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Family matters: bastards, orphans and baptisms--New South Wales, 1810-1825 (1).

This article draws on evidence taken from a number of documents relating to the period 1810-1825. (2) The conclusions suggest a need to revise a number of assumptions about relationships between male and female convicts during this period. Historians have tended to accept unproven statements in respect of family relationships which are not borne out by these documents. These official administrative documents do not provide a foundation for any discussion of an in-depth analysis of personal relationships. Nonetheless the findings reveal a surprising discrepancy between statements based on belief rather than that which is disclosed by the evidence provided here.

From the outset of settlement in New South Wales, contemporaries were faced with an apparently insoluble paradox--how were the depraved and disorderly convict women to be turned into suitable and stable mothers and correspondingly how were the unreformed convict men to be transformed into good and honest fathers. The condemnatory words of the Anglican parson, substantial landowner and magistrate, the Reverend Samuel Marsden which were loudly broadcast both within the colony and to the Home government, censured the unmarried relationships between convict men and convict women. (3) On one occasion Marsden fulminated against the inadequate institutional accommodation for both convict men and women in Parramatta. This inadequacy apparently resulted in the subversion of morality with convicts enjoying transgressive sexual relationships. According to Katrina Alford, Portia Robinson and John Hirst (4) who drew on Marsden's outburst, female convicts, who were not assigned to private service, were forced to cohabit with 'wretched men' (that is the male convicts who were working for the government in Parramatta). However, a closer reading of Marsden's words suggests that this particular tirade was based on the wish to protect his and neighbours' properties. Writing in his capacity as a landowner, Marsden described how he and his fellow landowners were prevented from sleeping easily in their beds since neither their crops nor their livestock were safe from these 'wretched men'. Their uneasy sleep was as a result of the thefts of 'bushel[s] of wheat, or maize ... [the] sheep in his fold ... [the] hog in his sty' by the convict men. Their motivation was, according to Marsden, based on supporting the 'abandoned women' with whom these guilty convicts were co-habiting. It would seem that the men were in fact ensuring that their households were adequately nurtured, rather than sexually exploiting their female partners. (5) Despite the difference in tone, Marsden's complaints could be regarded as confirming an earlier comment implying an informal acceptance of stable de facto relationships by at least one previous colonial administration. These relationships, although officially frowned upon, were nonetheless recognised and accepted in a customary sense. Ex-governor Captain William Bligh (1806-1810) in his evidence to the 1812 House of Commons Select Committee on Transportation observed that, such a couple having lived together for a length of time and having had children, the man 'provided for them as fathers do for their children'. (6)

Owing a greater debt to rhetoric than empirical research, it appears that a number of historians (7) for their own reasons have been content to accept approaches which emphasised both the 'depraved and disorderly' label given to female convicts as well as a correspondingly negative impression of the male convicts as essentially physically abusive and sexually exploitative figures. The overall imagery is of 'ubiquitous violence, inside and outside the home'. (8) Convict women who were involved in de facto relationships have been represented primarily as victims of male sexual lust or else steered into such relationships by economic necessity. Adopting a feminist perspective, Katrina Alford declared that 'convict women preferred a union with one man in order to stem predatory advances from a host of men'. (9) Subsequently Gordon Carmichael asserted that 'Rape, prostitution, sexual harassment and general physical abuse became the lot of many [women] as so many men were of dubious character'. (10) Nonetheless, evidence from both Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales clearly demonstrates mutually consensual relations between convict men and women. (11) The repetition of the condemnatory description by some influential colonial figures (12) of de facto relationships and the resultant illegitimate children during these years of the colony has provided a fertile ground for scholars. (13) Undoubtedly the presence of unsupported women and children created economic and social problems for the early administrations. However Kay Daniels claimed that it was, in fact, the assignment system which created problems with 'numbers of women and children being left for the government to support'. (14) The Reverend Samuel Marsden alleged it was the relative ease with which men who had completed their sentences could leave the colony, and drew particular attention to those women who, having borne these men's children, were abandoned. (15) Giving his evidence to the 1812 House of Commons Select Committee on Transportation, Captain Bligh also drew attention to a similar set of circumstances whereby an 'accidental' pregnancy had been caused by casual sexual relations and deplored the time-served convict men who had avoided their paternal responsibilities by opportunistically departing on a passing ship. Clearly Bligh distinguished these pregnancies from those resulting from long-term cohabitation. (16) This understanding of casual sexual relations was thus determined by the father's abrogation of his parental responsibilities by departure, rather than his impregnation of a woman in the first place. It perhaps also assumes that such men were motivated to depart by the prospect of a mother and infant with claims to their husbandly and fatherly care and material support. There are, however, indications that it was not always the case that the men who deserted partners with a child had departed from the colony. As shall be seen, the documents examined in this article provide no quantitative evidence of the civil status of either men or women. Thus there is no way of ascertaining whether a majority or a minority were transportees. Nonetheless, attention has been drawn to those few instances where the word 'convict' does appear.

Between February 1810 and March 1814, seventeen women who had given birth to illegitimate children appeared before the Bench of Magistrates in Sydney. The documents detailing these cases are given an uncompromising reference, 'Bastards, 1810-1814'. (17) Evidence and personal statements naming the father in all but one case were provided to the Bench, evidence in itself that the children were not born as a result of brief couplings with a nameless stranger. (18) Of these seventeen women, fifteen applied to the Bench for financial assistance by having their child 'placed on the stores' since the named fathers had failed to provide maintenance. Of these seventeen women only one, Mary Dougherty, drew attention to John Coffee's status as a 'convict' and the father of her recently born child. (19) Two women, Letitia Reynolds (20) and Elizabeth Thompson (21) claimed that the merchant emancipists, James Underwood and William Mansell respectively, were the father of their child. Jane Duff stated that the Sydney baker, Samuel Forster, was the father of her daughter who had been born in August 1812, six months before she appeared before the bench.(21) Two women, Mary Buchan and Ann Dickson, named men serving with the 73rd Regiment. As the regiment had been ordered to leave the colony for a tour of duty in Ceylon neither father, Robert Young and John Croker respectively, was in a position to support his child. (23) Two other women stated that the man with whom they had cohabited had defaulted on a prior arrangement of paying maintenance. Mary Picket stated that she and her infant son, of two years of age, had been left 'without any provision'. The father, Henry Major, had 'forsaken her and her family', despite his being in the way of 'great earnings being Owner and Master of Colonial Vessels'. (24) Susan Roberts' statement suggested that Simeon McGuiggan, the father of her son, Alexander McGuiggan, had given intermittent and irregular financial support for their son. Having separated after two years cohabitation, Susan Roberts requested the Bench's intervention in reinstating and formalising financial support. (25)

Three women who had been transported on the Archduke Charles gave birth to a child on arrival in the colony. Each named a crewman as the father of her child. Sarah Ayres laid her claim of paternity on the mariner John Tate. (26) Ann Tewick stated that John Novell was the father. (27) The third woman, Rose Kenny, named Barth Houlson, (with whom she had cohabited for the length of the voyage), the ship's carpenter as the father of her son. This case provided further details as Barth Houlson wished to make provision for both Rose and his son but the captain of the Archduke Charles frustrated this wish by refusing to forward any part of Houlson's wages. The Bench had been approached as a means of intervening on Houlson's behalf to obtain sufficient financial support. (28) In addition to these three women, another two women claimed that the father of their child was a mariner. (29) A further two women, in their evidence, indicated that the fathers of their children were also employed in the maritime trade. Ann Kinsela who was the only applicant in 1810, named Christopher Carnostan of the brig Experiment (30) as her son's father. The following year Hannah Gaggin stated a 'seaman on board the ship Indispensable was the father of her son. (31)

Only two men, named by the women before the Bench, contested the claims of paternity. The first of these two men, William Wade, appeared before the Bench in 1812, some months after Sarah Yates had lodged her application. (32) Wade's denial of paternity was couched in language designed to appeal to the men sitting on the Bench. His statement was a tacit acknowledgement of a shared sexual prejudice, including as it did a character assassination of the woman who had named him as the father of her child. (33) Perhaps to overcome any class bias, which may otherwise have been directed against him by the Bench, he described Sarah Yates 'as a common prostitute' whilst admitting to 'transient illicit intercourse' with her. Such a description of Sarah meant that she could not 'possibly ascertain him as the Father'. (34) Nonetheless, Wade's name had been recorded alongside Yates's when the infant Thomas was baptised in St Phillip's Church in Sydney on 30 March 1812, four months before Wade's denial of paternity. (35) Margaret Costello named Peter Walsh as the father of her three-year-old son, Owen. (36) Margaret Costello advised the Bench that Peter Walsh, despite his financial ability to support their 'unfortunate offspring' had never contributed 'one penny towards his Maintenance or cloathing' [sic]. (37) In his denial of paternity, Peter Walsh claimed that Margaret Costello had been cohabiting with Owen McMannaman since 'her arrival in the Colony' and that Owen was the father.

Other than these two cases, no other man challenged the alleged claim of paternity, although in the case of seamen, they were in all probability over the seas and far away by the time the cases were heard. Indeed, it is significant that the fathers in these cases were so often seamen rather than convicts. These bastardy cases involving seafarer fathers were no different from the many similar ones in, say, Bristol, London or any other British port, rather than reflecting on the male convict population as rotten partners and irresponsible fathers. In the case of the two fathers who were serving with the 73rd Regiment it is plausible to suggest that these births were a by-product of garrison town and barracks culture, hardly of male convict heartless irresponsibility. The assumption by contemporary high officials and some present day historians alike, that the fathers in such cases would, typically, be convicts is not only mistaken, it also reveals ideologically founded prejudices against the convict men as a body--in the case of the officials, a class prejudice and in the case of some modern feminist scholars, a gendered prejudice. Although these seventeen cases could hardly be regarded as a conclusive corpus of evidence, the impression is, with so few cases appearing in four years, that there were less numbers of 'deserting convict fathers' than the contemporary statements of immorality and irresponsibility convey.

In 1818 the proposed opening of the Male Orphanage institution gave rise to a number of applications. (38) This institution was the first to offer shelter to young boys, whereas the female orphanage had had a longer history, having been started in 1803 by Governor Philip Gidley King. By definition the institution was to be a place where boys, under circumstances beyond their control, could be placed in care. Joy Damousi has drawn attention to women who deserted the marital home and children, and who caused the administration concern. (39) Twenty-eight applications were presented by the clergy and magistrates from the Hawkesbury, Liverpool and Sydney districts. (40) These described the individual boys as 'objects of charity'. (41) In the Hawkesbury applications the three Long children were included in one application (42) and in the applications from the Liverpool magistrates there were two boys in two families. (43) Each Sydney application was for a single child for each family unit. In contrast to Damousi's analysis, moral issues are not to the forefront of the 'remarks' column forming a part of the official application forms. In fact the Liverpool justice, Mr Thomas Moore, provided the barest information for each case. Out of these twenty-eight applications only two women, Mary Long (of Hawkesbury, the mother of James, William and John Long) and Catherine Connelly (of Sydney, the mother of Thomas Bowman) were described as possessing 'bad characters'. (44) No further information is given as to what was meant by this. Mary Long was apparently 'neglectful' of her children. Nonetheless she and her long-term partner James Long had seen that all the boys had been christened some years earlier. (45) James's death may well have given rise to Mary's grief, expressed in conduct containing its own bereavement logic, or even causing clinical depression, albeit a logic or illness beyond the magistrates' comprehension. Grace Karskens states 'she [Mary Long] was the kind of convict woman that typically confounded her educated betters'. (46)

Moreover, the comments do not suggest that those involved in the process of applying on behalf of the boys were overwhelmingly in support of Samuel Marsden's proposal to 'remove them completely from the control and influence of their 'immoral' parents ...,. (47) The word 'orphan' certainly conveys the 'fatherless' state of some of these children. What is apparent is the inapplicability of the modern understanding of the world 'orphan' which would rather assume that the death of both parents lay behind a number of these applications. Significantly, one parent had died and the surviving parent was more frequently described as being in 'great distress' by the signatories; a comment appearing beside twenty of these twenty-eight applications. Such poverty was not, however, restricted to women who had been left alone to raise 'deserted' or 'abandoned' children. Of these twenty applications, in three instances the remaining parent was either a widower or a father. (48) While the pro forma nature of the applications curtails the scope and depth of the evidence, the impression given is more of external circumstances causing the break-up of the family unit rather than an irresponsible parent wilfully choosing to neglect their domestic responsibilities. An informal neighbourly welfare network can also be traced in these applications. (49) Of the five boys living in separate households, two had no living parent: James Flood and John Murray. (50) The mothers of two other boys, John Pounds and Thomas Dawcey from Sydney, had died and the fathers of each boy had left the colony. (51) Thomas Warrenton's father had left the colony and his partner Catherine Connelly was living in Sydney with three other children and Thomas was, at the time of the application, living in Airds. (52) There were only three instances where the death of a parent did not appear as a cause for the application: Richard Gardner and William Davis (Hawkesbury), and Thomas Warrenton (Liverpool). Closer examination further reveals that Richard Gardner's father was a soldier with the 73rd Regiment who had left the colony under orders to serve in Ceylon. (53) William Davis was the youngest of seven children whose father was blind (54) and, of these three, Thomas Warrenton's father was the only one who had departed from the colony and his mother, Catherine Malone was in 'great Distress'. (55)

These applications, squashed as they are into four pages and coming from three separate administrative districts in New South Wales can hardly be regarded as providing conclusive evidence. Nonetheless the evidence coming as it does from Sydney and two neighbouring magisterial districts were areas of the colony with high population levels. In only two cases, those of the children James Scott (56) (Hawkesbury) and John Hatfield (57) (Liverpool), was it clear that the parent was under a colonial sentence. In each case the remaining parent was dead. Indeed, the applications demonstrate that it was the death of either one or both parents which, when coupled with 'great distress', promoted the majority of applications. There were however two children, John Pounds and Thomas Dawcey (both from Sydney), whose mother had died and whose father had left the colony. (58) The death of a father was cited in five instances in the Hawkesbury applications; five instances in the Liverpool applications and in ten instances of the fourteen applications from Sydney. In contrast, a mother's death appeared in two applications from the Hawkesbury (59), one application from Liverpool (60) and the two from Sydney (John Pounds and Thomas Dawcey). The death of both parents was the cause behind four applications (Edward Travers and William London from Liverpool (61) and James Flood and John Murray from Sydney). (62) On the basis of the documents examined here there is very little to suggest wilful neglect on the part of either parent. The limited use of comments, with the exception of those appended to the applications relating to Mary Long and Catherine Malone, suggest a paternalistic wish to assist on the part of the magistrates and clergy rather than a desire to condemn the individuals concerned.

So far this article has examined two sets of documents 'Bastards 1810-1814' and 'Male Orphan Institution Applications 1818'. The evidence provided at this stage has been restricted to the available data from each set of documents. The remainder of the article will, however, focus on the baptismal records of three parishes (Sydney, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury district) in the colony providing more quantitative evidence. (63) The majority of the baptismal records for these three parishes in New South Wales between 1811 and 1825 differentiated between married and unmarried mothers. The unmarried couples' names were separately recorded on the same sheet for baptisms for most quarters, and for most of these years. Despite the attempt to make this differentiation there was, apparently, some doubt in the minds of those compiling these records in the earlier years. Between 1811-1813 the records from St Phillip's in Sydney state 'Married or said to be married' with a separate list of those said to be unmarried. (64) Moreover, there are discrepancies in the recording procedures by the clerical officers across the earlier period. For instance the Reverend Samuel Marsden's return from Parramatta for 1811 is entirely missing and in the first quarter of 1812 Marsden's records provided no names for the parents along with the child's Christian and surname. It is not until the second quarter of 1812 that Marsden provided both Christian and surname of the unmarried parents having a child baptised in Parramatta. (65) In contrast the records from the Windsor and Hawkesbury parishes for these quarters provide full details. In the second quarter of 1813 there are no returns from either Sydney or Parramatta.

Obviously the series of these records relate solely to those baptised into the Church of England; nonetheless they remain the only official source recording births available to historians studying this period. Moreover, a comparison with the returns sent back to Britain appearing in the Historical Records of Australia, Series I, corresponds with the data given in these parish records. (66) However, it should be noted that the data given in the Historical Records of Australia makes no distinction between 'births' and 'baptisms'; nor indeed is there any indication of the dates of birth of those being baptised. Information recording 'place of birth' does not start to appear until the third quarter for the Hawkesbury district in 1813; (67) the fourth quarter of 1813 for St Phillip's in Sydney; (68) in Parramatta 'place of birth' is given for the third quarter of 1813. (69) Despite these recording discrepancies these documents disclose a picture contradicting some 'received wisdom' relating to illegitimate births in the colony during the period.

Between 1811 and 1825 these local clergymen recorded a total of 3,608 baptisms of children born to both married and unmarried couples. Of those baptisms, 473 (13.10 per cent of the total baptisms) were born to women who were described as 'unmarried'. This, in itself, suggests that Alan Grocott was relying on unsubstantiated figures when he stated that 'the great majority of children born in New South Wales up to 1821 were still illegitimate'. (70)

However, in contrast to that statement there were only two years, 1811 and 1813, when the children born to unmarried couples amounted to over twenty per cent of the total baptisms carried out in the three parishes. As can be seen the number of unmarried parents in absolute terms declined over the period. The data obviously does not provide the cause; it was thought that the decline might be explained by looking at the ages of children at the date of baptism. In 1811 the total of fifty-four children (whose parents were unmarried) being baptised included eight children who had been born before 1809. Four years later in 1815, the total of fifty baptisms to children of unmarried parents included six children whose date of birth was more than two years before the date of baptism. In 1819 the total was twenty-four, and only three of these baptisms related to children who had been born more than two years before that date. In six of those eight cases (in 1811) the parents can be identified as de facto couples insofar as two children in each family were being baptised on the same date. (71) Indeed sixty-six de facto couples can possibly be identified as their names and parishes remained the same throughout the period. (72) Michael Mason argued that 'an illegitimate birth was usually the result of a disruption of marriage intentions, when a courtship involving intercourse and pregnancy issued in an unmarried mother rather than a pregnant bride.' (73) Although these baptismal records contain a number of couples who did not marry subsequent to the birth of their first child the reappearance of their names as a couple indicates established de facto relationships.

It is, nonetheless, an assumption that those with larger families are the same couple rather than couples with the same forenames and surnames. It is not possible with this data to make assumptions regarding the quality of the domestic circumstances of the couples whose names appear more than once in the records nor of the individuals whose names appear in this 'unmarried' column. These de facto couples account for a total of 168 illegitimate children. Family sizes varied with forty-five couples having two children, fourteen couples having three children, and two couples each having four, six and seven children. Of the remaining entries there are a number of individual names that appear more than once in both fathers' and mothers' columns. It cannot be assumed, however, that 'same name' means the same person, particularly in a society with a limited range of forenames often found in combination with common surnames. Surprisingly, in a society which has provided a wealth of information for historians from the convict transport ship indents, there is no way in which individual can be traced or indeed whether or not the individuals were 'free' or 'unfree'.

However, there is one statement which can be made from the data of unmarried parents. Of the 403 women who did not appear to have more than one child with the same father there were only four women who failed to identify the father. Of these four, three could not and one would not. (74) In addition there was only one foundling child who baptised in 1814. (75) Clearly this data does not disclose whether the 'named' fathers were present and consenting to their being named at the ceremony. (76) For example, consider the case discussed above of Sarah Yates and William Ward. Whether or not women made a cynical or strategic use of 'baptisms' as a means of publicly 'naming and shaming' cannot be accessed through these records. However, the fact that only three women were unable to provide the full name of their child's father suggests a prevalence of relationships which were more substantial than 'one night stands' with utter strangers.

Nonetheless when these baptismal records are correlated with the earlier evidence of the women appearing before the Bench of Magistrates in the years between February 1810 and March 1814 a possibly surprising picture emerges. The mechanism for child support was a formal application for women to have their child put 'on the stores' in the absence of paternal maintenance. It appears that a minority of the women appear in both sets of data. (77) Between 1811 (when these baptism records begin) until the end of the first quarter in 1814 (when the records from the Bench of Magistrates ends) 149 children were recorded as being born to unmarried mothers and subsequently baptised. The inference can only be that the great majority of these children were in no need of public support and that their needs were being met, possibly by their natural fathers. (78)

As intimated in the opening paragraph this article has demonstrated that there is a discrepancy between what has been disclosed here and what has previously been regarded as historical truth. It is hoped that these findings will provoke further research.
Absolute and per centage rates of baptisms of children
of married and unmarried parents

Year Married Unmarried Total % Unmarried
 baptisms baptisms baptisms baptisms to
 total baptisms

1811 188 54 242 22.3
1812 250 55 305 18.0
1813 174 45 219 20.5
1814 188 34 222 15.3
1815 219 50 268 18.6
1816 182 38 220 17.2
1817 206 32 238 13.4
1818 211 27 238 11.3
1819 251 21 272 7.7
1820 232 32 264 12.1
1821 216 24 240 10.0
1822 206 20 226 8.8
1823 214 14 228 6.1
1824 207 17 224 7.6
1825 191 11 202 5.4

TOTALS 3135 474 3608 13.13

Sources: SRNSW SR2/8298, Returns of births, deaths and marriages,
Windsor and Hawkesbury District, 1811-1820'; SRNSW SR2/8296,
Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Parramatta, St John's,
1811-1820'; SRNSW SR2/8297, Returns of births, deaths an
and marriages, Parramatta, 1821-March 1825'; SRNSW SR2/8293,
Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St Phillips,
1811-1825'; SRNSW SR2/8294, Returns of births, deaths and marriages,
Sydney, St James, 1824-25'.

University of Edinburgh


(1) This article was originally given as a paper 'Escape from the historians' at the 'Escape' Conference, organised by Professor Lucy Frost and Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, in Strahan, Tasmania in 2003. Generous financial assistance from both the British Academy and the University of Edinburgh enabled my attendance at that conference.

(2) SRNSW SR5/1153 'Bench of Magistrates, Sydney 1801-1814: Bastards, 1810-1814'; SRNSW SR4/400, 'Rules and Regulations Established for the Management of the Male Orphan Institution ... 1819'; SRNSW SR4/1740, Colonial Secretary Main Series of Letters Received, Bundle 12, 1818, reel no. 6047: 'Return of Male Children in the Several Districts of the Hawkesbury', p. 254; 'Return of the number of orphans in the district undermentioned, Liverpool July 1818' p. 255 and 'Sydney 11 August 1818 A List of Children proposed for admission into the Male Orphan House at Sydney, according to the tenor of Mr Secretary Campbell's Circular, dated 13 July 1818' pp. 256-8. SRNSW SR2/8293, 'Returns of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney, St Phillips 1811-1825'; SRNSW SR2/8296, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Parramatta, St Johns, 1811-1820'; SRNSW SR2/8298, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Windsor and Hawkesbury District, 1811-1820'; SRNSW SR2/2897, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Paramatta, 1821-1825'; SRNSW SR2/8294, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St James, 1824-25'.

(3) Samuel Marsden's 'Female Register' of 1806 established the flawed distinction between 'married' or 'concubine' women then living in the colony. See also Michael Saclier, 'Sam Marsden's Colony', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 52, pt. 2, pp. 99-114.

(4) Katrina Alford, Production or Reproduction: an economic history of women in Australia, 1788-1850, Melbourne, 1984, p. 78; Portia Robinson, The Women of Botany Bay: A reinterpretation of the role of women in the origins of Australian society, Sydney, 1988, p. 208; and John Hirst, Convict Society and its Enemies: a history of early New South Wales, Sydney, 1983, p. 17.

(5) A.T. Yarwood, Samuel Marsden: a great survivor, Melbourne, 1977. Yarwood's biography of Marsden sympathetically and uncritically describes this clergyman's role and career in the colony. Marsden's complaints were made prior to the opening of Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney (1819) and was a plea for an extension of institutional provision for both male and female convicts. Such an extension would thereby protect the livestock and crops owned by the free population. Marsden's letter to Governor Macquarie (dated 19 July 1815) setting out these circumstances subsequently appeared in Henry Grey Bennet, Letter to Lord Sidmouth, London, 1819, and is cited by Yarwood, n. 30, p. 187.

(6) 'Report from the Select Committee on Transportation', Parliamentary Papers, vol. II, (1812), Appendices, p. 32.

(7) See, for example, Lloyd Robson, The Convict Settlers of Australia, Melbourne, 1965, (1976 edition); Alan G. L. Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies: a study of penal transportation from Great Britain and Ireland to Australia and other parts of the British Empire, London, 1966.

(8) Miriam Dixson, 'The "Born-Modern" Self: Revisiting The Real Matilda: An Exploration of Women and Identity in Australia', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 27 (April 1996) and quoted in Kay Daniels, Convict Women, Sydney, 1997, p. 46.

(9) Alford, p. 44. Alford's judgement was, however, based on an unproblematised use of the 'Report of the Select Committee on Transportation', Parliamentary Papers, Crime and Punishment, Transportation, 3, (138), p. ix.

(10) Gordon A. Carmichael, 'So Many Children: Colonial and Post-Colonial Demographic Patterns' in Kay Saunders and Raymond Evans (eds), Gender Relations in Australia: domination and negotiation, Sydney, 1992, pp. 103-43, p. 107.

(11) See for example, Bruce Hindmarsh, 'Yoked to the Plough: Male Convict Labour, Culture and Resistance in rural Van Diemen's Land, 1820-1840', PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2002; Kirsty Reid, 'Work, Sexuality and Resistance: The Convict Women of Van Diemen's Land, 1820-1839', PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1996. See also Grace Karskens, The Rocks: life in early Sydney, Melbourne, 1997 and Tamsin O'Connor, 'Raising Lazarus', in Lucy Frost and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart (eds), Chain Letters: narrating convict lives, Melbourne, 2001, pp. 148-61.

(12) See, for example, Mrs Philip Gidley King's Journal, King Family Papers, 'Journal of Mrs Philip Gidley King on the Voyage from England to Australia 19 November 1789-14 April 1800', Mitchell Library, MSS. 1973X; the Scottish martyr Maurice Margarot's evidence to the 'Report from the Select Committee on Transportation', Parliamentary Papers, vol. II, (1812), Appendices, p. 55; John Dunmore Lang, An Historical and Statistical Account of New South Wales Both as a Penal Settlement and as a British Colony, London, 1834, p. 65.

(13) See for example, Robson, p. 9; Shaw, p. 164; John Ramsland, Children of the Back Lanes: destitute and neglected children in colonial New South Wales, Sydney, 1986. The first chapter, 'A Suitable Degree of Plain Education: Rescuing children in the early convict era, 1788-1826', pp. 1-23, esp. 11-12.

(14) Daniels, p. 77.

(15) Saclier, p. 100.

(16) 'Report from the Select Committee on Transportation', Parliamentary Papers, vol. II, (1812), Appendices, p. 32.

(17) These documents form part of a larger series, State Records New South Wales (SRNSW) SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 1801-1814'.

(18) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814'.

(19) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 424.

(20) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 444.

(21) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 408.

(22) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 406.

(23) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 421 (Mary Buchan) and p. 423 (Ann Dickson). See also Governor Lachlan Macquarie's letter at 'Select Committee on Transportation', Parliamentary Papers, vol. II, (1812), Appendix No. 33, dated 30 April 1810, relating to the soldiers of the 102nd Regiment and the women 'who had lived for many years and had children by soldiers'. Macquarie had given the women free pardons in order that they might marry and return home with the men of this regiment.

(24) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 418.

(25) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 425.

(26) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 414.

(27) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 416.

(28) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', pp. 450-3.

(29) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 408. Margaret Kelly claimed 'Thomas Angelo was the father of her son. See also SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'B astards 1810-1814', p. 410 for Mary Collins who claimed that 'Joseph McGregor' a mariner had fathered her infant daughter.

(30) SRNWS SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 427.

(31) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', p. 429.

(32) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', pp. 441-443.

(33) See Karskens, pp. 78-9.

(34) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', pp. 441-43.

(35) SRNSW SR 2/8293, 'Return of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St Phillips, 1811-1825'. Quarter 1 January-31 March 1812, signed by Rev. William Cowper and countersigned by Rev. Samuel Marsden.

(36) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', pp. 400-5 and p. 448.

(37) SRNSW SR 5/1153, 'Bench of Magistrates, 'Bastards 1810-1814', pp. 400-5.

(38) SRNSW SR 4/440, 'Rules & Regulations Established for the Management of 'the Male Orphan Institution Commencing from its Establishment at Sydney on the First of January 1819', Reel No. 6040. See also Ramsland, p. 12.

(39) Joy Damousi, Depraved and Disorderly: Female Convicts, Sexuality, and Gender in Colonial Australia, Cambridge, 1997; Chapter 7, 'Abandonment, Flight and Absence: Motherhood and Fatherhood during the 1820s and 1830s', pp. 154-70.

(40) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Colonial Secretary Main Series of Letters Received Bundle 12, 1818', Reel No. 6047. 'Return of Male Children in the Several Districts of the Hawkesbury--Recommended by the Clergy and Magistrates of the same, as objects of charity for the intended orphan school agreeable to His Excellency the Governor's direction of the 13th July 1818': 7 applications authorised by William Cox, JP, Henry Fulton, JP, Robert Cartwright, JP, Wiltshire, JP, and Brabyn, JP, p. 254. 'Return of the number of orphans in the district undermentioned, Liverpool July 1818': 7 applications signed by Thos. Moore, JP, p. 255; 'Sydney 11 August 1818 A List of Children proposed for admission into the Male Orphan House at Sydney, according to the tenor of Mr Secretary Campbell' s Circular, dated 13 July 1818': 14 applications, pp. 256-8.

(41) SRNSW SR 4/400, 'Rules & Regulations ...', pp. 1-10. The long-term aims and principles of both the female and male orphanages were similar. In the case of the latter institution, boys were to be provided with appropriate training and apprenticeships for their future welfare and self-sufficiency. The regulations were explicit that neither institution was to be regarded as a place of temporary accommodation for children whose parents were experiencing a short-term period of hardship. Official penalties of 100.00 [pounds sterling] were to be imposed on parents who wished to remove their child[ren] prior to the child reaching 21 or having become married, see Regulation 10, p. 5. See also Elizabeth Windschuttle, 'Discipline, Domestic Training and Social Control: The Female School of Industry, Sydney, 1826-1847', Labour History, no. 39, (1980), pp. 1-14.

(42) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Hawkesbury', p. 254.

(43) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Liverpool', p. 255.

(44) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Sydney', pp. 256-8.

(45) SRNSW SR 2/8298, 'Returns of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, 1811-1825, Windsor and Hawkesbury District, 1st Quarter 1812'. However, although the father of the two younger boys was given as James Ward, the older boy' s father was named as Thomas Petre. See Karskens, who described the process of children being moulded into households where only one of the adults was the birth parent, p. 111.

(46) Karskens, p. 110. Karskensdescribes Long's subsequent 'stablehousehold relationship' with Thomas Bristow, p. 92 as well as tracing the reunion of the three adult boys subsequently living with their mother, p. 110.

(47) Ramsland, p. 3.

(48) SRNSW SR 4/1740, 'Return of Male Children ... Hawkesbury', both Matthew Ralph and James Scott p. 254; 'Return of Male Children ... Liverpool', Richard Podmore, p. 255.

(49) Cf. Karskens, who identified that in the case of orphans, 'if there was no family in Sydney or elsewhere in the colony, they were often taken in and fostered by Rocks neighbours', p. 53 and p. 123.

(50) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Sydney', p. 258.

(51) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Sydney', p. 258.

(52) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Sydney', p. 258.

(53) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Hawkesbury', p. 254.

(54) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Hawkesbury', p. 254.

(55) SRNSW SR4/1749, 'Return of male children ... Liverpool', p. 255.

(56) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Hawkesbury', p. 254. James had travelled with his mother from Scotland to the colony; she had died on the voyage and James's father had been sent to the Coal River 'for thieving'.

(57) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Liverpool', p. 255. John Hatfield's father was dead and his mother, Amelia was, at the time of the application, 'a Prisoner has 4 children in great distress and unable to support them'.

(58) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Liverpool', p. 255.

(59) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Hawksbury', p. 254. Matthew Ralph and James Scott.

(60) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Liverpool', p. 255. Richard Podmore.

(61) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ...Liverpool', p. 255.

(62) SRNSW SR4/1740, 'Return of male children ... Sydney', p. 258.

(63) SRNSW SR 2/8298, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages Windsor and Hawkesbury District, 1811-1820'; SRNSW SR 2/8296, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Parramatta, St John' s, 1811-1820'; SRNSW SR 2/2897 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Parramatta, 1821-March 1825'; SRNSW SR 2/8293, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St Phillips, 1811-1825'.

(64) SRNSW SR 2/8293, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St Phillips, 1811-1825' quarterly returns for 1811-1813 signed by the Reverend William Cowper.

(65) SRNSW SR 2/8296, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Parramatta, St John's, 1811-1820'.

(66) Historical Records of Australia, series I, vol. VII, January 1809-June 1813, pp. 434, 654, 771; Historical Records of Australia, series I, vol. VIII, July 1813-December 1815, pp. 205, 336, 597; Historical Records of Australia, series I, vol. IX, January 1816-December 1818, p. 93.

(67) SRNSW SR 2/8298, 'Returns of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, 1811-1825, Windsor and Hawkesbury District.

(68) SRNSW SR 2/8293, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St Phillips, 1811-1825'.

(69) SRNSW SR 2/8296, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Parramatta, St John's, 1811-1820'.

(70) Alan Grocott, Convicts, Clergymen and Churches: Attitudes of convicts and ex-convicts towards the churches and clergy in New South Wales from 1788-1851, Sydney, 1980, p. 74. Grocott's evidence for this statement was taken from Russell Ward, Australia, Sydney, 1967, p. 25 and Greenwood, (ed.) Australia, A Social and Political History, Sydney, 1955, p. 41. See also Kay Daniels and Mary Murnane (eds.) Uphill all the Way: A Documentary History of Women in Australia, Brisbane, 1980, who drew attention to the 'high incidence of illegitimacy ...', p. 4.

(71) SRNSW SR 2/8293, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St Phillips, 1811-1825'. These couples were Abraham Whittaker and Ann Baker whose daughter Mary Ann was born on 10 July 1808 and whose brother William was born on 10 December 1810; James Manning & Margaret Baynon, whose daughter Eliza was born on 17 June 1808 and whose brother James was born on 8 February 1811; both children born to John Piper and Ann Shears had been born more than two years prior to baptism: John born 16 August 1806 and Hugh born 23 August 1808. John Moor and Lydia Martin's older child, John, had been born on 18 January 1809 and the younger one, Ann had been born on 20 October 1811. See also SRNSW SR 2/8298, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages Windsor and Hawkesbury District, 1811-1820': Thomas Douglas and Sarah Pearce had two children baptised, James the elder had been born on 2 April 1808 and the younger, Ann, was born on 4 August 1810; both children born to Jonathon Griffiths and Eleanor McDonald were baptised when Amy was five years old and James was over three years old.

(72) See E. A. Wrigley (ed.), 'Introduction', Identifying People in the Past, London, 1973, who draws attention to criteria for 'Identifying Individuals' which is a process of diminishing or eliminating 'false' links rather than the creation of 'true' links. Thus it is the absence of false links which results in a hypothesis of 'true' links. Wrigley stresses the importance of the correlation of a greater set of record correlation than those being used here to be certain of identification, see esp. pp. 5-8.

(73) See Michael Mason's argument in this respect in Making of Victorian Sexuality, Oxford, 1994, pp. 64-72, esp. p. 67.

(74) SRNSW SR2/8298, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages Windsor and Hawkesbury District 1811-1813', 1813, 3rd Quarter. On 26 August Grace Turnbull's daughter Mary Turnbull born on 21 August 1811 was baptised. Grace refused to name the father. SRNSW SR2/8298, 'Returns ... Windsor and Hawkesbury', 2nd Quarter. 1817. On 26 April 1817 Mary Crew's son, Enoch was born and baptised the following month. The entry for his father was recorded as "Father Unknown". SRNSW SR2/8296, 'Returns ... Parramatta, St John's, 1811-1820', 1817 2nd Quarter. Elizabeth Disden's daughter Eliza was born on 4 May 1817 and was baptised on 10 August. No father's name appears on the baptismal record alongside Elizabeth Disden. SRNSW SR 2/8293, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, St Phillip's Sydney, 1811-1825', 1818 1st quarter. Thomas Blower, 'born at sea' was baptised on 22 February 1818. His mother was Sarah Blower and 'father unknown'.

(75) SRNSW SR2/8293, 'Returns of births, deaths and marriages, Sydney, St Phillips, 18111825', 3rd Quarter, 1 July-30 September 1814. Elizabeth Burnwood whose date and place of birth appears as 'N.S.W. November 1812' and who was baptised at St Phillip's in Sydney on 14 August 1814.

(76) Cf The case of Sarah Yates and William Ward above. See also Ursula Henriques, Before the Welfare State, (New York, Longman, 1979), 'the woman could be urged to name the father so that he could be arrested and compelled to give a bond', p. 16.

(77) Rose Kenny and Barth Houlson; Jane Duff and Samuel Forster; Mary Buchan and Robert Young; Sarah Yates and William Wade; Letitia Reynolds and James Underwood; Mary Picket and Henry Major.

(78) Grace Karskens, The Rocks: Life in early Sydney, Melbourne, 1997, discusses the 'blending' of children into a new household, p. 111.
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Author:Phillipps, Tina Picton
Publication:Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
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Date:Dec 1, 2004
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