Report on Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
3 December 1840

Assignment of Female Convicts—Great inconvenience to the Government having been found to arise from the unrestricted manner in which female convicts are now to be assigned, and great evil to the women themselves, from their frequent change of service, especially in Sydney; his Excellency the Governor directs it to be notified, that the following regulations will be adopted from the 1st December last past, viz:—

  1. No woman returned to the factory from service in Sydney, Parramatta, Windsor, Liverpool, Maitland, Newcastle, or Macquarie, is to be re-assigned in the same town, within the period of six months; and if returned to the factory a second time from the same town, she will be again be assigned in it.
  2. The charge on the assignment of a woman, whether from a ship or from the factory, will be in future as follows:—In Sydney, ten shillings; in country towns, five shillings; in country districts, at least two miles distance from any town, nil.
  3. When women are returned to the factory by order of a magistrate, no charge for their return will be made to their assignees; but if returned to the factory merely because their services are no longer required, the expense of their return will be payable to the assignees, and the sum charged for the journey from Sydney to Parramatta will be five shillings, as at present.
  4. Applications for the assignment of women will continue to be made in country districts as at present, but in Sydney and in the towns herein before named, all applications are to be made to the clerk of the Bench, recommended by at least one Clergyman. The recommendation of a Magistrate hitherto required will no longer be necessary, as all applications sent by the Clerk of the Bench will be submitted by him to the Bench of Magistrates, and no assignment will be made unless recommended by the Bench. In cases where the applicants are themselves either Clerymen [sic], Magistrates, or Officers of Government, the recommendation of a Clergyman may be dispensed with.
  5. Assignments from the factory at Parramatta will continue to be made, as at present, on Mondays only.
  6. Transfers of women may continue to be made as at present, but the Magistrates who sanction such transfers are required to report them without delay to the Principal Superintendent of Convicts.

See Original: “Assignment of Female Convicts,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Thursday 3 December 1840, p.2