Reasonably good night\’s kip, and after a decent breakfast, we decided to walk around a popular neighbourhood of Hobart called Battery Point. This is a rather quaint part of the town, full of colonial-style houses and some nice views. A large cruise ship had also injected about 3,000 people into the town itself.
We then decided to go out to a site called the Female Factory. This was the place in Hobart where all the female convicts were \”processed\” and their behaviour \”corrected\”. Sombre stuff. Women of all ages were sentenced to multiple years for petty theft, for example, and many of them were pregnant when they arrived from Britain (often, of course, through no fault of their own). The records kept of these women were incredibly detailed, and they were categorised as to their suitability for working for others, mainly Government departmental heads in some capacity, once they were \”rehabilitated\”. Again, it\’s far too detailed to go into here, but suffice to say this was not one of the UK government\’s finest operations. And it all happened less than two hundred years ago. The death toll, particularly amongst the children, was truly horrendous.
Amongst all this, I learned a new word – \”flagitious\”, meaning criminal or villainous. This was used to describe some of these women, many of whom came from very poor backgrounds and could not read or write. Desperation at so many levels made them commit these petty crimes, for which they were savagely punished. It all sounds depressing, and it was, but it was also a very interesting commentary on the times.
After this uplifting experience, we decided to go for a drive down the Tasman Peninsula towards another settlement – Port Arthur. This was where the male convicts from Britain were landed and \”processed\”, in a truly brutal manner. We decided we\’d had enough depression for one day, so contented ourselves with some of the spectacular scenery in these parts.
Next sequence involves a few \”doos\” – you get the picture:
Another decent dinner in the hotel and a longish evening using the washing facilities (these things are important, you know…..)
Leave a Reply