Report on Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
9 January 1841


The following nuisance, for which it is very desirable to find an immediate remedy, may have come under the constant notice of many of our readers. We allude to the number of destitute children, principally boys, who are constantly prowling about the purlieus of the Victoria theatre. We learn upon inquiry that these unfortunates are for the most part the illegitimate offspring of factory women, abandoned by their parents, and left to pick up a scanty subsistence in any way they can, honest or dishonest. In the daytime they frequent the small craft employed in the colonial trade, and at night sleep in verandahs or in tanks, or empty houses, or wherever else they can. We may be told that the Orphan School or the Benevolent Asylum are open to them. Such, however, is not the case, as there is no one to apply for them, and even when application is made, they are in the habit of running away. We would earnestly appeal to Government to devise some sort of plan whereby these children may be redeemed from their miserable condition, and be brought up to be useful members of the community. Anything is better than to leave them as they now are, wretched in themselves, and the greatest possible nuisance to the public.

See Original: “No title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Saturday 9 January 1841, p.3