Report on Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
18 March 1831


On Tuesday we visited the Female Factory, Parramatta, and were agreeably surprised by the good order, cleanliness, and decorum which appeared to prevail throughout that establishment. There were four hundred women, about a-third of whom were engaged at spining-jennies [sic] and weaving; about fifty, with children in their arms, were cleanly, and quiet, but doing nothing; the residue were employed in the kitchen and wards, plaiting straw and in the laundry. The bread, though brown and course, appeared of wholesome quality, and the provisions sufficient in quantity. To see four-hundred women even so, mewed up in a country like this — lost to themselves — lost to the community, is pitiable. Fornication would end in nine cases out of ten in matrimony. Here are four-hundred women sacrificed to the scruples of a false affectation of “delicacy.” More on this singular subject in our next.

See Original:The Factory,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW: 1824 – 1848), Friday 18 March 1831, p.2