Friday, June 29, 2018

The Tin Ticket

The subtitle of this book, written by Deborah J Swiss, is 'The heroic journey of Australia's convict women'. The Transportation Act, that allowed prisoners to be sent overseas to serve their term and in reality spend the rest of their life in a new country, was passed in 1718. In this book the author looks at how transportation affected the lives of four women who were transported to Tasmania.

The 'tin ticket' refers to the small piece of tin stamped with the number that was hung around the neck of a female convict transported to Tasmania. The convict women studied in this book are Agnes McMillan and Janet Houston from Glasgow who were transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1836, Ludlow Tedder transported, with her young daughter Arabella, in 1839 and Bridget Bailey, from Ireland, transported in 1851. As well as describing the conditions the women faced on arrival, especially life in the Cascades Female Factory, the life of the women when freed has been traced. Leaving their convict past behind, these women and their families helped build Australia.

This book is essential reading for anyone who has female convicts in their family who were sent to Van Diemen's Land. It would also be a useful book for anyone interested in the convict period in Australian history. 

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