We hear strange tales from this abode of vice: of joy and woe; crime and penitence. Has an inquest been taken on the bodies of the two unfortunate woman who died there lately? If not, why not? If so, what has been the result? Every death in a prison, no matter how tedious, or how sudden, should unfailingly be subject for “Crowner’s quest.”
Two women were lately sent up from Newcastle on a magisterial conviction [illegible] for being saucy to the wife of Mr. BROOKS, who is placed as a surgeon over the Newcastle hospital. The sentence was “placarding,” shaving the head, and confinement in cells, or hard labor [sic]. Who caused this sentence to be pronounced? Was it Mr. BROOKS, or who? Has it been inflicted? Are the women deranged? If so, how and where are they treated? We entertain a secret horror and suspicion of all places of punishment which are secreted from the public eye, casually or wilfully. The factory is one of those places; and right or wrong, we cannot but wish to know what is going on within its walls; for we suspect the worst where mystery is even attempted.
Several of the more unruly nymphs made a sortie upon their guardians the other day, and were near bolting altogether. On coming down to Sydney, the tender creatures demolished the planking all on one side of their long-go go-along or waggon, and amid loud cheers were [illegible] down George-street to their temporary place of seclusion – the town prison, being subsequently drafted on board ship for Moreton Bay and Norfolk Island. There is too much of mystery about the internal economy of this prison not to create suspicion.
See Original: “No Title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW: 1824 – 1848), Friday 4 March 1831, p.3