Van Diemen's Women: A History of Transportation to Tasmania
On 2 September 1845, the convict ship Tasmania left Kingstown Harbour for Van Diemen's Land with 138 female convicts and their 35 children. On 3 December, the ship arrived into Hobart Town. While this book looks at the lives of all the women aboard, it focuses on two women in particular: Eliza Davis, who was transported from Wicklow Gaol for life for infanticide, having had her sentence commuted from death, and Margaret Butler, sentenced to seven years' transportation for stealing potatoes in Carlow. Using original records, this study reveals the reality of transportation, together with the legacy left by these women in Tasmania and beyond, and shows that perhaps, for some, this Draconian punishment was, in fact, a life-saving measure.