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THE TRANSPORTATION OF WOMEN FROM KILDARE TO VAN DIEMEN'S LAND IN 1849

The transportation of women from Kildare to Van Diemen’s Land in 1849

Anybody who has enjoyed Cathi Fleming’s passionate and engaging talk on the transportation of women and young girls from Co. Kildare to Australia will be delighted to find that her MA Thesis is now published as part of the Maynooth Studies in Local History series. The transportation of women from Kildare to Van Diemen’s Land in 1849 by Catherine Fleming is number 104 of the series.


More women convicts were transported to Van Diemen’s Land from Ireland in 1849 than in any other year. This is the story of several women found guilty of committing a crime in Kildare who made the arduous journey as the Great Famine raged. One was a married woman convicted of murder; two were young women who deliberately committed the crime of arson in order to be ‘sent out’. The youngest, Elisabeth Curry from Naas, was only thirteen when convicted and sentenced to transportation. Many of these convicts were first-time offenders and contradicted their stereotype as fallen women and hardened criminals. The reader will follow the history of these women from their convictions and sentencing in the court at Naas, to their arrival, following a long and dangerous journey, at their new home in the penal colony at Hobart. For many of these young women, transportation, despite its hardships, presented the opportunity to make a new life, emancipated from the poverty and economic deprivation of a famine-ridden Ireland.

 

The transportation of women from Kildare to Van Diemen’s Land in 1849 by Catherine Fleming is now published as part of the Maynooth Studies in Local History  series


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