Unidentified Woman

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
2 May 1828

THE MAGDALENS.—One day about the conclusion of the past week, Mr. THRELKELD, a member of the Wesleyan Mission, produced for the cognizance of the Police Bench a woman of the middle age, and eke the middle size, who had been employed in a domestic capacity in the family of Mr. THRELKELD; but the apparent destitution of all moral principle which the woman was said to have evinced in her service, and certain acts of impropriety rendered it imperative on him to bring the frail one under notice of the Bench, that there might be meted unto her—”fruits meet for repentance.”

The woman was a bond woman, and immediately upon landing from the ship which conveyed her from England to the Antipodes, was, without having had a taste of factory fare, consigned to the dwelling of the complainant. For some days there was the usual snavity, and propensity, and aptness for executing the necessary domestic work and attendance upon family prayer, morning and evening.

“Let never day or night unhallowed pass,

But still remember what the Lord hath done.”

Her coming into the house was as the coming in of a new broom which sweeps cleanly for a little, but by frequent action becomes hard and scratchy; and by and bye, as the house became more familiar, attendance upon family prayer became the less so. Sensual, and spiritual delights would not mingle kindly; the woman loved spirit-ual comforts, but they were of that sort better calculated to exhilirate [sic], and by immoderate application to stupify [sic] the powers of mind and frame, than to be the source and refiner of intellectual joys: — so that, finally, for

“— — — —now it is high time

To make a pause, and anchor with our rhyme”—

between the joys of tippling, and the guiles of a sweetheart, who it was discovered lived not far away, and neglect of duty, and other acts of dissoluteness, the woman became as one whom the complainant heartily wished to thrust from his household.

It was accordingly directed by the Bench that the woman should be consigned to the charge of the matron of the female factory for six months, and during that period, the usual days of rest excepted, to be employed at as salutary and hard labor as the circumstances of her fault seemed to the Bench to merit.


Female Factory Online, (femalefactoryonline.org), “Law Report of UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN,” https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18280502/, accessed [insert current date].

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© Copyright Michaela Ann Cameron 2015