A new life in Australia for prisoner Sarah Bird (1763-1842) | All Things Georgian

Originally posted on All Things Georgian.

The Costumes of the Australasians: watercolour by Edward Charles Close

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the television programme ‘Banished‘ we decided to share this letter that we came across in the Chester Courant 13 November 1798. It is a fascinating letter from a daughter to her father after she was transported to Botany Bay and gives an insight into life in Australia from a female perspective, and shows how incredibly astute she was in her determination to succeed as a business woman. She seems totally undaunted by the fact that she has been sent thousands of miles away from home without a man to support her. She may well have had someone, possibly an officer keeping a watchful eye over her and possibly writing her letter for her, but there is no indication of that in the letter. Would she have had the same opportunity had she remained in England? possibly not. Draw your own conclusions from her letter. If she wrote the letter herself then it would imply that she was from a good family and reasonably well-educated, which begs the question as to why she…

via A new life in Australia for prisoner Sarah Bird (1763-1842) | All Things Georgian.

One thought on “A new life in Australia for prisoner Sarah Bird (1763-1842) | All Things Georgian

  1. I was intrigued by this account. I wonder how a woman transported for theft would have such funds on her person to buy all the goods on the way? Perhaps her family sent her off with some money. She also seems to have avoided compulsory work, instead obtaining a drinks licence, and a small farm of sorts. I would like to have known more of her circumstances, and her later life in Australia.
    A very good piece. Thanks Sarah.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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