Report on Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
2 October 1841

Female Immigrants, fathers and mothers with daughters, midwives, &c., complain loudly of the general establishment at Parramatta, for lying-in women, and for the manufacture of gentleman’s waistcoats, &c., and ladies’ linen, washing, starching, ironing, &c, &c, &c., which has been got up under the superintendence of some distinguished personages, and is patronised by all the nobility, and many of the gentry of Sydney, and for which establishment there has been an agency appointed in Hyde Park Barracks. We have been asked for some particulars with regard to this establishment, officially, the factory, and which particulars it is said ought to be laid before the public. Unfortunately, however, we are not in possession of anything more than the general rumours which have been circulated, relative to the Factory, and we are therefore unable to comply with the request. We cannot, however, but admit, that if the factory is supported as a prison for female convicts, it should not in our opinion be turned into a manufactory to deprive female immigrants of the means of earning honest livelihoods, by keeping a few hundreds of convict women like so many needle and washerwomen, only perhaps on a little better fare than if they were earning an honest subsistence, in the same manner in the country whence they have been transported for their crimes.

See Original: “No Title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Saturday 2 October 1841, p.2