Patrick Hill
ensured that the women received their full rations of vegetables. He had attended the Factory as surgeon since January 1841.
Ann Shelwin was cook in the Factory; had been in the kitchen department for the previous three years
Lucy Martin was employed as cook
Ann Johnson was overseer of the laundry
Ann Edgeley was employed as laundress for 4 years.
Caroline James was employed as a laundress
Margaret Croston employed as a laundress for two years
Mary McCarthy employed for three years in the needle room
Eliza Donaldson had been in the Factory for three years.
Gilbert Elliott was Visiting Magistrate since June 1842.
Rev. Nicholas Joseph Coffey was Roman Catholic Chaplain
(The Australian 17 October 1843
It was decided to close the Factory and in March 1848 it was reported that the building was to be used as an asylum for lunatics. The old Factory building continued to be used for the purpose of a mental hospital until 1883. 
Notes and Links
Follow the Female Convict Ship Trail
Newcastle Female Factory
Parramatta Female Factory Precinct
Parramatta Female Factory
Descendants of Parramatta Female Factory Facebook page
Save Parramatta Female Factory Facebook page.
A description of the Female Factory at Parramatta in the 'Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry into the state of the Colony of New South Wales'
(J.T. Bigge) - State Library of NSW
Tying the Nuptial Knot
at the Parramatta Female Factory........in 'A Residence of Eleven Years in New Holland and the Carolinas by James F. O'Connell
Our Antipodes; Or, Residence and Rambles in the Australian Colonies With a Glimpse of the Gold Fields
By Godfrey Charles Mundy - A colourful description of a riot that took place at the factory in the 1830's
History of the British Colonies
by Robert Montgomery Martin 1835- Another version of the riot
The Women of the convict ship 'Morley' arrive at the Female Factory in 1820
- Literary Gazette
Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry into the state of the Colony of New South Wales'
( J. T. Bigge) State Library of NSW' - Living conditions of woman at Parramatta in the factory above the gaol prior to 1821
Watercolour of the Female Factory
at Parramatta by Augustus Earle ?1826
Parliamentary Debates 1819 - Female convicts - Lord Wellington Convict Ship
Women Transported: Myth and Reality
- a paper presented by Gay Hendriksen, Curator, Parramatta Heritage Centre, at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra on 14 June 2009. '
Narrative of the United States exploring expedition Volume 2
By Charles Wilkes - A description of the Female Factory
Solitary Cells erected at Parramatta Female Factory
in 1839 This plan is basically the 1821 remodelled Female Factory that was first set up in 1796 at Parramatta. The plan features only those revisions to the original design around 1839-1840 drawn by Royal Engineer H.H. Lugard
. Those revisions involved the construction of a set of solitary cells. This was probably due to increasing convict unrest as a result of massive overcrowding at the Parramatta facility. Alexander Maconochie, a penal reformer far ahead of his times, who had in March 1840 taken up the appointment as commandant of the penal colony on Norfolk Island, then a brutally run gulag, used the updated plans of the Parramatta Female Factory that provided correction through solitary confinement to support his own proposal for a similarly designed prison on Norfolk Island.....National Library of Australia
Reminiscences of Thirty Years' Residence in New South Wales and Victoria
... By Roger Therry' - Outbreak at the Female Factory
Below is a list
of 98 convict ships carrying female prisoners to New South Wales - Click on the links to find those women who have been identified residing in the Hunter Valley in the years up to 1860........
Archduke Charles 1813
City of Edinburgh 1828
Earl Cornwallis 1801
Earl of Liverpool 1831
Forth (11) 1830
Francis and Eliza 1815
George Hibbert 1834
Henry Wellesley 1837
John Bull 1821
John Renwick 1838
Lady Juliana 1790
Lady Penrhyn 1788
Lady Rowena 1826
Lord Melville 1817
Lord Sidmouth 1823
Lord Wellington 1820
Lucy Davidson 1829
Mary Anne 1822
Mary Ann 1839
Princess Charlotte 1827
Princess Royal 1829
Roslin Castle 1830
Sarah and Elizabeth 1837
Sir Charles Forbes 1837
Sydney Cove 1807
Thomas Harrison 1836
William Pitt 1806
The following women were sent to Newcastle
after rioting at the Parramatta Female Factory in 1831
1). Ann Chapman was employed as a servant girl in Yorkshire. She had a ruddy complexion, brown hair and was married with no children. Ann was 22 years old when she was convicted of stealing money on 4th May 1829. She had two prior convictions and was sentenced to 7 years transportation. Ann was one of 99 female convicts who arrived on the convict ship Lucy Davidson in December 1829. The Lucy Davidson had departed from London on 20 July under Captain Wiseman and surgeon superintendent Mr. Osborne. Whooping cough broke out on the voyage and there were several fatalities. On arrival the Lucy Davidson was put into quarantine and the prisoners were not landed until the 9th of December when they were distributed to various applicants as servants. By January 1830 the women of the Lucy Davidson were being described as 'incorrigibles' by the Sydney Gazette, many having been returned to Government service by their masters. Perhaps Ann was one of these as she was sentenced to 3 years in a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot in the Female Factory at Parramatta in February 1831. She was sent to Newcastle and assigned to the private service of John Smith of Newcastle on the orders of
on 6 September. John 'Gentleman' Smith was well known in the district and owned an Inn in Newcastle and a farm at Maitland. In 1832 Ann married John Broadbent who arrived on the convict ship 'Neptune' in 1820. Previously John had been employed as a constable at Newcastle and turnkey at the gaol. In 1832 when John and Ann married he was employed at 'Bonogo' the estate of John Hooke
at the Williams River
2) Eliza Norman was born in Dublin. In 1828 She was 22 years old and employed as a servant in London. On 21st February 1828, she was sentenced to 7 years transportation for house robbery and was transported on the Competitor departing England 13th June 1828. On arrival in the colony she was assigned to Margaret Delaney and two years later to Jonathan Hassell. By March 1831 she was in inmate at the Parramatta Female Factory and took part in the riot there in March. As punishment she was sent to Newcastle gaol on 5 March 1831 under a sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement - the charge mutinous conduct and riot at the Factory. She was sent to the private service of William Morley of Newcastle in March 1831 by order of George Brooks and punished for drunkenness in September of that year. Eliza was 27 when she married Samuel Smith in 1832. Samuel Smith arrived on the 'Hercules' convict ship in 1825 and established a successful coach and carriage business in Maitland. Eventually he employed other drivers but also continued to drive the coaches himself between Newcastle and Maitland.
3). Isabella Turner was from Belfast. Arrived on the Edward in 1829. Sent to Newcastle gaol 5th March 1831 under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot at the Female Factory at Parramatta. Sent to the private service of William Brown at Maitland 3 September
4). Eliza Davis was employed as a servant of all work and needlewoman. A native of Southwark, she was tried at the Old Bailey on 9th April 1829 for robbery from the person and sentenced to Transportation for life. Her description is recorded on the convict indent - 4ft 11in with a ruddy freckled complexion, red hair and grey eyes. She arrived on the convict ship Lucy Davidson in December 1829. The Lucy Davidson departed from London on 20 July under Captain Wiseman and surgeon superintendent Mr. Osborne. Whooping cough broke out on the voyage and there were several fatalities. On arrival the Lucy Davidson was put into quarantine and the prisoners were not landed until the 9th of December when they were distributed to various applicants as servants. Eliza was assigned to Richard Humphries in Pitt Street Sydney. She was at the Factory when the riot broke out in 1831 and sent to Newcastle gaol
in March under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot. On 8th September she was sent to the private service of Simon Kemp at Newcastle. Simon Kemp was a free settler who arrived on the Elizabeth in 1827 and was initially employed as a carpenter by the Australian Agricultural company and later owned various allotments of land at Newcastle. In 1832 Eliza married John Dyson who arrived on the Lord Sidmouth in 1819 and was employed in the Williams River district. In 1835 she was sent from Maitland to Newcastle gaol for one month and to be returned to government service, when she was re assigned to Mrs. Ward at Paterson. Eliza was granted a Ticket of Leave in 1845, fifteen years after arriving in the colony
5). Susan Scarborough was employed as a servant in London. She was sentenced to 7 years transportation in 1829 and was one of 128 female prisoners who arrived in Port Jackson on the Roslin Castle on 29th June 1830. The Roslin Castle suffered serious damage in a sudden squall on the voyage, however the women all arrived safely. Two months later in August Susannah was sentenced to six weeks at the Parramatta Female Factory for threatening her mistress after she was chastised for being absent without leave and intoxicated. Six months later Susannah took part in the riot at the Parramatta Factory and was sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 3 years in a penal settlement. She was assigned to the private service of Mr. Pilcher of Maitland on the orders of George Brooks 8 October. Susannah married James Stilsby of Maitland in 1832. Stilsby established a successful coaching business in the Maitland district and charged a fare of 6s to travel on his coach between Maitland and Singleton in 1843. James and Susannah's marriage doesn't appear to have been a happy one. In February 1835 Susannah was admitted to Newcastle from Maitland under sentence of 28 days in the cells and then to be returned to her husband and in addition to be confined for 2 months afterwards. In March she was again admitted to the gaol under a sentence of 12 months confinement in the cells. When she was released in May 1836 she absconded again and her description was posted - she was 31 and a poplar needlewoman. 5ft 2in with a ruddy complexion, dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. She had tattoos on her upper arms. Susannah received a Certificate of Freedom in 1837
6) Ellen Chambers Servant from London. Arrived on the Princess Charlotte in 1825. Sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot at the Female Factory. On 14 June by the orders of the Governor, to be sent in charge of the Master of the Caledonia to be conveyed to her husband in Sydney
7). Johanna Spillane was sentenced to 7 years transportation in Cork in 1829. She was one of 120 female prisoners who departed Ireland on the convict ship Forth on 3rd June 1830. She was already pregnant with her daughter Katherine when she took part in the riot at the Parramatta Female Factory in 1831. She was sent to Newcastle for three years for her part in the riot and her daughter Katherine was born in the gaol there in mid September. Katherine died aged only 9 days. By the beginning of October Johanna had been assigned to the private service of John Larnach at Castle Forbes, Patrick Plains and it was probably here that she met Daniel McFarlane, a convict who arrived on the 'Boyne' in 1826 and who had been employed as a constable in the district. Johanna and Daniel married in 1832 at Newcastle. Johanna absconded from Daniel in 1839, a brave decision as there was no community support in such situations. A notice was placed in the newspaper by Daniel cautioning against giving his wife credit. Johanna returned to her husband. She died age 47 on 13th January 1852 at Johnston's Woolshed on the Namoi River
8). Anne Moore arrived on the convict ship 'Asia' in 1830. She was sent to Newcastle gaol 5 March under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for her part in the riot at the Female Factory at Parramatta. By August she had been assigned to the private service of George Wyndham
. One month later Wyndham returned her to the gaol and in October she was married to William Campbell of Maitland. William Campbell arrived on the convict ship 'Dorothy' in 1820. Anne spent some months back in Newcastle gaol awaiting trial for an unknown crime in 1835. She received a Certificate of Freedom in 1837
9) Catherine Hoare was from Co. Kerry. She was one of 194 female convicts who arrived on the convict ship 'Elizabeth' in 1828, having been sentenced to 7 years transportation. Catherine was sent to Newcastle on 5th March 1831 under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement as punishment for her part in the riot at the Female Factory. She was assigned to private service of William Morley at Newcastle by order of George Brooks on 8 September 1831. Catherine married millwright William Salisbury at Newcastle in 1832 and daughter Mary Ann was born in 1832 followed by Betsy in 1834. William Salisbury arrived on the 'Tottenham' in 1818 and was sent to Newcastle penal settlement as early as 1821. He was still there in the 1850's however by then Catherine seems to have moved to Maitland
10) Ellen Byron arrived on the convict ship 'Sovereign' in 1829 under sentence of 7 years transportation. She was sent to Newcastle gaol on 5 March 1831 for 3 years for her part in the riot at the Female Factory at Parramatta. She was discharged by order of George Brooks for the purpose of being married to William Kelsoe, Mr. Glennies overseer on 14 October. William Kelsoe was one of 139 prisoners who arrived on the convict ship 'Castle Forbes' in 1824. He had been employed as a constable and spent time in a road gang. At the time of his marriage to Ellen he was employed at 'Dulwich' Estate
11) Ann Thew was employed as a servant by schoolteacher William Martin in London. She was tried at the Old Bailey on 9th April 1829 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing clothing and shoes belonging to Martin. (Indent states a sentence of transportation for Life) Ann was 15 years old and was one of 99 female prisoners who arrived on the Lucy Davidson in 1829. After being detained in quarantine the women were landed on 9th December and assigned to various applicants. Anne was assigned to George Gurner in Sydney. She was returned to the Parramatta Female Factory and for her part in the riot in March 1831, sent to Newcastle gaol for 3 years. With consent of the Governor Ann married Thomas Light in November 1831. Ann was 17 and Thomas 25 years old. At this time Ann witnessed the marriage of Ellen Byron and William Kelsoe in Newcastle. Ellen was another young woman who took part in the riot at the Factory and was a similar age to Ann. Both young women were destined to follow their husbands far into the vast Hunter River Valley and beyond. Anne's husband Thomas Light arrived as a prisoner on the 'Midas' in 1827 and was assigned to James Bowman
at Patrick Plains. Thomas received a Ticket of Leave in 1834 and the couple appear to have moved to the Liverpool Plains area after this
12) Bridget Sweeney was 21 years old when she arrived on the convict ship 'Edward' on 20th June 1829. The 'Edward' brought 177 women to Australia, three having died on the voyage out. Bridget was sent to Newcastle gaol
on 5 March under sentence of 3 years as punishment for her part in the riot at the Female Factory. The gaol records show that she was discharged to the private service of Benjamin Cox of Maitland on 31 August 1831. Benjamin Cox held the license for the 'Rose Inn' at Maitland and in 1831 when Bridget arrived, he was already enlarging the premises. Barely a month later, Bridget was returned to Newcastle gaol. She had absconded from service and was to be confined at the gaol for a month before resuming her original sentence of three years in a penal settlement.
13) Johanna Corcoran was tried in Cork in 1829 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. She departed Ireland on the convict ship 'Asia' on 14th September 1829 and arrived in Port Jackson on 13th January. Eighty one women were sent to Female Factory at Parramatta and the rest were sent to private assignment. Johanna was sent to the penal settlement at Newcastle under a sentence of 3 years for her part in the riot at the female factory. On 26 August, Johanna was discharged to the private service of William Harper of Oswald
, however by October she was back in the gaol having feigned illness. She was returned to Mr. Harper at Oswald but again, the following week was returned to the gaol for neglect of duty and disobedience of orders. In 1832 Johanna married Patrick Keelan a convict who arrived in 1820 on the 'Almorah' convict ship.
14) Lydia Matthews From Devonshire. Arrived on the 'Sovereign' in 1828. Sent to Newcastle 5th March under a sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot in the Female Factory, Parramatta. To be discharged to William Sparke
by order of George Brooks
15) Ena Armstrong Servant from Cheshire. Arrived on the 'Lucy Davidson' in 1829. Sent to Newcastle gaol
under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot in the Female Factory at Parramatta. To be discharged to private service of Captain Allman
by order of George Brooks on 30 August
16) Alicia O'Brien Servant from Limerick. Arrived on the 'Brothers' in 1826. Sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot in the Female Factory at Parramatta. To be sent to private service of John Cobb on 25 August
17) Elizabeth James was employed as a servant in Glamorganshire and arrived on the convict ship 'Roslin Castle' in 1830. She was sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement for mutinous conduct and riot in the Female Factory at Parramatta. Elizabeth was assigned to the private service of Alexander Phelp of Newcastle on 24 August. Alexander Phelp resided in Pacific Street Newcastle where he conducted a Bakery and provided accommodation for visitors to the town. On 30th September Elizabeth was returned to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 10 days in the cells and afterwards to return to her original sentence of 3 years. In 1832 Elizabeth married Alexander Clayton who arrived as a convict on the 'Princess Royal' in 1823
18) Maria Priestley was tried in London. She arrived on the convict ship 'Roslin Castle' in 1830 and for her part in the riot was sent to Newcastle sentence of 3 years in a penal settlement. She was sent to the private service of Colonel Dumaresq
per I. Divine (Mr. Cobb's man) on 24 August
19) Mary Sears arrived on the Roslin Castle in 1830 having been sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing money. She was twenty two when she was tried at the Old Bailey in London on 10th September 1829. She was at the Female Factory at Parramatta when the riot broke out and for her part was sent to Newcastle in March 1831 under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement. On the 21st August Mary and another Factory rioter Maria Priestly who also arrived on the Roslin Castle, were sent to the private service of Colonel Dumaresq
at his estate St. Heliers, Invermein (Scone). Here Mary met Samuel Ellis a convict of the 'Hindostan' who had recently received a Ticket of Leave for the district. Mary and Samuel Ellis were married in 1832 and Mary received a Ticket of Leave for the district of Invermein in 1836. Mary and Samuel probably remained in the Scone/Murrurundi district.
20) Mary Read departed England on 3rd March 1830 on the convict ship 'Roslin Castle'. She was only 19 but would never return, having been sentenced to transportation for Life for stealing a watch and other articles on 25th September 1829. For her part in the riot at the Female Factory Mary was sent to Newcastle gaol
in March 1831 under sentence of 3 years to a penal settlement. On 23rd August, she was sent to the private service of Francis Beattie. Francis Beattie at this time was gaol keeper in Newcastle. Both Francis Beattie and Mary were witnesses at several marriages in Newcastle around this time. Francis Beattie also ran an Inn called the 'Crooked Billet
'. Francis Beattie died in 1835. Mary received a Ticket of Leave for the district of Maitland in 1842 and applied to marry George Matthews in 1844, however there is no record of a marriage in the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages index. Mary received a Conditional Pardon in 1852, twenty-two years after she arrived.
21). Hannah Quigley was one of 194 prisoners who arrived on the 'Elizabeth' from Cork in January 1828. The Newcastle Bench Books indicate she was born in County Derry where she had been employed as a servant. For her part in the riot at the Female Factory, she was sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 3 years. In August 1831, she was sent to the private service of John Eales
near Maitland. Select Settler Map 1 to find the location of John Eales' estate. In 1832 Hannah married thirty-nine year old William Johnson of Nelson's Plains.
22) Bridget Ryan arrived on the convict ship 'Edward' in 1829. She was sent to Newcastle gaol on 5th March for mutinous conduct, riot and breaking windows and machinery in the work shop of the Female Factory under sentence of three years. She was sent to the private service of James Cox in Maitland by order of George Brooks on 31 August
23). Catherine Duffy arrived on the convict ship 'Edward' in 1829. For her part in the riot at the Female Factory ie mutinous conduct, riot and breaking windows and machinery, she was sent to Newcastle gaol on 5th March and to remain there for 3 years. She was sent to private service of Johnston Mcdonough on 30 August, however was returned to the gaol two months later when Mcdonough was caught harboring bushrangers and therefore no longer considered a suitable person to have convicts assigned to him. Soon afterwards Catherine married 40 year old Alexander Welsh (Walsh) who arrived as a convict on the 'Earl St. Vincent in 1823. Search the database to find out more about Catherine and Alexander Welsh
24) Helen Madden was one of 99 female prisoners who arrived from England on the 'Competitor' in 1829. For her part in the riot at the Factory she was sent to Newcastle gaol on 5th March under sentence of 3 years in a penal settlement. She was sent to private service of Mary Ann Cooper in Maitland on 15 September.
25) Jane Waters was born in Bristol. She was one of 128 female prisoners who departed London on 3rd March 1830 in the convict ship 'Roslin Castle'. For her part in the riot, Jane was sent to Newcastle gaol on 5th March and to remain there for 3 years. Sent to private service of George Muir of Maitland 6th December. George Muir had been Chief Constable in Newcastle, however resigned from this position and when Jane was assigned to him he was residing in Maitland with his wife Elizabeth. Jane married James Hely of Darlington in 1832.
26). Bridget Neil was born in Limerick. She arrived on the 'City of Edinburgh' in 1828. For her part in the riot at the Factory she was sent to Newcastle gaol under sentence of 3 years in a penal settlement. She was sent to private service of Reverend Threlkeld 23 August 1831 and later married Joseph Fleming.
27) Catherine Butler was born in Kilkenny. She arrived on the convict ship 'Elizabeth' in 1828. Catherine was sent to Newcastle gaol on 5th March for mutinous conduct and riot at the Female Factory Parramatta. She was sent to the private service of P. Collins of Maitland on 3 September
28). Rebecca Markham was tried in London. She arrived on the 'Roslin Castle' in 1830 and was sent Newcastle gaol in March 1831 for mutinous conduct and riot in the Female Factory at Parramatta. Rebecca was assigned to the private service of Edward Priest of Newcastle on 20 September. She married Henry Dyer who resided at Puen Buen
 New South Wales Government. Main series of letters received, 1788-1825. Series 897, Reels 6041-6064, 6071-6072. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood
 Michael Roe, 'Mealmaker, George (1768 - 1808)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,
 Jervis, James, Notorious in Early Days
, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate
26 October 1933
 Sydney Gazette 7 May 1809
 Sydney Gazette 31 October 1827
 The Monitor 2 June 1826
 The Sun and NSW Independent Press
25 February 1843
Cite This Page
Willetts, J (n.d.) "Parramatta Female Factory". Free Settler or Felon
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