Female Factory Nicknames, Part I

“Gordon’s Aviary,” “The Nunnery,” “The Receptacle for Bolters…” This is the first instalment on the blog highlighting the long list of nicknames given to the Parramatta Female Factory by newspaper reporters.

By Michaela Ann Cameron

“Gordon’s Aviary,” “The Nunnery,” “Gordon’s Taming Cage,” “The Receptacle for Bolters…”

The wordsmiths who penned the “Police Reports” certainly came up with many creative ways to refer to the Parramatta Female Factory and, by the same stroke of their poisoned pens, to degrade the Factory’s inmates.

I thought it might be a good idea to start making a list of them as I transcribe each report and add it to the database!

Ann Gordon, Matron of the Parramatta Female Factory 1827-1836
Ann Gordon, Matron of the Parramatta Female Factory, 1827-1836. Photo by Michaela Ann Cameron (2013) of an original photo on display at Cumberland Hospital Museum.

As you can see from the list I’ve compiled thus far, the name “GORDON” became synonymous with the Female Factory in the police reports.

“GORDON” refers to ANN GORDON, the Matron of the Parramatta Female Factory between October 1827 and 1836. Gordon had a particularly difficult first day on the job as matron back in October 1827, what with the 1827 Riot that took place in the Factory that very day!

I’ll be posting further blog posts in the future to keep you fully updated about the growing list of “Female Factory” nicknames.

CLICK HERE or head to “BROWSE” in the Main Menu and select “Nicknames” to view the list.